Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Counselling?
A: If you talk to different people about what counselling is, it is quite possible that each person will have a different understanding of it. However, in general, Counselling aims to help you cope with personal problems. Usually a psychologist will do this by asking questions, listening to you, reflecting on what you have said and exploring the range of options that may be available to you. Please note that counselling is not about giving you the answer or taking the problem away. It is best to view counselling as a way of putting things into perspective and opening you up to options and resources that you may not have previously considered.
The practitioners at Bayside Counselling and Consultation Pty Ltd understand that it can be difficult for many people to seek professional help.
This may be due to:
- fear of being judged
- fear that family and friends will find out about the problem
- expectations that some things should never be discussed
- embarrassment about the problem
- concern that seeing a practitioner will draw unwanted attention to the problem or make it worse
- feeling inferior or that they are a failure because they cannot handle the situation themselves
- fear of being punished because they spoke out about the problem
- expectations that they should accept what is happening (or has happened) and just get on with life
- lack of understanding about the role of practitioners and what counselling can do for them
It is not uncommon for people to approach us with these fears and concerns. Unfortunately for many people, this can be enough to prevent them from seeking help. The psychologists at Bayside Counselling and Consultation Pty Ltd have a sensitive and caring approach to different issues and understand that your ability to talk to a psychologist may be hindered by:
- the nature of your situation or problem
- your personal expectations of counselling
- language and cultural barriers
- a disability that prevents you from physically accessing a psychologist or communicating to others
- bad experiences of counselling in the past
- other hindrances such as family commitments and geographical locations
In special circumstances, practitioners are willing to consult with you over the phone.
Q: How long does a counselling session go for?
A: A standard counselling session usually goes for 50 minutes.
Q: How much does it cost per session?
A: We charge different rates depending on your circumstances and conditions. Please call us on (03)9781 0155for further information.
Q: What information will I be asked to disclose?
A: Initially when you call and make an appointment you will only be asked for your full name and a phone number.
When you attend for an appointment to see a practitioner, you will be asked for some additional information such as your Medicare card number, Private Health Fund card, personal information and referring doctor. This information is only used for administrative purposes and will not be published or forwarded to other individuals or organisations.
When you see a psychologist for the first time, you may be asked a question such as ‘What has brought you here today?’ or ‘How can I help you today?’ It is up to you how you answer the question.
Q: Do I have to tell the practitioner everything?
A: While there is no law saying that you must disclose everything to the practitioner, remember that counselling is more effective if you are honest and forthcoming with information. Practitioners are not mind readers. The help they give you is based on what you tell them. If you omit important information, particularly about an issue that is affecting you, you may walk away feeling dissatisfied and angry that you wasted your time. So, be as open and as honest with your practitioner as you can. You will not be judged on the basis of your personal problems.
Q: Can I bring a friend/support person along to my first interview?
A: Seeing a practitioner for the first time can be a daunting experience. If you feel more comfortable bringing a friend along or a support person, you can. However, be sure that you can trust this person with your personal information.