Frequently Asked Questions

Select a topic below to read some of the frequently asked questions we receive in our clinic. 

Can I receive a Medicare rebate for therapy I receive at the UQ Psychology Clinic? 

As provisional psychologists at the UQ Psychology Clinic are provisionally registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, they are ineligible for a Medicare Provider Number. Therefore, Medicare rebates cannot be claimed for services provided at the Clinic. As a result, Clinic fees are kept at affordable rates.

Can I receive a private health insurance rebate for therapy? 

Clients who are comprehensively covered by private health insurance funds may not be able to claim rebates from their insurer for services provided by the UQ Psychology Clinic. Some private health insurers may refuse payment on the grounds that they do not view the Clinic as a private practice provider. Enquires regarding cover for psychological services at the Clinic should be directly addressed to your private health insurance fund.

However, as some of our group therapy programs are co-facilitated by fully qualified clinical psychologists, some clients may be able to receive a rebate through their private health insurer for these services. Please contact the UQ Psychology Clinic for further information on which programs are eligible for private health insurance rebates.

 

What is psychological therapy?

Psychological therapy is the name given to a wide range of treatment approaches that are aimed at improving the mental and emotional well being of people who are experiencing difficulties in their life. Psychological therapy allows the person to focus on and discuss their concerns in a supportive, non-judgemental and confidential environment. 

Psychological therapy is not about the psychologist telling the person what to do. Rather, the psychologist aims to assist their client in working through and resolving their difficulties autonomously. Psychological therapy also aims to equip a person with the skills to cope more effectively should similar problems arise in the future.

Why do people seek psychological therapy?

People seek psychological therapy for a number of reasons and for a variety of problems, ranging from day-to-day stress and relationship difficulties to more severe mental health problems and disorders. Usually a person recognises that there is something in their life that is creating unhappiness or distress, and that this may be impacting on their functioning at work, school, or at home. Such difficulties can be difficult to resolve without assistance from a mental health professional.

What happens in a therapy session?

We recognise that seeking psychological therapy can be unnerving, particularly when clients are unsure of what to expect in a typical therapy session.

In the first therapy session, the psychologist aims to gain a thorough understanding of both the client’s presenting problems and any relevant personal history that may be contributing to these difficulties. Having an accurate understanding of these problems allows the psychologist to provide the most effective treatment. Assessment will involve the therapist asking a range of questions within the interview, and may also include the completion of relevant questionnaires. Importantly, the first therapy session provides an opportunity for the client to express what they would like to achieve by coming along to therapy. Treatment can then be directed to supporting the client to achieve these goals. The therapist will answer any questions the client may have about therapy, and will explain what treatment options are suitable for their particular concerns. There are a number of consent forms to be read and completed in the first session to insure that the client has been made aware of what treatment involves, our privacy policy and confidentiality.

Generally, individual therapy sessions last between 50 to 60 minutes. Sometimes sessions may be longer to accommodate for special treatment requirements, testing, or group sessions (your therapist will advise you if additional time is required).

The problems and issues discussed in therapy are confidential. Only the therapist and a small consultant team of supervising psychologists will know the names of clients. Except in special circumstances directed by law, no information will be released without written consent from the client. To see our full privacy policy, click here.

Subsequent therapy sessions will focus on treatment, but may also involve further assessment if required. The first concern, after assessment is complete, is to outline a treatment plan that focuses on goals for treatment. Your therapist will fully explain what is involved in therapy before implementing the program, and will answer any questions you may have. The particular type of therapeutic approach will determine what is the content of treatment sessions. However, talking through difficulties, practicing skills, and being set tasks to complete at home will often be involved.

At the UQ Psychology Clinic, it is important to us that we ensure the service we provide is making a difference, and that our clients are satisfied with the treatment they are receiving. Therefore, we ask clients to complete a questionnaire (called the ‘OQ45’) at the beginning of every therapy session. The OQ45 is an outcome questionnaire in which the client indicates their current level of psychological functioning. The therapist tracks this information over time to determine whether the client is making the progress expected from therapy. If it appears that the client’s functioning is not improving, therapists may modify their treatment approach to gain better outcomes.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist? 

Psychologists will have completed an undergraduate degree in the study of human behaviour, followed by a postgraduate degree and/or supervised experience in the field, before gaining full registration with the Queensland Registration Board. Psychologists do not have a medical degree, but will specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in their postgraduate qualifications. They assist people with various difficulties, ranging from "everyday" problems like stress and relationship concerns, through to more severe psychological difficulties such as Depression and Anxiety Disorders. 

Psychiatrists will have completed a medical degree, which includes six years study of general medicine, followed by further study to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body, and the effects of physical conditions on the mind. Psychiatrists prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists may combine medication with other forms of therapy (Adapted from the APS Website, 2009).

Psychologists and psychiatrists often work together on the treatment of clients.

What is a Provisional Psychologist?

An provisional psychologist is a psychologist with provisional registration from the Queensland Registration Board who is currently completing advanced postgraduate training in psychology. All provisional psychologists at the UQ Psychology Clinic have undergone a minimum 4 years of study in psychology, and may have additional experience and training. Provisional psychologists at the UQ Psychology Clinic are supervised by fully qualified, experienced clinical psychologists.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical psychologists are specialists in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological and mental health problems. They are also involved in designing and implementing a wide range of prevention and mental health promotion programs. They may work with infants, children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Clinical psychologists work in private practice, hospitals, universities, general medical practices, community health centres and mental health services (APS Website, 2009).

To find out more about clinical psychology see the APS website APS Website.

Who will I have contact with at the UQ Psychology Clinic? 

When you contact the Clinic reception, you will speak with the Clinic Secretary, who will record your details. The Intake Officer then allocates clients to the provisional psychologists who provide treatment at the Clinic. After this process has been completed, the provisional psychologist will contact you to further discuss your needs and arrange an appointment.