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Online psychotherapy, counselling & hypnotherapy FAQs
Psychotherapy, counselling and hypnotherapy are a mystery to most people. So it’s not surprising you have questions.
Have a browse through the following FAQs. You’re bound to find the answers to your questions. (And if you don’t, please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to chat.)
Why is online therapy better?
In many cases, online counselling is even more effective than face-to-face therapy.
Here are 7 reasons why:
- You can choose the best therapist for your needs, not just the one with a nearby office.
- You can receive your psychotherapy, counselling and even hypnotherapy from the comfort of your own home. No travel time, no traffic or parking worries, no public transport woes, no judgmental receptionists or waiting rooms, and no uncomfortable chairs or too-cold air-conditioning.
- Many people feel safer talking online than talking in person. Opening up and sharing yourself – which are essential for healing – are easier.
- You can get therapy even while travelling (e.g., on a stressful business trip).
- Much easier and less confronting if your needs are linked to physical problems (e.g. surgery, injury, disability, body image issues).
- Generally less time spent on social ‘niceties’ and small talk, and more on resolving your problems.
- Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is a good match for online therapy because it focuses on speech rather than body language. However, Bayside have been providing various psychotherapy and counselling methods both face to face and online, for many years.
But I’m no good with technology. Can I still do online therapy?
Yes. We send you easy-to-follow instructions, and it takes just a few seconds. No technical skills or experience required.
Does online therapy cost more? Do I have to pay for an app or anything?
No. Online therapy doesn’t cost any more. Because it’s a video chat, though, it does use a fair bit of data. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, you should check with your internet service provider (ISP) first.
Are your online sessions secure?
Our therapists use Doxy, Zoom or Skype to conduct online therapy sessions. Skype and Zoom are encrypted. Doxy is encrypted, end-to-end, with state-of-the-art security and encryption protocols.
Can we do it face-to-face or just online?
We do only online therapy, however we hope to re-open face to face options around the end of winter.
Can you help with my problem?
More often than not, yes, we can help. We’ll assess your suitability for therapy during your initial session. If we don’t think we can help (e.g. if we don’t provide the sort of therapy you need or it’s not the right match), we’ll help you find someone better suited to do so.
Isn’t therapy just talking? How can that help?
There’s a big difference between just talking and therapy. Although the methods vary, most therapies uncover your unconscious ideas, conflicts, desires and knowledge. A professional therapist can detect subtle indicators in the things you say, the jokes you make, the way you respond. They can also identify patterns in the way you think, communicate and behave. Just as importantly, having your deepest thoughts understood, validated and interpreted in a safe, healthy, objective environment has been proven to enhance your feelings of security and self-worth.
Are you qualified?
Yes. Each therapist at Bayside Psychotherapy generally has both a university degree and extensive experience working with a wide variety of conditions.
You can visit our therapists page to find out more about our Melbourne psychotherapists and some of the techniques and methods they use.
Each counsellor has access to a network of mental health specialists for purposes of making referrals where applicable, and all undergo regular supervision which is a requirement for them to maintain their registration to practice.
When will I start to feel better?
Some patients start to feel better after just one or two sessions, while others need quite a few more than that. Unfortunately, it is impossible to say, for sure, how long it will take you, without seeing you. It can take one or even a few sessions to get a realistic idea of how long your treatment will take. That’s because treatment efficacy depends on so many variables, such as how ingrained the problematic patterns are, how willing you are to work on your issues, how curious and open you are, which therapist you see and what therapy they use.
It’s understandable that you want to get better fast. But the reality is that pressure to change is more likely to add frustration rather than help your cause. Healing and growth happen at their own pace and it can be unproductive to try and speed up the process.
In our experience, some patients who only receive short-term care can relapse in the future, especially if their symptoms and problems are longstanding.
We’re committed to providing thorough, quality services. We’re with you for the whole journey, for however long it takes. All you have to do is keep turning up and we’ll be there for you.
How often should I do it?
It depends on the therapist and their practice method. The average is weekly, yet some people attend more frequently than that. Others fortnightly.
Your therapist will discuss the question of frequency, and together you’ll choose a frequency that suits your unique circumstances. It’s a collaborative consideration, rather than prescriptive.
We believe lasting change and deep improvements in self-esteem (not some fleeting ‘self-help’ kind of band-aid) generally arises from engaging with frequent, consistent sessions. In general, the more seriously you take the treatment, the more priority you ascribe, the more you’ll benefit.
Will I be criticised, judged or forced to talk about things I don’t want to discuss?
Absolutely not! Our role as your online counsellor is not to judge you or force you to talk about anything you don’t want to discuss. You’re free to share whatever you like, and whatever the topic is you can be assured it will be discussed in a healthy and helpful way.
Of course, treatment isn’t always an effortless or easy process. Anxiety, painful thoughts, sensitive feelings and relationship patterns will surface, but these generally indicate progress and are not something to worry about.
If painful feelings do surface, we can teach you a special mindfulness meditation technique to help you manage your feelings and, in turn, encourage you to explore them. Besides, as the famous analyst Carl Jung says, “you can’t defeat an enemy you don’t know exists”.
Is it confidential?
Definitely! Everything said during your counselling sessions is held in complete confidence. We will never share information about you unless we absolutely have to. (We’re legally required to report risks of suicide, homicide or incidents of child abuse.)
If a family member asks about your therapy, we will speak to you before talking to them. You decide what or how much we should tell them. And if you don’t want them to know anything, we won’t tell them anything (unless there’s a risk of suicide, homicide or child abuse).
What does it cost
When do I pay?
We require full payment in advance of your appointment. If you book online, you’ll be prompted to pay at the same time. If you book over the phone, we’ll process your credit/debit card payment during the call.
However, our psychologist Natalie has a different policy and procedure regarding fees.
Can I get a Medicare rebate?
If your session is with Natalie, and you have a current mental health care plan, you’ll receive a Medicare rebate. We don’t bulk-bill though, so you’ll have to claim the rebate through Medicare yourself. You won’t get a Medicare rebate for sessions with our other therapists.
Can I get a private health fund rebate?
You’ll have to check with your private health fund. Some cover telehealth therapy, but it depends on your level of cover and the therapist you see.
What if I need to cancel my appointment? Do you charge for missed sessions?
Bookings are payable in advance and are non refundable. So if you cancel your session, you’ll still pay for it. You can, however, reschedule a session so long as you give us at least 3 business days’ notice. Of course, we appreciate that exceptional circumstances may arise, but these can only be considered on a case by case basis through a direct discussion with your therapist by phone or during the next online therapy session. Terms and conditions also apply for online bookings.
Can my friend or partner participate?
That is completely up to you, but please discuss with your therapist first. So long as we have sufficient notice and, ideally, can discuss it with you first, it’s usually fine.
Unless you’re receiving psychotherapy. Psychotherapy generally works best when no one else is present. We prefer to focus on you as an individual, and that means being as free as possible from other’s expectations, desires or demands. Regardless of how helpful the other’s contribution might be, personal space and boundaries are critical in psychotherapy.
Despite your conscious intentions, having a partner or friend present could influence what you disclose and censor and lead to subtle (or not so subtle) attempts to please or frustrate the other person (instead of engaging in real therapeutic work).
Where does medication fit in?
You’re in complete control of your treatment process. Some people choose to combine medication and therapy, and that’s okay, as long as it’s been carefully considered with your GP or psychiatrist. We don’t support or advise against medication — we feel it’s something you should discuss with your doctor or psychiatrist.
Can I see another therapist too?
Yes. Although it’s usually most helpful to see one therapist at a time, you’re definitely welcome to see another therapist or professional while receiving treatment from us. We may even recommend a team care plan that involves other specialists. It all depends on your situation.
I’m trying to book online, but can’t find the therapist I want. What should I do?
If you don’t see the therapist you want at our online booking page, please call 03 9557 9113 to make a booking.
What if I’m not in Melbourne?
Because we do online therapy only (not face-to-face), it doesn’t matter where you live. We work with patients all around Australia.
This is an emergency. Can you help me right now?
No. We are not a crisis clinic, and therefore, can’t help you in an emergency.
If you need emergency assistance, please contact Lifeline. They provide free, 24 hour emergency support.
Reception phone hours
8:30am – 5:30am
Monday – Friday
(closed on public holidays)
Choose your own date and time for an online session
- Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
- Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm