The makings of a positive friendship

Types of psychologist referrals in the Shoalhaven

Mental Health Care Plans

The most common type of referral to our practice is the Mental Health Care Plan. A care plan is completed with your GP and gives you access to an initial six individual sessions and ten group sessions. After completing six individual sessions a re-referral from your GP is required to access a further four sessions (you are able to use ten individual and ten group sessions per calendar year).

With a MHCP you can claim a Medicare rebate towards the consultation fee. You will need to bring your plan and Medicare card to the first consultation. Payment is required at the appointment and Medicare claims can be processed on your behalf.

Helping Children with Autism

Children under investigation for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) may be eligible to claim a rebate from Medicare for assessment and counselling intervention.

A specialist referral is required under this initiative. The referral must be obtained by the child’s thirteenth birthday and be from an eligible Paediatrician or Psychiatrist.

With this referral a child is entitled to four assessment sessions and 20 consultations (per an individual’s lifetime, up to the age of 15 years).

Better Start for Children with Disability Program

To be eligible to register for Better Start early intervention funding, a child must be registered before the age of six, be an Australian resident, and have a confirmed diagnosis of one of the following disabilities: moderate or greater vision or hearing impairments, down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or cerebral palsy. Funding of up to $12,000 may be available (up to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year).

Better Start funding can be used to pay for services provided by psychologists, speech pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists, orthoptists, and physiotherapists. Families will have until the child’s seventh birthday to access the early intervention funding. To register your child for the Better Start initiative, please call the Carers Australia Registration Information Service on 1800 242 636.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolled out across Australia, children supported through HCWA or Better Start will transition to the NDIS.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

If you have a plan manager or you are self-managed, psychologists at Shoalhaven Psychology are able to provide support and care under these arrangements.

Private Clients

Clients may present privately with no referral to access counselling, intervention, and assessments at Shoalhaven Psychology Services.

There is no limit to the number of sessions if you choose this option. However, Medicare rebate items will not be available.

Private Health Insurance

Some health funds will provide benefits towards psychology services and counselling. Your health fund will pay a set benefit or percentage of the cost of the service, and you pay the rest.

The waiting periods, benefits and limits to claiming vary from fund to fund. For more information, you can review policies on or contact health funds directly.

Rebates from Medicare and private health care cover cannot be claimed concurrently. For example, you may choose to use 10 sessions under a MHCP and then claim for further sessions under you private health care cover.

Employee Assistance Programs

Often workplaces offer employees and their immediate family members access to a psychologist with no cost to you. Sessions are limited and vary from each EAP provider. Shoalhaven Psychology is registered with all major EAP providers in the area.

iCare (formerly known as WorkCover)

Shoalhaven Psychology has registered iCare (formerly known as Workcover) provider psychologists. If you have an iCare (formerly WorkCover) claim, and it is recommended that you receive psychological therapy as part of your rehabilitation package, there is no out-of-pocket expense for therapy.

VVCS/DVA and Australian Defence Force

We are pleased to be a provider of psychological services to our veterans and serving members of the defence force.

VVCS offers free and confidential individual, couple, and family counselling to veterans and their families. Although initially set up by, and for, Vietnam Veterans, counselling and support is now available to all current and former members of the Australian Defence Force. To check if you are eligible please call VVCS on 1800 011 046.

VVCS counsellors and staff have an understanding of veteran and military culture that assists them to deliver specialised support and care to members of this community.

If you have a DVA Gold Card, there is no out-of-pocket expense for therapy. A referral from your GP or Psychiatrist is sufficient. DVA White Card holders can also access therapy with no out-of-pocket expense for a small range of psychological conditions including depression, anxiety and stress. If you are unsure whether DVA will cover your therapy, please contact the DVA Health Provider Line on 1300 550 457 (metro) or 1800 550 457 (non metro).

At Shoalhaven Psychology we are also able to provide counselling services to Australian Defence Force members. You can access these services through an external provider referral from your treating Medical Officer or on-base psychologists or mental health practitioners.


Psychology services are now covered by Medicare telehealth rebates. If you live in a rural or remote community you may be eligible to access counselling online with a Mental Health Care Plan. Please discuss with your GP when you arrange an appointment for a referral. You will be required to have one of the first four sessions face to face and two of the following six sessions.


Shoalhaven Psychology provides other services that may incur additional costs. These include:

  • Preparation of letters or reports (not including those already provided within the assessment fee/process)
  • Offsite face to face visits to schools/preschools
  • Phone calls and teleconferences with Teachers or Work Cover Case Managers
  • Case Conference meetings for Out Of Home Care 
  • Preparation of case notes for court hearings


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“There is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”

Mary Rose McGeady