INFORMATION FOR NEW CLIENTS
At DS Psychology Group we aim to make your introduction to our services as easy as possible. You may find the information below useful, written especially for new clients. Please also read our frequently asked questions, call 9872 6255 or complete the form to the right if you would like more information.
If you would like to make an appointment call 9872 6255 or make an appointment online now.
How do I make an appointment?
Complete our online Appointment Form. Our receptionist will call you within 24 hours to discuss your reasons for counselling, presenting issues, clarify your needs and explore your therapist preferences.
Our receptionist will aim to match your needs and preferences with the with the best clinician to suit your specific needs. She will also answer any questions you have about your counselling appointment.
Alternatively, you can email a specific question (use the contact form here on our website) or call 9872 6255.
Do I need a referral?
It is possible to make an appointment without a referral. No you do not need a referral to see one of our clinical therapists; you could see one of our provisional psychologists at a reduced private fee OR to see a psychologist you could choose to fund your sessions privately or use Private Health insurance. A referral is only required to see one of our psychologists and where you hope to claim a Medicare rebate. However if you would like to claim the Medicare rebate you need a referral from a GP or psychiatrist; furthermore if you have a regular GP that you trust and have an ongoing relationship with, it can be helpful to keep he or she informed.
Who is eligible for Medicare rebates?
If you are an Australian citizen/resident and you have a diagnosable mental health condition, for example but not limited to: depression, anxiety, sleep problems, panic, stress, trauma, grief, relationship problems, or anger. If you are unsure and/or are experiencing significant distress or coping problems make an appointment with your GP to discuss your eligibility further.
What is the fee?
DS Psychology Group is a fee for service clinic and payment is expected directly after your appointment by cash, credit or eftpos (Diners or American Express is not accepted).
The fee for a 50-minute counselling session depends on who you see and when you attend. Attending the clinic after 9am and before 4.30pm is at a day rate, slightly cheaper than the after-hours appointments (before 9am, after 4.30pm or Saturday morning).
In addition, the fee differs depending on whether you see a Clinical Psychologist, Generalist Psychologist or a Provisional Psychologist.
Please call our friendly admin team on 9872 6255 to discuss your needs and she would be happy to work out with you what options would suit you best.
Where are you located? Is there parking?
DS Psychology Group is situated at Suite 6/37 Heatherdale Rd Ringwood 3134. We are the first suite as you enter.
We are also a 2-minute walk from Heatherdale train station (walking away from Whitehorse Road)
There is 2 hr parking all along the street in front of the building.
Do I need to arrive early to fill out forms?
Arriving 5 minutes early will definitely help and be appreciated. Approach the admin desk and the team will greet you (during Intake hours only), confirm your details and provide you with a Client Consent form. Some clients also prefer to pay prior to their appointment while they are waiting. Your therapist will attend to you within 10 minutes of your appointment time. In the event you are waiting longer than this please inquire to the admin team as to the delay.
What can I expect from my 1st session?
When you first meet your psychologist she or he will need to get to know you. He or she will introduce themselves, explain about confidentiality, the Mental Health Care Plan (if relevant) and answer any questions you might have about the consent form. They will then ask numerous questions to understand your symptoms and concerns and to formulate an understanding about what is happening for you.
For complex situations this can sometimes take more than 1 session. Importantly they will seek to engage you in counselling, help you feel at ease and develop a positive relationship with you. Finally they will ask you about your goals for counselling and discuss the therapy options available to best meet those needs.
Your psychologist will be very interested in your feedback about all aspects of the therapeutic process, and will ask for your feedback routinely, so please talk to your psychologist if you have any questions about your therapy.
How often do I need to come?
Research shows that regular sessions and sticking to the treatment plan that your therapist has developed in conjunction with you, will translate to change. When you first start, schedule your sessions weekly. Remember the plan has been developed with the change you want in mind, so the closer you stick to this the quicker you will get there. As you make changes then this frequency can be adjusted to fortnightly or monthly as preferred. Talk openly to your clinician about any barriers to achieving your plan as we aim to collaborate with you to achieve the changes you want, in the shortest time period possible.
Are there private health rebates? And can I use these to pay the ‘gap?’
Yes. If you have private health insurance with comprehensive extras then you can claim a proportion of your fee. DS Psychology Group have a HICAPs machine, which means you will be able to do this at the time of payment.
It is usually not possible to top up the Medicare rebate with Private Health Insurance. You will need to decide which rebate you decide to use. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Do you offer bulk-billing or concession rates?
The answer is yes we do however this is dependent on individual financial circumstances and whether you fulfill Bulk Billing (BB) and Concession rate criteria. As an organisation there is a limit to how many of these clients we can see at any one time; and these appointments are also only available during the day. Please call our receptionist to discuss your individual situation.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
At least 2 business days is preferred for changes to all counseling appointments and appointments cancelled on the day will incur the FULL FEE. We do understand there are rare occasions you may need to change or postpone your counseling session. However for short notice cancellations we are rarely able to succeed in offering this appointment to a waiting client, and as a result the clinician’s time is also forfeited.
For Assessment appointments 5 business days notice is required for any appointment changes. This is due to the time and paperwork involved in booking and confirming assessments, and as a result the increased difficulty with filling short notice cancellations.
Remember that cancellations only elongate your treatment length, taking longer to achieve your goals. Many clinicians have long wait times also making it difficult to re-schedule, so try to keep your appointment where possible or aim to re-schedule as soon as possible. We would not want to let you down and are keen to keep your mental health plan on track!