FAQ Counselling Melbourne

These Frequently Asked Questions contain general information only and do not take into account your personal health, fitness or wellbeing circumstances, needs or objectives. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement by Avaana and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare, fitness or wellbeing professional. All site users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their health, fitness and wellbeing questions.

1. How many counselling appointments will I need?

While counselling is a short term, talk-based therapy, what classifies as ‘short term’ varies from person to person. Some issues may be resolved in a couple of sessions, while others may take much longer because of the nature or the problem.

At the end of your first session, ask your counsellor how many subsequent appointments you may need. Be aware that this is an estimate and may be subject to change depending on the level of exploration that takes place and any potential new issues that arise along the way.

2. What should I expect at my first counselling session in Melbourne?

It’s important to arrive at your first counselling session around 15 minutes early so that you can compose yourself and your thoughts. If you are particularly nervous about your first appointment, this can be beneficial for you. During this time, you may be asked to complete a questionnaire about yourself including what has brought you to see this counselling provider in Melbourne.

While the process may vary from counsellor to counsellor, typically at the time of your appointment you will be welcomed by your counsellor and taken to the consulting room. At this point, your counsellor may explain how confidentiality works and their approach to sessions. If you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to discuss this now or at any point during your consultation.

Your session formally commences with your counsellor asking you a broad range of questions to explore and understand what is going well in your life and what you are struggling with. Your open and honest responses will help guide your counsellor’s understanding of your situation and how best to assist you.

3. Do I have to have a mental health illness to see a counsellor?

No, you don’t have to have a mental health illness to see a counsellor or seek care. Clients attend counselling sessions for a range of issues impacting their immediate lives including:

  • problems in their marriage
  • parenting and family concerns
  • grief and bereavement
  • other transitionary phases like managing divorce, separation or remarriage
  • concerns with work and career

If you have a mental health illness and you’re unsure whether to see a psychologist or a counsellor, we recommend talking to your GP so that you obtain the best care for you.

4. How long do counselling sessions go for?

Counselling sessions can vary in duration, but typically go for 45-75 minutes.

5. Can couples attend the same counselling appointment?

Yes, they can. Be sure to book into a couple’s counselling session using the listings above.

6. If I’m having problems in my marriage, can I see a counsellor by myself?

You can still have productive individual counselling sessions that address your marital concerns and issues.

If you and your counsellor feel your sessions have naturally progressed to a point where you could benefit from marriage/couple’s counselling – i.e. your partner attending – then you this can be discussed at this stage.

7. I’m nervous about opening up to a stranger. What if I don’t like my counselling appointment?

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous or unsure prior to your first counselling session. Sometimes it takes a lot of energy and will power to take that first step and book in with a counsellor, but it takes even more determination to see it through! We understand that and so will your counsellor. A good counsellor will ensure you feel comfortable, but if you are particularly nervous or concerned, let your counsellor know from the outset.

It’s also not uncommon for some people to take a session or two before they feel comfortable opening up. If that’s you, don’t worry – this is some heavy duty, personal stuff you are sharing and being apprehensive is normal. Having said that, if you feel like the fit just isn’t right between you and your counsellor, then it might be time to see a different practitioner.

8. Are counselling appointments in Melbourne covered by Medicare?

If you have a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP), you might be able to access rebates through Medicare or pay a small gap fee at some counselling practices for your sessions. Having a MHCP entitles you to Medicare rebates for up to 6 counselling appointments. If you need further sessions, you will need to visit your GP for reassessment, at which point you may be entitled to a further four sessions (maximum of 10 sessions of counselling per year).

As Medicare doesn’t provide rebates for all counsellors, it’s best to contact your counsellor of choice directly to determine whether this applies to you.

9. Do counsellors require a Mental Health Care Plan from my doctor?

No, they don’t need to have a MHCP to see you. This is good because:

  • some clients prefer not to have their concerns and issues documented in such a way
  • there are certain requirements, like time diagnosed with a mental health disorder, that need to be met for your doctor to create a MHCP. If you want to see a counsellor for short term, immediate issues like grief and bereavement for example, it wouldn’t make sense to need to have a MHCP in place as it would delay your access to a counsellor

10. Are counselling appointments covered by my private health insurer?

Your counselling sessions might be entitled to a partial rebate depending on your level of cover and choice of fund. We recommend that you contact your private health fund directly for advice pertaining to your policy.

11. How much does it cost to see a counsellor in Australia?

In Australia, rates for counsellors vary depending on the type of counselling you require, the location or city in which you live, and a few other factors. You’ll find that the prices for counsellors in Melbourne usually varies from $85 to $185 per hour. Do check if your health plan covers fees before making a booking.

12. How do I find a therapist or counsellor?

If you are looking for counsellors in Melbourne, you can start right here. Our listing of Melbourne counselling services offers you a wide range of therapists to choose from. You can read profiles, see where they are located, get an idea of their charges, and see the services they offer.

13. What should I not tell my therapist?

If you decide to book counselling in Melbourne, you should go with an open mind and be prepared to disclose many of your most private thoughts. A counsellor is an impartial observer who is qualified to examine your mental and emotional health and help you work on any thought or behaviour patterns that you want to change. They cannot do that if you withhold information from them.

Do remember that counsellors in Melbourne are bound to protect your privacy so you can be honest without fear. A trusting relationship between you and your counsellor is the only way that you will be able to make progress.

14. What are the three types of therapy?

Counsellors in Melbourne use many different types of therapy depending on the individual and the situation. The therapy that is chosen will be discussed with you after analysis and will only begin with your permission.

The most popular types of therapy are:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also known as CBT. It involves identifying harmful patterns of behaviour, understanding where they stem from, and developing a healthier way of dealing with the specific person, emotion or situation that causes damage.

Schema therapy works on the fixed ideas that the client has developed over the course of their lives that are not working in their favour any more. A schema usually develops in childhood after a parent, sibling, teacher, relative or friend has said something to the client about their nature. A trained professional can help you identify the root of the schemas that you harbour and help you see how this does not have to define you.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy is an approach that helps you understand why you may be having recurring issues in your relationships with people. The counsellor will delve into your own personality so you can understand how to form deeper and more positive relationships with your partner, family, friends and work colleagues.

There are many other types of therapy that you may find when researching counselling in Melbourne. This is something that you do not need to decide by yourself. When you attend your first consultation, you can discuss the course of therapy and the timelines that you can expect. All Melbourne counselling services use therapies that are backed by solid research.

15. How do I choose the right counsellor?

Identifying that you want to begin counselling is a big step in itself. Congratulations for that!

The next step is to choose from all the professionals who offer counselling in Melbourne and decide on the one that is right for you. You can do that right here on our site.

Browse through our list of Melbourne counselling services and look for one who is located close to you. If you are going to commit to regular sessions with a counsellor, it should be easy to get to and from your sessions.

The next step is to set up your first appointment. You can check availability of counsellors in Melbourne on our site and schedule an appointment that suits you.

When you meet your therapist, take some time to explain what you want out of the sessions and why you’re there. Do ask how long they think you should attend sessions so that your expectations are aligned.

16. How much does it cost to see a counsellor in Australia?

In Australia, rates for counsellors vary depending on the type of counselling you require, the location or city in which you live, and a few other factors. You’ll find that the prices for counsellors in Melbourne usually varies from $85 to $185 per hour. Do check if your health plan covers fees before making a booking.

17. How do I find a therapist or counsellor?

If you are looking for counsellors in Melbourne, you can start right here. Our listing of Melbourne counselling services offers you a wide range of therapists to choose from. You can read profiles, see where they are located, get an idea of their charges, and see the services they offer. You might also like to book a counselor online

18. What should I not tell my therapist?

If you decide to book counselling in Melbourne, you should go with an open mind and be prepared to disclose many of your most private thoughts. A counsellor is an impartial observer who is qualified to examine your mental and emotional health and help you work on any thought or behaviour patterns that you want to change. They cannot do that if you withhold information from them. Read more about the myths surrounding mental health.

Do remember that counsellors in Melbourne are bound to protect your privacy so you can be honest without fear. A trusting relationship between you and your counsellor is the only way that you will be able to make progress

19. What are the three types of therapy?

Counsellors in Melbourne use many different types of therapy depending on the individual and the situation. The therapy that is chosen will be discussed with you after analysis and will only begin with your permission.

The most popular types of therapy are:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also known as CBT. It involves identifying harmful patterns of behaviour, understanding where they stem from, and developing a healthier way of dealing with the specific person, emotion or situation that causes damage.
  • Schema therapy works on the fixed ideas that the client has developed over the course of their lives that are not working in their favour any more. A schema usually develops in childhood after a parent, sibling, teacher, relative or friend has said something to the client about their nature. A trained professional can help you identify the root of the schemas that you harbour and help you see how this does not have to define you.
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy is an approach that helps you understand why you may be having recurring issues in your relationships with people. The counsellor will delve into your own personality so you can understand how to form deeper and more positive relationships with your partner, family, friends and work colleagues.

There are many other types of therapy that you may find when researching counselling in Melbourne. This is something that you do not need to decide by yourself. When you attend your first consultation, you can discuss the course of therapy and the timelines that you can expect. All Melbourne counselling services use therapies that are backed by solid research

20. How do I choose the right counsellor?

Identifying that you want to begin counselling is a big step in itself. Congratulations for that!

The next step is to choose from all the professionals who offer counselling in Melbourne and decide on the one that is right for you. You can do that right here on our site.

Browse through our list of Melbourne counselling services and look for one who is located close to you. If you are going to commit to regular sessions with a counsellor, it should be easy to get to and from your sessions.

The next step is to set up your first appointment. You can check availability of counsellors in Melbourne on our site and schedule an appointment that suits you.  We have also got you covered if you’re looking for a counsellor in Sydney

When you meet your therapist, take some time to explain what you want out of the sessions and why you’re there. Do ask how long they think you should attend sessions so that your expectations are aligned.