Frequently Asked Questions
Why does FSA Psychology charge fees?
FSA Psychology is a long-standing provider of quality mental health services and psychology supports to the community of the Illawarra. With services commencing in 2012 as Warehouse One7, there has not been the consistent external funding available to cover the gap in service costs created by use of Medicare's Better Access scheme. As such, fees for our services are necessary to ensure the ongoing sustainability of this program.
How do I know if my referral is appropriate for FSA Psychology?
When you make an inquiry to FSA Psychology, you will be sent an Intake Form which will ask you to complete information about your support needs and what you are hoping to get assistance with. Should your needs be better serviced by a specialised provider (e.g., a program that offers post-separation specific counselling to families), or falls outside of our capacity to respond (e.g., a referral for crisis support) we will advise you as soon as possible after receving your completed intake form and direct you to more appropriate options.
What happens in a session with a Psychologist?
Psychological therapy and counselling services are generally targeted at identifying problematic patterns or behaviours in a person's life and working together to change these. Sometimes, therapy may be focused on processing difficult events or trauma that may be preventing someone from living their lives to the fullest. Each psychologist will have their own unique approach to working, and may choose to develop skills in certain areas of practice or techniques. All Psychologists are required to meet annual training and supervision targets to ensure they are practicing in line with the latest evidence and in line with the Australian Psychological Society's Code of Ethics.
Sessions with a Psychologist are confidential in nature (with some exceptions that your allocated Psychologist will always discuss with you), and should feel like a safe and comfortable space. Your psychologist will gather information about your current concerns and discuss your goals for support with you. If something about your sessions or the match with your psychologist is not working for you, you can let them know and this can be worked through to ensure you are receiving a good 'fit' for support.
What should I expect if referring my child for therapy?
Children and young people being referred to a psychologist require consent to treatment from a parent or legal guardian, particularly if below the medico-legal age of consent (14 years).
In order to inform what the young person requires from their engagement with a psychologist, the parent(s) or guardian(s) will need to attend the initial session and may be requested to join future sessions depending on the nature of the referral.
Most evidence-based interventions for children and young people involve a component of parent / caregiver participation and as such it is likely you will be part of sessions along the way. Your child's psychologist will also provide you with any practice materials for home.
Children and young people are still entitled to confidentiality and privacy of treatment (with exceptions relating to safety concerns; child protection and mandatory reporting; and legal requests for information). As such, not all information in your child's psychology session may be shared with you.
What is your cancellation policy?
FSA Health & Wellbeing’s services, including FSA Psychology, are primarily Fee based due to a lack of external funding to provide ongoing sustainability. As such, we are required to enforce cancellation fees where appointments are not attended or where short notice is provided.
Appointment reminders are routinely sent via SMS and Email in the lead up to an appointment booking and allow for 48 hours’ notice of cancellation. Cancellation requests can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org; by calling our reception on 1800 372 000 (option 2); or by responding to the SMS reminder message.
FSA Health & Wellbeing’s cancellation policy is as follows:
The first late cancellation will be waived. This will only apply to the first instance of a late cancellation.
Where cancellation is received with less than 48 hours’ notice, 50% of your session fee will be charged.
Where cancellation is received with less than 24 hours’ notice or you do not show to your appointment, the full amount (i.e., 100%) of your session fee will be charged.
Your securely stored debit or credit card will be charged the relevant fee. You will be emailed a receipt following being charged. If you would prefer to pay over the phone or in person, you are required to contact our office prior to the end of the scheduled appointment to arrange your preferred payment. In some cases, future appointments will not be booked until the fee has been paid.
Is FSA Psychology a registered NDIS Provider?
FSA Health & Wellbeing and its programs are not registered as a Provider with NDIS. This means that we can provide psychology and counselling services to clients who are self-managed or plan-managed only.
Can I only have 10 sessions each year?
If you are accessing a Medicare rebate for psychology sessions through a Mental Health Treatment Plan, you are entitled to 10 subsidised sessions per calendar year. Generally, a referring GP will provide an initial six sessions, after which time your treating practitioner will report back and then request additional sessions if necessary.
If you have claimed all 10 sessions within a calendar year, you can continue to see your allocated Psychologist at FSA Psychology that year but will need to cover the full cost of the session. You may also be able to claim part of your fee back with Private Health Insurance if you have this cover (please check with your Health Fund).
More information about the Medicare Better Access Scheme and referrals can be found here.
I'm unable to attend my session in person, but don't want to miss my appointment. Can I do my session via video or over the phone?
Yes, telehealth options for Psychology sessions are available at FSA Psychology. Since 2020, Medicare rebates have also been available to claim for telehealth sessions, meaning you can continue to access your rebate even if not attending a session in-person.
Telehealth sessions can be provided over the phone or using Microsoft Teams. If you are attending via Telehealth, your Psychologist will arrange contact.
Can I ask for a copy of my records?
Under the Privacy Act 1988 (Federal), a patient of any health professional can request a copy of their records. This also applies to the parent or legal guardian requesting records for their child (where their child is below the medico-legal age of consent).
Access to a full record can be denied when:
the entity providing health services believes that giving access to these records would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or public safety; or
giving access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals; or
the request for access is vexatious or frivolous; or
the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between the entity and the patient, and would not be accessible by the process of discovery in these proceedings; or
giving access would prejudice any negotiations between the entity and the patient; or
giving access would be unlawful; or
denying access is required by Australian law or a court/tribunal order; or
giving access would prejudice law enforcement activities; or
giving access would reveal commercially sensitive information.
Where a request for records is deemed appropriate, access to this information must be provided in a reasonable time frame. FSA Health & Wellbeing will request the signature of the consenting party before records are released, and will offer the opportunity for the patient, parent, or caregiver to meet with a service manager and/or the clinician (where they are still with the Company) to go through the content of the records.
Where there are grounds to refuse release of a record, a written notice will be provided explaining why this request has been denied. This notice will outline mechanisms to make a complaint, and also outline other ways that information can be provided (e.g., through a subpoena; or via a written summary of treatment).
You've offered me an appointment with a Provisional Psychologist, but I'm unsure what that means. What service will I receive if I see a Provisional Psychologist?
FSA Health & Wellbeing is a proud provider of training and internship opportunities for allied health workers. We have partnerships with various universities, including University of Wollongong, La Trobe University, and University of Western Sydney, and regularly take on Provisional Psychologists who are completing their Masters placement and further internship hours.
The Provisional Psychologists on our team have undergone 5-6 years of training and will become fully registered Psychologists upon completion of their internship hours. The internship process is highly intensive, requiring weekly supervision relating to practice with an experienced AHPRA approved supervisor; completion of observational tasks and written assignments; and sitting the National Psychology Examination. Each Provisional Psychologist must complete a standard number of practice and supervision hours, plus additional training and development hours. The Provisional Psychologists at FSA Health & Wellbeing are closely supervised and supported by our Clinical Lead and Service Manager to ensure quality of care and training.
A GP referral is not required to see a Provisional Psychologist as they do not yet have their Medicare provider numbers. As such, there is no limit to session numbers. Fees for Provisional Psychologists can be found on our website https://www.fsahealthwellbeing.org.au/fsapsychology. There is also often a shorter wait time for appointments with a Provisional Psychologist. Should your case be allocated to a Provisional Psychologist, it will be done with careful review and consideration from our Clinical Lead to ensure the best fit. If our Clinical Lead deems a referral too complex for the skillset of our Provisional Psychologists then it will generally be referred on to one of our Registered or Clinical Psychologists instead.