General FAQs

Are sessions confidential?

At Winkler Psychology we take your privacy very seriously. Sessions remain confidential apart from in a few circumstances, specifically…

  • If there is a serious threat to someone, either you or someone else, where we must share information in order to ensure safety.
  • If we are required by law to share information.
  • You give us permission to share information to someone.

In these circumstances we will try to minimise the amount of information shared to what is necessary and will inform you openly of what is being shared, to whom, and why as much as possible. We will also be supporting you through the situation, whatever it may be.

For more information, see our privacy policy or contact us with your question. We will also explain how confidentiality works in the first session.

What happens in the first session?

It is common to feel nervous about starting with a psychologist, regardless of whether you have seen one before or not. Usually these nerves improve quickly once you get familiar with the psychologist, but it can help to know a bit about what to expect in that first meeting.

In your first meeting, your psychologist will welcome you, explain how they work, and answer any initial questions you might have about them and the process of therapy. Part of this conversation is explaining how sessions are confidential and some of the few exceptions to this.

You will be invited to talk about the issues you are experiencing, any relevant history, and what you would like to get out of the sessions. We aim to develop a good understanding of your presenting issues and a tailored treatment plan to guide the therapy. This can sometimes take a few sessions depending on the situation.

Most of the time, weekly to fortnightly sessions work best to get the most of out treatment, and after getting to know your situation we will be able to give some guidance as to how many sessions might be needed.

Do I need a referral?

You only need a referral if you want to claim Medicare rebates or through your private health insurance. If you don’t mind paying the full out of pocket fee for sessions, or if you aren’t eligible for any rebates, you don’t need a referral.

How do I get a referral under a Mental Health Care Plan from my GP?

Book a long appointment with your GP who will do an assessment. Talk about the issues you are experiencing with your GP and ask for a referral to Winkler Psychology under a Mental Health Care Plan. Your GP will ask you questions about what you are experiencing and if appropriate will create a Mental Health Care Plan with referral letter. Please bring the Mental Health Care Plan with referral letter to your initial appointment. We can’t process your rebate without it. Psychiatrists can also refer you by writing a referral letter – they don’t need to create a Mental Health Care Plan.