Skip to main content

It's ok to have questions concerns queries doubts

We’ve tried to address the most
common ones here.

Mental Health

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is trained as a medical specialist and can provide prescriptions for medication treatment, also known as pharmacotherapy. A psychiatrist typically has to complete medical school followed by a period of further training before becoming a qualified specialist.  In Australia, generally to be a qualified psychiatrist you have to hold a Fellowship with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

A psychologist does not prescribe medications and focuses on ‘talk therapy’, also known as psychotherapy.

Would it be best for me to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

Whether you choose to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist, or both, will depend on your specific needs. If you are experiencing a challenging time and would like to better understand your thoughts and behaviours and improve your mental wellbeing, it would be best to see a psychologist. If you are considering exploring medication options, it would be best to see a psychiatrist.

Can I see both a psychologist AND a psychiatrist?

Yes, psychologists and psychiatrists can be seen concurrently if required.

There is strong evidence for the best outcomes to be from concurrent pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, however depending on your individual circumstances you may only need to see one or the other, instead of both.

How do I book my first appointment with a Psychologist?

In order to book your first appointment, you need a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). This referral is known as a ‘Mental Health Care Plan’ and allows a Medicare rebate to be provided for your sessions with the psychologist. You can access up to 20 sessions per calendar year under your Mental Health Care Plan.

Note: Referrals and Mental Health Care Plans are commonly faxed directly from your GP to our Rooms. If you would like to send us your referral directly, our fax number is:

How do I make ongoing Psychology appointments?

Once you have attended six sessions under your Mental Health Care Plan, your referring GP will schedule a review appointment with you. If further sessions are desired, your GP can provide a new referral with access for four more sessions. Your GP may be able to provide a third referral for a further ten sessions, if required. If all 20 sessions are used in the calendar year you are able to access further sessions, but they will not attract any Medicare rebates until it is reset on the 1st January of the following year.

How do I make an appointment with a Psychiatrist?

In order to book your first appointment to see one of our psychiatrists, we require a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). Your referral will remain valid for one calendar year, allowing you to access psychiatry appointments during this time. A Medicare rebate is available for all private psychiatry sessions.

Are there any out-of-pocket costs to see a Psychologist or Psychiatrist?

There is a Medicare rebate for all appointments accessed under a valid Mental Health Care Plan (for Psychologists) or GP referral (for Psychiatrists).  Both Psychology and Psychiatry appointments will attract an out-of-pocket fee, also known as the gap fee, which is the difference between the up-front fee and the Medicare rebate.  The gap fee varies depending on which practitioner or specialty you are accessing.

If you do not have a valid referral, or choose not to obtain one, you are still be able to access Psychology and Psychiatry services without attracting a Medicare rebate.

Our friendly team are able to provide you with more details about gap fees that are specific to your circumstances.


What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is delivered by the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) and provides disability support and care to Australians with disabilities. Supports delivered through the NDIS enable clients to actively participate in the kind of supports they would like to be given. This allows clients to exercise control over the way they wish to live their lives.

Why is the NDIS important?

The NDIS supports clients by providing supports that aim to build skills so clients can participate in community activities, and even gain employment. The client has control over which supports they choose to allocate their funding to, allowing supports to be individualised to suit the client’s specific needs and goals.

Do I have to pay for the NDIS?

No, clients are not required to pay for NDIS services. Services are funded by the Government.

How do I access NDIS funding?

NDIS funding can be applied for on the NDIS Commission website with the basic qualification criteria including:

  • Aged under 65 years
  • Australian Citizen or permanent visa holder
  • Permanent impairment that significantly impacts ability to participate in daily activities
  • Able to provide evidence of disability and how it impacts your life

What type of NDIS supports do Shrink & Co. offer?

Shrink & Co. offers a wide range of supports funded under the NDIS. These include Behaviour Support Assessments and Interventions (including Interim and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans), Neurocognitive Assessments, Functional Capacity Assessments, Mental Health Occupational Therapy Assessments, Therapeutic Supports, and our very own proprietary Functional Recovery Program called Bridges Project, incorporating Cognitive Remediation.

What is Bridges Project?

Bridges Project is our very own proprietary and in-house developed functional recovery program. It is broadly based on Occupational Therapy principles, but incorporates other areas of specialisations including mental health, rehabilitation, and cognitive remediation. Bridges Project is a structured program but is flexibly delivered and tailored to the needs of each participant based on their individual goals, and within the participants’ real-world.  For this reason, we can often come to you in your own environment (including your home).

What kind of Neurocognitive Assessments do you do and why is it important?

We provide a wide range of neurocognitive assessments, but generally grouped into 3 categories:

  1. Cognitive assessments
  2. ASD Assessments
  3. ADHD Assessments

 Cognitive assessments are extremely useful to determine presence, cause and severity of any cognitive impairments which can result from a major mental illness, a brain injury, dementia or a developmental disorder.  It measures the cognitive capacity, and thus the impact of any cognitive deficits on one’s ability to function relative to a similar-aged peer.  Cognitive assessments can be diagnostic in nature, just like ASD and ADHD assessments, and can significantly strengthen our advocacy for you to obtain additional and necessary NDIS supports in your current or subsequent NDIS plans.

These assessments can usually be fully funded by your NDIS plan.

What kind of Behaviour Assessments do you do?

We do interim Behaviour support plans, Functional Behaviour Assessments and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans.  Your journey does not end following the development of a comprehensive behaviour support plan.  A comprehensive behaviour support plan generally has a currency of 12 months, and during that period our practitioners will follow the client and the implementing providers and carers to provide ongoing training, evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and identify any need to modify the plan.

What kind of Behaviour Interventions do you do?

We have developed our own proprietary curriculum to provide the best supports for the client and the client’s support network.  This includes training, education, supervision and debrief.  Whilst we do work with clients 1:1, we believe that empowering the client’s support network produces the best outcomes for the client and those involved.  This curriculum is tailored to the specific needs of the client and the broader support network so that we are able to provide the best support and best tools towards success.

What kind of Occupational Therapy Assessments do you do and why is it important?

We specialise in Mental Health Occupational Therapy (MHOT) assessments which have a slightly different scope to the general OT assessments.  Particularly for those with psychosocial or mental health disability (as a result of a major mental illness) this can mean the difference between getting the right types of supports funded under NDIS and can strengthen our advocacy for more appropriate funding from NDIS.  MHOT assessments measure functional capacity of each individual within their real environment, and this can objectively determine the actual support needs of the client.

Can you diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Yes. We use the gold-standard diagnostic assessment, ADOS-II, to assess the presence and severity of ASD. This is followed by a comprehensive report with specific recommendations to assist the development of your NDIS plan and required funding to fund the supports required.

Where required, our psychiatrists are able to provide additional diagnostic clarification.

Can you diagnose Attention Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)?

Yes.  In order to adequately diagnose ADHD, we conduct a very comprehensive assessment which would include the Conners CBRS test and the Test of Variable Attention (T.O.V.A).   This is followed by a comprehensive report with specific recommendations to assist the development of your NDIS plan and required funding to fund the supports required.

Where required, our psychiatrists are able to provide additional diagnostic clarification.

Can you provide treatment for Attention Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)?

There are several treatment options for ADHD depending on age, severity and goals of treatment.  These include both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments.  We are able to provide both types of treatments.  Only psychiatrists are able to commence pharmacological treatment for ADHD.

For Support Coordinators

What assessments do you offer?

Interim and Comprehensive Behaviour Support Plans

Occupational Therapy – Child and Adult Functional Capacity Assessments, Child and Adult Sensory Assessments, Basic Mental Health Occupational Therapy and Comprehensive Mental Health Occupational Therapy Assessments

Neuropsychological Assessments – Child Cognitive, Adult Cognitive, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Functional Impact Assessments

What services do you offer?

Mental Health – Psychiatry and Psychology

Disability (NDIS funded):

Behaviour Support (assessments and interventions)
Functional capacity assessments
Mental Health Occupational Therapy assessments,
ASD assessments and diagnosis
ADHD assessments and diagnosis
Neurocognitive assessments (including for intellectual disability assessment and diagnosis)
Therapeutic Supports (psychology, counselling)
Bridges Project (functional recovery program, cognitive remediation)

What is the turnaround on assessments?

Most assessments have a guaranteed turnaround time of 30 days, but this may vary depending on the complexity of the assessment.  In some cases we are able to shorten the turnaround time depending on urgency.

What is the referral process?

Our friendly team can be contacted by phone or website contact form to discuss engaging in services with Shrink & Co.

What is a Client Care Manager (CCM) and what is the client journey?

A Client Care Manager (CCM) is your/the client’s primary point of contact at Shrink & Co. during the course of our service delivery throughout our journey with you.  It is the role of your CCM to ensure that the client’s journey is as smooth as possible.  This includes arranging appointments and liaising with the practitioner.  This is a service unique to Shrink & Co. and emphasises our focus on a positive client experience.

For General Practitioners

What services do Shrink & Co. offer?

  • Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Neurocognitive testing (ASD, ADHD)
  • Psychology and psychiatry services for ComCare, WorkCover NSW, QLD and other jurisdictions, DVA
  • Gold Coast PHN – Psychological Services Program (PSP)
  • North Coast PHN – Connect to Wellbeing (CTW) Program