From Monday 30 March 2020 until 30 September 2020 all Australians are eligible to receive a rebate from Medicare for psychological services delivered via Telehealth (i.e., videoconference or telephone). Rebates are available for clients referred by their GP or Psychiatrist under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Scheme.
What is the Difference between Face-to-Face and Online Therapy?
- With therapy online (either via the internet or over the phone) it is important to create a private, comfortable and safe space that can be shared just between you and your psychologist. Please feel free to discuss how to do this with your psychologist so that you can get the most out of your sessions.
- Therapy online can be just as personal as it is face to face, however, there are some important things to consider prior to your first appointment so that you get the most from your Telehealth appointment.
How do I prepare for Online Therapy?
- Therapy sessions require privacy and confidentiality. Without this, we cannot feel safe enough to talk deeply, feel and notice emotions.
- Find a private space where you can speak comfortably and freely. Ensure that you can be in a room on your own with the door closed and that you will not be disturbed. If possible, try to arrange your appointment time when you are alone at home or work.
- Consider what you might need to make yourself comfortable, e.g., glass of water or a cup of tea, a box of tissues, or a cushion. It’s important to make yourself comfortable, but to also find a balance between being comfortable, but also feeling alert and attentive.
- When you are at home or at work there are many distractions (e.g., food, people, pets, phones). Please don’t eat during your session and put your mobile phone on silent.
How do I connect to Telehealth Psychology Services?
- Sure Psychology utilises the secure Telehealth platform called Health Direct which is powered by Coviu to deliver Telehealth Psychology Services in accordance with the Australian Psychological Society and Australian Government guidelines.
- Your psychologist will email you a link for each appointment to invite you to use Health Direct. This is a private and confidential virtual clinic for you and your psychologist. When you click on the link, you will be invited to wait in a virtual waiting room until your appointment time. At the time of your appointment, you will appear face to face with your therapist.
- Ensure that you have a good, reliable internet connection. You do not want to spend time during the session trying to reconnect or to wait for buffering. Make sure that your therapist has your best contact phone number on the day of your appointment in case the internet connect is poor.
- It is recommended to use a laptop or a desktop computer for your sessions. Smaller screens are more difficult to use when it comes to speaking face to face for online therapy and can become uncomfortable to hold for the duration of your appointment.
- Place the device you will use on a desk or stable surface and turn all messaging off.
- Ensure that your device is fully charged and/or plugged in.
- It is recommended to use headphones to prevent echoes or distorted sounds.
Where can I find out more Information?
- Psychological services via Telehealth
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