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Frequently Asked
Questions

I'm here to answer your frequently asked questions about therapy and counselling. If you have not been to therapy or counselling before I can understand how it might feel daunting or overwhelming. These FAQ's are here to hopefully address some of those feelings and get you feeling confident and sure in the lead up to your counselling session.

  • What does counselling do?
    Counsellors are specialists in short and long-term therapies to assist people with processing traumas and an array of psychological problems. I work by talking through what you are going through (breaking this down to find the root cause of the issue) and applying evidence-based psychological theories to help you make sense of what is happening and how the problem can be worked with or resolved. Generally, I begin by finding out a bit about you as a person then explore what you are seeking in your counselling journey. This is to ensure that I am applying therapies that match and suit who you are as a person as I want to give you the best chance of success. I will then help provide insight and tools to help you to break out of cycles and patterns you may be doing to help achieve your goals. By goals I mean any behaviours, emotions, feelings, activities or level of well-being you are wanting to achieve. An example of this might be to re-enter the workforce after an incident, being able to overcome a certain emotion linked to a specific event or manage day-to-day symptoms of a chronic mental health condition to improve your quality of life. Counselling is not diagnosis focused, and you do not need to have had a diagnosis to seek counselling. I can discuss diagnosis and the impacts of this with you if this is raised throughout your therapy however pre, post or no diagnosis my approach to counselling is first and foremost person-centered and to improve your quality of life by treating the root cause. People see a therapist for a range of reasons, and these do not always have to fit the textbook definition of 'trauma' or 'mental health'. The main point is that there is something happening in your life or you are feeling a certain way that is impacting your quality of life that you want to change and improve. You can read more on the definitions and explanations of counselling and psychotherapy here.
  • What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Counsellor?
    Counsellors and psychologists are very similar in the theories and therapies we use, the major difference is that Psychology often focuses on a model of diagnosis whereas Counsellors focus on addressing the felt impact in a persons life which may be due to multiple or varying causes. Counsellors do not diagnose however I have a range of psychologists in my network that I can refer you too if requested. Counsellor's work from a model that seeks to increase what is going right in your life rather than focusing only on what is going wrong. I then use many different modes and therapies to equip you with the means to tackle and process these issues. Counsellors also typically deal with a wide range of mental health issues and emotions and don't limit their service to a specific 'condition'.
  • Do I need a Mental Health Care Plan?
    No, a mental health care plan or a GP referral is not needed to see a Counsellor so you do not have to visit a GP in order to book in with a Counsellor or Therapist. Mental health care plans allow you to claim a limited number of Psychology sessions through Medicare however there is still a gap fee. When accounting for the gap fee and cost to see a GP for a consult, the cost of a Psychology session and a Counselling session (which cannot be claimed through Medicare) typically end up the same. Counselling sessions can be claimed through a private health provider if you have extra's cover. Even though counselling sessions with Dan cannot be claimed through Medicare the positive is that you don't have to go to a GP to answer a range of questions (which can often feel overwhelming and pressured) to access therapy. You can book in for counselling without a diagnosis of any kind and without any specific reason. If you have questions or queries, you'd like to discuss prior to booking a counselling session you can book in a free 15-minute session with me in person, via phone or video call through my booking page.
  • How many counselling sessions will I need?
    There is no right or wrong answer. How many sessions you book is entirely up to you. Generally, three (3) is a good number to start with but everyone is different. Three sessions allows us time to get acquainted, dive into some of the detail and get some strategies in place. Complex and layered issues may require more sessions to work through and see progress however, there is no one size fits all. What I do after each session is explain what I think a suitable number of sessions will be to work through what's happening and get to the progress point you're satisfied with then let you decide. There is no pressure to book sessions weekly or in bulk and if you go weeks or months without booking a session that is no problem either. Counselling is all about you and your pace so regular or ad hoc session bookings are welcome.
  • Are my counselling sessions and information confidential?
    As an accredited counsellor through PACFA I am bound by the PACFA Code of Ethics as well as the practices outlined in my Privacy Policy. As a professional in the industry I ensure and protect my clients confidentiality and privacy with any information I am provided as part of the counselling service. The only information I collect during the session is related to your psychological health and is to enable me to best provide the more appropriate and effective therapy I can. I do not disclose information to third parties unless in the instance where confidentiality is limited by law for example through the provisions of the Evidence Act 1977 (Qld) or where you have provided written consent for your information to be disclosed to a third party. If you are accessing counselling services through WorkCoverQLD you can find more information on their information disclosure policies here.
  • Is counselling only for people who have experienced trauma or are currently experiencing a problem?
    No, counselling can be for everyone at any stage in our lives. Sometimes we will have the thought that 'others have it worse so I shouldn't complain', but the reality is that we do this so much that we tend to unintentionally build a culture of self-deprioritisation which becomes an action that we model to others. This happens so much that we can get to adulthood without really getting to know ourselves. This is important because knowing ourselves and being kind to ourselves allows for real growth and development in all areas of your life and importantly equips us to deal with events and changes in our lives with less disruption. It is enough to seek counselling if you have recognised unwanted emotions, feelings or behaviours that are negatively impacting your day-to-day life that you want to change. Sometimes these things can be a result of trauma (sometimes very long after the event) or they can just be something that occurs as a normal part of living life in a hectic and chaotic world.
  • I have been given funding for counselling through Vicims assist qld (VAQ), Work cover QLD or NDIS, do you accept these?
    I am approved to offer counselling services for Work cover Queensland, Victims assist Queensland (VAQ) and NDIS. If you would like to book an appointment using one of these funding bodies, please make an appointment in my booking section and select the Workcover, NDIS and VAQ section. This will make an appointment with me but will not ask for payment. I will contact you via email or text to get the case number so we can then move ahead with the appointments.
  • Do you Bulk Bill?
    No unfortunately counselling is not eligible for Medicare rebates however they can be claimed through a private health provider if you have extra's cover.
  • Do only males see male counsellors?
    Absolutely not! I have worked with men, women, people in the trans community as well as male and female children. I am always happy to work with anyone on whatever they need to process. Sometimes people will immediately think that people need to see a counsellor of their same gender and I let them know I have worked for several years in the domestic violence space exclusively with female survivors and much of the feedback I got was that they found it to be a positive experience to have a safe male they could trust.
  • I feel too much shame to come to counselling, won't counselling just make me feel more guilty?
    Some people have a fear of seeing a counsellor as they may hold guilt or shame that the prospect of confronting it feels extremely dangerous. Again, this is quite common in Australian culture as we tend to 'sweep things under the rug' rather than deal with them. One of my old lecturers told me "counselling isn't meant to make you feel better, it's to make you better at feeling" and that has stuck with me as I find the byproduct of being better at feeling is you then feel less inner conflict and then feel better as a result.
  • What qualifications do Counsellors have?
    Counsellors can all be a little different in their qualifications and training, so it is worth investigating and understanding what qualifications and experience a Counsellor has before you decide to book with them. My qualifications are listed on my website under Qualifications, I am university trained through a Bachelor of Human Services with a major in Counselling of which included a year of supervised counselling sessions on top of completing the degree. I am an accredited Clinical Counsellor and Psychotherapist with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) (one of the two Australian Counselling accrediting bodies, the other being the Australian Counselling Association (ACA)). To be registered with PACFA I'm required to prove I have provided a minimum of 750 hours of client contact counselling as well as supervision hours, provide proof of my academic qualifications and meet the character requirements. Further to this I have over 5 years' experience working as a Counsellor with a range of clients such as running children's resilience groups, undertaking societal re-integration counselling, counselling individuals, children and families that are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, counselling individuals for a range of mental health issues and working with children with behavioural issues such as ASD and ADHD on emotional regulation and resilience.
  • What should I expect?
    At our first session you may feel a bit nervous (which is okay). We will often have some time to chat about hobbies and fun things then we will chat about what's happening in your life and what you are looking for in counselling. If you don't have the right words to describe it, that's okay, just come as you are and I can help you to define the situation. There are further details on my 'Session Structure' page that explains the different stages and expectations throughout the sessions and what the process will be.
  • I have private health cover with extras, do you accept them?
    I have partnerships with the following private health funds; HCF, Medibank, AHM, St Luke's Health, Police Health, GMHBA, Westfund, Emergency Services Health, Phoenix Health, CUA Health, AIA Health and Teachers Union Health. To claim for these, the full amount will need to be paid on booking, you will then receive an invoice with my provider number which you can use to claim directly through the private health fund.
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