What’s therapy all about?

Therapy means different things to different people and also comes in different shapes and forms. As psychologists, we are required to complete advanced university training as outlined by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and learn to use treatments that have been well tested by science for different conditions. Therapy is about treating various mental health disorders such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety, to name a few.

However, the treatment of specific mental disorders is not all that therapy is about. Many people access therapy to work through life’s problems and stressors, as well as to gain a greater understanding of themselves and work through blocks that may be getting in the way of goal attainment or even relationships issues. Many people can benefit from an unbiased professional who is skilled in treating thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Do you need a referral to see a psychologist or dietitian?

No you don’t. If you would like to use a chronic conditions management plan, mental health care plan or eating disorder treatment plan which provides a rebate from Medicare then yes you will need to see your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician to see if they feel this is appropriate.  However, if you do not wish to use a care plan you can always self refer and request an appointment at any time. You do not need a referral from a doctor or any other specialist to see a psychologist or dietitian at the practice, even if you are using private health insurance. You will need a referral if you would like a medicare rebate to see our Consultant Psychiatrist.

If I have a care plan, can I just pay the gap?

No, unfortunately. When you use your care plan you need to pay the full amount up front and the rebate is then placed straight back into your bank account, similar to when you visit the GP. As we do not bulk bill care plans, there will be a gap depending on the clinician treating you so please ask reception about costs.

What will happen in the first session?

At the first session your treating clinician will be covering a few things with your consent. It’s firstly about orientating clients to treatment so they can understand how the process works, and in particular the practices of the clinician and the types of interventions that will be used. We will also explain some information about confidentiality as your privacy is well protected at the practice. The main goal of the first session is for you to get a sense of your treating clinician to see if you feel they are the right fit for you, and for them to complete and assessment to work out what seems to be going on and how best to help you with your goals in mind.

How long are sessions?

Sessions with a psychologist will go from 50-60 minutes depending on the psychologist. If for some reason this is expected to vary, your psychologist will discuss this with you in advance. If the session goes beyond this then it may incur a further fee.

Sessions with your dietitian will typically go for 40 minutes unless otherwise determined.

Do you provide skype/zoom based sessions?

Absolutely. We have clients not just on the Sunshine Coast but from all over Australia particularly from rural areas so our psychologists and dietitians are happy to provide treatment via this medium. However, it is important to note that Medicare will only provide rebates for telehealth if you live in a certain classification of rural areas. Otherwise treatment will incur full fees.

Are all psychologists and dietitians the same?

In the same way we all differ as individuals, so do our treating clinicians, so it’s important to find the right one for you. Whilst we are often trained in similar interventions we all have our own slant as we bring our own personalities, experiences and preferences with therapeutic modalities. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that you have to find the right psychologist on the Sunshine Coast for you and it’s important you are honest about this. I equate this to finding a good hairdresser, sometimes you have to shop around to find the right one. We have a selection of psychologists and dietitians within our practice so if for whatever reason you feel that the psychologist you have been referred to or have seen isn’t the right fit, please feel free to let our reception staff know and they can help to find someone whom you feel would be better for you.

What types of clients can be seen at the practice?

Collective health co. has a special interest in working with clients presenting with eating disorders, milder forms of disordered eating, chronic dieting, weight concerns and body image issues, we also see clients with other mental health concerns or presentations. Some of these include depression, anxiety, stress related issues, other mood disorders, personality disorders, trauma, grief and loss and parenting difficulties, just to name a few.

We also have group therapy programs, programs for parents and carers, individual therapy and also couples counselling. If you would like to find out if we are the right psychologists for you, feel free to call or drop into reception any time.

Within the realm of nutrition and dietetics we also work with perinatal, children and adolescents as well as women’s health, PCOS and sports nutrition.

Do you see DVA and Workcover QLD clients?

Yes we do. All we need is the appropriate information so that we can verify your eligibility for these services before your appointment.

Does Collective Health Co offer Crisis support?

No we don’t. If you require crisis support you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Butterfly Foundation for eating disorders on 1800 33 46 73 or present to your GP or ­local emergency department.

How do dietitians support eating disorder recovery?

Best practice for eating disorder treatment recommends a multidisciplinary team including a psychiatrist or general practitioner, a psychologist and a dietitian. Eating disorder dietitians support their clients to nourish their body for optimal wellbeing as well as improve their relationship to food. We understand when you are living with an eating disorder making changes to nutrition can feel overwhelming; we use a unique combination of nutritional science and counselling techniques to support clients to in their recovery. We use the RAVESTM approach nutritional wellbeing, which supports clients in achieve Regularity, Adequacy, Variety, Eating Socially and Spontaneity with regards to food.

What is the Non-Diet Approach?

Research from the National Health and Medical Research Council has shown weight loss through lifestyle change peaks at 6–12 months, and for most people weight is regained within 2-5 years1. In short, diets don’t work. Dieting is also associated with food and body preoccupation, weight cycling, weight stigma, reduced self-esteem and other negative health effects2. The Non-Diet Approach offers an alternative to managing wellbeing which focuses on sustainable health behaviours – improved diet quality, joyful movement and connection, among other factors – from a place of self-care without emphasis on weight loss or restrictive dieting. The Non-Diet Approach supports people to enjoy all foods within a nourishing diet, prioritise mindfulness and enjoyment, attune to appetite, and improve diet quality.

1. National Health and Medical Research Council, (2013). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Melbourne: National Health and Medical Research Council.
2. Bacon L, Aphramor L. (2013). Weight science: evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift.

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Collective Health Co guarantees that your session will be conducted in a confidential, friendly and supportive environment to foster positive communication that promotes personal growth. We look forward to hearing from you.