Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need a referral?
A. No. There is no referral needed for an appointment at Paul Fellows Counselling Services.
Q. What happens in a counselling session?
A. The initial counselling session with Paul Fellows Counselling Services sessions will run for 1 ½ hours and all sessions after this will go for one hour. This first session is longer so that we can discuss: the reasons you are attending counselling, the counselling process, the counselling contract and your expectations of counselling. During a regular one-hour session, you can discuss any concerns or issues that are occurring in your life in a safe and supportive environment. In these sessions, we can discuss different ways to look at your life and your thought processes. We may also discuss techniques that you can use to help with your concerns or issues.
Q. How much do the sessions cost?
A. Sessions at Paul Fellows Counselling Services are $80 for each one-hour session to be paid at the beginning of each session. Cash payments are only accepted and change is unable to be given, so please ensure to have the correct amount with you at your appointment.
There is no additional cost for your first 1 ½ hour session – it will also be charged at $80 for the session.
Please see the SERVICES pages for additional information.
Q. Do you offer concession rates?
A. Yes, Paul Fellows Counselling Services do offer concession rates to holders of: Pensioner cards, Student cards, or Health Care cards.
Q. How often do I come to a counselling session?
A. This is a decision that we will make together in your first session and can be changed if you wish at any point throughout the counselling process.
Q. How many counselling sessions should I have?
A. The amount of sessions differs with each person and the concerns they are experiencing. In your first session, we will discuss how many sessions we estimate that you will need – this will be evaluated with you throughout your counselling process.
Q. What sort of topics or experiences are suitable for a counselling session?
A. There are many different reasons why someone might seek counselling, from a concern they have been dealing with for many years to an issue that has just arisen.
Some of the concerns that people seek counselling are:
Mindfulness and meditation
Relationship concerns (e.g. constant fighting, loss of intimacy, sexual concerns, separation)
Family concerns (e.g. dealing with teenagers, adjusting to blended families)
Sexuality or sexual identity
Living with HIV/AIDS
Grief and loss
Life coaching and personal growth
Retrenchment or retirement
Q. Will our counselling sessions be confidential?
A. Yes, your counselling sessions are kept private and confidential. The only exceptions are circumstances which must be reported by law including:
Information about the harming of a child or children
Information about a serious or imminent threat to life, health or property
Information about any criminal activity
Information about violence or a threat of violence to a person or property
To ensure consistency for the sessions, notes may be taken during your sessions or afterwards. All records are kept in a safe and secure location.
As part of professional development to ensure that you are being provided the best service, your case might be discussed with a supervisor. Names are not used in these supervision sessions, nor anything that could identify you or link you to your case.
Q. Do I need to do anything to prepare for a counselling session?
A. Generally you won’t need to do anything to prepare for your first counselling session. If there is anything that you need to prepare for your first counselling session, then this will be discussed with you during the initial phone conversation.
Q. Will I have to do ‘homework’ in between counselling sessions?
A. You might find throughout the counselling process that there are certain techniques for you to try in between your counselling sessions. These are to benefit you and potentially help you through your counselling journey. But this is not school and you will not get into ‘trouble’ if you have been unable to try these techniques in between sessions. Any of these techniques and the possibility of being able to try them will be discussed with you in your counselling sessions.
Q. Is the Medicare rebate available?
A. Unfortunately I am unable to offer the Medicare rebate as part of a referred Mental Health Plan. There are a few private health funds that offer a rebate for counselling. It is best to check with your health fund first to see if they offer this rebate.
Q. Do you have appointments available outside of normal business hours?
A. Yes, appointments are available Monday to Friday evenings, and on Saturday. Please note that I will require 24 hours’ notice of an appointment cancellation and missed appointments might be charged at the full rate.
Q. I’m still unsure if I will benefit from counselling. How can I be sure?
A. The best way to be sure if you can benefit from counselling is to give Paul Fellows Counselling Services a call on 0414 414 557. I will discuss your concerns with you and whether counselling will help you to work through any issues troubling you.
Please note that I am always happy to call you so that you don’t have any additional call costs.
Q. I live outside the Coffs Harbour area. Do you offer online counselling?
A. Yes, I am available for counselling sessions via Skype. For these sessions, you will need to download the Skype software onto your computer and have a working microphone and camera on your computer so that I can see and hear you. Skype is also available on your Smartphone. For further information about or to download the software please see https://www.skype.com/en/
For further information about counselling via online sessions please don’t hesitate to call 0414 414 557 or