FAQs

How to make a referral?

 

 

To make a general enquiry or to book an appointment please contact Michael via phone 0452 588 547 or email michael@growfromtherapy.com. For new referrals, Michael prefers to talk over the phone before the first session to discuss the therapeutic process and answer any questions about how he may be able to help you.

Where are you located and where can I park?

 

I am located at 1420 Logan Road Mt Gravatt.  You can find underground parking after Cafe Boulevard off Logan Road.  Walk up the stairs back onto Logan Road.  My office is located between Cafe Boulevard and Vision Psychology.  Look for a glass door leading up a flight of stairs.  Please take a seat and I will come down to meet with you at our appointment time.

 

What are the signs my child might be affected by traumatic events?

 

In short every child is different. What is useful is to notice reactions and changes in behaviour – including; appetite changes, changes in sleep patterns, anxiety, tension, headaches, crying, depression, anger or short tempered, hyperactivity or mood swings, difficulty concentrating, numbness, apathy and re-enactments (e.g in play/drawing). If reactions and behaviour changes persist or are extreme then seek professional help.

If you, as a parent have questions, doubts and/or concerns consider booking an appointment with me. Knowledge is power: the more informed you are and the more you understand your child, the better you can provide them with the support, nurturing and guidance they need.

What professional experience and qualifications do you have?

 

In 2000 I completed a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Queensland. In 2010 I completed a Masters of Systemic Psychotherapy (Family Therapy) at the University of Bedfordshire, England. In 2015 I became an Accredited Mental Social Worker by the Australian Association of Social Work.

 

What is Family Therapy?

 

Family Therapy, also referred to as systemic psychotherapy, is an evidence base branch of psychotherapy that works with children, young people, families and couples to nurture change and development. The approach is very effective with individuals too.

The approach places importance on working with people and not on them. Clients, young and old are seen as both participants and partners in the therapeutic process with the therapist.

Family Therapy focuses on the relational aspects of human problems with an interest in understanding the specific contexts in which difficulties and solutions occur. Issues of culture, class, gender, sexuality and spirituality are considered important in how people live their lives.

The approach emphasises that family relationships are viewed as an important factor in psychological health, well-being and recovery.

Why choose Family Therapy?
  • If one member of a family is having problems, it usually affects others. Choosing family therapy means that all family members will have attention paid to them
  • Family therapy helps teach skills to deepen connections and enhance functioning and build resilience and well-being to get through stressful times
  • Family therapy can bring out the best in families, discovering and amplifying existing and potential resources and strengths
  • Family therapy assessments and interventions move from how problems were caused to how they can be resolved
What is meant by the word 'family'

For me, back in the 1980’s growing up as a white ‘Aussie’ kid in Brisbane, the dominant image of the ‘average family’ was the two parent, hetrosexual couple with 2.3 children, a dog (or cat/or both) where dad was the ‘breadwinner’ and Mum stayed at home, living within walking distance from supportive grandparents.

Such an image marginalises and excludes other diverse family forms, many to which I encounter in my practice such as childless couples, single parents with children, blended, kinship and foster families, children living within shared care arrangements, gay or lesbian couples and solo people.

To me ‘Family’ refers to many different forms of committed relationships and friendships.

Indeed, everyone has a family of origin, biological or not which contributes to the health of the individual, emotionally, socially and at times genetically.  Whatever ‘family’ may consist of, almost everyone relates to some kind of family.

Do you always meet with the family together?

No.  Who attends sessions together depends on a variety of factors including: the presenting concerns, quality of relationships and goals of the work.  I find meeting the ‘family’ in different ways to be valuable.  Sessions therefore can vary from parent/adult sessions; child/parent sessions; child sessions; sibling sessions and family sessions.

Do you work with other professionals and helpers that are involved?

When a child, young person, adult, family is involved with several different agencies, I may work with the network of professionals as well as family members to ensure that input is coordinated and helpful.  Before talking with relevant others I get the client’s consent and discuss with them what maybe helpful to communicate and address together.

Do you offer supervision and training?

Since 2005 I have been offering supervision and consultation to new and seasoned social workers, psychologists, counsellors, family support workers and others working in a variety of settings including child protection, child and family therapy, education and mental health.

I am particularly passionate about child-centred family therapy and the diverse applications of systemic, narrative and attachment based approaches to therapeutic work.  I have delivered training and workshops on a state, national and international level.

What is Radical Exposure Tapping?

Radical Exposure Tapping (RET) is a form of exposure therapy that can effectively help people resolve and recover from traumatic memories and disturbing events.   RET works rapidly at reducing distress and helping to bring about positive changes in clients lives, often accomplishing in one to two sessions what takes ten sessions of ordinary talk therapy.

I have successfully used RET with a diverse client group including helping people who have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression.  RET has been very helpful for people who have experienced abuse and trauma, domestic violence, victims of crime, intrusive medical interventions, unresolved grief and loss, separation and divorce, and parents whose ‘buttons’ get pushed by their children and others in their life.

RET was created and developed by Dr Laurie Mackinnon, an internationally renowned therapist and expert in the field.  RET is a scientifically proven approach that effectively combines approaches such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and hypnotic imagery work.

For more information about RET visit www.radical exposure.com.  For stories about my use of RET and what difference RET has made to my clients visit the case study and testimonials sections.

What to expect - before the first session?

Before our first session I find it useful to talk with you briefly over the phone so that we can discuss what you want, how I can help and answer any initial questions you may have about the process, including what to expect in the first session.

What to expect - First session and beyond?

When you come to the first appointment, I aim to be a good ‘host’ and help you feel welcome. I am interested in your ideas about accessing counselling and therapy so I might ask ‘whose idea was it to come to counselling’. I like to know what concerns you the most, along with your hopes for counselling and how you would like your future to look like.

I am interested in exploring the different contexts of your life and the effect of behaviours and ideas on relationships.  I tend to look for patterns rather than causes.  I try to invest time in finding ways to resolve concerns and problems with you and find constructive ways family members help each other.

I find it valuable to get to know about life outside of the problem(s). This might include getting to know individual and family members interests, abilities, dreams, commitments, values and times when life was little bit more okay.

If there is more than one person in the room I give opportunities to everyone to contribute to discussions if they wish. I usually ask questions in order to hear from all who attend. I aim not to take sides, blame or provide simple ‘one size fits all’ answers.  Sessions involving children often include a combination of talk, play, art, drama, whatever emerges as a useful way of expression for the child (young person and adult).

I not only support change with individuals but also in their relationships in the family and beyond, so children, young people, adults and/or those important to them are continually supported long after therapy has ended.

What if someone is reluctant to come to counselling?

Sometimes, when one person or group is keen for therapy others to them may be more reluctant.  This is understandable. Going to therapy can feel like a big step and some people are more ready than others.

It maybe useful to arrange a meeting with me, to discuss the possibility of working together and give everyone a chance to share their concerns and ask questions.  I will be more than happy to discuss ways forward with you.

How long is a session?

Sessions typically last for 55 minutes.  Extending the length of time in sessions to 85 min particularly for couples and families travelling afar can be helpful.  I am more than happy to discuss these options with you.

What are the fees?

 

The cost of a one-hour counselling session is $180. The Medicare rebate is $75.95. You will be required to pay the gap amount of $104.95 per/hr via bank transfer, cash or auto payment. Cancellation fee is $80 unless 24 hours notice is provided.

 

Do you have a cancellation policy?

 

Yes.  Cancellations with less than 24 hours notices typically can not be filled at such short notice and therefore attracts a charge of $80.

How to access a medicare rebate?

As an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, I am able to offer services under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative for which a Medicare rebate is available.

To access this service you must have a referral from your GP who has completed a Mental Health Treatment Plan with you. Part of this treatment plan must involve counselling services (Focused Psychological Services) by an Allied Health Professional (such as a qualified and accredited Mental Health Social Worker).

Please bring your GP referral, your treatment plan and your Medicare card to your first appointment.

The cost of a one-hour counselling session is $165. The Medicare rebate is $74.80. You will be required to pay the gap amount of $90.20 per/hr via bank transfer, cash or auto payment. Cancellation fee is $80 unless 24 hours notice is provided.

Please be aware that the current arrangements with Medicare limit the number of sessions available to 6 sessions. It is possible to request that your GP approve a further 4 sessions. Therefore the total number of sessions available through the Medicare program is 10. This is important for you to consider in terms of your overall access to counselling. If you believe that you may need further sessions you will be required to pay for these independently.