Justine McAllister BBus/BPsych (Hons), MSc Occup Psych.

FAQ

What is the Medicare Better Access Scheme?

Justine McAllister is a registered generalist psychologist who is a registered with Medicare Australia to provide treatment for mental health issues. Justine is committed to providing quality and affordable mental health support and consequently, for individuals who are accessing the Medicare Better Access Scheme through a Mental Health Care Plan prepared by a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician, will have no out of pocket expenses for up to 10 sessions per calendar year if  this is recommended by your referring health provider.

Can I go directly to a psychologist to receive treatment?

Yes, you can self-refer to Justine McAllister Psychologist for treatment and pay the consultation fee after each session. However, if you wish to take advantage of Medicare’s Better Access Scheme and not pay any out of pocket expenses, you will first need to see your GP.  If your GP considers that you are suitable for a Mental Health Care Plan, this will be developed with you so that you can be referred to see a psychologist who has a Medicare Provider Number. Psychiatrists and paediatricians can also prepare a Mental Health Care Plan.

How can a psychologist help me if I have a mental health problem?

Psychologists receive specialised training to assist people who are experiencing mental health issues. The specialised training aims to assist individuals to gain strategies to manage challenging life experiences while reducing the associated symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.

Can I go to any psychologist or counsellor?

Not all counsellors are registered psychologists. If you wish to use Medicare Better Access rebate scheme for treatment, then you can only see a counsellor/psychologist with a Medicare Provider Number. Registered psychologist are trained to provide targeted, evidence based and ethical treatment.

How many sessions do people tend to see a psychologist for?

The number of sessions varies from individual to individual as everyone has a different life experience. Consequently, the range of issues that bring people to therapy are also vastly different. Some issues are ongoing and may require long term support to deal with setbacks and relapses. Other issues are due to a minor change in circumstances, and may only require a couple of sessions. What is important to note that if worries or issues are addressed sooner rather than later, then often treatment outcomes are more favourable for the individual.

What should I expect from my first session?

At the first session, you will be asked to complete some important paperwork. The paperwork will include completing a form to gain your basic personal information, a consent form including confidentiality requirements and your treatment goals. The discussion will also include any fees that you will be required to pay if you do not have a Mental Health Treatment Plan. Relevant background information will also be taken and may include information about your family, relationships, employment history and past counselling sessions.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Generally, psychologists are health professionals who assist people by using evidence based “talking therapies” to assist individuals to cope with the symptoms associated with anxiety, depression and stress.  Generalist Psychologists are required to complete a four year undergraduate degree followed by at least two years of supervised practice as well as participate in ongoing professional development. Psychiatrists are doctors who have completed a medical degree and then specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication.

What is the difference between a counsellor and a psychologist?

Psychologists are regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (APHRA) and hence, the term “psychologist” is protected term. The term “counsellor” is not protected, and therefore anyone can refer to themselves as a counsellor as there is no minimum standard for this service. Although there is no minimum standard for counsellors, there are many counsellors that have undertaken relevant training that may range from a Certificate III to a Masters Degree.

How does confidentiality work with a psychologist?

All information that you discuss in during your consultation with a psychologist is confidential except for two circumstances. The first is if the psychologist assesses that you are at risk of harm to yourself or others. The second is in relation to the receipt of certain court orders. If either of these events occur, the psychologist will discuss these with you.