What is the difference between a counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist?

A counsellor usually has an undergraduate degree and specialist training counselling. Counsellors help their clients to recognize and explore different parts of themselves and experiences. Counsellors work comprehensively with individuals who are facing personal, well-being and mental health issues.

Psychologists provide assessment and therapy to individuals, psychological assessment, conduct research and encourage change in organisations or society. Many psychologists have a therapeutic role. This means they assess an individual’s issues and life situation and provide support and intervention in line with their goals. A psychologist has completed at least six years of training in psychology.  Psychologists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with comprehensive additional training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are also registered with AHPRA.


How much is a session?

The 50 minute session fee is:

Provisional psychologists: $300

Clinic Director: $440

What is a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP)?

A MHCP is a plan for individuals with a mental health condition.

Your General Practitioner (GP) can complete one for you if he/she deems it is appropriate.

A MHCP provides information regarding what health care you require and specifies what you and your GP have agreed to work on.  It may also refer you to a mental health care service (e.g psychologist).

A Medicare rebate is available at Net Psychology with a valid MHCP.

For more information about MHCPs, please see:



How do I get a MHCP?

Make a double appointment with your GP to discuss your mental health. Your GP will determine whether a MHCP is right for you.


Do I have to pay the full amount up front?

Yes. You are required to pay the full amount three days prior to your appointment. If you have a MHCP your Medicare rebate will normally be processed two or three days after your appointment.

Do I have to have a Mental Health Care Plan?

No. Many individuals who access psychological support at Net Psychology do not have a MHCP. You do not need one to see a psychologist or counsellor.


Do you do couples counselling?

Yes. Please see the Relationships Counselling tab above. 

What happens in the first appointment?

Your first appointment is an opportunity for you to talk about what is happening for you and to see if you feel comfortable working with your clinician. At the start of the session, your clinician will discuss confidentiality, how the session is run and any other important information; and answer any questions you have. The first session is an 'assessment' session in that your clinician will ask you questions about different parts of your life to get to know you and understand the context. For example, she may ask you what life is like at home, how you get along with friends or family and what school or work is like. She may ask you questions relating to your symptoms and family history of mental illness. It is up to you what you choose to share with your clinician. Towards the end of the session your clinician may ask you what your goals are for therapy and what you would like to work on in future sessions. She may talk with you about how a particular therapy may be able to help you. At the end of the session, you can decide if you would like to keep working with your clinician and/or make another time. 

How many sessions will I need?

This is difficult to answer as everyone has different concerns. Many individuals need between six - 20 sessions depending on their presenting issue. However, some people have benefitted from as little as three sessions (depending on their concern).  Medicare may now provide a rebate for up to 20 sessions per calendar year. 

It may be an idea to speak with your clinician after the first session about how many sessions may be needed.


When should I book another appointment?

It is entirely up to you when you would like to return to therapy. However, many people start out with weekly appointments, then move to fortnightly and then monthly when they are feeling better and more confident in using their new skills.  Talk with your clinician about what may be best for you. At Net Psychology, if you choose not to book any further appointments at all, your file will be closed and your GP will be notified if you have a MHCP. You can re-open it by getting in touch with you GP and Net Psychology again.


What is an online appointment like?

Just the same as a face to face one! Just more convenient as you can have your session in the comfort and privacy of your home. Online appointments are conducted using a secure video conferencing platform. Medicare rebates are also available for online individual sessions with a psychologist.

If you have any other questions about Net Psychology, please call us on 0434 909 974 during business hours. Or complete an enquiry on the Contact page.