How do I make an appointment?
Ring (02) 8916 6242 to inquire about the services and availability of appointments. If you have been referred to a specific counsellor you can call them directly on their mobile phone. The numbers are provided on the Contact Us page.
What are your hours?
We do have after hours appointments available, however they are in greater demand. There is more flexibility during office hours.
How do I pay?
You can pay with a personal cheque or cash, or by nominating a bank account or credit card to be debited.
What happens if I cancel an appointment?
Depending on when you are able to notify your counsellor and whether an alternative appointment time can be arranged, the usual session fee may apply. Your counsellor will inform you ahead of time of the cancellation policy that applies to you. Your personal circumstances and the arrangement you come to with your counsellor – including for example timing and regularity of appointments – will factor here.
Can I be assured of confidentiality?
Confidentiality is an important part of the counselling relationship. All sessions are treated with strict confidentiality within this counselling service. No information will be shared with other health practitioners or services without prior consent, unless you are in danger of harming yourself or others.
What if I want regular counselling but I don’t have any flexibility with my work hours?
This is not uncommon. Most of our clients who work full-time are able to accommodate counselling by starting work later, finishing earlier or taking a longer lunch break – just as they would do to attend a fitness class or ferry their children to and from care. However, we do offer a limited number of appointments starting as early as 7am and as late as 7.30pm, and some Saturday sessions.
How long will I have to wait before seeing a counsellor?
Waiting times vary throughout the year from one to several weeks. If you have flexibility with your timing and are able to attend during the day, we can often see you the same week.
How often should I come?
Most often a client and counsellor will arrange to see one another at a set time and day on a weekly basis. This tends to be a workable and practical arrangement that allows both client and counsellor to benefit from routine, continuity, and momentum.
In some cases a client chooses and/or a counsellor may recommend twice-weekly sessions. This may be because a client will benefit from additional support and assistance at a difficult time. In other cases, especially where more in-depth, psychotherapeutic work is being done, twice-weekly sessions can accelerate and/or improve progress. Or if appointment times are available, additional sessions may be useful in the lead up to, or following a break in counselling, for example, for a business trip or holiday.
For how long am I likely to come to counselling?
This, of course, varies depending on your needs and goals. Duration of counselling is generally determined as follows:
- In the beginning we suggest most clients come for at least a couple of sessions and usually three to five. This preliminary counselling and assessment allows you to be supported in talking about your situation and to provide relevant background information. Counsellor and client are able to see how well they work together and to draw conclusions about options and goals for moving forward.
- If together you agree that further counselling will be beneficial, your needs, goals, preferences, and circumstances will roughly determine the course of your counselling or psychotherapy.
- If your reason for seeking assistance relates to a specific incident about which you want to gain better clarity, you and your counsellor will likely agree on a set duration, such as six to eight sessions, or three to four months.
- If for example, you have experienced complex difficulties in a number of relationships throughout your life and you are seeking to gain understanding as well as achieving significant future change, you and your counsellor may agree that you will work together for at least the next 12 months.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
There is no clear distinction between counselling and psychotherapy and much overlap between the two. However in general terms, counselling tends to focus on specific issues or events, for a short to medium time period (a few weeks to several months), and usually on a once weekly basis.
Psychotherapy tends to focus on deep-rooted issues, with the aim of facilitating more fundamental changes for the person and the way they relate to others. It is usually medium to long-term work. Whereas counselling may be more problem-focused, many people engage in psychotherapy to learn more about themselves and to live life in a more rewarding way.
How do I get the most out of counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy are most effective when you are ready and willing to make changes. The following points maybe helpful to hold in mind:
• If you are unsure of anything during the counselling process, ask for clarification.
• It is helpful to discuss any doubts, concerns or discomfort you have during counselling with your therapist.
• Sometimes, as previous or unknown feelings are stirred, you may at times feel worse before feeling better. This is a common experience earlier on and generally improves as you move forward.
• Reflect regularly on your progress and goals during the period of therapy.
• Think further about what you are discovering with your counsellor, when you are between sessions, and see what more can be noticed.
• Aim to attend every session, missing as few as possible.
• Remember: real change takes time and practice.