!!! WE’VE MOVED! You’ll now find The Counselling Studio at 5/15 Catherine St, Malanda !!!

Frequently Asked Questions

If we haven’t answered your question below, we welcome you to book yourself a Free 15 minute phone consultation. This will give us the opportunity to discuss your needs and ensure that we can work well together.

What is counselling?

We all encounter times in our lives when life gets a bit bumpy, or the ground drops out from underneath us. You don’t have to walk this treacherous road alone; counsellors are trained to walk the journey with you, holding hope for you when you might not feel like you have any.

It can be hard to ask for help in such times, but when you do, it is in these moments your courage and inner strength bubble to the surface. Good on you for taking the first step, it takes guts, and you being here on this page indicates you are ready to make some changes. Often it is when you feel like you’re at your weakest that you can be the strongest. Reaching out to a counsellor will be one of the best decisions of your life. It is very liberating to be completely accepted by another person, to have someone in your corner who listens, someone who can help you find the answers to the challenges you are facing, someone who just “gets it”.

 Counselling, or talking therapy, enables you to talk about what’s troubling you; empowers you to discover your own solutions and ultimately, initiate change as you navigate difficult life situations. During counselling, a relationship is built between yourself and the counsellor from the first meeting. This is a therapeutic relationship in which the counsellor creates a safe space and comes alongside you, helping you to reflect deeply on your experiences and connect with your resources, identify your strengths and learn healthy ways to cope. The purpose of counselling is not to tell you how to feel better, but to walk alongside you as you journey into the workings of your ‘self’ to better understand how you can live a better life

The beauty of a person-centred counsellor is that we recognise that each person is unique. Whilst others may have similar challenges, they are not you. You experience things in your own way. A person-centred counsellor will customise sessions to work with you in the way you need. The benefit of coming to The Counselling Studio is that we understand that sometimes words fail us, we know we have problems but it’s hard to get it out. By working with a counsellor trained in expressive therapies, symbol work and sandplay you will have multiple ways to process your particular challenges. It might surprise you to hear this, but working this way is often fun too and we all know humour is a wonderful coping mechanism.

How do I know if I need counselling?

This is a question only you can answer. If you are having trouble coping with what life is currently throwing at you, then maybe you do need a hand to work through it. Many people from all walks of life and age groups go and talk with a counsellor. People will spend hundreds on getting their hair done, eating out or buying a new vehicle yet neglect their mental health. Your mental health is definitely worth investing in! If the computer in your head is glitching, how can you expect the rest of the body to function well? What is your head space worth to you? 

How many sessions will I need?

It depends on what your particular challenges are; however, most people improve within 10 sessions. For some it takes less time, for others it might take longer. Still others might come for an initial block of sessions, and then come back years later when they need a hand to get through a different patch. This is something we can work out together and re-assess along the way. Let’s start with one and go from there.

How much will it cost?

You can find the Fee Schedule here

Do I have to pay before I come?

Online Counselling sessions are required to be paid in advance.

However, for all face to face sessions payment is not required until attending your session.

We do accept payment beforehand (credit card or direct deposit) if it makes it easier for you.

Paying in advance ensures your appointment time is locked in exclusively for you. Counselling time is precious, out of respect for you I don’t want to waste even a moment filling out paperwork or taking payment during our session.

Is it possible to book a session today?

There are occasionally cancellations which open up appointments, this varies from day to day. If you want to see Karen today, you will need to call 04999 13245.

Do you do payment plans?

Yes we offer payment plans, please call 04999 13245  or email karen@thecounsellingstudio.com.au to arrange this.

What if I need to cancel?

Cancellations or rescheduling requires a minimum of 24 hours notice. Failure to do so forfeits the full payment. However, if you have a genuine emergency situation that prevents you from attending your appointment, please contact The Counselling Studio immediately.

What if I am late to an appointment?

If possible, please call ahead to let Karen know. In the event that you are running late, we will do our best to work with the time remaining in your allocated appointment time, however your appointment will still finish at the scheduled time so as not to inconvenience the next client.

Where are you located and where do I park?

The Counselling Studio is nestled behind the Red Shed Buildings located on Maude Kehoe Place in Yungaburra, and behind the Yungaburra Pub and the Yungaburra Community Hall.

See Map

You can access the studio by walking in past Coffee and Clay, or down the laneway between the Yungaburra Butchery and the Red Shed, past The Art Garage.

There is private car parking accessible off Cedar Street. Turn right into the driveway framed by a rock wall immediately behind the Yungaburra Pub before the road on Cedar St splits into two. When you drive in you will see parking behind the Hall. Proceed through the gate to enter The Counselling Studio.

Parking is also available on Maude Kehoe Place or Eacham Road.

Appointments are sufficiently scheduled so that you will not have to wait, if however, you are really early there is a small waiting area at the front of The Counselling Studio or alternatively I recommend the lovely drinks at Coffee & Clay.

Do I need a referral or a Mental Health Care Plan from my Doctor? Do you offer a Medicare rebate or bulk billing?

We do not offer Medicare rebates and do not bulk bill; The Counselling Studio is a private practice. Whilst you do not need a referral from your Doctor or a Mental Health Care Plan to book in for sessions, we encourage you to build a wellness team around you and with your permission we welcome the opportunity to communicate with your GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician on your behalf.

A Mental Health Plan from your GP is issued following diagnosis of a mental illness and provides you with 6-10 visits with a registered Medicare provider in which case you may be able to claim $78 – $86 through Medicare and then pay the gap amount to the provider. Some providers charge $200 for a 50-minute session, therefore after applying the Medicare rebate the cost to you (the client) would work out around the same amount as if you were to book into The Counselling Studio. Additionally, if you need more than 6-10 sessions, you are expected to pay the full fee. A Mental Health Plan limits the therapeutic frameworks that can be used and requires you to report back to the GP after 6 sessions to determine whether you qualify for 4 more rebated sessions.

I would advise you to ask these 5 questions –

  1. Do I want to have a diagnosis of a mental illness permanently on my medical record?
  2. Do I want to have some control over which counsellor I go to for help (given that your ability to get along with your therapist directly influences whether positive change occurs)?
  3. What if I need more than 6 or 10 visits, am I prepared to pay the full fee?
  4. What control do I have over what we work on in therapy?
  5. What if I need other ways to express myself in counselling but am limited to one approach?

I respect it is your decision.

Click here if you are unsure, to book your 15 minute phone consultation.

Click here if you want to proceed to book in for a private session with Karen.

Do I have to book an appointment online? Can I speak to you first?

The Counselling Studio uniquely offers online booking for your convenience, allowing you to select a time that fits with your schedule (and afterwards reserve future times if you so desire). If you have questions or need help to book please phone.

Will our session be confidential? Is there anything we can't talk about?

Yes, the things we talk about during counselling will be confidential, except in specific circumstances. If you disclose a plan to seriously harm another person, or disclose that you have hurt a child, or given the counsellor reason to believe you are at high risk of suicide then the relevant authorities and services will be contacted. In addition, from time to time your counsellor will take cases to external supervision and your case may be mentioned, however care is taken to remove names, details and any information that identifies clients. In some cases, client files are subpoenaed for court proceedings, in which case you would be notified and only the relevant information will be shared. I take great care when recording notes in client files and store them securely to ensure your privacy is upheld.

Will people see me coming to a session?

The Counselling Studio is in a private location. In most cases it is unlikely that anyone will see you or know that you are coming to counselling.

What do we do if I see you out and about in public?

We live in a small community, as a result there is a possibility we will see each other. I will take my cues from you, if you choose not to acknowledge me I will do likewise. Similarly, if you smile and wave, I will do likewise. Otherwise I will move on giving no indication or explanation as to how I know you. Rest assured no one will know that you have been to see me for counselling, I do not share that information with anyone. Out of respect for your privacy I will not discuss your counselling session outside of session times.

Can I bring someone with me to a session?

Yes. If you feel you need a support person, then I encourage you to bring someone you trust implicitly.

Do I need to be an artist to do art therapy?

There is absolutely no artistic ability required to participate in the creative aspects of Expressive Therapy. The art activities offered are carefully designed for therapeutic benefit, it is about the process and the meaning you make from it.

Where do you get your art supplies?

Most of our Art supplies come from The Art Garage in Yungaburra.

Do I need to stay if I bring my children? How much will you tell me if I am not in the room?

For the first few sessions it would be very helpful if you were able to stay, we can work it out from there. Depending on your child’s age there may be limits to what I am able to share with you after a session. At all times I will ask permission from your child/teen before I share something with you, unless they are at serious risk of harming themselves or another person. In most cases I will empower the child/teen to talk to you themselves.

What qualifications do you have?

Bachelor of Counselling

Certificate in Sandplay Therapy and Symbol Work for Children, Adolescents and Adults

Certificate in Expressive Therapy with Children and Adolescents; Somatic focused creative counselling for emotional integration

Australian Online Therapy Training – Level 2 Advanced

You can read more About Me

If you are trained, why do you need supervision?

Supervision is an ethical requirement for all who work within the mental health field. Psychologists, Counsellors, Mental Health Workers and Social Workers are all required to meet with a qualified professional supervisor to ensure clients receive the best possible care. It is a necessary and ongoing component of good counselling practice, focusing on both ensuring the best possible outcome for the client and the professional development and self-care of the counsellor. Supervision is an opportunity for the counsellor to discuss client cases (ensuring client anonymity at all times) in order to review and reflect on their provision of counselling and receive supportive feedback from their supervisor.

What is Online Counselling? How does it work?

Online counselling involves meeting together online at a pre-arranged time via video sessions.

Although online counselling could include all or a combination of the following formats; email, online chat, video sessions (similar to face time), audio only sessions (similar to a phone call) or virtual reality.

For online counselling you require a reliable internet connection, a computer, tablet or device which has a camera, microphone, set of headphones and a private space where you won’t be overheard or interrupted.

If you are unable to physically come in for counselling then perhaps bringing counselling to you via the internet is your next best option.

Do I need a special app to do Online Counselling?

No, I will send you a link that will take you directly to the video conference room (Zoom).

Having said that, you will require a reliable internet connection, a computer, tablet or device which has a camera, microphone, set of headphones and a private space where you won’t be overheard or interrupted.

What if the power goes off or we get disconnected?

As a backup, I will have my tablet on hand should there be a problem on my end. In this way I can be back online within minutes. Similarly If we get disconnected because of a power outage or storm at your end I will endeavour to resume the session via phone.

Please note: in my experience this rarely happens.

Can I use my phone for online counselling?

If you don’t have a computer that is ok we can connect via your phone or tablet.

You will however require a reliable internet connection, a camera, microphone, set of headphones and a private space where you won’t be overheard or interrupted.