What are your consultation times?
For individual sessions, I am available Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Small group programs are offered at specific times on a weekly basis, usually Wednesday or Friday.
Do you offer an after-hours service?
Available times will be shown on the calendar when you book. After hour appts are rarely offered and only in special circumstances. Therefore, they need to be negotiated directly with Melanie during your session.
Will I have to pay for my service or is it funded?
Currently, the government does not allow Registered Nurses to offer Medicare rebates for psychological services under the Better Access Plan. There is provision for a person to receive a rebate of around $55 per session for up to 5 sessions per year if you have a chronic health care plan (not a Mental Health Care Plan) from your GP. However, these 5 sessions per year are the total allowed for any visit with an allied health professional.
People who are able to take advantage of the 6 to 10 subsidised psychological sessions per year, through having a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP, generally still pay around $100-$150 per session out of their own pocket. They are then required to pay the full fee for any further sessions. If you were to want 20 sessions per year, you would need to add up the cost for you for 10 full fee sessions plus 10 gap fee sessions to work out if it is more economically viable for you to see a Psychologist or to see a Mental Health Nurse.
The SSP and other therapies can be accessed by people with the NDIS providing it is in their plan. I am able to provide services to people who are self-managed or plan managed. I am unable to provide services to people who are NDIA managed as I am not a registered NDIS provider. The fees are exactly the same.
For people facing financial hardship or living on a pension, I see clients in the Northern Sydney Primary Health Network catchment area under the Access Plus scheme. This requires a Mental Health Plan and a referral from your GP sent directly to Mental Health Triage. I do not offer sliding scale fees as I prefer to see people through the Access Plus program.
How many sessions will I need?
This is not possible to know in advance. Every person is different and their needs are different. Generally speaking, I would say 6 sessions are the likely minimum number of sessions needed. However, many people also benefit from regular appointments over a longer period. Though generally I would not see a client for more than 2 years. However, this is not pre-determined. I work collaboratively with you to plan what best suits your situation and your needs. The exception to this is clients I see through Access Plus as this has a finite time limit.
My philosophy is to help you build the resources to deal with life’s challenges so that in the future you do not need further services. I do not encourage building a reliance on the therapist. I also do not provide a general counselling service so you would always expect to see changes as therapy progresses. If this is not happening for you I would seek to understand the blocks, and if necessary, refer on to another practitioner who may be better suited. As always, this is a collaborative process as it is all about you.