Frequently Asked Questions

What is counselling?

Counselling is a process whereby an individual (i.e. the client) seeks the expertise of a mental health professional (i.e. a counsellor / psychotherapist / psychologist / mental health nurse / social worker) to assist with a range of issues that are affecting the person’s mental health and, subsequently, general day-to-day life. Examples of some of these issues include (but are not limited to) stress, abuse, domestic violence, relationship / marriage problems, depression, anxiety, problems in the workplace, financial difficulties etc. 

What is the role of a counsellor?

Contrary to popular belief, counsellors are not meant to give advice. An effective counsellor listens to the client and provides guidance, feedback and strategies to assist the client in empowering themselves, thus improving their mental health, and hence, lifestyle. Counsellors provide clients with different perspectives on their problems and offer constructive solutions. It is ultimately the client’s decision as to which pathway they chose to embark on.

What are the qualifications of the counsellors at DJL Consultancy?

All our counsellors at DJL Consultancy are tertiary qualified. The minimum qualification held by all the counsellors at our practice are a Masters Degree in Counselling / Psychology from a recognized Australian University.

 

In addition, all our counselling practitioners are registered with, and abide by, the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics. To view this, please click here

Are my counselling sessions confidential?

Yes. Each and every session you have with your counsellor remains private and confidential and abides by the Australian Counselling Association Code of Ethics (pages 8-9) for Australian clinical counsellors.

 

The exceptions and limitations to this confidentiality are:

 

·      If the client gives written consent for information to be shared with specified parties,

·      If there is an immediate risk of harm to an identifiable person’s safety,

·      If there is an immediate risk of harm to the client, or

·      If a client’s case file is subpoenaed by law.

 

At DJL Consultancy you will be asked to sign 2 forms at the commencement of your first session:

 

1) A Confidentiality Agreement Form that states all of the above.

2) The Client Consent Form provides you with information about our practice, our policies, and alloews us to contact a nominated person in the case of an emergency. If you have been referred by an external practitioner (e.g. GP, school counsellor etc.), this will allow our counsellors to exchange relevant information with your referring practitioner, where relevant.

What is involved in each counselling session?

The topics of each counselling session vary according to the individual client and presenting problem/s. The initial consultation (first session) is a general get-to-know-each-other one where the counsellor conducts an initial assessment of the client, gets a description and history of the client’s presenting problem/s. The counsellor will then conduct some initial treatment planning. This is also an opportunity for the formation of a mutual connection; for the client to ask the counsellor questions and ascertain if he / she is comfortable working in a therapeutic relationship with the counsellor. This is important for the client because each counsellor is unique in her / his characteristics and personality and whilst a counsellor may bond and connect exceptionally well with one client, this may not be so with a different client.

 

It is important for you, the client, to talk to your counsellor about what you hope to achieve so you can set goals together and measure your progress along the way.

 

The content of subsequent counselling sessions (also referred to as ‘standard consultations’) may then involve assessment and diagnosis, supportive counselling, treatment and/or therapy for the problems presented. This may include discussion, testing, experimenting with new behaviours, or other relevant activities that will vary and be determined by your individual needs. You may sometimes be asked to do some homework tasks / assignments between visits and family members may also be involved in sessions if this is something you would find helpful.

How long does each appointment last?

In general, the duration of each counselling session / appointment is 1 hour. This includes approximately 50 minutes of counselling therapy time and 10 minutes at the end to wrap up the session, make subsequent appointments and answer any questions.

 

In exceptional circumstances, we do hold extended sessions that last for a maximum of 2 hours each. This is, of course, subject to the client’s request and approval. Our counsellors will inform the client if they feel this is the best option for them.

How many appointments will I need?

There is no set answer to this. Everyone’s problems, symptoms, concerns, and subsequent treatment, is different. The number of appointments you might need will depend on several factors. You may have complicated issues, or a relatively straight-forward problem that you want to address. Quite often, two sessions are sufficient to provide appropriate and useful information to straight-forward issues. However, from our experience, most people on average require between three to twelve sessions. Others with more complicated mental health disorders and trauma usually require longer-term support.

 

At DJL Consultancy, we understand that many people may be limited by finances as only a certain number of sessions can be rebated by Medicare or private health insurers. Hence, the approximate number of sessions required will be discussed between you and your counsellor at the first appointment and evaluated at subsequent sessions. Our focus is on helping you balance financial constraints with allowing a realistic time-frame for you to effectively resolve your issues and work towards what you hope to accomplish.

 

Certain therapies (such as Inner Child Therapy (ICT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as examples) may have a set number of sessions so please discuss this with your counsellor or contact us for more information.

What is the cost of each session?

The cost of sessions will depend on several factors:

 

1)    Your financial circumstances – our services are only partially government funded, so out-of-pocket fees are normally charged. However, we do try to make our services as affordable as possible. Our fees are determined on a sliding scale (based on the client's ability to pay) and we offer low-fee counselling services for holders of Pension Cards, Health Care Cards or DVA Cards. When you contact us to book an appointment, we will advise you of the fees payable. Alternatively, please contact us to find out what a session would cost you.

 

2)    Whether you are eligible for private health rebates. Some private health funds offer a rebate for counselling / psychology under their extras cover. The number of rebated sessions and the out of pocket fee will depend on your insurer and the level of cover provided by your insurer. Please contact your health insurance provider for more information.

 

3)    Your ablity to access external funding. Often, we see clients who are funded through external sources such as:

·      Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)

·      WorkSafe (formerly WorkCover)

·      Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA)

·      TAC

·      Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service (VVCS)

·      Carers Victoria

·      Open Place

·      Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Providers

How can I pay for sessions?

The full fee is required to be paid at the end of each session. Payment methods vary according to the method of counselling service you nominate:
 
  • In-person counseling sessions at our office – cash or EFTPOS (savings, cheque and credit accounts accepted).
  • Off-site counselling sessions (at your home, office or nominated location) – cash only.
  • Online (includes Skype, Webminars and online Seminars) counselling sessions – direct transfer of funds into our business account, or PayPal, at least 1 week prior to your appointment.
 
In all cases, we will issue you with a receipt for taxation and other purposes.

What other ways can sessions be funded?

There are many external organisations who will fund counselling sessions, depending on the individual client’s needs and circumstances. Some of these are:

·      Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)

·      WorkSafe (formerly WorkCover)

·      Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA)

·      TAC

·      Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service (VVCS)

·      Carers Victoria

·      Open Place

·      Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Providers

·      Private health insurers

 

We recommend you contact the appropriate agency to make inquiries and see where you stand.

Is there an after-hours fee surcharge?

No. At DJL Consultancy, we understand that most of our clients work normal hours so we conduct most of our appointments after-hours (between 5pm to 10pm) on weekdays and on weekends. We do not have a surcharge for after-hours or weekend appointments. You will only be charged the normal hourly counselling rate.

Do you charge a late cancellation fee?

Yes. We require at least 24-hours notice for cancellation of appointments. This policy applies to all sessions. If you do not give us at least 24 hours notice to cancel or reschedule an appointment or fail to attend this appointment, the full session fee will be charged. If your sessions are funded under an EAP program you may lose one of your allocated sessions. This fee is entirely your responsibility and must be payable before your next appointment.

 

If you have given permission for text messages to be sent to your mobile phone, you will receive an appointment reminder at least 1 or 2 days prior to your scheduled appointment, allowing you sufficient time to reschedule your appointment if needed.

 

We ask that you be considerate and remember that we have many clients on our waiting lists and therefore need sufficient time to offer them any cancelled appointments.

 

* In exceptional circumstances, we may exclude this in incidences of medical emergencies, unforeseen accidents and sudden deaths.

Book & Publications

Webinar and eBook

My Nine Lives

A Psychotherapist's Journey From Victim to Survivor

“Thanks to all the special people in my life, especially my clients, who have inspired me to help and inspire others by penning my personal journey into a memoir. This book is dedicated to all of you.”

Dr. Jane Leigh
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Webinar and eBook