Here is a list of commonly asked questions
- What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Clinical psychologists complete a minimum of six or seven years of university-level study, and have expertise in the area of human behaviour. Although clinical psychologists frequently have doctoral degrees and are referred to as “doctor”, they do not have medical degrees, and are not able to prescribe medications. Rather, psychologists assess clients and then use scientifically supported therapies (for example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) in working with clients to achieve their goals, improve their quality of life, and function more healthily and effectively on a day-to-day basis. Psychologists, therefore, help clients with a wide range of problems, including changing behaviours (e.g., smoking, problems with eating or motivation), managing stress, and clinical diagnoses, such as depression and anxiety. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, study for six years to obtain a general medical degree, and then complete further study to gain additional qualifications in the area of mental health. They may prescribe medication and use therapy-based strategies to treat mental health problems. Psychologists and psychiatrists often work together. Some psychiatrists focus primarily on medication, and refer clients to psychologists for non-medical therapy (e.g., cognitive behavioural therapy).
- What is CBT?
CBT or “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” is a form of therapy that helps clients to identify and change unhelpful actions (behaviours) and thinking patterns (cognitions). CBT focuses on your present thoughts and behaviours and how they affect how you feel.
- What types of problems can be addressed with CBT?
Numerous research studies over many years have supported the effectiveness of CBT, and for some problems (e.g.,depression), CBT has been shown to be as effective as anti-depressant medications in minimising and treating symptoms. This type of therapy is helpful for people experiencing a wide range of difficulties and with all age groups (children, adolescents, adults, and older adults). The types of problems CBT addresses include anxiety (including panic, phobias, generalised anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder), depression, stress, anger management, low self-esteem, adjustment difficulties, managing and coping with the effects of health problems (e.g., fatigue, pain), eating disorders (e.g., bulimia), post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder.
- What will the treatment process be like with CBT?
CBT requires a comprehensive assessment where a psychologist will find out what is going on for you and what is contributing to and maintaining those issues. Your psychologist will develop a treatment plan for you, which will require you to work with your therapist as an active participant in your therapy. You will also be required to practice strategies provided by your therapist between sessions (“homework”). This may include completing forms, practising strategies that you have learned in sessions (e.g., breathing and relaxation techniques), and performing actions (for example, doing things that increase or decrease behaviours). Your therapist will work with you to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing to your difficulties, and to replace these with more realistic, effective thoughts and behaviours. CBT aims not only to help you with your current problems, but to provide you with the skills to be able to reduce the likelihood that you will experience similar problems in the future.
- What is Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy is essentially a combination of specific aspects of a range of therapies, including cognitive, behavioural, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies. The aim of Schema Therapy is to examine a client’s history so that core unmet needs from childhood can be identified. Identification of these unmet needs helps to determine unhealthy beliefs (schemas) that are impacting on a client’s present life.
- What types of problems can be addressed with Schema Therapy?
Research shows that Schema Therapy is most effective for people who have had lifelong patterns of difficulties, or for whom standard therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, do not result in sufficient improvement. This type of therapy has been shown to be helpful for both individuals and couples experiencing chronic depression, interpersonal difficulties, and other long-standing psychological issues.
- What will the treatment process be like with Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy comprises three stages. In the first stage of therapy, your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment aimed at identifying your schemas. You may be requested to complete questionnaires and to engage in experiential techniques (for example, imagery). In the second stage of therapy, the emotional awareness and experiential phase, your therapist will help you to get in touch with these schemas and learn how to become more aware of them when they are impacting on your everyday life. In the third and final stage of therapy, the behavioural change stage, your therapist will guide you in replacing negative, habitual thoughts and behaviours with alternative thoughts and behaviours that are more likely to work better for you and improve your day-to-day life.
- What is ACT?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based form of Cognitive Behavioural therapy. The overarching aim of ACT is to help you to achieve two main goals: (1) to effectively handle painful thoughts and feelings, and (2) to create a rich, full and meaningful life. The ACT approach suggests that our attempts to control, limit, or push away inner experiences cause emotional suffering, by way of constricting our lives and disconnecting us from what we value most.
- What types of problems can be addressed with ACT?
Research evidence to date has shown that ACT can assist people with a range of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety (including obsessive compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder), stress, pain, eating disorders, addictions, and psychosis. ACT has been shown to be effective for individuals and couples, as well as in group therapy.
- What will the treatment process be like with ACT?
ACT requires a comprehensive assessment where a psychologist will find out what is going on for you and what is contributing to and maintaining those issues. Your psychologist will develop a treatment plan for you, which could involve you working with your therapist as an active participant in your therapy. You might practice techniques between sessions (“homework”), involving, for example, mindfulness strategies that improve your present moment awareness, and/or complete work sheets to clarify your personal life values. Over the course of therapy, your therapist will take you through the as many of the six principles of ACT that are warranted, so that you can learn skills to help you to accept and experience uncomfortable emotions, to distance yourself from unhelpful thoughts, and to connect with the present moment in order to achieve your goals and to live by your chosen values. This could involve engaging in experiential and verbal techniques aimed at targeting avoidance of emotions, both with your therapist during sessions and as homework between sessions.
- What is Triple P?
The Triple P- Positive Parenting Program is about teaching parents a range of parenting techniques that increase parental competence and are helpful in managing child behavioural problems. The program increases the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents, and may not only assist parents with current difficulties, but also prevent children from developing some problems, such as severe behavioural, emotional and developmental problems. The design of the Triple P program allows treatment to be tailored to the needs of individual families.
- What types of problems can be addressed with Triple P?
Triple P has been shown to be effective in helping parents to manage a wide range of problems experienced by preschool, and primary school children, including aggression, fears, nightmares, bed-wetting, bullying, and low self-esteem. This type of therapy has also assisted parents of teenagers with issues such as dating, peer relationships, depression, and anxiety. Parents managing difficulties associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Downs Syndrome, have also found strategies provided within the Triple P framework to be helpful for themselves and their children. The Triple P program also comprises a range of strategies to assist parents coping with marital conflict, separation, depression, anxiety, and stress.
- What will the treatment process be like with Triple P?
At the commencement of the program, your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment of aspects of your child’s functioning, which may require you to complete forms between sessions. Your therapist will also consider aspects of your functioning and parenting style that may impact on your parenting, which may require you to complete questionnaires. Your therapist will then formulate a treatment plan, and work with you on strategies to appropriately address difficulties that you are experiencing with parenting your child. Your therapist will help you tailor these strategies to your fmily and may role-play these strategies with you in sessions. You will be required to use these techniques with your child in between sessions. Your therapist will also work with you at each session to address any difficulties you have in successfully implementing strategies with your child. The Triple P program aims not only to assist you with current parenting difficulties, but to provide you with a range of strategies that you will be able to generalise to a variety of problems that may arise as your child moves through developmental stages.
- Emotion-Focused Therapy
Emotion-Focused Therapy is a type of therapy aimed at promoting healthy emotion regulation. Emotions are a valuable information system, however with traumatic experiences this system can become altered. Many people who enter therapy experience either heightened emotions (e.g., excessive anxiety, guilt, or shame) and/or suppression of others (e.g., healthy assertion, joy).
Emotion-focused therapy is based on emotion theory and attachment theory, and can help clients to:
- Differentiate between different emotion states.
- Regulate maladaptive emotions and increase adaptive emotion states.
- Use emotions as a guide.
- Allow for greater levels of emotional intimacy in relationships.
- Overcome traumatic experiences, particularly childhood experiences of abuse, trauma or neglect.
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Psychodynamic psychotherapy encompasses a range of different therapy approaches where the focus is on understanding and becoming aware of thoughts and feelings that were previously outside the person’s conscious, in order to provide relief from emotional pain. Much of the work is focused on how childhood experiences affect us as adults, in particular the development of self esteem, coping skills and patterns of interpersonal relating. It is generally a longer-term therapy approach which focuses on character and personality change as well as symptom relief.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy may provide clients with:
- A sense of support and understanding for distressing issues.
- A greater understanding of how their own internal dynamics affect mood, behaviour and relationships.
- More choices and options for problem-solving and coping.
- An opportunity to work through and process distressing memories from childhood.
- A sense of self cohesion, identity and greater self esteem.
- Does Lilley Place conduct Psychometric Testing?
Lilley Place Clinical Psychology has invested in its own professional testing resources to enable routine, convenient, cost-effective and in house management of many areas of difficulty. Standardised psychometric assessments may be performed for children exhibiting difficulties with thinking, learning and/ or development. Psychometric assessments are used by psychologists to assist parents and teachers to gain a better understanding of a child/young person’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to their general intellectual and learning abilities and development. These tests are reliable for use in young people up to the age of 18 years. Psychometric assessments are usually recommended when a child exhibits particular problems with thinking or learning that may impact on a child’s ability to achieve or function well at home or school.
Child psychometric assessment of general intellectual and learning ability usually consists of an interview and testing. During the interview, the psychologist may ask you and your child about their current difficulties, developmental history, medical history, medications and other important information. During a psychometric assessment, your child will be asked to complete different tasks that assess differ cognitive abilities, answer specific questions and/or complete pen and paper tasks. The time it takes to complete the testing will depend on the type of test being used by your psychologist and may sometimes take place over several sessions. Your psychologist should provide an estimate of how long this should take and the costs associated with the testing process.
A child’s performance on any administered psychometric test is compared to large groups of children of a similar age to judge whether or not their scores are in the normal or expected range. Test results are then used to identify particular strengths or weaknesses the child may exhibit in a specific area; establish a base line of skills/weaknesses in order to assess change in the future, and establish treatment or management plans to assist the child to use their strengths to accommodate for weaknesses in their learning profile when at school.
After a psychometric assessment has been completed, you will be provided with a detailed report on the child’s different abilities and recommendations for home and school. Your psychologist will be able to assist with the implementation of these recommendations and can work with other care providers and educators to work towards achieving the best outcomes for each child and young person.
Lilley Place is now an Approved Panel Provider for the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) – Early Intervention Package
- What is the HCWA Early Intervention Package?
The Australian Government, through the Department of Social Services (DSS), provides up to $12 000 (maximum of $6 000 per financial year) for children with a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This funding allows access to early intervention treatment to be used prior to the child’s 7th birthday.
- Why Choose Lilley Place as your HCWA Early Intervention Provider?
- Only organisations such as Lilley Place Clinical Psychology, who have been approved by the DSS, can offer these services.
- Lilley Place offers a variety of approved evidence-based early interventions to help improve the cognitive, emotional and social development of children with ASD prior to starting school. We provide child, parent and family interventions in individual and group formats.
- We have several fully qualified HCWA providers on staff. Our skills and experience includes Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), social skills programs, parent skills acquisition and support, and assistance with sleep and toileting routines.
- We offer individualised programs according to each client’s early intervention needs.
- Programs are developed in collaboration with families and carers.
- We work collaboratively with other service providers to deliver quality and consistent care.
- We can provide consultancy or visits to daycare/kindergarten/preschool or school to assist teaching staff to support your interventions and transitions.
- We monitor outcomes at regular intervals and adjust programs accordingly.
- We work with a child’s strengths and needs.
- How do Families Access Funding?
- A child must receive a diagnosis by a public or private psychiatrist, paediatrician or multidisciplinary team (including a psychologist and speech pathologist) and be assessed as eligible by an Autism Advisor prior to their 6th birthday. The practitioner making the diagnosis provides a letter to an Autism Advisor. Autism Queensland provides Advisor services in Queensland.
- The Autism Advisor will present you with a Letter of Introduction confirming your eligibility. This letter must be received by Lilley Place no later than the time of your initial appointment.
- As services are delivered to eligible children, DSS will make payment in arrears, to Lilley Place, on behalf of families.
- You are able to keep a track of your funding and usage of the package via Family Activity Statements which will be emailed to you monthly by the DSS.
For further information about the HCWA Early Intervention package: Visit Australian Government Department of Social Services or contact an Autism Advisor at Autism Queensland: Ph.: or (07) 3273 0000 or Email
- Is Assistance Available for those not Eligible for the HCWA Early Intervention Package?
There are several options for rebates under the Medicare system. You may like to discuss these programs further with your doctor. More information can also be found at Department of Health.
HCWA Medicare Items can be used in addition to the HCWA Early Intervention package or may apply if not eligible for the Early Intervention package (e.g., over 6 years when diagnosed, over 7 years for treatment or package limit has been reached). You do not need to be registered with HCWA to use these Medicare Items. A referral from a psychiatrist, paediatrician or GP is required.
The services include:
- Up to four diagnostic / assessment services to assist the referring practitioner with diagnosis or to contribute to a child’s treatment and management plan (for a child under thirteen years of age).
- Up to twenty treatment sessions (for a child under fifteen years of age, providing they have a treatment and management plan in place by thirteen).
These sessions are not recurrent each financial year. They comprise a once in a lifetime package to be used prior to a child’s 15th birthday.
More information can be found at Medicare items – Helping Children with Autism
Better Access to Mental Health Care
Psychiatrists, paediatricians and GPs can refer an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder for treatment by a psychologist for 10 Medicare-rebatable sessions per annum.
Chronic Disease Management
Individuals with ASD and at least one other chronic condition (e.g., Depression, asthma), may be eligible for Medicare rebates on 5 sessions in a calendar year on referral from a General Practitioner.
Private Health Insurance
Private Health Insurance can be used to fund sessions for individuals with an ASD. Where families are claiming through private health funds, early intervention funding can be claimed to cover the gap between the service cost and the refund paid by the health fund.
Due to differences with health insurance policies, we recommend that you contact your health insurance provider to check what therapies your fund will cover.
- How will the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) impact on HCWA?
The NDIS is due to be rolled out in Queensland from July 2016. The NDIS is a new way for people to get disability support that takes an individualised and life-long approach through community linkages and individualised funding plans. Participants will have their needs assessed and work with local people to develop a plan for their care and support. HCWA has been identified for transition to the NDIS. Unlike HCWA the NDIS provides support that can continue through to adulthood.
Once the NDIS is accessible in your area, you will be able to complete an Access Request Form, which can be provided to you by the National Disability Insurance Agency. You will continue to have access to your remaining HCWA funds until your NDIS plan is approved as long as you have submitted this form. Support packages under NDIS will be based on your assessment and individual needs. You will continue to be able to choose the service providers you would like to allocate your funding to under this new system. This will ensure consistency in care. Further information is available at National Disability Insurance Scheme.