FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Is your office easily accessible?
  • There are 2 steps into the building, no handrail.
  • Our premises are ambulant and manual wheelchair accessible, with some restrictions.
  • A ramp can be provided. Please contact us to ensure we can meet your needs.
  • Street parking is available adjacent to the home office.
  • The Cheltenham railway station is 180 metres from our office.
  • Discreet waiting areas are available in beautiful garden settings on the front porch and in the rear garden.
  • Our staff are disability aware, trained and/or live with disability.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility, please contact Elizabeth directly here

Are telephone and online therapy appointments available?

Elizabeth Williamson provides both telephone and online consultations, working with clients across Australia and overseas.  Elizabeth uses [Zoom] one of the common online video apps.

Get in touch today, or book online HERE

How is my privacy and confidentiality protected?

Your privacy is important. Elizabeth works from a home office with a discreet consulting room designed to help you relax and feel comfortable. Client cross-over is limited.

If you arrive early, there is seating on a shaded front verandah overlooking a colourful garden.

Get in touch today, or book online HERE

What is your COVID Policy?

Updated 19 August 2022

  • Based on your preference we are providing face to face, telephone and online consultations. We ensure that there is over 1.5 metres between our office seating.
  • We are required to operate within SA Health Guidelines for Allied Health Services.
  • We are currently mandated for masks to be worn in our offices.
  • We ask that you use hand sanitiser when you enter the office. We will ask you the usual questions about COVID risks.
  • If you are experience any symptoms or are in contact with anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a cold or respiratory illness, online consultations can be arranged at short notice. Please do not attend the office if you are unwell.
  • Please notify us if have a positive RAT within 48 hours of your appointment.

COVID cancellation and refund policy:

  • We provide SMS reminders 2 days prior to your appointment so you can change bookings online if required.
  • We appreciate early advice of your need to cancel an appointment.
  • No fees are charged for appointments cancelled within 24 hours due to ill health or close Covid contact status.
Can I get Medicare rebates for Individual Counselling?
  • You do not need a GP referral to book an appointment.
  • Your GP can provide a referral for individual therapy only via a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP). The MHTP is the referral document that enable you to claim Medicare rebates. You should bring a copy of the MHTP to your first appointment.
  • Book an extended appointment so that your GP can complete an assessment and the referral paperwork. Discuss with your GP a referral for a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP). Your GP will ask you about your concerns and will give you a short questionnaire to measure your level of stress, anxiety and depression. These assessments are designed to give a baseline measurement of your current wellbeing and mental health and to measure your progress over time.
  • Medicare rebates do not cover the full consultation fee.
  • Couples and Family therapy are not covered by Medicare rebates.

Get in touch today, or book online HERE

What is the difference between therapy and coaching?

Conflict management coaching is a process in which a specially trained coach helps people on a one-on-one basis to improve the way they manage and interact in their interpersonal workplace conflicts and disputes. Coaching focuses on each person’s specific conflict management goals in specific situations. Conflict management coaching is not therapy or counselling.

Counselling involves deepening your understanding of the determinants of the history of personal relationships and takes a deeper approach to developing insight and skills.

Contact Elizabeth to discuss your needs and assist to clarify if conflict management coaching or counselling is the right option for you.

What is conflict management coaching?

Conflict management coaching is a one-on-one process in which a trained coach helps people gain increased competence and confidence to manage their interpersonal conflicts and disputes. It is a future-oriented and voluntary process that focuses on each person’s conflict management goals. Conflict management coaching is not therapy or counselling and in my role as your Coach, I will not provide advice or act as your agent or representative.

Click here to learn how to increase your Conflict Confidence

Contact Elizabeth now

What should I be looking for in a therapist?

People usually decide to talk with a therapist when the pain of what they are trying to cope with becomes too big for them to handle on their own and they recognise they need help.

Elizabeth offers a free phone or email conversation when you first make contact as a potential client. This means you can ask if she has experience in helping people to deal with your area of concern, and any other important questions you may have, before deciding to book an appointment.

Therapy is a science as well as an art. Most research studies show that the biggest indicator of client success is the quality of the therapeutic relationship that develops between the therapist and client. Essentially, there needs to be a ‘good fit’ between therapist and client, a strong sense of rapport and trust.

That being established, the therapist should use well-researched and validated interventions, and be able to clearly explain why they suggest such techniques. Qualifications in the areas of your concerns and a commitment to ongoing training are crucial.

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What happens in a therapy session?

Clients arrive at Elizabeth’s discrete and comfortable home office. As the therapist, Elizabeth is responsible for managing the process and pace of each session. Sometimes she will have a plan for what to talk about during that session; at other times, the client drives the conversation.

A basic session structure starts with the client talking about what has been happening for them since our last meeting. We check in on any homework that was suggested. Elizabeth will ask the client if there is anything new they want to talk about. The client’s goals for therapy (what they would like to have achieved or to be different when therapy is finished) is the basis for these conversations.

How long will I be in therapy?

Every client is unique, with different needs for the length of time they will see a therapist. It depends on what the client chooses as well as what is in their best interest therapeutically.

If a client is in crisis, then meeting weekly is a good frequency until things become more stable. Once the crisis is past, it may be suitable to meet bi-weekly or even monthly. The overall goal is that clients feel they have met their goals, feel better and are in charge of their lives.

Many clients continue to see Elizabeth as a resource to check in on their progress, to maintain or improve skills learnt, or to prevent relapse.

(Adapted from https://laurieblaikie.com)

Privacy & Confidentiality

Basically, whatever you say in therapy, stays in therapy.

Elizabeth carries this confidentiality into the community. If she sees a client in public Elizabeth will not initiate any hellos or conversation. The client can choose to make the first contact, but no personal matters will be discussed.  

However, there are times when a therapist is legally obligated to break confidentiality:

  • Harm to self or others. If a therapist believes that you are in imminent danger of hurting yourself or someone else, a family member, police or ambulance will be called to ensure safety.
  • A child under the age of 18 or older adult in care is in danger. In these cases, Children’s Services or Elder Abuse Services will be contacted. In case of immediate risk, police may be called.
  • Your files are subpoenaed by the Court.
  • A client experiences a health emergency during a session. In this case, medical staff would be provided only with necessary information pertaining to the health concern.
What happens in Gottman Method Couples Therapy?

Gottman Therapy has a strong focus on assessing and understanding the current and underlying issues that couples are struggling with. A thorough assessment is completed to gain a clear understanding of the couple’s history, strengths, weaknesses and their treatment goals.

Generally, the assessment phase involves 4 sessions to begin with.  An initial co-joint session and then a confidential individual session with each partner, followed by a joint feedback session.

Both couples complete the Gottman Relationship Online Checklist. The questionnaire takes about 60 minutes to complete and provides important individual and relationship information that allows the therapist to better assess and work specifically on the couple’s relationship issues.

A co-joint feedback session provides couples with a detailed report and analysis of the relationship’s strengths and weaknesses and the opportunity to collaboratively develop shared treatment goals that direct subsequent therapy sessions.

The method can be applied to many relationship problems but may be particularly useful for couples who are:

  • Stuck in chronic conflict
  • Coping with infidelity
  • Struggling with communication
  • In a stagnant relationship or emotionally distanced
  • Facing difficulties over specific issues, such as money, parenting, or sex

All Gottman Method therapy is based on a couple’s patterns of interacting, and partners learn and implement relationship-building and problem-solving skills together.

How it works

The Gottman Method is built on decades of research and observation into how couples interact. Gottman found that negativity has a strong impact on our brains, and that, unless couples take steps to counteract instances of negativity, they grow apart emotionally. The method identifies and addresses the states of mind and behaviours shown to underlie intimacy and helps partners maintain a positive orientation to each other that can sustain them through upsetting circumstances.

The length of treatment depends on the severity of a couple’s challenges. Ten initial sessions is a benchmark, but the duration is ultimately a decision made by the couple and the therapist.  

In some cases, such as a couple in crisis, treatment is employed intensively over the course of two days.

Research indicates that to maintain change a couple should consider re-engaging with the therapist over a two-year period to avoid relapse to old habits.