New Online Therapy Sessions at The Bondi Psychologist
We are switching to online therapy sessions. The coronavirus has thrown the world into turmoil, and we understand what a challenging time this is.
When fear and worry are widespread, it becomes so very important to be mindful of your mental health. At The Bondi Psychologist, we are putting measures in place so that we can continue to support you through this crisis.
As mental health professionals, we are very appreciative of the recent changes the government has introduced that will enable more people to access virtual psychology services. Mental health care is now more important than ever.
Online Psychology Sessions Are Now Eligible for the Medicare Rebate
This is fantastic news and will enable many more people to access virtual therapy during this time of social distancing and self-isolating. (Previously, if you wanted virtual therapy you had to pay in full.)
You can now claim a Medicare rebate for virtual psychological counselling if you:
- Are Australian, and have a Medicare card
- Have a current referral and mental health care plan from your GP (ie, you are already receiving therapy that is eligible for the Medicare rebate), OR
- Obtain a new referral and mental health care plan from your GP, and it specifies that the doctor recommends tele-psychology (note: this is different to Telehealth).
Our fees remain unchanged. You can find information on our fees and the Medicare rebate here.
From 30th March 2020, All Psychology Appointments at The Bondi Psychologist Will Be Online
For your safety and ours, we will offer ONLY virtual therapy sessions from the end of March 2020.
All our therapists have been offering the option of virtual consults for some time, but we are now moving to be fully virtual during this pandemic. We anticipate this new arrangement lasting potentially 6 months. We will keep you updated as things change.
Which Platforms Do We Use For Virtual Therapy?
Our therapists use either Skype or Zoom for online counselling, and in the near future we expect to introduce a new option. For all these platforms, a computer, smartphone or tablet with camera and microphone function are required, along with a high speed internet connection.
If you do not have the technology available for video calls, we can also offer phone appointments.
If you are new to Skype, you can download it and install it for free on your computer here. You can also install the Skype app on your phone. You will need to create an account.
If your therapist uses Zoom, you will receive a link to join the consult via email. Clicking this link will automatically install the Zoom software if you do not yet have it. If you’d like to install it manually, you can download Zoom here.
There is no additional cost involved in using these videoconferencing platforms.
Changes To Our Payment Process
Until further notice, we will be taking payments prior to the start of your online session. This means you will need a credit or debit card.
However, if you do not have a credit or debit card available, please call our reception team and we will make a special arrangement for you.
We will ask for your credit card details on the call before your session begins, and we will take your payment on the spot. Rest assured that this is a secure process. We do not keep any record of your card information – the details will be added directly into our secure Square terminal.
For this reason, we will get your card details before every session, so please be sure to have your card handy at your session starting time.
Thank you for your understanding of this new process.
In the near future, we will introduce an online payment system which will allow you to pay for your appointment online. We will let you know when this is available.
All This Information Is Subject To Change
In this dynamic landscape, information can change rapidly. We will bring you any new developments as soon as we are made aware of them. Thank you for your patience if you discover that anything we share is different in the near future. We know it can be confusing.
What Are Your Biggest Challenges Right Now?
We want to know what you are struggling with at the moment, so that we can shape our response to your greatest needs.
We may create some new resources to help you manage your wellbeing, whether that means techniques to keep calm, ways to strengthen and nurture your relationships, or things we can offer in therapy as mental health professionals.
Just leave your comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know how you’re coping (or not coping) and what you feel could be of most help to you right now.
If You Need a Laugh…
When the world feels grim, humour can be such a welcome release.
From the team at The Bondi Psychologist, stay home, stay safe, stay well. Love to you and your families.