FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below for the most frequently asked questions about counselling and our services.
If your question isn’t answered below, please Contact Us.
Can I claim the Medicare rebate?
The Melbourne Counselling Centre offers a confidential counselling service.
Our fees are not eligible for Medicare rebates as we provide a range of treatments options, not just those limited to the the Medicare Rebate.
By taking up a Mental Health Treatment Plan with your GP, you will be required to be diagnosed with a mental disorder and potentially receive treatment for a condition you do not have. Most psychologists tend to work using CBT, which is only designed to treat specific symptoms. CBT is not suited developing an in-depth understanding of yourself and others, or proven to work over the long-term.
You are entitled to a 20% rebate for counselling sessions when you submit your tax return if your annual out of pocket medical expenses (as an individual or family) are greater than $1500.
Private health rebates for counselling/psychotherapy are currently provided by Medibank Private (Family Essentials and Family Comprehensive Policies) and Australian Unity Health (Life Choice and Life Choice Plus policies with a referral letter from a GP).
Non-attendance Policy (Individual and couples consultations)
When you book your appointment, I reserve that time specifically for you.
As I can see only a limited number of clients per day, appointments that are cancelled or rescheduled without sufficient notice will be charged a fee.
- Cancellations provided with 48 hours notice do not incur a fee.
- Cancellations the day prior, or after the reminder text is sent will be charged 50% of the session fee.
- Non-attendance or cancellations on the day will be charged the full session fee
- Credit card details are retained on file for these purposes only.
- Notice of additional charging will not be provided but a receipt will be issued.
- You can call or text 0413 731 633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify of changes.
- Repeated cancellations or failure to pay the cancellation fee will result in the service being discontinued.
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.
Will the sessions be confidential?
Yes, the counselling sessions are confidential and anything discussed will remain private. If any information is released to a third party it is done so with your consent, however, in the event someone is in danger (e.g. suicide or assault) then we are obliged to report on this. However, even in these situations every effort is made to obtain client’s written consent. The Melbourne Counselling Centre complies with professional and legal requirements of confidentiality.
If you would like to make a booking or ask further questions please Contact Me.
Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral. You can contact Anne Serry directly by going to the Contact page to make a booking.
Can I claim with Private Health Insurance?
Some Private Health Insurers do provide rebates for Counselling, these include Medibank Private (Family Essentials and Family Comprehensive Policies) and Australian Unity Health (Life Choice and Life Choice Plus policies with a referral letter from a GP). You may also be eligible for a 20% rebate for counselling sessions when you submit your tax return if your annual out of pocket medical expenses (as an individual or family) are greater than $1500.
How will I know if counselling has been successful?
Counselling outcomes are different for everyone but at the end of the process you can expect;
- to be feeling happier and stronger within yourself
- able to make decisions about significant life situations where previously you may have been stuck
- understand what sets you up for difficulty coping
- taking better care of yourself
- feeling strong and empowered
- understand the importance of boundaries
- better and more effective communication skills
- renewed energy to take charge of your life
- improved self-esteem
- happier relationships
- able to understand and express yourself emotionally
- find it easier to cope with everyday life
- greater degree of self-awareness
Do I have to prepare beforehand for a counselling session?
No you do not need to prepare for your counselling session though it does help to think about what you want to talk about. If you wish to bring in notes about things that you want to discuss in the session that can be helpful. Your counsellor will gently guide you through the process and the session
Throughout the counselling session, your Counsellor may invite or encourage you to think about (reflect) on the things that are being discussed in the counselling sessions.
If you would like to make a booking or ask further questions please Contact Me.
How do I book online?
We encourage our clients to book their appointments online for ease of time, process and for a seamless experience.
Just follow the prompts provided and you will be able to select the day, date and time of your choosing. All the details will be confirmed by follow up emails and text messaging.
You will be asked to pay the first session fee upfront but will be provided with a 100% money back guarantee should you not be completely satisfied with your appointment.
How much are sessions?
At The Melbourne Counselling Centre our sessions are 60 minutes.
- Anger Management Counselling: $150.00 (60 minutes)
- Individual Counselling: $150.00 per session (60 minutes)
- Couples Counselling: $190.00 per session (60 minutes)
- Skype Counselling: $150.00 per session (60 minutes)
- The Richards Trauma Process (Please enquire)
What sort of topics are suitable for a counselling?
A broad range of issues are brought to counselling. If you are experiencing difficulty in your life and would like to resolve some confusion, seek to change your circumstances or require support to help you through a crisis then counselling can be of benefit. Counselling addresses many concerns some of them include:
- Depression, Anxiety, Worries or Stress about the past, present or future
- Bereavement or other Loss
- Illness or Accident
- Shyness, Loneliness or Difficulties in a Social Setting
- Work Related Matters
- Relationship Difficulties
- Family Issues
- Self harm
- Anger Management and ongoing conflict
- Experiencing symptoms of PTSD
- Dealing with trauma
The Melbourne Counselling Centre operates from two locations:
- East St Kilda
- Middle Park
However, we also work remotely with an online counselling facility available.
How many sessions will I need?
There is no ‘set number’ of counselling sessions. Every person attending counselling does so for different reasons, so the number of sessions is determined by the issues we are working on and your individual needs.
However, during the early sessions we establish goals as this helps to ensure we remain focused on working towards change in a structured way, so you can expect to notice significant change after 6-8 sessions if you follow our model of counselling.
As the work unfolds, these goals and timeframes may shift and change. Clients can cease their counselling at any time.
What is The Richards Trauma Process?
The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP) is a relatively new and revolutionary process for resolving trauma. It is achieving significant results and improvements for clients in just 3-4 sessions.
TRTP is becoming the preferred therapy for people suffering the debilitating effects of trauma, anxiety, depression as it offers effective and tangible results in just 3-4 sessions. These results are not offered by conventional therapies despite sometimes years of therapy.
The process was developed by Judith Richards, based on the work of Trauma Expert, Peter Levine after Judith’s own successful struggle to restore her own life to normality.
Anne Serry is a trained practitioner The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP).
What happens at my first appointment?
At your first appointment the process of getting to know and understand you begins. I will genuinely listen to your situation and together we will identify the most important issues for you. The process of information gathering will begin where we look at your current life but also explore your personal history, family and life experiences. At all times you are free to offer this information or decline depending on how comfortable you feel.
I will answer your questions and explain in more detail how the counselling process works. If you feel that the service is suited to your needs we will reschedule future appointments. During our time together we explore your situation and you are encouraged you to talk about ‘what’s on your mind’.
We create a safe, non-judgemental space where options for moving forward can be explored. Counselling does not give advice but rather facilitates you to find new ways of responding to difficult events and emotionally challenging experiences.
What Concerns Do People Bring To Counselling?
A myriad of events, experiences and problems are suitable for counselling. People bring a whole range of issues. Some common reasons include:
- Addictive or acting out behaviours
- Adjustment issues
- Children and Adolescent concerns
- Grief & Bereavement
- Life transitions
- Loss & Loneliness
- Personal growth and understanding
- Recovering from chronic illness
- Relationship difficulties
- Separation or divorce issues
- Sexuality and sexual identity
- Violence and abuse in the relationship
- Workplace problems, retrenchment or retirement
How Does A Counselling Service Help?
A reputable counselling service provides assistance during times of distress for individuals, adolescents, couples and families. Difficulties are often experienced during bereavement, relationship breakdowns, family disputes, workplace dissatisfaction, divorce, separation, unemployment, or for those suffering anxiety, depression, anger loneliness, trauma and many more events that affect our emotions and everyday lives.
Most of us will at some stage experience any one of these situations and you may find your responses and reactions intense and confusing. When feeling lost, alone and confused, depressed and anxious, stressed, angry and frustrated or even fearful it helps enormously to seek out the support of a counsellor.
Not knowing what to do or how to respond to such emotions and situations often makes us feel helpless and stuck. This is when a Counsellor can be a great support. A Counsellor provides support, understanding and will work directly with you to find the right approaches to manage the current crisis and stressors in your life.
What Is Counselling?
Counselling is the broad umbrella term given to the process of helping individuals work through personal problems. It is a space where a trained a professional provides a safe and confidential space for individuals to explore difficulties they are experiencing in their lives.
Thoughts and feelings can be expressed with support and without judgement. A counsellor listens and gently facilitates exploration of the issues, whilst providing the understanding to assist clients to work through their problems.
Counselling is a journey of self discovery; the purpose of counselling is for you to identify and explore your thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviours; for you to identify and explore your choices and the consequences of your choices; to determine appropriate and meaningful strategies based on your individual needs so that you can confidently move forward in a direction and manner that is right for you.
How Does A Counsellor Help?
A Counsellor helps clients to understand and make sense of difficult life events with the goal to move forward in positive and life-affirming ways. When a gap exists between how your life feels and what you actually want for yourself, counselling can offer an opportunity to become aware of how you live life, how you want to live life, and work intentionally towards bringing them closer together.
Some of the benefits include
- Talking to someone neutral, outside of your immediate situation, can show you a different perspective and help you find a way forward.
- Processing difficult thoughts and feelings.
- Sharing your worries helps you feel less alone with the problem.
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself and a clearer sense of what you want and need.
- Learning to communicate clearly and honestly in the safety of the counselling relationship promotes the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in your everyday life.
- Improved relationships.
- Understanding your values and living by them.
- Build harmony between your thoughts, actions and feelings.
- Increased tolerance to cope and process difficult emotions.
How Do I Know If I Need A Counselling Service?
Individuals seek Counselling for a wide range of reasons. Generally it is because something is troubling them in their lives and they feel unable to change or resolve the issue themselves.
Sometimes the problem is persistent and interferes significantly with their day-to-day lives, at other times the problem seems to come and go yet there is an underlying awareness that things could be better.
Counselling and Therapy might be beneficial for you if:
- You feel unable to cope with the everyday demands of your life.
- You are experiencing ongoing conflict in your relationship.
- You feel stuck and are having difficulty finding solutions on your own.
- You are suffering depression, anxiety or burnout
- You find it hard to talk to friends or family because they are directly involved in the issues.
- Issues from your past are having a negative impact on your day-to-day life.
- You need help dealing with strong emotions such as grief, loss, sadness, anger, hurt and blame.
- You can’t move on from past relationships
- You want help identifying what isn’t working in your life.
- Your relationship needs work.
- Life feels empty and you aspire to a future that is fulfilling
- You are suffering the debilitating effects of trauma.
- You are confused and have no clarity about what to do or where to go in your life.
We all experience challenges at times in our lives – family tensions, work or relationship problems, loss, confusion or just feeling ‘stuck’. If this strikes a chord, you could benefit from talking to a professional Counsellor & Psychotherapist like myself. My practice offers a safe and confidential space in which to explore problems.
It is through building awareness and understanding of self in an environment that is supportive and focussed that hidden strengths emerge, resilience replaces hopelessness, ways of communicating are enhanced and tools to cope with life’s stressors are learnt.
As a Melbourne Counsellor I facilitate the process of individual change, help create new options for living that helps build resilience and enables clients to assume responsibility their lives.
- Bachelor of Arts/ Social Sciences (Monash University)
- Vocational Graduate Certificate in Bereavement Counselling and Intervention (VGCBCI )
- Graduate Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling (The Cairnmillar Institute)
- Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy & Counselling (The Cairnmillar Institute)
- Qualified Practitioner in The Richards Trauma Process.
- CAPAV Membership Associate (Counsellors’ and Psychotherapists’ Association of Victoria)
- Level 1 M.A.C.A member ACA (Australian Counselling Association)
- Anne Serry attends regular Supervision in accordance with the ACA and PACCFA guidelines and am in ongoing training and study.
- Anne Serry subscribes to the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices of the APA (Australian Counselling Association) and CAPAV (Counsellors’ and Psychotherapists’ Association of Victoria).
- ASCA’s Trauma Informed Training for Workers (Adults Surviving Child Abuse)
- Attachment Theory and Adult Psychodynamic Practices Workshop (PDP Seminars)
- Conflict Resolution (PDP Seminars)
- Reconnexion 7th National Anxiety & Depression Conference – The Art & Science of Therapy: Innovations in clinical practice and research for anxiety and depression (2 day Conference)
- Couples counselling Training using Inner Conflict Principles.
- Motivational Interviewing
- Applying a Somatic Approach to Affect Regulation
What is a Counsellor trained to do?
A counsellor is a person who is professionally trained to help you or someone you know with concerns or problems such as anxiety, depression, grief or relationship difficulties. They aim to help you resolve your problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. Sessions are generally held one-on-one or with a partner.