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FAQ

HealthKit – Online Booking System

When I click ‘Book Now’, why do I end up on an external website?

Healing Connections Psychology uses HealthKit which is a global platform for clinical software utilised by 40 different types of health practitioners, including psychologists. When you click on any ‘book now’ button on our website, you will be redirected to Dr Francene Hemingway’s HealthKit Profile for online bookings.  HealthKit is protected by 256-bit bank grade security and encryption, which means records, notes and payment information is protected to the same level used in banks. All information is encrypted and stored in a securely protected data centre in Australia with multiple backups in place.  Your data is hosted on servers with state-of-the-art security and are located within Australia.  To learn more about HealthKit’s privacy and security, click here.

Why do I have to provide my credit card details to HealthKit?

There are no cash or eftpos facilities at Healing Connections Psychology, therefore only online processing is accepted.  HealthKit removes the hassle of payment administration by enabling payments to be electronically managed through HealthKit.  Once your details are entered into HealthKit, there is no need to handle payments again, and we are able to separate the financial and clinical relationship so we can focus solely on your treatment. Healing Connections Psychology full fee for consultations (usually around 50-60 minutes) is $200.00, whereby a $75 deposit paid upon booking is deducted from the full fee automatically via our online booking system, HealthKit.  If, for some reason you need to cancel or postpone your appointment, please give Healing Connections Psychology at least 48 hour’s notice, otherwise you will default your deposit and $75 will be retained for the missed session.

Rebates

Can I receive a Medicare rebate for therapy I receive at Healing Connections Psychology?

In order to access Medicare rebates for services, a mental health care plan must be completed by a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician. This plan allows you to receive Medicare rebates for six sessions, at which time the referring doctor must complete a review. In exceptional circumstances, they can request an additional four sessions to be rebated through Medicare. Services rebated under a mental health care plan is capped at ten visits per calendar year. If you have high annual healthcare costs, you should be aware that the out of pocket gap counts toward the Medicare safety net. We offer Medicare online processing, meaning that this rebate will be directed into your account at the time of your session. Medicare usually makes these transfers immediately, but they can take up to 48hrs to be processed by your bank.

Can I receive a private health insurance rebate for therapy?

Clients who are comprehensively covered by private health insurance funds may be able to claim rebates from their insurer for services provided by Healing Connections Psychology. Enquires regarding cover for psychological services at Healing Connections Psychology should be directly addressed to your private health insurance fund to clarify their contribution scheme for clinical psychological services under your specific policy.

Referrals

What happens when my doctor faxes a referral to Healing Connections Psychology?

When a referral is received directly from a GP, Psychiatrist, or Paediatrician via fax (or secure messaging), your demographic details are added to the secure HealthKit record keeping system.  You will receive a text message from Dr Francene Hemingway advising receipt of the referral with details on how to book your appointment (via phoning 0415177822 or  website link).  Clients have the discretion to book an appointment at a time that is available and convenient to you.

Can I self-refer to Healing Connections Psychology?

Yes, you can refer yourself or a child directly to Healing Connections Psychology.  Without a Mental Health Care Plan from your doctor you will not receive a Medicare rebate – please refer to above section regarding rebates for further information.

Therapy

What is psychological therapy?

Psychological therapy is the name given to a wide range of treatment approaches that are aimed at improving the mental and emotional well-being of people who are experiencing difficulties in their life. Psychological therapy allows the person to focus on and discuss their concerns in a supportive, non-judgemental and confidential environment.

Psychological therapy is not about the psychologist telling the person what to do. Rather, the psychologist aims to empower and help build individual capacity to work through and cope with their difficulties autonomously. Psychological therapy also aims to equip a person with the skills to cope more effectively should similar problems arise in the future.

Why do people seek psychological therapy?

People seek psychological therapy for several reasons and for a variety of problems, ranging from day-to-day stress and relationship difficulties to more severe mental health problems and disorders. Usually a person recognises that there is something in their life that is creating unhappiness or distress, and that this may be impacting on their functioning at work, school, or at home. Such difficulties can be difficult to resolve without support from a mental health professional.

What happens in a therapy session?

We recognise that seeking psychological therapy can be unnerving, particularly when clients are unsure of what to expect in a typical therapy session. In the first therapy session, the psychologist aims to gain a thorough understanding of both the client’s presenting problems and any relevant personal history that may be contributing to these difficulties. Having an accurate understanding of these problems allows the psychologist to provide the most effective treatment. Assessment will involve the therapist asking a range of questions within the session, and may also include the completion of relevant questionnaires. Importantly, the first therapy session provides an opportunity for the client to express what they would like to achieve by coming along to therapy. Treatment can then be directed to supporting the client to achieve these goals. The therapist will answer any questions the client may have about therapy, and will explain what treatment options are suitable for their particular concerns. There are a number of consent forms to be read and completed in the first session to ensure that the client has been made aware of what treatment involves, our privacy policy and confidentiality.

Generally, individual therapy sessions last between 50 to 60 minutes. Sometimes sessions may be longer to accommodate for special treatment requirements, testing, or group sessions.

The problems and issues discussed in therapy are confidential. Except in special circumstances directed by law, no information will be released without written consent from the client. See our full privacy policy. Subsequent sessions will be individually tailored to individual’s unique needs and best fit evidence-based therapeutic approach, which will be transparently discussed with clients throughout engagement with your psychologist.

What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-based practice in psychology is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of client characteristics, culture, and preferences. The purpose of evidence-based practice in psychology is to promote effective psychological practice and enhance public health by applying empirically supported principles to client care and treatment. Best research evidence refers to scientific results related to intervention strategies, assessment, clinical problems, and client populations in laboratory and field settings as well as to clinically relevant results of basic research in psychology and related fields. A sizeable body of evidence drawn from a variety of research designs and methodologies attests to the effectiveness of psychological practices. Clinical expertise is used to integrate the best research evidence with clinical data (e.g., information about the client obtained over the course of treatment) in the context of the client’s characteristics and preferences to deliver services that have a high probability of achieving the goals of treatment.

Psychologists

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Psychologists will have completed an undergraduate degree in the study of human behaviour, followed by a postgraduate degree and supervised experience in the field, before gaining full registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Psychologists do not have a medical degree but do specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness through postgraduate qualifications. They assist people with various difficulties, ranging from everyday problems like stress and relationship concerns, through to more complex psychological difficulties such as depression and anxiety.

Psychiatrists will have completed a medical degree, which includes six years study of general medicine, followed by further study to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body, and the effects of physical conditions on the mind. Psychiatrists prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists may combine medication with other forms of therapy (Adapted from the APS Website, 2009). Psychologists and psychiatrists often work together for the treatment of clients.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical psychologists are specialists in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological and mental health problems. They are also involved in designing and implementing a wide range of prevention and mental health promotion programs. They may work with infants, children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Clinical psychologists work in private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health centres and mental health services (APS Website, 2009). To find out more about clinical psychology see the Australian Psychological Society website.

Who will I have contact with at Healing Connections Psychology?

When you contact Healing Connections Psychology, you will speak with our remote Clinic Receptionist Team, who will gather your demographic details (e.g., name, phone number, address, etc) and details of your booking or enquiry. The Clinic Receptionist can book your appointment for you, or alternatively you can book directly online. The Clinic Receptionist will forward all enquiries to Dr Francene Hemingway, Clinic Director, for follow-up.

Confidentiality and limits to confidentiality

Anything you say to a psychologist is confidential, and there are strict penalties for psychologists found to have breached this duty. However, psychologists are required to disclose confidential information obtained in the course of their provision of psychological services only under any one or more of the following circumstances:

  • with the consent of the relevant client (or a person with legal authority to act on behalf of the client);
  • where there is a legal obligation to do so (e.g., court subpoena);
  • if there is an immediate and specified risk of harm to an identifiable person or persons that can be averted only by disclosing information.

As registered psychologists, under the National Law (2009) we are required to undertake ongoing supervision from a colleague approximately once per month to discuss our practice. When consulting colleagues in the course of supervision or professional training, the psychologist may discuss some aspects of your treatment, however your identity and any associated parties remains anonymous at all times. Please speak with Dr Francene Hemingway, Clinic Director, if you have any further questions.

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