Cancer Wellbeing Centre

Expert psychology support for cancer wellbeing

Expert Cancer Psychologists in Brisbane

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for the Public

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FAQ for our Referrers

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Services at the Cancer Wellbeing Centre

Do I need a referral to see a CWC psychologist?

You do not need a referral to see one of the psychologists at CWC, and can call or email us to make an initial private appointment at any time. However, if you are wishing to access a Medicare rebate for your treatment, a referral will need to be in place at the time of your appointment for you to be eligible. 

Can I get a Medicare rebate for my sessions?

The Medicare Better Access scheme provides rebates for up to 10 psychology sessions per calendar year. Clients wishing to visit CWC under this program will need to make a longer appointment with their GP before their first visit, to assess their eligibility for a Mental Health Care Plan. Alternatively, psychiatrists and paediatricians can provide referrals under Better Access without creating a Mental Health Care Plan. 

Can my sessions be covered by private health?

Private health funds can cover a portion of initial psychology assessments and subsequent consultations. The amount your fund contributes will vary depending on your fund and level of cover, and can be assessed on the spot through our on-site payment systems. Private health rebates are not applicable if you have already claimed a Medicare rebate for the session.

What costs are involved?

Our fees vary from $190 - $251 per session, depending on whether you are seeing a general psychologist, clinical psychologist or senior clinician. The out of pocket expenses will be diminished by up to $124.50 each visit if you are under the Better Access scheme, and by varying amounts if you opt to use private health instead. Those who reach their annual Medicare Safety Net threshold may receive rebates of up to 80% of their fee. Additional charges may apply for tailored services such as home visits.

Who can come to CWC?

CWC is an initiative designed to provide specialised assistance to anyone impacted by cancer. This includes those living with cancer, their family and loved ones, as well as people bereaved by cancer. If you have any questions as to whether this is the right service for you, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team for further information and support.

What will happen in my first session?

Our therapists will read through any referrals you may have brought with you, and might ask a number of questions to help them understand your current situation. Then, with respect and compassion, they will discuss your goals for therapy and work with you to develop a plan for your sessions together. You can also ask questions and discuss the role you would like any loved ones or medical practitioners to have in your therapy.

Are the sessions confidential?

Your sessions with CWC psychologists remain completely confidential unless you give us written permission to share your information with another party; we are legally subpoenaed; or we are concerned about the safety of yourself or others. If you are coming under a Medicare referral, we are required to report back to your referring health practitioner at certain intervals.

What makes CWC psychologists different?

Our CWC team are in a position to deliver highly specialised psycho-oncology interventions. All CWC practitioners have undergone extensive training and are experienced in delivering therapeutic care tailored to those impacted by cancer. We have strong professional networks with both medical and community-based cancer services, and provide evidence-based therapy aligned with the latest scientific research.

What's the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists have a minimum six years of university-level training in non-medical therapies. Psychiatrists obtain a six year medical degree, and then further training in mental health. The two often work together as part of a client's mental health team, with psychiatrists managing medical interventions such as medications while psychologists work through therapeutic goals and outcomes.

What's the difference between a psychologist and a counsellor?

In Australia, psychologist is a protected term, meaning that only those who have met the stringent educational requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia are able to use the title and register to practice. Counsellor and psychotherapist are not protected terms, meaning that there is no legally required education or experience to use these titles. Due to this lack of regulation, Medicare rebates are usually not applicable to the services of a counsellor.

What is your cancellation policy?

In order to maintain our high standards of service and ability to provide flexible and time-sensitive appointments, CWC needs to make maximum use of room and practitioner availability. If you cannot make your session or need to cancel/reschedule, we ask you to please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice, or a fee of half the session cost plus GST will apply. This policy applies to all our clients and makes it easier for everyone, including you, to get the earliest and most convenient appointments possible.

Can I still attend if I am immuno-suppressed?

CWC understands the unique challenges and impacts of cancer on the lives of our clients, and recognise that health can be a barrier to accessing our services. While we make every attempt to maintain a clean and sanitary clinic environment, we do have a high volume of clients through our door each day. If you have any concerns about immuno-suppresion, please contact us to discuss the possibility of extended hour or home visits.

Referring to the Cancer Wellbeing Centre

Who is eligible to access CWC services?

Our services are available to anyone distressed by cancer, including family and loved ones. We also see people bereaved by cancer.

How does my patient make an appointment?

You can encourage your patient to contact us directly to make an appointment via email or phone. We always appreciate a referral letter from treating health professionals, however there is no specific need unless patients wish to access a Medicare rebate.

How can general practitioners refer?

If your patient would like to obtain a Medicare rebate, you will need to assess their eligibility and complete the appropriate referral (such as a Mental Health Care Plan for Better Access, or a Team Care Arrangement for a smaller rebate through Chronic Disease Management). 

How can psychiatrists and paediatricians refer?

Both psychiatrists and paediatricians are able to write referrals under Better Access and do not need to complete a Mental Health Care Plan for their patients to be eligible.

How can oncologists refer?

Unfortunately oncologists are ineligible to refer under the Better Access scheme, however if your patient would like to obtain Medicare assistance, they can make an appointment to discuss a Mental Health Care Plan with their GP.

Do you offer training to health professionals?

Our practitioners can provide medical and allied health teams with cancer-specific training and professional development. This can be tailored depending on requirements.