Most people seek therapy only when they encounter physical or emotional crisis. Essential features of psychotherapy is the client therapist relationship. Clients often ask for advice and solutions to their problems.


Counsellors generally try to empower clients so that they can become self sufficient and discover solutions with guidance rather than be dependent on someone else's advice.  In so doing, this helps clients to change their thinking and behaviours.


Additionally, psychotherapists may will work closely with general practitioners or psychiatrists.

Psychotherapy can help with a number of life's stresses and conflicts that can affect anyone. For example, it may help you:


  • Resolve conflicts with your partner or someone else in your life

  • Relieve anxiety or stress due to relationships at work or home

  • Cope with major life changes, such as divorce, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job

  • Learn to manage unhealthy reactions, such as road rage or passive-aggressive behavior and aggressive behaviour

  • Come to terms with an ongoing or serious physical health problem, such as diabetes, cancer or long-term (chronic) pain

  • Recover from physical or sexual abuse or witnessing violence

  • Cope with sexual problems, whether they're due to a physical or psychological cause


Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder refuses to be buried but denial does not work. Traumatised people alternate between feeling numb, dissociate and reliving the event.  


In some cases, psychotherapy can be as effective as medications, such as antidepressants. However, depending on your specific situation, psychotherapy alone may not be enough to ease the symptoms of a mental health condition. You may also need medications or other treatments.


It is recommended that if you are taking medications you should always seek out therapy.  A combination of both is far more effective than medications alone.  Medication treat the symptoms and psychotherapists treat the cause.


Psychotherapists use a wide assortment of ‘Modalities’ which is the use of psychological methods and specific types of therapy, approaches and models.  


Good Psychotherapists usually have a degree and possibly a masters in this area, as well as membership in suitable associations. 


Psychotherapist tend to charge in the region of $100 - $150 which is significantly less than a psychologist or a psychiatrist.  The reason being that clients tend to stay in therapy for longer periods to ensure lasting change.  Sessions are typically 50 minutes in duration.


Psychologists are also degree qualified and many practice a form of psychological treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This treatment often occurs over a fixed number of sessions, with a primary orientation towards treatments for Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other psychological conditions where the psychologist perceives an imbalance between the real world and their client’s perception of it.  However, CBT does not suit everyone and can be limiting.


Psychologists are eligible to provide services under Medicare but must meet the eligibility requirements for the particular Medicare item. A person must be referred by his/her GP and placed on a ‘mental health plan’ where the individual is entitled to approximately 6 sessions with a psychologist that may be extended upon application.



The cost to you will vary depending upon the length of the session and the fee being charged by the psychologist.  Psychological therapy sessions are usually greater than the Medicare rebate, so you will need to pay the difference.  In some instances a psychologist may choose to bulk bill.  This will vary and you should check with the psychologist before commencing your treatment. The fees for a Psychologist varies according to the individual. However it typically ranges from $190 to $220 with a medicare rebate in or around $120. 

Sessions are typically 50 minutes in duration.



A psychiatrist is required to complete a medical degree prior to specialising in mental health. They also deal with people who have serious mental illnesses and those in need of hospitalisation for their condition. Once stabilised, clients may be referred to a psychologist or a psychotherapist for further treatment.


A psychiatrist can prescribe medication; a psychologist or psychotherapist cannot. A good psychiatrist will also support medicated clients with therapy but this depends on the individual psychiatrist.



A psychiatrist generally charges in the region of $350 - $450 per hour and you would typically receive a medicare rebate. The psychiatrist may also bulk bill. The rebate is is in the region of $160 unless you are treated as an inpatient where the cost may even be free.  Sessions are typically 50 minutes in duration.