Counselling: how to access it, what it costs
A counsellor is a person trained to help you or someone you know with concerns or problems such as anxiety, depression, grief or relationship difficulties. They aim to help you resolve your problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. Sessions are generally held one-on-one with you or with your partner or children. Group counselling is also available.
There is no law in Australia that requires a person who provides a counselling service to have either qualifications or experience. This means that people without training or skills can call themselves counsellors or psychotherapists.
The Australian Registry of Counsellors and Psychotherapists is the independent, national register of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists in Australia. All practitioners listed on the ARCAP Register have completed professional qualifications in counselling or psychotherapy, meet ongoing professional development requirements, and abide by the ethical guidelines of the profession.
Support groups are a useful way of sharing your experiences with others, and to get support and information. Sharing your story with others who understand through their own experience, helps you manage your own health or support someone else.
To find a support group in your area - find a health service.
Medicare rebates are available to cover the cost of some counselling services. To be eligible, you’ll need a referral from your doctor.
Your private health fund may also offer a rebate. The exact amount of the rebate will depend on your level of cover. Contact your private health fund for more information.
Where to get help
- Talk to your doctor
- Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- Contact your local hospital
- Contact a community health centre
- Australian Association of Social Workers
- Australian Counselling Association
- Australian Psychological Society
- Relationships Australia