By Stacey Lamble (Administrative Assistant)
Working at a Psychology clinic has taught me more about the mental health industry then any of my studies did. With growing high demand for the services, especially within the Cardinia area the resources available are limited. I began to understand how little people knew about psychology clinics, and how to access resources.
As a student that has studied several years at university I thought I had learnt all there was to know about psychology, but soon realised otherwise. The class rooms and lectures taught me lots about theories and strategies behind mental health. But when Lakeside Psychology hired me to join the team as an administrative assistant, I quickly learnt a lot about working within a clinic.
There are many things I personally have learnt, but I believe there are a few main things that many people within the community can relate to and I believe this information is valuable to anyone considering the services.
Clients and their needs
Being a clinic so high in demand we get a large variety of cliental. I have learnt that every client is different. We cannot make assumptions about the clients that come in, as they are all very ordinary people that just need extra support.
At Lakeside Psychology I have truly experienced that every client is important to us! We will do our best for you and to fit your needs appropriately. For some clients that means transferring them to a different psychologist, or possibly a different clinic for a range of reasons, in which case the psychologist won’t be offended. Whatever the client’s need may be the psychologist and administration staff want only what is best for each individual.
We are also aware that for some the cost of psychological treatment can be too much, but we strive to make our services as accessible as possible. There are many funding programs available in mental health, however knowledge about funding and how to access it is very limited. At Lakeside Psychology, we try to make every individual aware of all funding available.
Many of our clients attend an appointment after they receive a Mental Health Plan (MHP) or referral from the GP (a MHP isn’t required to attend, however it is recommended to reduce the cost). A MHP allows individuals to gain a significant amount of the session fee back in a rebate from Medicare. A MHP will allow for 10 rebates in a calender year.
Other funding programs include EACH, NDIC, Victims of Crime, TAC or Workcover, all of which cover the majority of the clinic fees. Lakeside Psychology’s administration strive to keep up-to-date with all of these programs and can discuss these with you at any time. Where necessary the psychologist will also happily explain these options and explore what will best suit each client.
At Lakeside Psychology we also offer “private appointments”. These are appointments that individuals pay for with no assistance from Medicare or other funding services. Private health insurance companies are all different, however we do recommend clients speak with their insurance companies and ask if psychology is covered.
We value clients and their privacy
Client confidentiality is incredibly important to us. Lakeside Psychology stands by a confidentiality agreement in which all staff and clients are required to sign upon the first session. Within the clinic itself we undertake many measures to maintain privacy of clients.
The only times we will share any details is when we have consent from the client. If disclosure is required by law and/or court or if the psychologist has determined that there is imminent risk to the individual, then disclosure of information is required to ensure safety.
If clients ever run into anyone from Lakeside Psychology in the public we ensure we protect their privacy. We discuss this with our clients as necessary and do not acknowledge our clients (unless they acknowledge us) in order to ensure they don’t have to explain who we are to anyone they may be with.
Inner running’s of the practice.
Personally, working at Lakeside Psychology has been an incredible experience for me. As an organisation each staff member seeks to improve their skills in the industry. With multiple learning opportunities and supervision by senior staff we ensure our staff are best equipped for any client.
I do recommend for any students (primary, high school or higher education) interested in psychology or mental health to consider working within a psychology clinic.