Therapy Information / FAQsWhy choose Simon Turmanis & Associates?
Who can benefit from psychological therapy?
What qualifications do our psychologists hold?
Do I need a referral to attend therapy?
Am I eligible to receive a Medicare Rebate?
How many sessions do I need?
When may I attend sessions?
What usually happens in treatment?
How will information about me be treated?
What are Evidence Based Treatments/Models?
What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
How can I benefit most from therapy?
At Simon Turmanis & Associates Clinical Psychologists, we are professional, warm, open, caring, supportive, enthusiastic, willing, compassionate, reliable, efficient, and dedicated to helping you make the change necessary to improve your mental health, well being and satisfaction with life. Collectively our psychologists Simon, Veena and Mitchell have over 25 years experience working with adults, adolescents, and children with various Client Issues. Our Psychologists are clinically endorsed to provide the most up-to-date, scientifically validated psychological treatments. To bring about the best possible treatment outcomes for you, we will carefully assess your individual issues and goals of therapy and flexibly apply psychological treatments.
We care a lot about people, their health, well being and satisfaction with life. We feel strongly about human suffering. We want to help you reduce your suffering. We strongly believe in the strength and ability within you, to change your life, and manage your issues more effectively. To facilitate positive change, we help you develop greater self awareness and the necessary psychological skills + strategies to better manage and deal with difficult thoughts and feelings. We also help you reconnect with your values (how you want to be as a person, what matters to you, what is meaningful, purposeful and valuable to you) and help you commit to take action in line with your values, to bring about more of what you want.
We hope that you will put your needs first, as over 2000 individual people have done with us since 2005 and realise the benefits of our psychological help and services. See Client Satisfaction and Treatment Outcome Data to help you decide.
People from diverse backgrounds with a range of issues and concerns seek counselling and we aim to create an environment where you feel safe and comfortable to be open, honest and yourself. We care about each person we work with and are dedicated to sharing our expertise to help you make the necessary changes you need in your life.
Our clinical psychologists Simon Turmanis, Dr Veena Sothieson and Dr Mitchell Dowling all hold a Masters or Doctorate of Clinical Psychology. Additionally, they undertake continuing professional development to ensure they are able to provide you with the latest, most effective treatment approaches. All our psychologists are also fully registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
No it is not mandatory to have a referral to see one of our psychologists. You may call to speak with one of our client liaison officers and book in to see one of our psychologists without a referral, as long as the issues you are coming in for are things our psychologists can help you with. However in order to be eligible for Medicare rebates, a referral from your general practitioner, psychiatrist or pediatrician is required. If you are referred by a third party like WorkCover, referral information must be made available at the time of making the appointment. Please see our tab Types of Referrals for more information, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.
In order to obtain a rebate from Medicare, your general practitioner, psychiatrist or pediatrician must assess you as eligible to receive a Mental Health Care Plan following which you can be referred to a psychologist. Once a Mental Health Care Plan has been completed by your doctor, you will be able to obtain a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.
The number of (50-55 minute) sessions needed varies, depending on your particular issues, goals of therapy and willingness to examine things and make change. As the person committing to therapy, you as the client make the decision as to how many sessions you are willing to commit to, over what period of time, and how often. Some clients may only require 6-10 or fewer weekly to fortnightly sessions (if their issues are very specific). Others may require 15 to 20 sessions varying in frequency over a longer period of time. You are likely to discuss the most appropriate duration and frequency of sessions during session 1 or 2. Sometimes to achieve all of your goals of therapy and prevent relapse back into old unhelpful patterns and poor mental health, working consistently (i.e once a week to once a fortnight) for 6 to 12 months is most helpful/recommended.
Morning, afternoon and evening sessions are available, Monday to Friday. Saturday morning appointments are also made frequently available. Availability and hours differ for each of our psychologists, please make sure to enquire about this with one of our client liaison officers.
The initial session(s) involve you describing what is troubling you. Specific information about your developmental, family, work, social and health history is taken, to better understand what is happening for you and why it is happening. We clarify the problems, set goals and expectations about what can be achieved, including a timeframe. Then, we suggest appropriate ways of working on your issues, based on what the issues are, how they’ve developed and what has proven to be effective for others with similar issues or perceived problems (this approach is known as using Evidence Based Treatments).
Any identifying or other therapy information that you disclose to your therapist will be treated with utmost privacy and respect. It is kept confidential and is only disclosed to additional parties (such as your GP, psychiatrist, or a family member), with your prior consent. Usually this is done when it is deemed important and necessary for a better understanding and treatment of your issues. However, psychologists are required to disclose information about you if it is demanded by law or if there is reasonable evidence to believe that someone is at risk of harm. Further, in order to achieve the most effective treatment outcomes for you, the treatment team at the practice will consult one another, and occasionally if required, a senior colleague in relation to your mental health.
Evidence Based Treatments are those shown to have significant impact in helping people reduce psychological symptoms (e.g. of depression, anxiety, stress) or improve their lives. We use these and other models in an integrative approach, tailored to each client’s needs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Schema Therapy, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Solution Focused Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic models are used. Each of the therapy models involve you learning new ways of coping and managing difficulties so that you can cope more helpfully, leading to a reduction of psychological symptoms and improvements in satisfaction with life.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is defined by the Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as a generally short term, focused approach to the treatment of many types of emotional, behavioural and psychiatric problems (www.aacbtwa.org.au). “It is a collaborative and individualised program that helps individuals to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and learn or relearn healthier skills and habits. It examines all elements that maintain a problem, including our thoughts (cognitions), feelings, behaviour and the environment. CBT has been practised widely for more than 30 years. It has been research extensively, and has demonstrated effectiveness with a variety of emotional difficulties” (www.aacbtwa.org.au).
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its most fundamental messages: Accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life.
The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life. ACT does this by:
a) teaching you psychological skills to deal with your painful thoughts and feelings effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you (these are known as mindfullness skills).
b) helping you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you – i.e your values – then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate you to change your life for the better.
Attending sessions regularly (weekly to fortnightly) and practising/working on new skills during and between sessions is necessary to better manage your issues and perceived problems. Being open to and having a willingness to talk about difficult things with emotional vulnerability is important in helping you achieve your goals of therapy. Using a notepad and folder to record, collect and keep all information and handouts from therapy will help you to remember what you are working on, why and how.