Frequently Asked Questions

Finding a psychologist and starting psychological treatment can be a very daunting experience, particularly if it is your first time.

To help you out we have answered a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the therapy process.

If you have a question we haven't managed to answer, please call 9876 1800 or email or fill in an enquiry form using the button below.

How much does it cost to see a psychologist?

Please see our Fees + Rebates page »

What will the first session be like?

Expect to feel nervous and scared but maybe also a little relieved at finally seeking help.

Before therapy can begin there are some housekeeping forms that need to be filled in.  Feel free to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee to help you get through them.  First there is a form with some basic information (you’ve done similar before at a doctor’s, gym or yoga class), and you may also be asked to complete some short questionnaires. 

At the start of the session your psychologist will go through the Bridge Street Psychology Privacy Policy (we treat confidentiality and your privacy very seriously) and answer any questions you might have. Sometimes the first session may take a little longer, but subsequent sessions are fifty minutes. We try to keep to time diligently to respect all our clients.

After this necessary paperwork, your psychologist will get to know you better by gathering a comprehensive history and finding out what brings you to therapy.  This may include information about your health, nutrition, exercise, family life, friends, work, education, goals, and worries and fears. This is your time to be as open and honest as you can, but don’t worry your psychologist will guide you.

what’s involved in a typical psychological session?

After the first session, ongoing sessions are very reliant on you and what you are seeking. But our psychologists believe in active therapy and will discuss with you practice, experiments, and activities you can do between sessions to enhance your therapy.

Please see About Us to learn more about your chosen psychologist and their particular style of therapy.

What sort of therapies do you use?

Please see our Therapies page »

how long will each session last?

Unless otherwise specified, all sessions are 50 minutes long.

Do you treat young children?

Both Rose and Jodi only see clients older than 10 years old. Rowena is happy to treat children from 3 years and up.

how many sessions will I need?

Therapy is a very personal journey and is largely dependent on why you are seeking help and what you are hoping to get out of therapy.

We know that budgeting for treatment can be difficult; therefore, we aim to work with the minimum amount of sessions necessary to reach your goals. Throughout treatment we rely on communication with you to see how you are progressing, alongside our own observations and measures. When the time comes, we will discuss ending therapy together and may put in place maintenance sessions to check in occasionally.

Are you wheelchair friendly?

Unfortunately, we are located on the first floor of an old building. The only way to access the practice on the first floor is via stairs. As such, we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs.

what happens if i don’t feel like the psychologist i saw was the right fit for me?

At Bridge Street Psychology we understand and value the importance of finding someone you connect with.

If you do not feel comfortable with your psychologist we encourage you to speak about it with your psychologist. Sometimes these discussions may feel confronting or uncomfortable, but we believe discussions of this nature are important and we are open to feedback about the way we work.

Please let your psychologist know you are looking for something different and they will be happy to work with you to change their treatment style or to help you find someone who may be a better match for you.

what is the difference between a psychologist, a psychiatrist and a counsellor?

Psychologists are registered health professionals who work in a range of areas including clinical neuropsychology; clinical; community; counselling; educational and developmental; forensic; health; and sports, performance and exercise. In Australia, ‘psychologist’ is a protected term, requiring those who use it to have registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. To become a registered psychologist you must undertake an undergraduate degree, an Honours degree and at least two years of supervised training and/or postgraduate education in the field of psychology (either a Masters or Doctorate).

Psychologists assist people with everyday concerns as well as serious mental health issues. Psychologists use ‘talk therapies’ to help people to develop skills to cope with their difficulties and to prevent on-going issues. There are a large number of research studies supporting the effectiveness of psychological therapy.

Being registered means psychologists must adhere to the regulatory standards and ongoing education requirements as set by the Psychology Board of Australia. This is a vital mechanism to ensure safety for clients and the public. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is the mechanism for members of the public to make a complaint about a psychologist if they believe a practitioner's behaviour is placing the public at risk; a practitioner is practicing their profession in an unsafe way; or a practitioner's ability to make safe judgements about their patients might be impaired because of their health.

Psychiatrists have completed a medical degree and further training related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists are also registered professionals. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and their treatment protocol is most often to prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with psychological therapy.

Counsellors can come from a broad range of training and backgrounds. Currently in Australia the term ‘counsellor’ is not protected. This means that anyone can refer to themselves as a counsellor. However, many counsellors have undertaken training and education in educational settings, ranging from Diplomas to Masters degrees. An organisation called the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) has also been set up to protect the standards and ethical training of the counselling profession.

My gp told me I had to see a clinical psychologist, aren’t all psychologists clinical psychologists?

There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about psychologists, which can often lead to confusion when you are trying to find the right psychologist for you.

The most important aspect of your treatment is that you feel comfortable with your chosen psychologist. As such, whilst your GP may recommend someone to you, and provide you with a referral to that psychologist, you have the right to choose your own psychologist and can use that referral with the psychologist of your choice.

All psychologists are registered psychologists.

Psychologists working in clinical settings, like Bridge Street Psychology, are often called clinicians. This may be why many believe psychologists are also clinical psychologists.

Some psychologists have focused on treating specific symptoms (like trauma), age groups (like young children) or circumstances (like military personnel) when they started working and they can be very experienced in those areas. Some psychologists have completed further study and supervision and gained endorsement in specific areas: clinical neuropsychology; clinical; community; counselling; educational and developmental; forensic; health; and sports, performance and exercise. A Clinical Psychologist is the term given to a psychologist who has completed further study via a clinical masters and gained endorsement via supervision of their practice.

If your psychologist believes your symptoms and situation will be better treated by another psychologist, they will refer you to a psychologist for your specific issue. This may be either to a psychologist with experience treating symptoms such as yours or an endorsed psychologist with understanding of your symptoms.

Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to get started with one of our psychologists, you can either contact us directly on 9876 1800 or fill in our Make an Appointment form via the button below.