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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is a Psychologist? 

Psychologists are not medical doctors but they are qualified health professionals. “Psychologists are experts in human behavior. They use scientific methods to study the factors that influence the way that people think, feel and learn, and evidence-based strategies and interventions to help people to   overcome challenges and improve their performance. Many psychologists work directly with those experiencing difficulties, such as mental health disorders including anxiety and depression. They help people to overcome relationship problems, eating disorders, learning problems, substance abuse, parenting issues, or to manage the effects of a chronic illness” reference from APS website.

2. Who is a Counsellor?

Counsellors are health professionals who talk to you about issues in your life, and help to solve them. There are different types of counsellors, with different treatment methods. In Australia a psychologist can be a counsellor but every counsellor cannot be a psychologist. It takes 6 years of minimum education and supervised training to be a registered psychologist whereas; one could be a counsellor with just 6 months of education and training. Hence, every counsellor is not covered by Medicare and private health funds.

3. What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a degree in medicine and can prescribe drugs to treat any kind of mental illness. Whereas, psychologists has a degree in psychology and cannot prescribe any drugs for mental illness.

4. Do I need a referral to see a psychologist?

• Yes, for all Medicare claims one must have a doctor’s referral under a Mental Health Care plan.

• But to see a psychologist privately you do not need any referral. That means, you have to pay the psychologist’s fees from your pocket.

• For all Private Health funds in Australia one must have a referral from your doctor if you want to claim for any psychological consultations.

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