How Deb will work with you?

My intention is to create an environment that is authentic, compassionate and non-judgmental, where you will feel respected and understood. Drawing on my wide-ranging experience, and assuming the position that you are the expert in your own life, we will work together to identify your barriers to living your life actively, with purpose and meaning. We will spend time together getting to understand your concerns and challenges, as well as your strengths and resources, and identifying any gaps in your knowledge or skills. We will draw on a number of psychological approaches to develop an individualised plan to support you to make positive changes in your life. Ultimately, I care that you are into what you are doing, and that you are doing what you are into.

What happens at my first appointment?

It is sometimes easier to speak with a professional, than someone inside your family or friendship group. During the initial appointment, I will attempt to gain a good understanding of you, your difficulties, and your situation. This is not really a therapy session but more of an assessment of your what’s going on for you and what I can do to support you.  I will work with you on developing goals and identifying issues you wish to address and changes you wish to achieve.

How does the therapy process work?

The answer to this is a little bit like “how long is a piece of string?” The answer depends on what you need. Together we will decide what therapy will look like for you. But there are a few common features of all sessions with Deb.


You are the expert in your life and Deb knows the science. So together we will chart the most appropriate course of therapy for you. You will need to have a goal to work towards. You might not know what that is before you come in, but you will when you leave.


You will need to be open and honest about what’s going on for you; even talking about the bits that you are embarrassed or feel guilty or shame about. Growth and recovery only happen when we are totally open and honest. Therefore, it is important to remember that therapy with Deb is a judgement and bullshit free zone.


Frank and fearless feedback is a two-way street. If something isn’t working for you, or you don’t really believe what you are hearing, then let’s talk about it. We’ll find another way for you to achieve your goals.


Let’s be honest. How much change can we expect to see if all we do is talk once every while? You will get the most out of our sessions if you think about and work towards change in between our meetings. You may even be given ‘homework’.


While your sessions will be comfortable and down to earth, you will receive a high-quality professional service. All sessions will be change and solution focused.


You will not be asked to lie down on a couch and “tell me about your mother”, and often it’s not really necessary to go back to the early days to find a way through to a full, purposeful and positive future. Together we will decide what the focus of our sessions will be.


Deb understands that no person is an island unto themselves. With this in mind, you are welcome to occasionally bring important people with you to your sessions, if that will help you get across the important stuff.


Deb will work with you to identify and address the challenges and issues, specific to your situation. She will assist you to set and achieve your goals with practical, solution focused strategies and support.

Counsellor? Psychologists? Psychiatrists?

Psychologists are experts in human behaviour. Psychology is a science-based practice that explores the way people think, feel and behave. Psychologists help people to develop the skills needed to function better, address current issues, and prevent ongoing problems.  There are different areas of speciality within psychology including Clinical Psychology and Counselling Psychology. We use therapeutic approaches that are effective and evidence based (backed by science).

Deb is a trained clinical psychologist. This means that she has advanced skills in the assessment and diagnosis of mental illnesses and psychological problems and is qualified to provide advice in clinical and compensation areas. Clinical psychologists use a range of techniques and therapies to treat life difficulties and mental health disorders. They hold particular skills to solve complex clinical psychology problems requiring individually-tailored treatment.

Psychologists and psychiatrists both work in the area of mental health and frequently work together. However, psychiatrists have a medical degree and have then specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication; psychologists can’t. Psychologists use treatment approaches that are based on changing behaviour and emotional responses.

Why does it cost so much to see a psychologist?

Years ago, the Australian Psychological Society (APS) explained their recommended fee (currently $300 for FY23/24), stating that specialist trained private practitioners should have working conditions similar to those of private medical professionals and not worse than the public sector. The APS calculated the recommended fee by accounting for holidays, sick days, and education days, then determining the available clinical hours and setting a gross hourly rate slightly above the public sector wage to cover private practice risks. The Medicare rebate of $136 is significantly less than the actual cost of delivering services in private practice. 

To protect psychologists’ mental health, the APS calculate their recommended fee based on 5 client contact hours per day, plus time for notes, communication, supervision, research, and other business tasks. Psychologists invest many hours a week providing indirect services to each and every one of their clients, and that work must also be accounted for within fee calculations. The APS recommended fee accounts for the significant overheads private practitioners incur, such as:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Professional indemnity Insurance
  • Income protection (in lieu of work cover)
  • Bookkeeping & accountancy fees
  • Professional registration fees & membership fees
  • Professional services (bookkeeper, accountant and legal etc)
  • Supervision expenses
  • Mandatory ongoing professional development
  • Allowance for client non-attendances
  • Allowance for client bad debts
  • Allowance for sick leave (2 weeks), annual leave & professional development leave
  • Tax, HECS repayments & superannuation
  • Office rental or mortgage, body corporate fees, council rates
  • Insurance on premises (third party & contents)
  • Receptionist / admin support, associated taxes & superannuation
  • Cleaning of premises
  • Office supplies, kitchen supplies, bathroom supplies
  • Stationery
  • Office furniture
  • Office equipment (photocopier/fax/phone system & maintenance or rental expenses)
  • Commercial electricity, water, gas
  • Facilities maintenance
  • Phone /internet costs
  • Office computer, software subscriptions
  • IT Infrastructure

Website development and maintenance

Do I Need a Referral?

Clients do not need a referral to access our services. However, you may be eligible for a Medicate Rebate if you are referred by your GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician under a Mental Health Care Plan. See your GP to discuss whether you may be eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan.

Cancellation Policy

At Deb Psychology, we value your time and understand the importance of your appointments. In return, we ask that you respect our time by adhering to our cancellation policy. Your appointment time is reserved especially for you, and we appreciate your cooperation in keeping it.

Appointment Reminders

You will receive an SMS reminder 48 hours prior to your appointment. However, please note that technology can sometimes be unreliable. We recommend keeping a personal record of your appointments as cancellation fees will apply regardless of whether you receive the SMS reminder.

Rescheduling or Cancelling Appointments

If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please contact the Deb Psychology administration team directly via email at admin@debpsychology.com.au or by phone at (03) 9068 5844 as soon as possible.

Cancellation Fees

Less than 48 hours’ notice: A fee of 50% of your session will be charged.

Less than 24 hours’ notice or no-show: The full fee for your appointment will be charged.


Please note that Medicare, Private Health funds, and Third Parties do not provide rebates for missed appointments.

Running Late

If you are running late, please inform Deb as soon as possible. Arriving more than 15 minutes late means your appointment cannot be extended, but you will still be charged the full fee. If Deb does not hear from you within the first 15 minutes, she will assume you are not attending, and you will be charged the full cancellation fee.

In emergencies, contact us immediately to discuss. Repeated missed appointments without notice may result in pre-payment requirements or a referral back to your doctor for review.