Dr Amanda Ferguson | Counselling
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Counselling

Dr Ferguson is a registered psychologist and registered clinical hypnotherapist. She has been in private practice since 1994. She is particularly motivated to help people discover more about themselves, make sustainable changes, and improve their sense of satisfaction and meaning of life. She has a private practice in Manly, Sydney.

Individuals

Amanda treats most problems from depression, stress and anxiety (including obsessive compulsive disorder and phobias), coping with major illness to issues of self-esteem, food, alcohol, smoking and other habit disorders, grief, trauma, suicidal and other crises, and unresolved childhood issues. Amanda uses a range of therapeutic modalities depending on the issues, client preferences and what will be most effective. These are mostly interactive processes although she provides many processes that can be used between sessions. Modalities include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a scientifically proven and widely accepted process for correcting dysfunctional thought processes and re-training the mind to become functional while simultaneously solving problems. She also uses psychotherapy, inner child work therapy and existential therapy.

As an Organisational Psychologist, Amanda deals with all workplace and career issues. She uses tests and other processes to assess and help with personality, fit, transition and satisfaction in work, organisation and career.

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Amanda helps with a broad range of issues from addictions and pain management to infertility, performance anxiety, desensitisation to phobias, snoring and other stressors.

Couples and relationship issues

Amanda helps couples at all stages: in crisis, deciding whether to stay together, re-building and improving their relationship, pre-marriage and co-parenting. See a paper Amanda presented to the Australian Psychological Society’s Relationships Interest Group in 2008.

Ethics and registrations

Psychologists and Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists follow strict ethical guidelines to protect the public. These are developed and regulated by the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Association, the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists, all of which Amanda is a member. To make an appointment to see Amanda at her private practice please call 0418 100 008.

SESSIONS AND FEES

Each session is 50 – 55 minutes long unless otherwise arranged. Sessions for couples may be one-and-a-half hours long. Amanda’s standard consultation fee is currently $220. The fee recommended by the Australian Psychological Society is $246 for 45-60 minutes until 30 June 2018.

CLAIMING FEES

There are various ways of claiming these fees: through Medicare, health insurance and tax, as explained below.

MEDICARE REBATE

It is possible to claim this service on Medicare if you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP to me. Medicare allows 10 sessions per calendar year with a psychologist. The current rebate is $84.80 per session. Psychologists are required to report back to the referring GP at the sixth session with an assessment and request for four more sessions through Medicare if appropriate.

HEALTH FUND REBATES

Most health insurance funds offer rebates depending on your level of coverage.

TAX REBATES

It is also possible to claim sessions on your income tax if sessions relate to your business or career.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the right psychologist?

I am always happy to have a chat by phone with anyone trying to establish if I am right for them. After then, a first session is recommended to further explore if the fit is good between client and therapist.

What happens in a first session?

I will ask you to complete a background information form (ideally by email before the session), with as much detail or not as you wish. We will delve into the issues of concern. I might ask you to complete a mood questionnaire to specify any mood problems you might be dealing with. I will provide feedback, some therapeutic solutions and options, and offer a potential prognosis. We will establish some guidelines for our future work together. You may ask any questions and get back to me later if you want time to think about whether you want to proceed.

What kind of therapy do you offer?

I use a range of therapeutic modalities depending on the issues, client preferences and what I think will be most effective. These are mostly interactive although I provide many processes that can be used between sessions. Modalities include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a scientifically proven and widely accepted process for correcting dysfunctional thought processes and re-training the mind to become functional while simultaneously solving problems. I also use psychotherapy, inner child work, hypnotherapy, career and job satisfaction processes, couples work and existential therapy.

Do I need a referral? And can I claim sessions?

You only need a referral if you want to claim under Medicare ($84.80 rebate per session). If your GP thinks you qualify, they will give you a Mental Health Care Plan, which you need to bring with you to see me. Medicare provides 10 sessions per calendar year. If your private insurance covers psychology or hypnosis you might claim that way. If your concerns are work or career related you may claim on your tax as I am also an Organisational Psychologist.

How often will I need to see you?

I will make recommendations but it is up to you. These decisions are usually based on the severity of the problem, finances and time. For severe or long term problems it is best to start weekly or fortnightly. Recurring sessions are more effective than ad hoc bookings. The therapeutic process aims to eventually draw out the time between sessions until therapy is no longer needed.

How confidential is therapy?

Your information is completely confidential. Psychologists cannot disclose anything about their clients to anyone. The only exceptions occur if a life is in danger or if you write to ask me to provide information to someone.

Papers

Psychology of Relationships Interest Group, Australian Psychological Society,
Annual conference: Relationship Transitions, 13-14 November 2004.
Theoretical frameworks for relationship transitions and the predictors of successful transitions