Frequently Asked Questions
About Social Work and Accredited Mental Health Social Workers…
So, what do Social Workers do exactly?
In Australia, the Social Work profession is incredibly diverse, however consistent to all practice is a commitment to human rights and social justice.
Human Rights = being treated fairly, treating others fairly and having the ability to make genuine choices in our daily lives. Human rights are based on dignity, mutual respect and equality. The ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ sets out basic rights and freedoms that apply to all people and has inspired many legally binding international human rights laws.
Social Justice = seeks fair distribution of resources, opportunities and responsibilities, challenges the roots of oppression and injustice, empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realise their full potential, and builds social solidarity and community capacity.
Social Work is different to other professions in that it looks at the person as a whole and how they fit into and are impacted by their environment and the various social systems they interact with. This means that Social Workers look at a person and their circumstances more broadly, and look beyond a simple diagnosis – people and their lives, after all, are anything but simple!
...but aren’t Social Workers those people who remove children?
This is a common misconception! While Social Workers play an important role in the field of child protection, they are not singularly responsible for the removal of children (this is a decision made by a large group of people in consultation with the relevant legislation)! Social Workers work in a wide variety of other fields including mental health care, primary health care (hospitals), disability support, unemployment, schools, homelessness, aged care, justice, housing and domestic and family violence. They also work in a variety of other settings including research, policy development, system reform, advocacy and education.
What is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker?
Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are registered members with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), and have been assessed as having extensive postgraduate training and experience in the field of mental health.
An Accredited Mental Health Social Worker can help when you are having difficulties in your life which impact on your day-to-day functioning. These difficulties can include:
- Low mood or depression
- Stress or anxiety
- A relationship breakdown
- Conflict with family, friends or at work
- Traumatic experiences including assault, domestic violence, accidents, natural disasters or other stressful events
- Parenting concerns
- Grief or bereavement
- Using alcohol or other drugs excessively
- Trouble adjusting to a change in life circumstances
- Suicidal thoughts and/or self-harming behaviour
- A diagnosed or suspected mental health disorder
Accredited Mental Health Social Workers may also provide a suite of professional services to a variety of other industries, such as professional supervision, training, research and consultancy.
Do Accredited Mental Health Social Workers provide services under Medicare?
Like other eligible allied health professionals, such as psychologists, Accredited Mental Health Social Workers are assessed as having the required postgraduate training to provide a range of interventions under Medicare, including the following focussed psychological strategies:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- Behavioural interventions
- Cognitive interventions
- Relaxation strategies
- Skills training
- Problem solving
- Anger management
- Social skills
- Stress management
- Parenting skills
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychoeducation (including Motivational Interviewing)
- Narrative Therapy
About Flourish Therapy & Consulting…
What services do we offer?
Flourish Therapy & Consulting is a specialist service offering a range of services to clients and professionals.
Client Services include:
- One-on-one counselling (both in an office-based setting and through outreach support).
- Family therapy.
- Parenting enhancement programs, including group education programs, parenting skills training, and one-on-one counselling for parents to specifically address difficulties they may be having with their young person.
- Development of a range of resources for young people and families.
Professional Services include:
- Professional supervision for Social Workers and other allied health professionals (individual and group).
- Supervision and mentoring for Social Work students on placement (both direct supervision and external supervision services).
- Professional development training in a range of areas.
- Development of a range of resources for health workers.
Do Flourish Therapy & Consulting provide services under Medicare and how do I access these?
Yes, Flourish Therapy & Consulting are an approved provider of services under Medicare. To receive a Medicare rebate when seeing an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker you will require a Mental Health Care Plan and referral letter from a General Practitioner (GP), or a referral letter from a psychiatrist or paediatrician.
How much does Flourish Therapy & Consulting charge for counselling?
As there are a number of different mental health programs available (Medicare, private fee paying, NDIS, Chronic Disease Management etc.) which you may be referred under, please contact us on 0435 455 131 so we can discuss your situation and provide you with accurate and up to date fees.
Is Bulk-Billed counselling available?
Flourish Therapy & Consulting want to ensure counselling is accessible to all people, even when they are doing it tough financially. If you are experiencing genuine financial hardship or hold a valid Centrelink Health Care Card or pension card, you may be eligible to access bulk-billed sessions with not out of pocket cost. Please contact us to discuss your situation.
What happens in a one-on-one counselling sessions?
At your first appointment, which lasts for approximately 90 minutes, you and/or your parent or guardian (if you're under the age if 18) will complete our registration and consent forms. You will then have a chat with one of our qualified therapists who will ask lots of questions about different areas of your life to get a sense of who you are, what might be troubling you and how we can help to support you. Questions include things like your living circumstances, education, employment, relationships (friends and intimate relationships) and sleep. We will also ask questions which relate to mental health, such as your mood, stress, and drug and/or alcohol use.
If you're attending your appointment with a support person (including a parent or guardian) you can make the choice as to whether you want that person to sit in on your appointment, or whether you'd rather discuss these issues on your own (yes, even if you're under 18!!).
At the end of your first appointment you will discuss an ongoing plan to address your concerns with the therapist - depending on your concerns, this might include coming back for further sessions, being referred to a different service for extra support or not returning to Flourish Therapy & Consulting.
At your second and subsequent appointments, you'll begin to work through your concerns with the therapist who will use a variety of techniques and strategies with you (known under Medicare as 'Focused Psychological Strategies'). You should always understand what is happening in therapy and why, and if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you can discuss these with your treating therapist.
Can you access counselling without parental consent if you're under 18?
In certain circumstances a young person under the age of 18 can access counselling without their parent's/guardian's permission. Please contact us to discuss this option further.
Privacy and confidentiality - what's the deal?
At Flourish Therapy & Consulting we value your privacy, and will therefore keep what you tell us confidential. There are some occasions where we have a duty of care and/or a legal obligation to share your information without your consent. These include if:
(1) We are ever worried about your safety or the safety of another person;
(2) A court of law subpoenas documentation; and/or
(3) Your prior approval has been obtained to
a. Provide a written report to another professional or agency; for example, your GP; or
b. Discuss the material with another person; for example, a parent, school or employer
You will be provided with more detailed information regarding the privacy and confidentiality of your information at your first appointment. If you would like more information prior to your appointment, please feel free to contact us.