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choosing the right therapist for you

Which mental health practitioner should I see?


Choosing the right mental health practitioner can be a confusing process. There are a number of practitioners who support people with their mental health, including Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Which one you choose depends on your personal preference and requirements.

Counsellor / Psychotherapist

Counsellors and Psychotherapists help people to work through life challenges and emotional issues and to develop new skills and coping strategies to manage them. Psychotherapy is a more in-depth process than counselling that explores the impact of buried past experience and ingrained patterns of behaviour and emotional responses that continue to impact the present; practitioners may use a variety of evidence-based therapeutic models in their practice including talking therapies and expressive therapies. You do not need a GP referral to seek counselling and psychotherapy. I offer both counselling and psychotherapy services and am an approved provider for most private health funds, and NDIS self-managed and plan-managed participants. Please note that I do not prescribe medication or provide formal diagnoses for mental health conditions. For further information visit


If you require a formal diagnosis or Medicare subsidised Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP), you will need a GP referral to visit a Clinical Psychologist. Psychologists specialise in the study of cognitions and behaviours, usually adopting the medical model to help people to reduce psychological distress using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on correcting 'faulty' beliefs to relieve symptoms. Please note that while I do offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I don't offer Medicare subsidised or MHCP services. Under the government's 'Better Access' initiative, you may be eligible to receive 6 - 10 sessions of Medicare subisdised sessions from a Clinical Psychologist with a MHCP.  It is important to note that waiting lists for MCHP treatment are oversubscribed and can be long, and that while treatment is subsidised, it is not free - gap fees can be considerable and are often more than the full fee charged by licensed counsellors and psychotherapists for equitable treatment. If you prefer to see a Clinical Psychologist, calling your selected practitioner in advance of visiting your GP for a referral to ensure they have availability and are affordable is highly recommended. For further information visit


If you are living with or suspect you may have a serious mental health condition or present to your health service with possible symptoms, you may be referred to a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialise in diagnosing and managing the physical manifestations of mental health conditions, usually with prescribed medications. For further information visit

What will appear on my health record in each case?

In Australia, information about mental health treatment from a Clinical Psychologist or a Psychiatrist will appear on your health record. Information from sessions with a Counsellor or Psychotherapist can only be shared with third parties if you give your written consent, there is an indication that someone is at risk, or when mandated by court order.

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