To help you on your counselling journey, here is some information on our services, our terms and conditions, and the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch with us and we'd be happy to help!
Cost & Duration
All sessions run for 60 minutes, unless agreed on otherwise.
The costs involved are;
Individual $135.00 AUD
Couples and Families $220.00 AUD
Please note that fees are subject to change. A period of 2 weeks notice will be given to existing clients.
Payment is made at the end of each session. You can do this via cash or card.
Do you accept GP referrals and the Mental Health Care Plan?
Please note that counselling and psychology are different. The Mental Health Care Plan will cover individual psychology services. It does not cover counselling, meaning we are unable to accept care plans.
You do not need a GP referral to attend counselling.
Are there rebates available with Medicare?
Medicare does not offer rebates for counselling.
What about private health insurance?
Rebates are available with Police Health Fund, Emergency Services Health, Phoenix Health, St Lukes Health, GMHBA, CUA Health (Telehealth only). Rebates are available with Bupa only if you are working with Toni Stephan. If you are in one of these providers and are covered for counselling services, you may be able to claim some of the cost back. If you are with a different private health fund, you will need to contact them directly to check your coverage prior to attending your first appointment with us, as this is out of our control. Please note that counselling and psychology are different, and some health funds will only cover psychology services. At this time, rebates are not available with HCF or Medibank.
How do I make a claim?
After each appointment, you will pay for your session in full. Upon payment, an itemised invoice will be emailed to you, which you can submit to your health fund to make a claim.
You do not need a referral to attend counselling, however, if you have been referred to us by your GP, lawyer, psychologist, or other professional, we will ask you to provide us with their contact information when completing your intake form. If you have been referred by your doctor or psychologist, you may request that we contact them to collaborate on your treatment or to keep them up to date on your progress.
For counselling to be effective you will need to make a commitment to our work, be open to look at what you bring into your life and relationship (both positive and negative) and a commitment to creating change where it is needed. If you attend counselling sporadically, you may not achieve the results you are looking for. It is recommended that you commit to weekly or fortnightly appointments to begin with. When these conditions are met, there is an excellent chance that we can not only help you get your life and relationships back on track but take you to an even stronger place.
All personal information gathered during the provision of the counselling service will remain confidential and secure except where:
It is subpoenaed by a court, or failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at serious and imminent risk. Your prior approval has been obtained to a) Provide a written report to another professional or agency, b) Discuss the material with another person, e.g. a parent, partner or employer; or if disclosure is otherwise required or authorised by law. If you have been referred by your doctor or psychologist, we will communicate with them by email to keep them updated regarding your progress. We may discuss your case in supervision. All counsellors registered with The Australian Counselling Association or similar body are required to undergo supervision from time to time. This is to ensure that you, the client, are provided with counselling that meets the highest industry standards.
Counsellors working at Hills Relationship Centre cannot be your ‘friend’ on social media networks. Their privacy is equally as important as yours.
Requests to cancel or reschedule an appointment with less than 48 hours notice will incur the full fee, regardless of the reason. All cancellations should be made via text, phone call (0410 549 930) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please do not use social media messages.
If you fail to show up for your scheduled appointment, you will also be charged the full fee. We offer confirmation and reminder emails for appointments as a courtesy to our clients, however, the onus is on the client to ensure they arrive for their scheduled appointment time.
We require credit card details to be kept on file in case of cancellation. You will be asked to fill in your credit card details before your first session. Your details will be held securely and will be destroyed when you are no longer a client of Hills Relationship Centre.
When making an appointment for the first time, you will be required to complete an intake form, which will be emailed to you at the time of booking. This intake form ensures we have your correct information on file, and that you understand our policies. This form is a legal requirement, meaning we will be unable to see you at the centre without it. It must be completed within the required timeframe to secure your booking. If it is not completed, your appointment may be cancelled. If you fail to complete the form in the required timeframe, and fail to attend your appointment, you will be charged per our cancellation policy.
Safety, Security and Health
At no time will any inappropriate or aggressive behaviour be tolerated. We reserve the right to discontinue any appointment and/or treatment with a client where inappropriate or aggressive behaviour is being displayed.
We also reserve the right to refuse services if you present at your appointment as unwell. Please only attend your appointment if you are in good/full health. If you attend and are not well, we will not continue with your appointment that day, and you will be required to pay the full fee. We offer Telehealth sessions as an alternative to attending in person, if you are not well.
Communication Between Appointments
We are unable to provide support between sessions. If you need additional support, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or, you can book an additional appointment with your counsellor.
Files, Report Writing and Court Attendance
By law we are required to create and keep a confidential file for each of our clients. At any stage you may request a copy of your file. If you require a copy of your file, an admin fee will apply. Please contact reception to arrange a quote.
In the event that you require a letter of support, or a report to be written, a fee will apply and you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit. Please note that letters of support and reports can take several hours to compile. Please contact reception to arrange a quote.
If you require your therapist to attend court, a legal meeting or mediation with you, our hourly rate of $220AUD applies. You will also be charged for our travel time, and any miscellaneous fees we incur.
How long will I have to wait for my appointment?
Hills Relationship Centre is the leading provider of relationship counselling in the Hills District and surrounds, as such our service is in high demand. There can sometimes be a wait for appointments on certain days or times. Usually you will be able to make an appointment within a week or so of contacting us. For the high demand times, there may be a wait list. Please check our availability here.
Do you offer weekend, after hours, or urgent appointments?
We offer appointments after hours and on weekends, however these appointment times are in high demand and are subject to availability. While we will always do our best to accommodate your preferred day and time, there may be a wait for these appointments. Please check our availability or contact us for more information.
Counselling services are provided by appointment only. If you need urgent or crisis assistance, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or your local acute care mental health team.
What is the difference between counselling and psychology?
Counsellors work with individuals, couples, children, and families to help them cope with everyday stressors, relationship issues, personal or mental health challenges. Counsellors will use a range of therapeutic tools and techniques to help clients understand and explore their behaviour, experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Although there can be some crossover with counselling and psychology, working with a psychologist often also includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of more severe mental illness.
Do you work with individuals or only couples?
We work with individuals, couples, children, teens and families. We also work with couples and individuals to support them after their relationships have ended.
My partner doesn’t want to come to relationship counselling. Should I go on my own?
If your relationship needs help and your partner is not willing to attend relationship counselling at this stage, you can work with us on your own. While it is ideal if both partners attend relationship counselling, it is not completely necessary. You can still achieve excellent results attending relationship counselling without your partner being present. You will learn new tools and strategies that can help your relationship. When one person makes changes, it can and does change the dynamic in the relationship.
How many sessions will we need?
The number of sessions needed to see change varies between each individual and couple. The unique challenges you bring into counselling will affect the number of sessions required. Some individuals and couples only require one or two sessions. Some couples have been suffering for many years with complex and intricate challenges and require more long-term relationship counselling. It is vitally important that you attend relationship counselling regularly. In fact, regular attendance is directly related to having a positive counselling experience and achieving your therapy goals.
Where is your office located?
Our office is located at 20A Lexington Drive, Bella Vista, NSW 2153. You can find directions here.
We also offer marriage, relationship, individual and family counselling services online via Telehealth.
I don’t live in Sydney. Can we still work together?
Absolutely! We work with clients from all over the country via Telehealth.
To read our full policies, procedures and guidelines, please click here.