Many times I am asked if my services are rebatable and, am I part of the Allied Health Scheme.
The concept of receiving 6 sessions free, from a psychologist referred by a GP, is very tempting because of the obvious financial saving.There is also an expectation, that after seeing a psychologist for six sessions, somehow all issues will be resolved and the client will be “fixed”.
Well here are some things to consider:
I did not do a Psychology degree simply because I am not a scientist. My interest is with people so I did my psychology subjects within my Bachelor of Arts degree.I use the research that psychologists undertake and the most important, proven research is that the most significant element in therapeutic work is the strength of the relationship. It really doesn’t matter whether you are called Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Counsellor. What matters is that you are seeing someone educated and skilled and someone who is required to practice under the code and requirements of a professional body.What also matters is that you feel comfortable to share your story with your therapist – no matter what qualification they have.
When you go into see your GP, you are us usually referred to a Psychologist, who is rebatable as they are an Allied Health Worker. GP’s need to do paperwork in this regard and the referral is noted in your file. When you see a Psychotherapist or Counsellor,you are the one with the choice – you do not have to see your GP. You are in control of choosing the right therapist for you.
Once you are part of The Allied Health Scheme, a “treatment plan” is devised.This, to me, is a one size fits all approach. When a client seeks out a Counsellor or Psychotherapist they are in a crisis or some type of emotional pain. A skilled therapist will sit with you and go at your speed, assisting in understanding current behaviours that are keeping you stuck.Psychotherapists and Counsellors are not required to adhere to a six week course of therapy.Your therapy might take two or three sessions or might take years.There is no pressure on you to “be better” in six weeks, nor is there pressure on the therapist to “make you better” in the allotted time. The therapy is about you and your specific issue….not about satisfying the requirements of a “treatment plan”.
The Allied Health Scheme does not include couples or families. Many time I see a client who brings a problem, and after further discussion, it is evident that the problem is part of a bigger picture. Once again, you do not have to go through a GP to find a suitable therapist for couples and families – you choose…..
So…no..Psychotherapists and Counsellors are not rebatable YET offer a skilled personal service tailored to the needs of each individual. So next time you are tempted to engage in the Allied Health Scheme ask yourself is that what you really want out of your therapeutic experience?
Let me know your experience of therapy and what was the most significant factor for you.