What is a psychologist?

Psychologists study the way people feel, think, act and interact. Through a range of strategies and therapies they aim to reduce distress and to enhance and promote emotional wellbeing.

Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, and have studied the brain, memory, learning and human development. Psychologists can assist people who are having difficulty controlling their emotions, thinking and behaviour, including those with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, serious and enduring mental illness, addictive behaviours and childhood behaviour disorders.

All psychologists are legally required to be registered with the national registration board, the Psychology Board of Australia, in the same way medical practitioners must be registered. This means that they must be competent and follow a strict Code of Conduct.

Not all counsellors or therapists are registered psychologists. Seeing someone who is registered ensures you receive high quality ethical treatment.

All of our psychologists at Direction Psychological Services are registered Clinical Psychologists with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.


What should I expect for my first appointment?

It’s very normal to feel anxious, nervous, or unsure about your first session of psychological counselling. All of our psychologists will provide a comfortable, safe, respectful and non-judgemental place for you to discuss what you need to.

You should aim to arrive at least 10 minutes early to your appointment to fill out some paperwork. Once it is time, your psychologist will greet you in the waiting room, and show you to the office.

In the first few sessions, the psychologist will typically ask you questions about yourself, your life, and any presenting problems you would like to work on. Together, you will create a plan of how therapy can assist you with these problems, how many sessions it may take, and how frequently you should meet. Prior to your first session it can be helpful for you to ask yourself what changes you would like to make in your life. The aim of therapy is for us to then work together to help you achieve those changes.

For children and teens, sessions may be structured a little differently:

Children: In the first session, typically your psychologist will see the child and parents together, then may ask to see the child by themselves. After this, your psychologist will discuss with you the most appropriate structure of the sessions.

Teens: Depending on the age of the teen, they may wish to have the session to chat with the psychologist without parental involvement. However, it is recommended that a parent is always available to attend the sessions if needed.

If you are considering starting therapy but are unsure about whether it is appropriate for you, please give us a call and we can discuss your questions together.

Each session is 50 minutes in length.


How many sessions will I need?

This is dependent on your situation and can be discussed with your psychologist.  After the first 1-2 sessions, your psychologist will discuss with you what they think is an appropriate amount of sessions for the presenting problem. This way you can set goals and work together on achieving them.

Many factors can influence the length of therapy including your presenting concern, the coping strategies you already use, your support network (such as family, friends, other health-care providers), and previous counselling you may have had.


What types of groups do you run?

We have a large and ever-growing group program for children, adults, and parents. Have a look here.


How much do they cost and can I get a rebate?

The group prices vary, for more information contact us on [email protected] or 1300 322 068

 You can get a rebate through either Medicare or Private health insurance. With Medicare, you can receive rebates for up to 10 group sessions per calendar year if you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP. Please check with your Private health provider if they cover group therapy sessions.


How do I sign up for the groups?

Easy! Send us an email at [email protected]