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What is the difference between counselling and psychology?

Counselling focuses on the individual person and their presenting situation and emphasises providing a safe space for the client to share with an accepting, non-judgemental therapist. Counselling refrains from formally diagnosing or labelling the client or their condition and seeks to support the client with the process of developing self-awareness and insight, processing painful experiences, addressing difficult thoughts and feelings, developing new skills, setting goals, and moving towards living a fulfilling and purposeful life.   

Psychology often utilises comprehensive assessment measures, relies on medical models, and strives to develop a diagnosis of the client’s presenting issue based on scientific data.  Generally, psychological treatment is appropriate for those experiencing severe mental health problems.  Psychological intervention is often a long-term process which involves, searching for patterns of behaviour, observation, and interviewing.

Is online therapy effective?

Research confirms that online therapy is an effective mode of counselling which produces positive outcomes similar to those of face-to-face counselling.  Online counselling also offers the advantages of:

  • Ease of access from the comfort, safety, and privacy of your home or office

  • Available to people who are living in remote areas, at home caring for children, without transportation, experiencing social anxiety, or unable to leave home due to illness or physical limitations 

  • Time efficient as saves waiting and commuting times

  • Cost efficient 


Do I need a referral and will I receive Medicare rebates?

You do not need a referral and generally can access counselling without long wait times.  As a private practice counselling service we do not offer Medicare rebates.  

Will there be a medical record if I see a counsellor?

As counselling services in Australia operate outside the medical model we are able to provide therapy without a medical record.  This is an advantage for those desiring privacy and confidentiality and for individuals concerned about a history of mental health issues impacting employment.  


What can I expect to happen in our counselling sessions?

The first counselling session is about getting to know you, beginning to understand your history and presenting concerns, and determining how I might be able to support you.  The initial session also provides an opportunity to review policies, discuss confidentiality, and answer any questions you might have.  


Following sessions will provide you with a safe space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and issues of concern.  You will also identify your desired outcomes for therapy and collaboratively work with your therapist to develop a personalised plan to help you begin to take steps towards your goals.  In therapy you will gain understanding of root issues that have contributed to your current problems, learn to address thoughts, feelings, or behaviours that might be negatively impacting your life, develop skills and strategies for managing daily life, develop self-awareness and clarity, discover purpose and meaning, and move towards recovery and healing.  

What is an integrative counsellor?

An integrative counsellor seeks to work with people from a whole person perspective to improve wellbeing and considers the multiple aspects of the person in treatment. Integrative counselling incorporates a variety of evidence-based approaches and interventions and tailors therapy to the individual client and their unique needs, values, and preferences.    

Therapeutic approaches may include:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 

  • Christian Counselling (only at client's request)

  • Coaching

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy 

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy 

  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Person-Centred Approaches

  • Positive Psychology

  • Solution Focused Therapy 


What is Christian Counselling?

Christian counselling is an optional service for people who would like to include their faith in therapy.  Christian counselling approaches therapy from a Christian worldview and incorporates Christian values and beliefs.   

What if I am a secular person and do not want to include faith in my therapy?

At Above the Waves Counselling therapy is available for all people regardless of personal beliefs.  We work from your frame of reference and only include spiritual beliefs at your request.

What is walk and talk therapy?

Walk and talk therapy involves meeting at an outdoor location with your therapist where you will walk together for one hour whilst discussing the issues you want to explore.  Walk and talk therapy incorporates gentle exercise and enjoying nature to improve mental health and wellbeing.  Walk and talk therapy improves mood, reduces anxiety and depression, promotes clarity of thought, enhances self-awareness, fosters the relationship between client and therapist, promotes reflection, and contributes to peace of mind.  This service is available for individuals 16 and over.

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