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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about services

In order to receive Medicare Australia rebates you must have a valid Medicare/concession card from Australian government. In addition,

  • To see a psychiatrist or a geriatrician you need a referral letter from GP.
  • To see a psychologist, you need a GP mental health care plan and a referral from your GP.
  • To attend Group therapy programs, you need a referral from your GP or 3rd party payer.


Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are experts in mental health. They gained their specialist qualification through minimum of ten years training after obtaining their basic medical degree.  They specialise in assessing, diagnosing and treating mental disorders. They have a deep understanding of physical and mental health and interactions of body and mind. They provide person centred care aim at your recovery.  Being doctors they are expert on medication and no medication therapies.

Psychologists are University Graduates who complete a Master’s Degree in Psychology. They assess, diagnose, and guide you through the psychological problems that you experience and the behavioural dysfunctions resulting from, or related to physical and mental health. In addition, they have a major role in the promotion of healthy behaviour, preventing unsuitable behaviours and improving your quality of life. They do not prescribe medications.  Clinical Psychologists continue to complete additional three years academic studies and may be involved in research, teaching and supervision, program development and evaluation, public policy and other activities that promote psychological health.

Geriatrician is a medical specialist doctor dealing with the health and care of the elderly, and diseases that affect them. If you or any of your loved ones are over 65 y, being treated by a geriatrician can make all the difference.  The galactic assessment is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary assessment designed to evaluate an older person’s functional ability, physical health, memory and cognition. If necessary, they advise you about the power of Attorney, Will and driving ability.

Rehab Specialist 

  1. Our Practice is here to help you. However, we are unable to provide crisis services. We know that you may need to see us on the same day that you call, but this may not be possible as already we have scheduled bookings for existing patients.
  2. If you need urgent medical attention, please see your local GP or call 000 for an ambulance.

a. After seen specialist doctor or a psychologist you are eligible for Medicare rebates provided you have a referral from your GP  and you have a valid Medicare/Healthcare card.

i. To receive a rebate after seen a psychiatrist, Geriatrician, or other medical specialists – you need a referral letter addressed to the psychiatrist from your GP. Most GPs do referrals valid for 12 months. For chronic illness it is good to ask your GP for an indefinite referral.

ii. To receive a rebate after seen a psychologist– you need a referral letter and a GP mental Health Care Plan addressed to the psychologist. Please don’t forget to bring a copy of your Mental Health Care Plan to your first consultation

  1. Fees vary according to the speciality.
  2. A list of current fees will be provided by our friendly team when booking your consultation. The fee charged is based on your choice of practitioner and the length of the session.
  3. Additional fees apply for report writing, medico-legal and for correspondence with other parties.

    We are primarily a private practice so an out of pocket fee will apply.  All fees are to be paid in full on the day of your consultation.

  1. Yes.
    If you are comfortable and approve them to be part of your consultation.
  2. If you are a parent and your child is under the age of 16 years, the clinician may speak to you as you are the legal guardian.
  1. Yes.
    A valid GP referral is advisable. You will not be eligible for any type of rebate through Medicare.
  2. If you are an overseas visitor or student, your health fund will cover your fees in full or in part provided you bring a valid GP referral.
  1. Eligible rebates will be higher once you or your family reaches the annual Medicare Safety Net threshold. Please refer to Medicare website.
  2. Pleases make sure you are registered with Medicare SafetyNet.
  1. You cannot use your private health insurance for outpatient visit for medical specialists. However, some private health funds may provide contributions towards psychology consultations. You will need to check with your health insurer to see what your policy allows.
  1. Your insurer must provide approval prior to your consultation with the specialist or psychologist. Please quote us your claim number, insurer and case manager’s details when making a booking for the first time.
  2. Please bring a referral from a GP to your consultation to see your specialist doctor or a psychologist.
  1. We understand that sometimes you may need to cancel your consultation. If you need to cancel, please let us know at least TWO DAYS before, so we allocate your appointment to another patient who is on our waiting list.
  2. If you cancel your appointment within 24 hours you are liable for the full fee of the consultation. This will apply for new and follow-up appointments.
  3. When you contact us in advance our team can help you reschedule your appointment. Contact us on 02 8883 1173 or 02 9871 7777 or email us.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about illnesses

As a patient your symptoms will fit into one of these categories.
Contact us/meet the team to find out who will most fit in to your needs.

  • “I need help with my Anxiety disorder” You may have one of these disorders – Generalised anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Panic and Obsessive-Compulsive disorders
  • “I am Phobic (frightened of) many situations, meeting others. Who should I see?” Many disorders give rise to phobic conditions and may include – Agoraphobia, social phobia and specific phobias.
  • “I have Alcohol and/or substance abuse/dependence. I like to see a professional.” You may have cannabis, heroin, opioids, amphetamine, gambling, sex addiction.
    You could be help with individual therapy sessions, group therapy designed to address personality traits and medications. Medications may include specific therapy such as triple therapy for alcohol addiction (Disulfiram, Naltrexone, Acamprosate), convenient weekly or monthly subcutaneous depot injections (Buvidal, Sublocade) or Sublingual Buprenorphine preparations (Suboxone, Subutex) for opioid, heroin and methadone addiction. Our specialists’ team can help you to overcome addiction.
  • “I feel depressed and I can’t function. It effects my work and relationships.” If you suffer low – very low mood for more than two weeks it is time to seek professional help. Major Depressive Disorder is a biological disorder that alter your chemicals which transmit messages. Your relationships and your role functioning is effected due to chemical imbalance in your brain.
  • Affective disorders: Depressive/dysthymic disorders are common in the Australian society.
  • “My mood fluctuates, and I have rapid swings between my moods; feeling very happy like I can do anything. Other times I am feeling too sad and miserable. It really affects me. Over time I becomes dysfunctional” This description perfectly fits into Bipolar disorder manifestations. If untreated you have no control of risk taking with regrettable and unbearable consequences to you. This may include violence towards yourself, damage to your reputation and violence towards others. Seek help early and there are very effective treatment at present.
  •  “I hear voices when no one is around me. I see things which are not real. The experience frightens me. People follow me to put me in harm.” If you experience one or more of the above symptoms you have a severe mental illness categorised under Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorders and/or psychosis. You need professional help immediately as without medication your condition may deteriorates to violence and suicide.
  • “My weight control is so poor. I can’t seem to put on weight. But I feel fat in my tummy and my thighs. I cannot control it.” Eating Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and atypical eating disorders have poor prognosis. Treatment needs to extend beyond individual therapy and may involve your family therapy. If the situation is life threatening you may need inpatient hospitalisation.
  • “I am not good at having long term relationships. I flew into rages many times and then I get depressed. I take it on myself; I harm myself to have some relief from my emotions. Living with me is not a nice experience.” Most of the time there is developmental adversities which shape up your personality traits and role functioning. Over the lifetime you may have embedded a dysfunctional and disorganised routine with impulsivity and maladaptive self-soothing behaviour. Schema based group therapy and Mindfulness program is ideal for such conditions. This may include Personality disorders primarily what is categorised under Borderline, Narcissistic and antisocial disorders.
  • “my attention and concentration are so poor. My boss said I don’t focus at work. I am disorganised and get distracted.” Generally there is a history of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosed in childhood. Often these conditions continue to adult life. Stimulant medications have a place in treatment.
  • “After my baby’s birth I felt strange, very depressed and mostly perplexed. I can’t bond with my baby.”
    Pregnancy, labour, and birth are significant life experiences that you will experience as a woman.  and her partner will encounter. During this period there is extreme physical and emotional change comprising hormonal, psychological, and biological changes. With challenges of expanding family above changes and ongoing stressors can effect your nervous system. The birth of a new baby is expected to be a joyful milestone in a woman’s life therefore you may feel guilty to tell others that you are not well.

    Postpartum depression and psychosis are severe and incapacitating mental illnesses. If untreated it may lead to suicide and infanticide. Please remember early detection and treatment are key to a full recovery. Seek help as soon as you notice any difference in your mood, attention, concentration or thought pattern.

  • “I worry about my son. He has no interest to play with friends. His communication is poor. I worry about autism.”
    You might have heard of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) such as Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. You may have observed your child having problems with socializing and communicating, trouble when a routine change, and repetitive movements and obsessive behaviours.

    To make the diagnosis, our psychologists and psychiatrists observe the child. There will be parent interviews and questionnaires about the child’s behaviour patterns. There is no lab test for an autism spectrum disorder.
    The key is to find out as soon possible if your child is on the spectrum.  Your child needs many resources to reach his full potential. The sooner that starts, the better.

  • “Since his toddler days he has irritable mood. He is argumentative and it is so difficult when he is defiant behaviour. He can be vindictive and reckless. Nothing I do to help him works.”
    Your child may be having a range of behavioural disorders typically starts in childhood. Oppositional Defiant disorders (ODD) is one that characterised by persistent disobedience or arguing with authority figures, such as teachers and parents. Conduct disorder (CD) in childhood involves antisocial behaviour patterns with no regards to consequences on others. Dysthymic Mood regulation disorders typically displays with extreme degree of uncontrollable and frequent rage episodes many times/week.

    Seen a specialist as early as possible is important as these forms of behaviour causes significant disruption to child developing age appropriate role functions and skills. If untreated, prognosis is poor as antisocial behaviours continuing to adulthood. They may end up with illicit drug abuse/dependence and criminal conducts with marked deficits in social, educational, occupational, and home functioning.

  • “my child is smart. But he is unable to sit still. His teacher said he daydreams and get distracted easily.”
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) is a condition that affects a young child’s behaviour and learning. Children with ADHD often have difficulty concentrating (are easily distracted) and are impulsive and overactive. These children needs pharmacotherapy such as stimulant medication (Dexamphetamine, Methyl Phenidate or long acting preparations) with psychological therapy.

  • “I can’t remember sometimes. I parked the car in the shopping mall that I go often. Then I couldn’t remember which level.”
    With advancing age, we all have age related issues. Changes in the brain with age can cause memory loss. Dementia is the term used to describe manifestations of brain changes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Others include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and alcohol related dementia.

    It is important to see a specialist early in your memory problems. Dementias can be progressive and planning your life according to the stage of progression is important.

    Your specialist will discuss with you about memory enhancing treatment such as Donepezil, Galantamine, Memantine. There are many other ways that quality of life can be maintained in old age. Our geriatrician will assess the impact of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsonism disease, heart and lung conditions and general physical health.

    Our specialised psychological therapy programs about “living with memory loss” includes carers and it certainly reduced the burden of care givers.

    In old age there are many physical illnesses contributing to your brain functions. Our specialist geriatricians work with and psychologists and our psycho-geriatricians (psychiatrists who specialised in old age). This means you will get the best possible care in one place.

  • “I lost my mojo lately. I lost interest and I can’t anymore. It is hopeless some time? May be old age getting to me.”
    Depression is NOT a normal part of aging. Depression can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter your background or your previous accomplishments in life. In old age retirement, the death of loved ones, declining health, financial issues, loneliness, isolation, medical issues all trigger an episode of biological depressive disorder.

    You need to seek help early and make an appointment with our Psychogeriatrician. No matter what challenges you face as you age, there are steps you can take to feel happy and hopeful once again and enjoy your golden years of late life because very affective treatment is available for you.

  • If you are in a residential aged care facility don’t worry about how to see us. Just check our telehealth platform. Through video link we can organise our specialists to visit you in your lounge room.

“I have to appoint my power of attorney and my will. I worry about my children arguing about my capacity. They told me that I can’t drive. I don’t want to listen.”

At Mind Connections our specialist can provide you Medico-legal Evaluation Reports clearly stating you can give informed consent for your needs, health care and financial matters. Our specialists specifically will comment on impact due to range of medical diagnoses including depression & psychiatric disorders, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, systemic illness and other neuro degenerative disorders.

Our specialists will also guide you regarding carer issues, how to support members of your family if you are keen to do so. Our specialists will facilitate you making best possible decision regarding power of attorney, your will.

We will do medico-legal evaluation about your capacity to drive. Should there be problems we will guide you how best to address such issues with dignity preserving your autonomy.

  • “my employer asked me to have an assessment of fitness for work. How should I go about it?
    It is not unusual for employers to ask for assessments for fitness to work. Australian Defence Forces/ Police force may ask their recruit to undergo assessments. You can organise an appointment with our specialists. Please note preparation of these reports are time consuming and you will be informed about the fees involved. Fees are calculated hourly basis per standard fees recommended by the Australian Medical Association.”
  • “I had an injury at work and my GP asked me to see a specialist regarding my condition.”
    Your GP who managed the condition with your insurer, may request assistance regarding your diagnosis, treatment and return to work rehabilitation plan. We can assist your GP about the treatment plan which includes one or more of these modalities. Individual psychological therapy, group therapy, medication, non-medication therapy such as rTMS. When you recover from your condition, we can assist your GP about your gradual return to work rehabilitation plan.”
  • “I have a Motor Vehicle Accident and I am not getting better. My GP referred wants to refer me to a specialist.”
    The trauma of the incident may lead to Post Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) and you may need assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Vocational rehabilitation needs to be considered in conjunction with the psychological therapy.
  • “I am due to go to court with my civil/criminal charges and my solicitor said my mental health could be a reason. I need to see a psychiatrist.”
    Medico legal assessments for court purposes are subjected to preapproval and/or payment prior to your psychiatric appointment and the reasonable costs for court reports. The latter will include correspondence/communication with your lawyer or solicitor, records review and report writing.
    Provided you have been suffering from a mental disorder categorised under DSM V, our psychiatrists can provide a treatment plan for the court under Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990. This gives the court the power to divert a defendant who is suffering from a mental illness into the care and treatment of the psychiatrist and/or psychologists than dealing with them through the criminal justice system.
  • “I can’t seem to come out of this vicious cycle. I am not achieving my best. It’s like I am in a rut.” Our psychological therapy programs include skills development and personal growth addressing many difficult and debilitating areas of life. These include but not limited to Anger management, poor self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and goal setting, poor assertiveness skills and impaired self-empowerment, difficulties with lifestyle such as poor diet and nil exercise and behavioural disorders including self-harm. In order to optimise care, our therapist incorporate specialised Psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy to therapy sessions.
  • “why do I need to consider group therapy?” The group therapy programs compliment your individual therapy sessions with the psychologist or psychiatrist. Group therapy assist you in applying a holistic approach, one that emphasizes the connection between mind and body, to treating and preventing both physical and psychological disorders. The treatment approaches can vary with education, relaxation, cognitive therapy and mindfulness. There are opportunities to attend individual psychoeducation workshops on topics such as self-esteem, depression and substance abuse.
  • “what is the REACH group therapy program?” REACH Group Therapy Program (Responsibility, Education, Acceptance, Connection and Hope) is a Specialised group therapy program and our specialists conducted the program twice/year since 2016. Our REACH Group Therapy Program is a 10 session (2 hours per week or bi-weekly) psycho-educational wellbeing group program for most individuals who experience anxiety, depression, and/or bipolar disorders.  Participants are urged to observe the principles of responsibility, acceptance, connection and hope and learn new dimensions and strengths to face challenges.  Topics covered include fostering strengths, dealing with loss and grief, identifying early warning signs and triggers, wellbeing strategies, staying in touch with friends, family and work colleagues.
    Read more.
  • “I’ve heard about Mind Fullness and Schema Group Therapy Program. It was highly recommended to me by my friend.” The program has been designed to assist those who wish to achieve self-empowerment. Participants have the opportunity to develop insight into own thought patterns, their maladaptive behaviours – they have enlightening experience to walk away from unhelpful strategies that have kept them trapped in repetitive, sad and perhaps destructive behaviour and thinking. Albeit not suffering from mental illness there are group of highly successful people revolving in a vicious cycle of gambling, inappropriate sexual engagements, alcohol and illicit substance abuse, financial blow out, leaving jobs after some time for no valid reasons. Their suffering, grief and loss are enormous. Unable to resolve own dilemmas they set into a self-destructive pattern. Schema therapy and mindfulness is ideally for this group. Through participation they learn how to reclaim happiness by fostering long lasting meaningful relationship, value their self-worth and enjoy life to the fullest.
    Read more.
  • “my mother lives in a hostel/nursing home. At her age I don’t think she can come to the office to see a specialist.” Elderly residents are generally effected by mobility issues. They become anxious outside their own environment. Getting help for elderly residents are very easy. We have facilities to provide Skype consultations throughout Australia. Getting help for elderly residents has never been this easy. It is a myth that elderly residents cannot cope with the technology. They handle the technology well. Contact us and we will guide you about how to organise telehealth sessions with us.
  • “My brother who is intellectually disabled lives in a shared group home. He cannot speak and he is in a wheelchair. We want to organise specialist appointment to review his behaviour and the medication.” It is easy. Most group home managers have contacts with us via telehealth video platforms. Ask the manager at your group home to schedule an appointment with us through the most convenient way to them. We are happy to guide the staff about how to organise telehealth sessions with our specialist.

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