Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

How do you go about finding a good psychologist?

Community Member

Look for the small 'one shop' people? Part of a big psychology centre with several practicing co-workers? Google reviews?

I know you get a certain amount of visits heavily discounted by the Government. I believe the number is 6 per year? After that it starts to get very expensive. I tried a psychologist to limited success, I would like to have another go and truthfully despite the fact I have nothing against the previous shrink maybe a bit of change would be helpful.

5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hi DN129,

My GP first said to me when I went for my first mental health plan - Finding a good psychologist is like finding a good friend - you need to click with them. I was fortunate to find one on my first go however they were recommended to me by a close friend, I have since recommended her to another friend battling depression.

My understanding is you get 6 with rebates then go back for a mental health plan review and get another 4. 10 per calendar year. I actually did the review yesterday as I used my 6 and the doctor said when the year renews you get 10 again with rebates, she said unless it's changed that's how she understands it.

No harm in finding a new shrink as you said, you are a blank canvas to them and another perspective is always a good thing.

My best,


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi DN, Jay is right you get 10 free visits to see a psychologist/psychiatrist, but word and mouth is a great way to find someone, I realise that your doctor will refer you to someone because he/she and the psych have a good relationship, but that doesn't mean you will get on with them.
Obviously the phone book won't tell you, but if you feel comfortable then ask your friends, but sometimes that maybe awkward, however if they are booked out for a couple of months surely means that they are well liked, but also means that you can't see them for awhile, so it's catch-22.
Just remember what other people think and say may not suit you, so the only way to find out is by your own opinion. Geoff.

Just Sara
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi DN;

Jay and Geoff have given some great advice. I agree it's difficult to find someone that suits 'you'. But when you do, the benefits far outweigh other influences like money. Well for me anyway.

I've gone thru quite a few over the years. Mostly because they tend to move on for career or family. In my case I found a woman who owns her own business, so she's not going anywhere. Due to me seeing her so much, she gives me a great discount after I've used up my rebates. And...she 'gets' me...big plus!

One clue to finding someone, is how busy they are and if they're not wanting to take on new clients. This means they're popular and have a good reputation.

I wish you well in your search...


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi DN129,

Completely agree with everything that has been said here.

Just thought I'd add that often psychologists have interests in certain areas; some like to specialise in young people, others physical health, others general depression. One option might be to have a look at the APS (Australian Psychological Society) and see who is in your area. You could then either have a Google or take the list to your GP.

The link is below; you can choose from anything such as trauma, physical health, mental illness, relationship issues or life events - also none of the info is saved it's only used for the purpose of the search 🙂


Community Member

I think a lot of the advice you have been given on the forum is excellent. One small correction is that there is a difference between psychologists and psychiatrists. With psychiatrists, there is no limit to the amount of times one can see them per year where you can claim a medicare rebate. So for those who are very unwell and need a lot of support and help with medication, I feel a psychiatrist referral is often very helpful. With psychologists or social workers , medicare rebated visits are limited to ten per year, 6 after the first mental health care plan and then another 4 if everyone ( you, GP and therapist) feel that it is warranted.

Changing therapists after a while has pro’s and cons. There are the cons of having to go through the story again (but even that can be a pro as you get to revise things from maybe a new place in your life) . There is the pro of getting a “fresh set of eyes” on your story which can be helpful. Most therapists are only too happy for you to explore your options and genuinely want the best for you.

It is true that the best therapeutic relationships can only be worked out face to face. You do need to do the rounds and work out who “suits” you .There is a certain type of chemistry that happens between people that is hard to work out by just looking at their CVs. You may need to meet a few and then stay with the one who you feel you can trust, who you feel understands you and who you feel has the approach that suits you best.
Often magic can’t be done in 10 sessions per year , so if you are likely to need more than that ask them about their fees when you run out of medicare supported sessions.

Sometimes I have worked with psychologists where I have alternated sessions with them so that the patient can “ save “ their precious psychology sessions.

Don’t forget to also do all the other things too… exercise , healthy eating and sleep routines and the meditation apps...