Frequently Asked Questions

How to arrange a visit?

Anyone can call and make an appointment to see one of our Mind & Seek psychologists. Alternatively, you may be referred to us by your GP, paediatrician, school or other health professional. If you choose to call us on 0452 526 463 (0452 52 MIND), your general questions can be answered and you can schedule an initial consultation.

How is Mind & Seek related to Western Psychological Services?

Western Psychological Services (WPS) has partnered with Mind & Seek to establish a speciality child and adolescent psychology service in the inner western suburbs of Melbourne. WPS is an established psychology service within the North-West of Melbourne (25 years). For further information about all WPS services, please visit the WPS website.

What to expect during an initial consultation?

For children under 12 years old, it is recommended that the first 50-minute appointment be a session between the psychologist and parents/guardians. The initial consultation will involve a discussion about your child’s developmental history, current issues, concerns and needs. Attending the session without your child enables you to discuss your concerns without little ears listening. It also provides you with an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the therapeutic or assessment process. Our Mind & Seek psychologists work collaboratively with parents/guardians to plan, review and deliver therapy.

Can you tell me more about counselling?

A treatment schedule typically involves weekly or fortnightly 50-minute appointments. Treatment goals are devised collaboratively with the psychologist, client and parent / guardians (if appropriate). Treatment goals are reviewed regularly in order to assess / and or modify the focus of the session according to your needs. Typically, individuals require between 5 and 15 therapy sessions. Once initial concerns start to improve, it is common for psychologists to recommend review sessions in order to check-in and see how things are going. Review sessions tend to occur at less frequent intervals than when treatment first started (e.g., monthly or longer).

Can you tell me more about Autism assessments?

An Autism Assessment begins with a 2-hour interview with parents / guardians to gain a thorough understanding of the child’s developmental, behavioural, social, emotional and cognitive history, as well as current concerns. Parents may be asked to complete questionnaires to help the psychologist identify a range of presenting concerns. Typically, the school or kinder are also asked to complete questionnaires to provide the psychologist with an understanding of the child’s behaviour in a classroom setting. The second session is a child or adolescent observation and/or interview session where the psychologist asks the child to complete several play-based activities using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and/or the Monteiro Interview Guidelines for Diagnosing the Autism Spectrum (MIGDAS-2). Depending on the child’s age and individual needs, the parent may be asked to sit in the waiting room during the assessment. A comprehensive report containing the outcome of the assessment and recommendations are discussed to parents / guardians at the feedback session.

Can you tell me more about cognitive and educational assessments?

A cognitive or educational assessment may be recommended if parents, teachers or other health professionals have concerns or questions regarding the child’s learning. This may involve concerns or questions about the child’s general learning, or specific questions regarding an aspect of the child’s learning (e.g., reading ability). Cognitive assessments or intelligence tests (IQ) are used to determine a child’s learning capability by identifying their cognitive strengths and weaknesses. When interpreted in combination with background information and/or parent and teachers interviews, the results of cognitive tests can provide a profile which can assist with the development of individualised intervention and learning plans for children.

What kinds of questionnaires are used during cognitive assessments?

Cognitive assessments with children require the administration of standardised psychometric tools by experienced and accredited psychologists. These tools can assess various areas of cognitive capacity, for example:

  • Verbal Comprehension: the ability to use a range of vocabulary to understand and express general knowledge and explain concepts
  • Visual Spatial: the ability to evaluate visual details and understand visual spatial relationships
  • Fluid Reasoning: the ability to use conceptual information from visual details and apply that knowledge
  • Working Memory: the ability to learn, manipulate and retain information to complete new tasks
  • Processing Speed: the ability to quickly process and make judgements about visual information

When should I consider getting a cognitive assessment for my child?

Cognitive assessments with children help assist in the examination of:

  • Intellectual Giftedness: a cognitive assessment will help to assess whether a child can access gifted and talented programs or special classes e.g. admission to selective schools, acceleration or opportunity classes, or guide teachers in the provision of extension activities in the classroom setting.
  • Diagnosing learning difficulties or disabilities in children: a cognitive assessment in conjunction with an educational assessment (looking at specific abilities, such as reading, writing and maths abilities) can assist in identifying the presence of a learning difficulty or disorder in children and to help teachers make appropriate accommodations for students in the classroom. This information can be used to manage and minimise negative experiences at school such as poor academic results, school avoidance and low self-esteem.
  • Intellectual difficulty or disability: an assessment will assist in identifying children with an intellectual disability, which is characterised by an IQ test score at least 2 standard deviations below the mean (this often equates to an IQ score of 70). Following an assessment, children and parents will have a better understanding around how an intellectual disability impacts the child’s ability to learn. It will also help to provide information to develop effective plans or accommodations in the classroom that are tailored to meet a child’s specific needs. Results can also assist in making applications to access government or school disability funding, special needs teachers or special provisions (e.g. scribe) in formal school examinations.

What happens during a cognitive or educational assessment?

A cognitive (or educational) assessment begins with a brief interview discussing the history of the child’s learning and current concerns. Parents / guardians are encouraged to bring recent school reports and any previous assessments. Depending on the referral reason, the assessment may then take between one to two assessments sessions with the child. The sessions involve asking the child to complete several different activities using a developmentally appropriate assessment tool (e.g., Weschler Intelligence Scales for Children, WISC-V, Weschler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, WWPSI, and Weschler Individual Achievement Test, WIAT-III). Depending on the child’s age and individual needs, the parent may be asked to sit in the waiting room during the assessment. A comprehensive report containing the outcome of the assessment and recommendations are discussed to parents / guardians at the feedback session.

What are your fees?

The Australian Psychological Society recommends an hourly rate of $267 per session, However, we aim to keep fees reasonable and rates are set substantially below this. For current fees please click here. The Mind & Seek administrative team work some days onsite at our Aberfeldie location and other days of the week remotely. Majority of our payments are made via invoice and bank transfer is our preferred payment method. If reception is unattended on the day of your session, one of our friendly reception staff will send an invoice via email to you after your appointment. Please follow the instructions on the invoice to either process the payment via bank transfer or credit card over the phone. Medicare rebates can then be processed if eligible.

Can you explain how the rebates work?

Subject to eligibility, rebates for psychological services may be claimed through the following means: Medicare: The psychological services at Mind & Seek are registered under Medicare. Clients referred to us under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, may receive up to 20 treatment sessions per year subsidised by Medicare. Please ask your GP or Paediatrician for further information regarding Medicare referrals. Click here for up-to-date information on Medicare rebates for psychology. Medicare rebates may be claimed via Medicare Online Claiming for payment direct to your account if your bank details are registered with Medicare. Alternatively, you can claim your rebate by visiting Medicare. Please note that Medicare does not cover psychological assessments (except for autism assessments under the appropriate referral by a paediatrician or psychiatrist) however, you may be eligible for a rebate under your private health care fund.

What if I have to cancel my appointment?

If a client is unable to keep their scheduled appointment, it is important to please give as much notice as possible, so that the time is available for us to offer that session to a client on our waiting / cancellation list. Cancellation fees are charged when failing to attend or cancelling less than 24 hours prior to scheduled appointment date without a medical certificate or where that time cannot be allocated to another client. Cancellation fees apply to Private, Medicare and Compensable clients (i.e., VOCAT). Clients are responsible for the fee as the rebate cannot be claimed.