Ben does offer a lower concessional rate at $139 for those struggling financially (this makes the gap only about $50 per session).
Current recommended rates are over $212 per hour but some practitioners find this exorbitant and reduce their fees so that their clients are more able to access help. Of course it can be expensive to train and to run a clinic with staff and rates etc., so these hidden costs make up the bulk of the fee. The sessions with a good psychologist are well worth it! Therapy can be life transforming and can even save your life and make you far more functional and happy. Current Word Health Organisation findings indicate the greatest health cost on the economy is due to untreated mental health problems – for example, Post-traumatic stress disorder can render one unable to go to work. Sick days alone total hundreds of millions of dollars for the economy. The public system is under-funded, often impersonal and medication favoured, with long waiting lists and many trainee staff who are stressed and exhausted themselves – so the private clinic sector is heavily leaned upon by hospitals and the like. Most experienced professionals who achieve the best outcomes end up running their own private clinics so that they can do what works and with quality service provision (where they are often obstructed to do so in the public system with much time wasted in meetings and bureaucratic paperwork). Aesthetic and environmental aspects are important as well as respectful engagement with helping staff. It is a priority for me at my clinic that clients are treated with utmost respect in a safe and comfortable environment.
When you think about it: what is your life, your self awareness, your ability to perform and your happiness worth? Most people would spend more on coffee or parking their car annually than they would do a course of therapy which can also time limited – it doesn’t have to drag on forever. Many people benefit from 4 to 6 sessions whilst some prefer to delve deeper and consolidate gains over time; the choice is yours.
Group sessions cost between $40 and $50 per session and rebates are around $25 each time.
Subsequent sessions progress according to what is needed as we go along as well as the initial plan. Various methods are utilized based on what will work with the client’s presentation, background and personality style. For example, narrative therapy is about ‘re-authoring’ the version of life events to produce a more optimal and life enhancing perspective on life. Similarly cognitive distortions (of belief system and thought patterns) can be exposed and disputed to free up a person’s sense of self, other and life in general. Potentially hypnosis and mindfulness exercises (metaphysics of consciousness and presence) can be utilized as well. Essentially, the problem situation or condition is studied and analysed and when this occurs adequately solutions tend to emerge that can then be methodically applied. The process of therapy itself is quite organic and can even be somewhat mystical and beyond the client and the therapist’s intentions. Engaging in this flow is a healing experience. I’ve had many clients who first presented with terrible suffering and symptoms, who after a bout of therapeutic sessions have said to me ‘I don’t need to come any more, I’m feeling fine; in fact I can’t really remember what was wrong in the beginning’! This outcome shows a reverse engineering of the problem condition and is quite miraculous if you simply engage with the process and allow it to occur.