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icons / angleLeft Our Services

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.

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:

  • Optional wearing of N95 masks (provided for free at reception)
  • 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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Check our contact page for the locations of our sites.


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.

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.

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.

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Counselling appointments are currently provided free of charge.

If you need to get in touch with us
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Useful links
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Family violence

Drug and alcohol


Crisis supports

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


Thorne Harbour relies upon your continued support