(also known as eCounselling)
It's good to talk!
Today's Psychology uses currently available technology to provide support for long-distance psychological care, known as Telehealth (also known as eCounselling), by providing therapy through a live online video connection over the internet or offering sessions via phone.
It is important to note that this service is only for non-emergency related mental health issues, family and relationship issues, general wellbeing and self-care.
Providing Telehealth since 2017
We have been providing Telehealth support for remote, rural and regional people since 2017. We have also been able to use Telehealth to support FIFO clients and clients who travel interstate and overseas who do not want their psychological care disrupted. Telehealth enables psychological care to continue between the practitioner and client whether clients are in the same state or not, or even the same country.
During the COVID19 emergency, it is particularly important to ensure that we can continue to take care of the psychological wellbeing of our community during the current pandemic associated with physical distancing.
In supporting good psychological care and reducing risk to you and us, during COVID19 we are utilizing technology at a greater level to provide Telehealth therapy sessions to more people, regardless of where they live.
During COVID19, we are offering most of our appointments via Telehealth. We understand that Telehealth may not be the usual way you engage with therapy and it is normal to have concerns and questions about how it might work for you.
What is Telehealth?
With Telehealth, you receive the same treatment as you would in face-to-face sessions, we just provide it through the use of technology.
Telehealth sessions are going to feel different to face to face sessions and may be a little awkward at first. Feeling uncomfortable is normal and to be expected when we do something new for the first time, however, it will likely get easier as you go.
The best results will come if you treat your Telehealth session just like any other session you have with your therapist. So, get dressed and treat it as a normal appointment! This helpful way of thinking applies to what you focus on in Telehealth sessions as well.
How does Telehealth work?
You have an option to receive a telephone call or a video call from your therapist. If you have booked a Telehealth appointment, your therapist will call you at your appointment time from a private number. If you don’t answer, we will try to call you several times within the first 15minutes of your appointment. If you do not answer during this time, we will determine this to be a missed appointment and we will implement our missed appointments policy.
These Telehealth arrangements for people in our local community are specifically in place for coping with COVID19. Once we are through this emergency, your therapy sessions will go back to face to face.
What can I use Telehealth services for?
Your regular counselling and psychological services, including individual sessions for adults, youth, parents and couples. For parents and couples, we ask that you are at the same location when starting the video conferencing call.
What should Telehealth services not be used for?
It's difficult to facilitate play therapy with children as a primary therapeutic process. However, your child therapy clinician can still make sessions child-focused and interactive.
Psychological assessments and testing are much better performed in a face to face situation.
Acute and emergency issues such as suicidal behaviour and self-harming are not considered to be suitable for Telehealth service delivery.
Can I access Telehealth services when I am travelling?
if you have internet or telephone reception, your therapy sessions can continue as normal.
How can I prepare for my Telehealth therapy session?
Ensure you have provided consent to engage in Telehealth services by agreeing to and signing our Telehealth Consent Form – this form outlines the risks and benefits for Telehealth to ensure you are fully aware of how these sessions work.
Practice acceptance – Telehealth may not be your usual way of connecting with your therapist.
It's important to get your head in the game – be dressed, showered and have eaten prior to your appointment – prepare for your Telehealth session in the same way you would for your face-to-face therapy session.
Spend 10-15 minutes before your appointment thinking about what you want to talk about during your appointment – maybe write a few thoughts down.
Make sure your technology is charged and functional at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
Be sure to close email and any applications that give you notifications.
Ensure that you are in a quiet, secure location where you cannot be overheard or interrupted.
Have a secondary method of contact – just in case we have technological difficulties or your phone drops out.
Have a pen and paper at hand for taking notes during your session.
After your Telehealth therapy session
For a face-to-face appointment, you spend time travelling after your appointment – this gives you time to consolidate. After your Telehealth appointment, be aware of switching off. Go outside, water the garden, spend some time with your pet, go for a walk, work on a puzzle, do your shopping – whatever will help you to switch out of your appointment thinking and get your back into your usual life.
How can I prepare for a child's Telehealth therapy session?
Your child's therapist may also suggest that drawing, craft supplies, fidgets or other therapeutic items are available to your child for their session.
How do I pay for Telehealth services?
During COVID19, the Australian Government has allowed standard psychological therapy sessions to be eligible for a Medicare rebate in the same way face to face therapy sessions are rebated with a current valid doctor’s referral. Prior to COVID19, this arrangement was only available to people in remote and rural locations.
Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Workcover and most private health funds are also currently supporting Telehealth services for clients during COVID19.
You can pay for Telehealth services by credit card or direct debit prior to the commencement of your therapy session. If you have a valid doctor’s referral, we can email through an invoice for you to claim your rebate through Medicare online through the Services Australia website.