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Your First Appointment

Please allow up to 90 minutes for the initial assessment appointment. Each regular counselling session will run for 50 minutes.

Prior to your first session, you will receive information about our Client Privacy and Confidentiality Information, Informed Consent, and Client Rights and Responsibilities. If you have not received this pack, please let us know and we can send this to you and review with you during your first appointment.

What to expect during the first appointment:

At your first appointment, your information will be reviewed, and we will explain the way we work as well as answer any questions you may have. During the first session, your counsellor might:

  • Ask 'What brought you to counselling?'
  • Learn from you what your hopes are for counselling, and help you set goals that you would like to achieve from counselling
  • Explain how counselling works and answer any questions
  • Ask some questions about your history, including your childhood, education, relationships, your current living situation, and your career
  • Advise on other services or supports, if any, might be helpful whilst you wait for an allocation

Some questions might not be relevant for you or you may not comfortable with. If that’s the case, we can skip those. The first appointment is also a chance for you to check us out. You might have questions about the service, different therapy approaches, or confidentiality. Feel free to ask.

Important COVID-19 information
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This information has been devised following government guidelines in Victoria and will be revised regularly based on those directions.

There are COVID-safe protocols in place until further notice. These include:

  • Mandatory wearing of masks whilst inside the building (unless exemptions apply)
  • Use of QR codes upon entry
  • Encouragement of physical distancing - internal and external space will be arranged to support this
  • Encouragement of regular handwashing

If you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms, please contact us before coming on-site. We can reschedule the appointment or provide via Telehealth.

For on-site appointments
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Address:

Our address is 200 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067

How to get here:

We are located between Victoria Park and Collingwood Train Station and less than a 5 minute walk from each station. We are also next to Johnston St/Hoddle St and Vere St/Hoddle St bus stops. Plan your journey here.

Parking:

Car parking on site is not available. There is limited parking available on Hoddle Street and Johnston Street.

Accessibility:

We are committed to ensuring our buildings and facilities are accessible to people with disabilities, create connections and enhance the experience of all people who visit us. There is an accessible lift on the ground floor. There are two toilets on the ground floor – one is an accessible toilet and both are gender-neutral toilets.

We will do our best to accommodate your access needs for you to be able to visit us and fully participate in our counselling services. Please contact us on 03 9865 6700 to discuss any access needs.

Amenities near 200 Hoddle Street:

You might be interested in amenities near the building before or after your appointment. Here is a map of nearby amenities.

When you arrive, simply check-in with Reception. They will direct you to a waiting area and let your counsellor know you have arrived.

For telephone or Zoom appointments
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We can provide telephone or video appointments using a videoconferencing platform called Zoom. Once an appointment has been arranged, we will share a link with you via email or SMS. Once you have clicked on this link, you video session with automatically launch. You will need a device (computer or smartphone) with an internet connection in order for the link to work.

For telephone appointments:

Your counsellor will phone you at the arranged appointment time.

For Zoom appointments:

Your counsellor will send you a link prior to the appointment. Your Telehealth session will be scheduled for a specific time. The link will expire at the conclusion of your appointment. These telehealth sessions are not recorded and are completely private.

We understand that it can be a strange experience the first few times you engage in online counselling. Here are some tips to help ease any discomfort you may experience, and to help you make the most of your session:

  • Find a comfortable, quiet space within your home. Make sure this is private and away from distractions or other loud noises.
  • Find a pair of headphones to use throughout your session. This will increase privacy measures if you live with others.
  • You might consider minimising disruptions by locking doors, putting a ‘Do not disturb’ sign up, or switching off phones.
  • If you wish to hide your face from your own view on Zoom, please click the ‘X’ in the top right corner of your videocam view (the window that shows your face only). Some clients may find the view of their face distracting or uncomfortable.

If you feel uncomfortable with videoconferencing, phone consultations are available as an alternative.

Client rights and responsibilities
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You can find our Client Rights and Responsibilities Statement here.

If you need to reschedule
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We understand that cancellations are sometimes necessary. Please call if you need to reschedule – we require 24 hours’ notice. Our number is 03 9865 6700. Alternatively, you can respond to the reminder SMS that was sent to you. You will receive a reminder 48 hours prior to ensure enough time to reschedule.

Counselling fees
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Fees charged for counselling services are based on a sliding scale. The scale is calculated as $10 for every $10,000 you earn each year. Fees are capped at $120. If you are receiving a Disability Support Pension (DSP) you are asked to make a Gold Coin Donation for each appointment if you can. If you receive Newstart or Austudy, you are charged $10 per appointment.

You pay your fees at reception prior to each session. If you are experiencing hardship, please speak with your counsellor. We can help you with alternative arrangements, including reducing fees to a Gold Coin Donation.

There are no fees charged for assessment appointments.

If you need to get in touch with us
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Useful links
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LGBTI

Family violence

Drug and alcohol

Families

Crisis supports

If you are in crisis and in need of urgent support please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 000

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