Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an appointment?

Call our office on 08 93866020 during office hours, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Sometimes we are unable to answer the telephone, but you are welcome to leave a message on our confidential answering service, and we will respond as soon as possible.

Will I need a doctor's referral?
A doctor will need to refer you for psychological counselling if you wish to receive psychological help under a Medicare GP Mental Health Care Plan (GPMHCP). Doctors prefer that you book a double appointment to discuss treatment options. You can read more about the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative in our news item, Psychological Services and Medicare. Most private health funds offer a rebate for sessions with a Clinical Psychologist without a doctor’s referral.

How long are sessions with a psychologist?
Generally sessions are 55 minutes. Sometimes an extended session is offered.

How do I work out who can best help me?
If after reading our web page you are still uncertain, please call our office on 0893866020 and ask to speak with a psychologist, who will help you to decide.

How much will it cost me?
Fees for an appointment with Psychologists at Chelsea Psychology range between $195 and $230 for 55-minute sessions. Concessions are available, but you will need to discuss this with your psychologist.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?
A Clinical Psychologist studies human behaviour and emotions to better understand and relieve psychologically based distress and dysfunction, and to support subjective wellbeing and personal development. The minimum training requirement required by the Psychologists Board of Australia is a Master’s Degree, which involves four years of undergraduate and two years of post-graduate study at an accredited University, followed by two years of full-time supervised practice. Ongoing supervision is undertaken throughout the Clinical Psychologist’s career, and is a necessary part of enhancing expertise and maintaining registration with the Psychologists Board of Australia. The three major orientations of Clinical Psychology are psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and humanistic, although there is a growing movement to integrate these and other approaches, such as the mindfulness and mind/body connection therapies, such as the Hakomi method.

What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Clinical Psychologist?
People can be confused by the difference between Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have undertaken additional specialist training. Clinical Psychologists study at a post-graduate level in either an Arts or a Science faculty. Unlike Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists are unable to prescribe medication. Clinical Psychologists prefer to help people to improve their subjective wellbeing, mental health, and life functioning by exploring distressing or detrimental thoughts, feelings, or behaviours. If they feel clients would benefit from medication, they suggest that clients seek advice from a GP or a Psychiatrist.

Who do Clinical Psychologists help?
Clinical psychologists can work with individuals, couples, children, older adults, families, small groups, and communities. They can practise in private settings, or in multi-disciplinary teams involving other professionals, such as social workers, psychiatrists, and dieticians.

What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a way of accessing your deeper self - sometimes called the subconscious – through a variety of techniques, all which involve mindfulness, increased awareness, and a quietening of the conscious mind. Most people can go into a hypnotic trance – unless they choose otherwise. Contrary to popular beliefs, other people do not control the person who is hypnotised. In fact, the person under hypnosis generally develops more personal effectiveness. Clients' minds are so strong that they can access inner untapped power rapidly. The clients’ own beliefs, ethics and values usually protect them from any suggestions the therapist might make that go against their personal integrity. Children can benefit from hypnotherapy.

What is Hakomi?
Hakomi is a form of body-centred psychotherapy that focuses on respecting the needs of the client, while enabling very positive and lasting changes. The name Hakomi derives from the Hopi Indian language and means “where in the many realms do I stand”, reflecting Hakomi's emphasis on therapist-assisted self-study.

Developed by Ron Kurtz in the 1970s, the Hakomi method combines Western psychology and body-centred techniques with the Eastern philosophies of mindfulness and non-violence. Hakomi is grounded in five principles: mindfulness, nonviolence, organicity, unity and body-mind holism.

Traditional psychotherapy is called the "talking cure". Hakomi does not rely on a conversational style to promote healing. The therapist works with present experience, the essential ingredient and the foundation of the Hakomi therapeutic approach. Using one or more of a number of respectful interventions, the therapist helps the client to mindfully study body sensations, emotions, and memories to invoke powerful and lasting changes.