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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the difference between a psychologist, a psychotherapist
and a counsellor?

Making sense of the various types of mental health support can be very difficult. There are similarities and differences between each. In this section, I hope to offer some clarity and help you choose the right practitioner for you. .

Psychologists

 

A psychologist is a university-trained health professional who has completed a four-year undergraduate psychology degree and one (or more) of the following:

 

  • A two-year internship to supplement their formal education;

  • A one-year postgraduate qualification followed by a one-year internship;

  • A two-year Master's degree or a three-year Doctoral degree.

In Australia, psychology training typically focuses on Mental Health skills training, specifically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches.


Many psychologists, however, use their training and experience to incorporate additional approaches such as psychodynamic work and integrated well-being approaches.

Psychology is regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA).

Psychotherapists

Psychotherapists typically have an undergraduate degree in a health-related field as well as additional specialist training in psychotherapy, which typically lasts 3 to 4 years.
In addition, most psychotherapists go through personal psychotherapy to ensure they have adequate levels of self-awareness.
Psychotherapy works closely with people who are dealing with a variety of personal and well-being issues, including diagnosed mental health conditions.


Psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors can all train to be psychotherapists in different ways.
 

Psychotherapy is related to psychoanalysis, but it is informed by modern interpersonal and relational models of client work. Psychotherapists work with their clients to help them explore and comprehend aspects of themselves and their experiences.
Psychotherapists use modern neurobiology and a variety of evidence-based methods of treatment.

Psychotherapy in Australia is a self-regulated practice, Ensure that your psychotherapist has suitable training and experience and is a member of a legitimate professional association, such as the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) or the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Counsellors

Counsellor training can range from a short correspondence course to a university undergraduate or post-graduate degree.


Counsellors may work in areas similar to those of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, depending on their training and experience.


Counselling, on the other hand, typically focuses on short-term solution-focused strategies for dealing with specific life events such as grief and loss, relationship therapy, domestic violence, and similar issues.

Both psychologists and psychotherapists have the skills and experience to provide counselling approaches that are tailored to the needs of a specific client.

Counselling in Australia is a self-regulated practice, Ensure that your counsellor has suitable training and experience and is a member of an appropriate professional association, such as the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) or the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

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May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide
Who can accompany you through the fear and grief
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.

- John O' Donnohue

Does psychotherapy offer Medical Rebates?

Irene offers rebates under a range of private health care insurance and has several concession prices.

 Unfortunately, psychotherapy and counselling currently aren't offered under the Mental Health Care Plan Scheme (MHCP).  Instead, Irene offers rebates under a range of private health care insurers. Please check with your provider.

Please note that Irene's prices should not differ greatly from the gap paid when visiting an allied health professional with an MHCP.

Irene offers concession prices. Should your financial circumstances not allow you to access therapy at it's full or concession price, please do not hesitate to contact Irene to discuss your particular situation.

 

How do sessions with Irene work?

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What is Integrative Psychotherapy?

Integrative psychotherapy is an individualised approach. adaptive to the client's specific needs and mindful of the therapeutic alliance.

More and more, psychotherapists and researchers agree that no single psychotherapy technique can be effective and appropriate for all clients, issues, and situations. For this reason, integrative psychotherapy differs from the commonly used "one-size-fits-all" model of therapy. Evidence-based research has shown that integrative therapeutic treatments are effective for a variety of psychiatric disorders (e.g., Depression, Postpartum Depression, Social Anxiety Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders, and Dissociative Identity Disorders).


The integrative psychotherapy model strives to adapt to the individual, with a focus on affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological functioning, as well as spiritual beliefs.
A integrative psychotherapist tailors their knowledge of evidence-based treatments and methods to the unique qualities and needs of each client, allowing the therapy to be tailored to the client's unique characteristics and needs.
Integrative psychotherapy focuses on the patient's unique characteristics as well as the therapeutic relationship, both of which are important components of therapeutic transformation, as well as client motivation.

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What to expect from your sessions:

  • We will firstly have a free consult call where I begin to understand your reasons for seeking therapy and you can get a sense of who I am. I will also make sure that I'm able to help you, and if I'm not the right person I will refer you to another professional.

  • In the first few sessions I will ask about your desired outcome/s, and inquire about your past and current situation, lifestyle and relationships so that I can learn more about who you are.

  • Once we have a clear understanding of the issues and outcomes, I will offer you my therapeutic understanding and together we will create a treatment plan that works for you.

Irene's approach is tailored to ensure she gains the best understanding of your situation and desired outcomes. Irene's aim is to always refer to your agency, and she works with you to establish a treatment plan that is right for you.