Frequently Asked Questions
What do you do at your clinic?
Empower Rehab is a private multi-disciplinary clinic specialising in providing high quality pain management treatment as well as general psychological and physiotherapy treatment. Our team members value collaborative care with other treating clinicians to ensure that you can achieve your functional goals and feel confident to cope independently in the future.
General clinical services
What do you treat?
Our team are trained to treat a range of presentations and challenges and have a range of approaches. This will provide you with a variety of options to suit your needs and preferences. Just to name a few, our psychologists treat depression, anxiety (generalised and specific phobias), stress, trauma, grief, persistent pain, sleep problems and adjustment to significant life changes. There are many other psychological problems we specialise in, please contact reception for more details.
Our physiotherapists have undertaken specific training to treat complex and chronic conditions and are experts in the integration of a CBT approach within their delivery of physiotherapy. They utilise a range of approaches to get you functioning better and make sure they listen to your needs by treating you as a whole person.
What should I expect from my first session?
The first appointment will involve your clinician providing you with brief information about the practicalities of the session (e.g., confidentiality, length of time, consent information) and then asking you a range of questions, at your pace, to understand what has brought you in for the session and what are some of the perpetuating or contributing factors for the challenge you are experiencing. You and your clinician will then briefly discuss potential focus and goals of treatment.
How long are the sessions?
All initial appointments are 50 minutes long. Subsequent sessions with psychologists will also be 50 minutes and subsequent sessions with the physiotherapists will be 25 or 50 minutes based on your clinicians’ recommendations.
How often and for how long will I attend?
We usually recommend regular appointments to begin with and then aim to have the frequency reduce as you build up your confidence and capacity to cope. For example, you might have 3 x once weekly appointments to begin with and then move to fortnightly appointments then possibly monthly then bi-monthly and perhaps a review in 3 months.
How long you are recommended to attend will depend on your goals and the focus of treatment. With all presentations, our clinicians are always working towards the client feeling confident to cope independent of treatment.
How do I book appointments?
You are welcome to be in contact with our clinic via phone, email, fax or through our contact section on the website to start the intake process.
We usually recommend booking 2 – 3 appointments to begin with so that you can get some momentum with your clinician. Your clinician will then discuss suitable appointment frequency for you specifically and ideally these will be booked in advance so where possible, you will be able to attend at your preferred time.
We encourage you to continue to book appointments ahead and you are welcome to confirm your appointments with reception whenever you need. Appointments can be cancelled with 48 hours notice via email, phone or voicemail.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral to see any of our clinicians however, if you intend to apply for a rebate from Medicare or access your sessions via a compensable scheme (i.e., Worksafe or TAC) you will require a referral from a medical clinician (e.g. GP, treating physiotherapist). The specific referral required will be discussed with you when making your initial appointment.
How does confidentiality work?
All sessions are confidential and private. All documents and notes will be kept in a secure and password protected database and your treater will not speak to anyone about your sessions without express verbal or written consent to do so. However, there are certain limits and exceptions to client confidentiality in the interests of protecting the safety and well-being of clients and others. In the following circumstances confidentiality may be overridden:
- In situations where there is deemed to be significant and imminent risk to the client or another person
- Where required by law (e.g., client notes have been subpoenaed by a court of law or mandatory reporting if a child needs protection from abuse or harm).
Will you contact my GP (or other clinicians)?
Your therapist may request to communicate with your GP, or with another professional or agency involved in your care, regarding information that is relevant to your treatment. This sharing of information may occur in writing and/or verbally, with the purpose of ensuring safe and effective treatment for our clients.
Authorisation to share information can be obtained from you verbally or in writing, and you have the right to rescind this permission at any time either verbally or in writing.
In some circumstances, such as with the Better Access to Mental Health program where you claim a Medicare rebate, it is a requirement that your GP provide a Mental Health Treatment Plan for the psychologist, and that the psychologist reports back to your GP at certain treatment intervals.
As per the FAQ regarding confidentiality, there are limits to confidentiality when there are concerns about imminent danger to you as a client or someone else in the community. In these cases your treater has a duty of care to communicate relevant information to an appropriate service to ensure the safety of you or others, with or without the provision of consent.
Do you provide telehealth sessions?
Empower Rehab and Psychology are able to provide telehealth sessions in certain situations. To support the security of your personal information this practice uses telehealth software. Where relevant, your clinician will review and discuss the suitability of telehealth services with you.
Do you have psychologists who are experienced in working with clients from LGBTQIA+ communities?
A number of our psychologists have training and experience supporting LGBTQIA+ clients with a variety of challenges. If you are seeking support for concerns specifically related to sexuality or gender, or if having an LGBTQIA+ affirmative psychologist is important to you, please call us. Our admin team will be able to provide suggestions about who may be a good fit for you.
Do your team speak languages other than English?
We engage the services of professional interpreters where required and ensure that the interpreters work consistently with our policies and standards of practice.
What is the difference between a pain physiotherapist and a physiotherapist?
Pain Physiotherapy differs from traditional physiotherapy in that it takes a more ‘hands off’ approach, using education, goal setting and active management strategies to empower you to improve your physical functioning and reduce your pain. Pain physiotherapists are specially trained to undertake a more detailed assessment of all the factors that impact on your recovery in order to develop an individualised treatment plan.
Pain Physiotherapists are experts at identifying the interaction of the many factors related to more complex or chronic pain in order to help you achieve your goals. Only a very small number of physiotherapists in Australia have been accredited by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) as titled Pain Physiotherapists. All the physiotherapists at Empower Rehab are APA titled “Pain Physiotherapists”.
Why do I need to see three practitioners for pain?
Evidence shows that best practice for persistent pain is to provide treatment from a range of disciplines (i.e., medical pain specialists, physiotherapists and psychologists) and we are able to provide that under the one roof. This is beneficial for many reasons, mainly because we know that given that persistent pain effects many parts of someone’s life, we need to treat the pain system and the whole person, not just one part of the body.
Fees, Medicare and Private Health Insurance
How much does it cost?
A 50 minute session with one clinician is $200.
If you are attending for a Pain Management Assessment you will likely be assessed by both a physiotherapist and a psychologist therefore those appointments will cost $400.
If you have a Health Care Card, Pension Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card then you will be eligible for a reduced fee: $160 for a 50 minute session; $80 for a 25 minute session.
Am I eligible for a Medicare rebate?
If your GP has prepared a Mental Health Care Plan prior to your psychology appointment, you are able to claim a rebate for your session.
If your GP has prepared an Enhanced Primary Care Plan and nominated physiotherapy as a specialist on the plan then you are able to claim a rebate for the session. The Medicare rebates cover part of the cost of the session, there will be an out of pocket fee.
Do you see Workcover or TAC clients?
Yes, we do. We recommend a referral from your GP or specialist to commence treatment under Workcover or TAC as well as the basic details of your claim (e.g. claim number.)
Do you see NDIS clients?
Yes, we see clients with self-managed and plan-managed NDIS funding.
Can I claim Private Health Insurance?
Sessions with our psychologists and physiotherapists are eligible for rebates with the majority of health insurance companies. We have HICAPS on site and we are able to process private health rebates on the spot if you are eligible. You will need to call your insurer and confirm what your specific policy covers.
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
We understand that life happens so there might be occasions where you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. We ask that you provide at least 48 hours notice before your next scheduled appointment. This allows us time to offer the appointment to people on the waitlist. Any cancellations need to be made with the Empower Rehab reception staff by calling (03) 9459 3344. If reception are not available please leave a voicemail. If you cancel with less than 48 hours notice, without a medical certificate, you will incur a $75 fee or the full fee if you do not attend without informing the clinic.
Cancellation fees cannot be claimed through Medicare, health insurance or compensable bodies, such as Workcover and TAC.