Delicious display of macarons looking like days in an edible calendar for mental health psychological therapy

ABOUT EMPATHIC’S CLIENT SERVICE PHILOSOPHY

Are you looking for a safe, nurturing therapist in Canberra? Empathic is a women-only practice – I see women of all ages, starting with adolescents from 14 years of age. Sessions are conducted in person, face-to-face, in our custom-built therapy studio in Watson, Canberra.

WHY ATTEND WEEKLY SESSIONS?

As a psychotherapist, I know from experience that the best outcomes are achieved through having sessions together every week, apart from scheduled breaks for holidays. I like to see clients weekly as life outside the therapy room moves quickly and we can achieve a lot in therapy when we examine together what is happening while it is happening, as well as practice new ways of being, all within a timely manner.

Are you looking for short term counselling? For single issue counselling, we would still see each other weekly until the initiating issue is resolved.

Undertaking therapy is a big step: let’s dedicate time and energy to it, and set up a routine for you to have your own regular, dependable, nurturing time and space just for you, in your busy week.

If you are sick and unable to attend in person we can arrange an online session, once you are a regular client. In my experience, having predominantly face-to-face therapy is more effective than purely online therapy as it allows us to truly connect in a shared space. Humans are social beings – there are many subtle cues that can be missed through a screen.

Showing the therapy room’s clock, notes, business cards with a vase full of flowers from my garden

AN INTAKE QUESTIONNAIRE YOU CAN COMPLETE IN YOUR OWN TIME

The majority of psychological therapists use the first one or two sessions walking you through a detailed intake form, which unfortunately delays the true beginning of therapy. I prefer to give you the space and time to note all of your details, history, issues and concerns in your own secure online form before we meet in our first session together.

That way you and I can concentrate on getting to know each other, deciding together our next steps and beginning therapy.

HOW MUCH IS THERAPY? HERE ARE OUR Fees

If you would like to chat on the phone before deciding whether to book a session, I offer afree 15 minute phone call appointment. You can ask questions, tell me a little about yourself and decide if we are a good fit.

Fees for individual psychotherapy and counselling are $170 per 50 minute session. All sessions begin on the hour and end at 50 minutes past the hour. Our first session will be a “getting to know each other” – essentially an assessment appointment. This first 50 minute appointment is charged at the same rate of $170. Unfortunately I cannot take cash payments.

Red and gold fabric with connecting and repeating patterns like psychotherapy and psychodynamic

Please select either Adult Woman or Adolescent Woman appointment on the booking page and select a time that suits you (once we are in the first session we can discuss if another time suits you better, should you decide to continue attending).

All sessions are pre-paid online so that you are not distracted with financial housekeeping at the end of our time together. This really helps you keep your focus and attention on what was discussed in therapy. See below for our cancellation and full refund policy.

Adolescent appointments

For adolescent clients the initial appointment would usually include a parent, although I am happy for adolescents to decide – after discussion and agreement with their parent/s – to attend this session alone. Adolescents need to be 14 years and older.

Daisies growing freely in green grass

COVID-19 update and Vaccination Requirements

I am fully vaccinated and boostered, as is my family. The counselling studio is equipped with a HEPA and UV-C circulating air filter. We have a check-in code and are an ACT COVID-Safe business. I request that you wait outside until 5 minutes before your session, then check in with the ACT Check in Canberra app, hand sanitise, then enter the waiting room, all whilst wearing a mask. In line with ACT Health guidelines, once we are seated at more than 1.5 metres apart we can remove our masks for the duration of the therapy session.

Two bubbles not touching in a blue sky - covid safe business practice

In order to reduce the potential spread of the virus I have made the personal decision to not take on any unvaccinated clients. If you are currently unvaccinated please email outlining your circumstances to see if we can make an arrangement: I do understand that some people are not able to be vaccinated due to their health, and also that the vaccine rollout is dependent on supply issues. I would really like to accommodate you if possible.

If you are newly fully vaccinated please select an appointment time that is at least two weeks after your second vaccination. Thank you for keeping our Canberra community as safe as possible.

I have a booklet outlining Empathic’s full policy around COVID. Please email requesting a copy.

Confidentiality and Record Keeping

As I am not a psychologist but am a registered qualified counsellor and psychotherapist I am not required to add information about our sessions to the Personal Health Record portal – accessible by doctors and other medical staff. In my private practice your records are only ever accessible to you and to me, apart from the exceptional legal requirement of access under subpoena (incredibly rare). My clients are always welcome to request to view the clinical notes I take in their sessions. I am happy to show you!

Please note: Medicare Mental Health Treatment Plans are not available at Empathic – see here for details (blog post to come). For some clients a medicalised model can be potentially stigmatising as medical records will show a diagnosis of an “assessed mental disorder” (Medicare) in order to access subsidised treatment under the Mental Health Treatment Plan. Currently recommended psychologist fees are $267 less Medicare rebate of $88, in addition to the initial referral extended GP appointment fee of approximately $170 before Medicare – $100 with rebate. This may also need to be declared on applications for some insurance, such as life insurance, or work applications. While the specific detailed content of sessions should not be disclosed, Medicare does require that psychologists write a report to the referring GP at the 6 visits and 10 visit stages. Because I am a psychotherapist and not a psychologist I am not required to do this.

Image of wallpaper with two birds watching a butterfly, as though therapist and client talking about changes in life and personal growth

Cancellation & refund Policy

If you make a booking (see below) and change your mind or become unavailable, you are able to cancel the appointment and receive a full refund as long as you cancel more than 24 hours before the time of the session. For example it would be fine to cancel on Sunday at 9am if your appointment was on Monday 10am.

Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice unfortunately cannot be refunded.

If you are sick and need to have a COVID test on the day of your session, I am happy to re-schedule without any financial penalty on provision of the COVID testing centre or your GP’s medical certificate. I am happy to do an online video session for established clients who are unable to make it due to illness.

Blossom covered steps, for what are the steps required to book a therapy appointment at Empathic in Canberra

Our bookings process, step-by-step

  1. The first step is to use the pink BOOK NOW button below which will open a new tab through Halaxy – a secure clinical booking portal.
  2. Select a service item: Adolescent or Adult Woman
  3. Choose the date and time of your first session
  4. Fill in your contact details – this triggers a booking confirmation text to your phone
  5. Verify your booking code
  6. Review Payment details: you can use a credit card or Paypal or BPay and Empathic covers all payment fees for you.
  7. Your booking is confirmed in the browser window
  8. You will then receive a confirmation email with the appointment category and time
  9. Another email is sent to you with a personalised link to fill in our Intake Form. Click on the link in the email, Press start.
  10. Please complete all sections of the Intake Form (or as many as you wish to) which will take between 20-40 minutes as there are around 100 questions. Certainly a good opportunity to make a cuppa and get comfortable before you start!
  11. Select the Completed checkbox, and Submit
  12. Once submitted, you will get a confirmation including the street address in Watson of Empathic.
  13. I look forward to seeing you!

Please email tracey@empathic.com.au with any questions, or if you would like to talk on the phone before deciding whether to book a session, I offer a free 15 minute phone call appointment. You can ask questions, tell me a little about yourself and decide if we are a good fit. Just click the pink text above.