Counselling
 

Talking to someone is one of the best things to do when you're going through a difficult time. You don't have to reach a certain level of Feeling Bad Enough to see a psychologist. If you are hurting, finding things difficult, or think life could be better in some way, that is more than enough reason to come.

I provide a non-judgemental and compassionate space where you can put words to your experiences, concerns, and hopes for the future. I believe in working together in a down-to-earth, practical way to achieve your goals. What we work on has to matter to you - after all, you are the expert on your life and have to live it 24/7!

I work with...
  • Children aged 12 and over

  • Adults

  • Issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, self-harm, trauma, low self-worth, anger management, and relationship difficulties

  • The aim of you eventually  "being your own psychologist" so that you can maintain the healthy changes you've made

 
My areas of interest 
  • Navigating identity: Working with people of diverse cultures, faiths, genders, and sexualities (the LGBTQI+ community)

  • Difficulties with emotional regulation (e.g., linked with BPD)

  • Working with young people

The kinds of therapy that inform my way of working
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

  • Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)

  • Schema Therapy

I offer appointments in Midland or via Telehealth on...
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: First appointment at 9am, last appointment at 4pm

  • I also offer appointments over the phone or video chat. Please see the Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrangements section below for more information. 

If you would like to know more about me and the way I work before committing to an appointment, please contact me and I'd be happy to answer these queries.

 

I also write about mental health, counselling, and psychology-related topics on my blog, which may give you an idea of how I think and work.

Fees

 

The cost of a standard 50-minute session is $185, or $140 for Health Care Card holders, which is to be paid in full after your session.  If you have a valid Mental Health Care Plan from your doctor, you can claim a Medicare rebate of $128.40 for up to 20 sessions in a calendar year. Therefore, after your rebate is received, the out-of-pocket gap is $56.60 per session or $11.60 for Health Care Card holders.

Payment of the full fee (not just the gap payment) is to be made on the day of the consultation. We accept cash, debit, and credit cards. Medicare and private health fund rebates can be processed immediately at the practice if you wish. To facilitate this, please ensure your details are up to date with Medicare and bring your referral paperwork and Medicare card to the first session.

I am a registered NDIS provider and affiliated with St John Ambulance, which may assist you in the cost of your sessions. Please note that different costs may apply for NDIS clients, in accordance with the NDIS pricing rules.
 

Cancellation policy

At least 24 hours’ notice is required if you are unable to attend your appointment; as much notice as possible is preferred. This allows another client to be offered your appointment time.

If you do not give the required notice or fail to arrive for your appointment (excluding emergencies and circumstances beyond your control), a cancellation fee of $50 will be charged and must be paid before another appointment is booked.

Frequently asked questions

 
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?

 

A Mental Health Care (or Treatment) Plan puts down in writing the support you would like from the people caring for your mental health, such as a psychologist. Your doctor will work with you to assess your needs and create this plan. For more information on how this works, please see the Better Health Channel's page on MHCPs.

Having a MHCP allows you to claim Medicare rebates for up to 20 therapy sessions per calendar year. After the sixth and tenth sessions, I will provide a written report to the referring doctor, and then you must make an appointment with your doctor to review your care plan.  Your doctor can then authorise further sessions if necessary.

Do I need a Mental Health Care Plan to make an appointment?

 

You can make an appointment with a psychologist without having a MHCP; it just means you cannot claim Medicare rebates for the sessions.

What if I need more than 20 sessions?

 

You can see me for as many sessions as you wish, but no further Medicare rebate can be claimed after 20 rebates have been processed in a calendar year. Therefore, I try to make the most of our time in the first 20 sessions (and encourage you to do the same). I also discuss your options as we come to the end of our 20 sessions.

If you have private health insurance, you may be able to claim psychology sessions; please check with your provider as to your eligibility and rebate information. Please note that you cannot claim a Medicare rebate and make a private health insurance claim for the same session.

What can I expect to happen in my counselling sessions?

 

Everyone's needs are different, so the first few sessions of counselling usually involve me asking questions and listening, and you considering whether we can work together.  It often takes several sessions for us to gain a shared understanding of your world before we can tackle the problems head-on.

 

I ask questions about you such as:

  • what was helpful or unhelpful about previous support you’ve had

  • your situation 

  • how long you have been experiencing difficulties

  • what you do about your problems

  • what is important to you in life and your strengths

  • your family​

At the end of the session, I ask how you felt the session went. If you think we have a good connection I'll also ask what you would like to work on. I am a straight shooter so I welcome feedback and questions along the way.

Over our sessions, you can expect that we will work as a team to move towards the life you want. To do this, we use your knowledge, ideas, and skills (you are the expert on your life, not me!) as well as the evidence-based strategies that I can bring as a psychologist. It requires active practice on your part; I am only here to shine the light on areas you might not have looked at, help you find your answers, and walk alongside you as you move forward. As we work together, I often ask people to notice their thinking and behaviour patterns, try to do new things, and then come back to tell me how it went. 

Talking about these things can be hard and can make you feel tired afterwards - so please make sure you are extra kind to yourself on the day of your appointments.

 
How do you work with young people and their families?

 

I work with young people aged 12 and over. At each appointment, I give the child or young person the choice of whether they would like to see me alone, or with a parent/caregiver for some or all of the session.

Children and young people have adults who are important in their life (e.g., parents, caregivers, school staff), so I work with them too if it is needed. I negotiate this carefully with the young person so that their privacy is respected. For example, I am upfront with the young person about who I’m talking to, when I plan to do so, and what I will say to them; I also debrief the young person on the conversation if they weren't there to hear it.

As it is my job to keep my clients as safe as possible, I keep parents/caregivers informed if there is any risk to their child or others. I will always let the young person know if this needs to happen.

What if something doesn't feel right with my counselling sessions?

There will be times like this in any working relationship, especially when we are talking about very personal topics. Perhaps I might not have understood you, you want to work on something else, you feel our approach isn't working, and/or you're feeling uncomfortable in some way. Please let me know; I will not be offended because this is a normal part of the job. I like to know as it means you and I can try to fix the issue; I cannot fix what I don't know. I will ask you what you noticed and share my thoughts, and we can then work out a way to move forward.

If you or I feel your needs can be better met elsewhere, I can make recommendations for other services if you wish.

 
What is a Clinical Psychologist?

The Australian Psychological Society has this question covered!

 

Supervision

I am approved by the Psychology Board of Australia to provide external supervision to psychologists undertaking 4+2 and 5+1 internship pathways, and registrar programs. At this stage, I can only commit to providing supervision as a secondary supervisor. I also provide general supervision to psychologists and other mental health professionals.

Please feel free to contact me with your supervision requirements.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrangements

 

Psychologists are considered essential services by the Australian government, so we and the team at Avenue Psychology (where my practice is located) are open for face-to-face consults until we receive further government advice. We take measures to keep our spaces clean and to reduce as much contact as possible.

 

In the interest of public health, we kindly request that you notify our practice immediately if you are unwell and we will reschedule your booked appointments. We ask that you stay up-to-date with government advice through the Department of Health website that includes staying home if feeling unwell.

For those who are staying home where possible, I am also offering counselling over the phone or video chat (i.e., Telehealth). My practice administrator is happy to discuss these arrangements with you.


This is a weird and challenging time, so if you are experiencing worry or anxiety, please share your concerns with me. I have compiled a list of helpful resources for coping with Coronavirus

 

We thank you for your understanding and appreciate your support with keeping our community healthy.

© 2020 by Vicky Tan.