Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Provided by Our Psychologists Gold Coast | GCPC

  • Do I need a referral to see a Psychologist?

    No, you do not need a referral to see a psychologist. You are welcome to book an appointment and cover the fee privately. However, if you do want to claim the Medicare rebate, you need a referral and Mental Health Care Plan from your GP.

  • How do I get a Mental Health Care Plan?

    1. Book an appointment with your GP and ask for a longer consultation.
    2. At that appointment, discuss your issue with your GP and ask for a ‘Mental Health Care Plan’, and ask to be referred to Gold Coast Psychology Centre. There is no need to specify the specific psychologist at GCPC you wish to work with.
    3. Contact Gold Coast Psychology Centre to book a time.

    In order for us to process your rebate, we require a copy of your MHCP and referral from your GP. You can ask your GP to send the referral and MHCP directly to us, you can email it to us directly, or you can bring it in with you the day of your first appointment. 

  • What are the steps between booking a session and coming to my appointment?

    After you have booked an appointment with one of our psychologists at Gold Coast Psychology Centre, you will be sent a simple and confidential intake form to fill out and sign before your first appointment. There is no need to prepare anything prior to your first appointment. Just remember to bring your MHCP and Medicare card.

  • How many sessions can I claim the Medicare rebate with a Mental Health Care Plan from a GP?

    The MHCP entitles you to ten sessions in a calendar year. The Initial MHCP is usually for six sessions at which point you are required to return back to your GP for a review to gain a further four sessions. Your psychologist or admin team at GCPC will remind you of this before the sixth session.

  • How long are appointments?

    Generally, appointments are 50 minutes in duration. Longer appointments may be scheduled in some circumstances. Please discuss your needs and preferences with your psychologist.

  • How many sessions do I need?

    Clients with severe and complex mental health issues may require long-term therapeutic support spanning several years. Others may experience noticeable improvements in four to six sessions. Together, you and your psychologist will collaborate to determine the length of treatment that aligns with your clinical requirements and personal preferences.

  • I have an existing Mental Health Care Plan and have been seeing another psychologist – can I use this plan at Gold Coast Psychology Centre?

    Yes, if you have a copy of your plan, and you still have sessions available you can use an existing plan. However, we do request a referral to Gold Coast Psychology Centre from your GP to accompany the existing plan. Simply speak to your GP to get a new referral to one of our Psychologists Gold Coast at our clinic.

    Our reception will also need to check with Medicare to ascertain how many visits you have used with your previous psychologist on the existing plan.

  • What’s the difference between a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a counsellor?

    Psychologists have training in a variety of evidence-supported theories that relate to understanding and changing human behaviour. They study for a minimum of six years at university level before gaining registration and are required to engage in continued education through professional development programs.

    Psychiatrists are initially trained as medical doctors and then trained as specialists. They prescribe medication and assist in making decisions about treatment, admissions and discharges from hospital, as well as referral to other medical specialists.

    Unlike psychologists and psychiatrists, counsellors or psychotherapists don’t require registration with any governing authority or minimum level of training, and no government legislation regulates who can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist.

  • What is the difference between a psychologist, a clinical psychologist, and a clinical registrar?

    All psychologists have completed a minimum of six years of psychology training through university and supervised experience. Both general and clinical psychologists hold general registration with the Psychology Board of Australia, meeting high standards in education, training, supervised practice, ethical and professional standards, and ongoing professional development.

    The difference between a general and a clinical psychologist is that a clinical psychologist has gained a “clinical endorsement” which entails an additional two years of training in a specific area. They often have a more specific scope of practice, largely working with more severe presentations in clinical settings (such as psychiatric patients in hospitals) and have a more intense focus on assessments. A clinical registrar is a general psychologist who is currently in the two-year process of achieving a clinical endorsement.

    Clinical psychologists often charge more as Medicare provides a higher rebate. However, there is no difference in the standard of care they provide to clients. The psychologist that will best suit your needs is one who has experience in the area you’re seeking help for, establish a strong therapeutic relationship with you, and facilitate positive changes in your life.

  • Is what I talk about with my psychologist completely confidential?

    Any information you share during your sessions with a psychologist remains confidential, with two exceptions. Firstly, if there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or others. Secondly, in compliance with court orders, such as a subpoena. Your psychologist will communicate with you if either of these situations arises.

  • Does GCPC have a cancellation policy?

    Yes, our psychologists appreciate that patients have circumstances that arise. We ask kindly that you please refer to the Cancellation Policy under the Fees & Rebates page.

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