A psychologist is someone who has trained extensively in human behaviour, learning, emotions and mental processes. In Australia, a registered psychologist has completed a minimum of 6 years of university training and a number of supervised practicums. Psychologists can assess you for specific disorders as identified in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and provide evidence-based treatments for these disorders as well as general life difficulties that cause distress.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a counsellor?
A psychologist has undertaken a rigorous course of study over a minimum of 6 years in order to develop skills in assessment and treatment of clinical disorders, as outlined in DSM-V, as well as improving human functioning in the face of general difficulties such as loss of a job or divorce. Counsellors, who are often engaged over a short period of time to address a specific problem, can practice after training for as little as a couple of weeks. In Australia, the practice of psychology is heavily regulated whereas the counselling industry is not subject to the same level of regulation or scrutiny.
Can a psychologist prescribe medication?
No, whilst a GP or a psychiatrist may prescribe medication, a psychologist cannot. If Carolyn feels medication is required as part of a complete treatment programme for a particular client, she will defer to a GP or psychiatrist for prescribing.
What conditions does Carolyn treat?
Carolyn treats clients struggling to deal with specific life stressors such as grief, relationship breakdowns or issues at work, people with psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and phobias and anyone who is struggling to pinpoint why life is not as easy as it should be and are looking to build an improved sense of well-being. Refer to the Services page for more specific details on the types of situations in which Carolyn’s services would be of benefit.
Who does Carolyn work with?
Carolyn works with teenagers, adults, older adults and couples with her youngest clients aged 15 and oldest over 80 years of age. Carolyn treats both males and females and, whilst she has extensive experience working through relationship problems, most of her clients seek her support on an individual, as opposed to a family unit, basis.
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
Whilst you don’t need a doctor’s referral to book an appointment, you will need one to be eligible for a Medicare rebate. If you would prefer not to obtain a referral, you may still be eligible for a rebate from your private health insurance provider depending on your cover.
How are Medicare and Private Health Fund rebates claimed?
The admin staff at the Balwyn Medical Hub will lodge rebate claims on your behalf at the time of payment which occurs after your session. If you have a doctor’s referral, you will be eligible for a Medicare rebate of which you can claim up to 10 per calendar year. You may also be eligible for additional Medicare rebates if you have mental health care plan with your GP.
Are my sessions confidential?
As a registered general psychologist, Carolyn is bound by confidentiality under the Psychology Board of Australia’s code of ethics. All comments, testing results, opinions and feelings shared within sessions are for assessment of the problem and treatment only and are held in the strictest of confidence.
The only times confidentiality codes may vary is if it becomes evident that the client, or a specifically identified other person, is at risk of imminent danger or if a court or judge subpoena your file.
Will Carolyn be the right psychologist for me?
The client-therapist fit is an important contributing factor in your ability to meet your psychological goals. Within the first couple of sessions, you and Carolyn should be able to determine whether you are well suited to work through your challenges together.
If this is the first time you are accessing psychological support, you may need to be prepared to meet with more than one psychologist. Whilst Carolyn is experienced dealing with many different clients across all walks of life, should you and Carolyn mutually agree that you would be better suited to an alternative therapist, she can draw on her extensive network to refer you to a suitable colleague.
Where is Carolyn located?
Carolyn’s rooms are located at the Balwyn Medical Hub, 55 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn 3103 (refer to the Contact page for a map). Parking is available underneath the building, which can be accessed by a lane off Pretoria Street, or in the surrounding streets. The Balwyn Medical Hub can also be accessed by tram (the 109 along Whitehorse Road or the 72 along Burke Road).
How can I book an appointment?
You can phone to book an appointment between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday or 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Appointments with Carolyn are offered Monday to Thursday with late appointments available on Monday-Wednesday and early appointments on Thursdays.