SONDER CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
WHAT TO EXPECT AND FEES
Sonder Clinical Psychology is a practice committed to providing individual treatments that are effective and scientifically validated. Psychological treatments are provided to clients in a timely and focused manner, and are backed by scientific evidence. The therapy approaches are based on well-developed psychological theories with established treatment effectiveness for mental health issues. The choice between the approaches offered would depend on the nature of the issue and your own preference for one approach over another.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Consultations are generally 50 minutes. When you contact the practice, please provide your name, mobile number and email address, as well as, a summary of why you are seeking help. This will help to ensure a clear understanding of your concerns and how best you can be supported. If your difficulties lie outside your clinician's area of expertise, you will be assisted in finding the most appropriate service for referral.
A referral is not required for an appointment at the practice. However, most clients find they are eligible to receive a rebate from Medicare and present with a referral letter (addressed to Sonder Clinical Psychology and/or your practitioner) and Mental Health Treatment Plan from their GP.
The aim of the initial assessment session is to develop a shared understanding of your concerns and difficulties, as well as your goals and expectations. You will be invited to share information about your concerns, symptoms, history, current stressors, and strategies that have or have not worked in the past. This session is conducted in a collaborative manner and at a pace that is comfortable for you. You may share as much or as little as you like. You are encouraged to ask as many questions as needed along the way. At the end of the session, treatment options can be discussed (i.e., therapeutic approach, frequency of attendance). As mentioned before, if your difficulties lie outside your clinician's area of expertise, you will be assisted in finding the most appropriate service for referral.
Ongoing sessions last for 50 minutes face-to-face, with remaining ten minutes used for record keeping, administrative tasks, and treatment planning. These sessions are based on a balance between gaining insight and understanding, as well as, skill development. You are invited to begin each session with any concerns you would like to focus on during the session. We explore and unravel the thoughts, emotions and behaviours that contribute to distress. We work together in targeting these factors in treatment. New strategies are introduced and practiced in session as well as outside. Trying things out in between sessions, in an everyday context, is very important for good progress. Therapy does not only focus on eradicating difficulties but also on discovering what you value most in life and overcoming barriers to living a fulfilling life. Most people find 6 to 15 sessions helpful. However, both short-term and long-term options are available depending on your needs and desires.
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) recommends a fee of $260 for a 50-minute psychology consultation. To ensure accessibility to good quality and affordable health services for individuals requiring psychological services, the fees charged by the practice has been reduced for a standard 50-minute session. The Medicare rebate available for each consultation is $129.55 (clinical psychologist) and $88.25 (clinical psychology registrar), for up to 10 Mental Health Care Programme sessions per year (and 10 additional COVID-19 sessions until 31 December 2022). The fees for our individual therapy services are between $200 and $250 per hour, depending on the clinician seen. If the individual’s difficulties lie outside our area of expertise, we will assist them in finding the most appropriate service for referral.
Depending on availability, concessional fees are available for people with a government health care card, full-time students with financial constraints, pensioners, and others in financial hardship. Please enquire before booking an appointment. Please note, due to high demand, there is usually a waiting list for the limited number of concessional-fee appointments available.
Payment is due at the time of the session. The practice has electronic payment facilities by credit card only, accepting all major credit cards except Diners. To process fee payment, clients will be asked to complete a credit card authorisation form as part of the online intake form. For more information about how your credit card details are securely stored, please have a look at the FAQ section from Halaxy (the online booking system).
You may be able to claim a rebate of $129.55 (clinical psychologist) and $88.25 (clinical psychology registrar) for a 50-minute consultation, up to a maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year, under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Programme. There is another set of 10 COVID-19 additional sessions that clients can claim rebates from Medicare until 31 December 2022, after the Better Access sessions are utilised for the year. To receive the rebate, you must be referred by a General Practitioner under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Programme and COVID-19 additional sessions program. Medicare rebates are processed by the practice at the same time as session fees. The rebate is paid out directly to the bank account that you have provided Medicare. You would need to have nominated a bank account with Medicare, so please check if the account details you provided them are correct, in order to facilitate payment of the rebate. For more information about the Better Access and COVID-19 additional sessions programme, please refer to the APS website about the programme.
The practice cannot process transactions with private health insurance. After the conclusion of each session, you can organise rebates with your insurance provider. You will be provided with an invoice after each session that has all the information you need to assist with this process.
Please note that you will need to check with your health fund regarding your exact cover.
International students who intend to claim from their health insurance provider will require a referral letter addressed to Sonder Clinical Psychology (and/or the specific psychologist referred to), as well as, a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP, in order to qualify for rebates from the insurance provider. Please check with your health fund to ascertain if you are eligible to claim for psychological services.
Please also note that you cannot claim from Medicare and your health fund for the same consultation.
Please note that, should you cancel your appointments, you will be charged the following:
Full fee for appointments cancelled by you, with less than 24 hours’ notice
50% for appointments cancelled by you, with 24 to 48 hours’ notice
Please also note, cancellation fees cannot be claimed through Medicare or your health fund.