What is a Health Psychologist?
Health Psychologists make better health easier. Health psychologists specialize in understanding the application of psychology to health behaviours, disease prevention and medical illness treatment in research and clinical practice. They develop programs to help people cope with a diagnosis, assist recovery from or self-management of chronic illness, trauma, injury or disability and work to facilitate better communication in health care.
How is a health psychologist different to a psychologist or psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who focus on the assessment and treatment of mental illness, including prescribing medication. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists in Australia do not prescribe medication to treat mental illness. Health psychologists treat problems using therapy and strategies including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. While the roles of both disciplines are different, Health Psychologists and Psychiatrists often work together in a multidisciplinary team setting to help patients manage emotional issues related to health.
Are there types of problems Linda doesn’t see?
- People seeking medico-legal reports or personality testing
- Assessments for ADHD/developmental problems/IQ tests
- Worker’s Compensation cases/Workcover
- Referrals under the ATAPS scheme
Do I need a referral?
No, a referral is not required to see Dr Linda Beeney, however your GP may choose to refer you under a Mental Health Care Plan (Click HERE
for more information) or the Enhanced Primary Care scheme (Click HERE
for more information). These allow for a Medicare rebate on a number of psychology sessions per annum for certain chronic conditions when referred by a GP.
If you do have a referral, please bring it with you to your initial appointment.
Can I claim some of the cost from Medicare or private health insurance?
You can claim part of the session fee back from Medicare if you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP. You are eligible for this plan if you are experiencing symptoms of an emotional or psychological disorder or illness. Check with your GP for eligibility.
Many private health funds in Australia cover psychology consultations – please check with your own health fund to determine whether or not your policy will cover you for psychology consultations and to what extent. Each policy is different.
Please note – when claiming a rebate you will still need to pay the full fee at the consultation, then the receipt is taken to Medicare for partial reimbursement.
You cannot claim a rebate from both Medicare and private health insurance for the same session.
What can I expect at a first visit?
Linda recognizes that coming to see a psychologist can be scary so she aims to help you to be comfortable enough to share whatever is on your mind and how things are not the way you would like. An initial visit is focused on gaining a detailed understanding of you & your needs and starting to formulate a plan to address these. If you would like further visits, these would be scheduled at a time convenient to you.
How long are the sessions and how many sessions will I need?
An initial appointment is usually 90 minutes but can be longer or shorter depending on your needs. Follow-up sessions are 55 minutes long, although longer and shorter consultations are available depending on your needs and circumstances.
Early on people may benefit most from weekly or fortnightly sessions and will often drop down to monthly sessions as improvements occur.
There is no maximum or minimum number of sessions required and you are free to book from session to session.
Significant improvement may be achieved after only a few sessions. Some people may need more visits as needs and issues vary greatly – frequency and number of sessions are worked out with you.
Is my counseling session confidential?
The information discussed in your session is entirely confidential and will not be released to anyone, except with your specific permission. The only time a psychologist may release information to authorities is if they believe your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, if they are mandated to report the abuse of a child < 16 years, or the records fall under legal subpoena from a court of law.