The First Appointment

It is natural to feel nervous prior to your first appointment with a psychologist. We hope this information can alleviate some common concerns and prepare you for your first session at Birch Psychology.

Each session will run for 50 minutes, and we find that the best outcomes usually follow weekly sessions.

Prior to your first session, you will receive information about Birch Psychology and a consent form that outlines important information about fees, confidentiality and our privacy policy. Psychological therapy is completely confidential, with certain exceptions that will be explained to you before therapy commences.

At your first appointment, your information will be reviewed, and we will explain the way we work and answer any questions you may have.

The first session is an opportunity for you to explain the reasons you are seeking psychological treatment, and for us to begin getting to know you. We will ask questions regarding your current experience. We will also explore your background, such as family, relationships and significant experiences. This is all to help us understand some of the things that might be contributing to how you are currently coping, and decide the best approach to meeting your goals.

There is often a lot to cover in this first session, and it is typical for it to take one or two sessions to get through all the information. Most people find this initial meeting a helpful first step.


Fees & Rebates

Please contact Birch Psychology for further information about our fees. 

We offer appointments during business hours and after hours. A $30 surcharge applies for after hours appointments (commencing before 9am, from 5pm, and weekends). 

Payment: Payment is required on the day of your session. Payments can be made by EFTPOS, credit card and cash. 

Medicare: With a referral and Mental Health Care Plan, Medicare will rebate $84.80 to $124.50 per session, for up to 10 sessions in a calendar year. 

Private Health Insurance: A partial rebate may be available through private health insurance. It is best to contact your insurance provider to discuss whether your policy has psychological counselling extras. Rebates through private health insurance are not available on consultations where a Medicare rebate is being claimed. 

Cancellations: Birch Psychology has a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you need cancel your appointment, please contact us no later than 24 hours prior to your appointment. This is to ensure that we have sufficient notice to offer this time to other clients also in need of support.

If you do not attend, or cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice, you will be charged the full fee for this session. Please also be aware that rebates through Medicare or private health insurance are not available for cancelled or unattended appointments.


Referral Options

You are not required to have a referral from your GP to see a Clinical  or a General Psychologist. However, a Medicare rebate is available for sessions when you have obtained a referral from your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician. 

This is a simple process, however GPs prefer you to schedule a double appointment to better understand your concerns and complete a Mental Health Care Plan. Remember to bring your referral and Mental Health Care Plan to your first session at Birch Psychology in order to claim the Medicare rebate.