elevate psychologists sydney

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Finding the best psychologist near you is a very personal decision and will depend on your circumstances.

At Elevate Psychologists, our clinical psychologists in Sydney CBD strive to provide the highest level of care to all our patients in a confidential and safe manner.

Our primary Sydney clinical psychologist Vyda S Chai has more than 20 years international experience and has helped numerous adults and children overcome their challenges and improve their quality of life. You can find more about her by clicking here.

Elevate Psychologists Sydney can provide you professional clinical psychologist support and guidance to address various mental health concerns and emotional issues. Our Sydney clinical psychologists utilise evidence-based techniques and interventions to help you develop coping strategies, gain insights, and work towards positive change and personal growth to improve quality of life.

See our blog post on mental well being here

If you are experiencing persistent emotional distress, difficulty functioning, or if your mental health is impacting your daily life, relationships, or overall well-being, it may be beneficial to see a clinical psychologist at Elevate Psychologists Sydney.

Our Sydney psychologists can help assess your concerns and determine the most appropriate treatment options for you, including psychotherapy and counselling, amongst others.

See our blog post on finding professional help for mental health here

At Elevate Psychologists Sydney, our clinical psychologist treat a wide range of issues such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, trauma, ADHD, OCD, grief, addiction, self-esteem issues, and many others.

Our Sydney psychologists have expertise in various areas and can tailor treatment plans to suit your individual needs.

Yes, clinical psychologists at Elevate Psychologists Sydney often work with children and teenagers. Our psychologists are very experienced in child and adolescent psychology and use age-appropriate therapeutic techniques to address their unique needs.

Parental involvement is typically encouraged to support the child’s progress.

See our blog posts on child psychologists in Sydney here and here.

Yes, psychologists in Australia are required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). They must adhere to professional standards, ongoing professional development, and ethical guidelines to ensure the quality and safety of their practice.

All of Elevate Psychologists Sydney practitioners are registered with AHPRA and Medicare eligible. 

Psychologists adhere to strict professional guidelines regarding confidentiality. Sessions at Elevate Psychologists Sydney are considered strictly confidential, and your personal information is kept private. However, there are some exceptions to the confidentiality arrangements, such as if there is a risk of harm to yourself or others.

You may ask your psychologist to clarify confidentiality arrangements during the first session.

In Australia, a counsellor and a psychologist are both professionals who provide mental health support, but there are differences in their qualifications and scope of practice.

A counsellor typically holds a diploma or bachelor’s degree in counselling or a related field. They focus on providing guidance, support, and helping individuals explore their feelings and concerns. Counsellors often work with individuals facing common life challenges, relationship issues, or personal growth goals. They may utilize various therapeutic techniques but generally have a more limited scope of practice compared to psychologists.

Psychologists in Australia have completed a minimum of six years of university training, including a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. They are experts in human behavior, assessment, diagnosis, and evidence-based therapeutic interventions. Psychologists work with individuals experiencing a wide range of mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or addiction. They can conduct formal psychological assessments, diagnose disorders, and provide specialized therapy tailored to individual needs.

While both counsellors and psychologists offer counseling and support, psychologists have a broader scope of practice and often work with more complex mental health issues. They are trained in psychological assessment and can provide formal diagnoses, which is not within the scope of practice for most counsellors. Psychologists are also more likely to have training in specific therapeutic modalities and may work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, or research institutions.

Choosing between a counsellor and a psychologist depends on the specific needs and severity of the mental health concern. Counsellors are often appropriate for individuals seeking guidance or support in everyday life challenges, whereas psychologists are suitable for those requiring assessment, diagnosis, and more specialized therapy for clinical disorders. It’s essential to consider the qualifications, experience, and areas of expertise when selecting the most appropriate mental health professional.

In Australia, a psychologist refers to a broad term encompassing professionals with various levels of education and training in psychology. They may hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in psychology. Psychologists assess and treat mental health concerns through counseling, therapy, and psychological interventions.

On the other hand, a clinical psychologist in Australia has completed a doctoral or masters degree in clinical psychology, which involves specialized training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. Clinical psychologists possess advanced knowledge and skills in providing evidence-based therapies for a wide range of psychological issues.

The key difference lies in the level of education and training. While both psychologists and clinical psychologists can offer therapy and counseling, clinical psychologists have undergone more extensive education and clinical experience, enabling them to handle complex mental health conditions. They are qualified to perform psychological assessments, provide formal diagnoses, and offer specialized therapeutic interventions.

Choosing between a psychologist and a clinical psychologist depends on the severity and complexity of the mental health concern. Clinical psychologists are often sought when there is a need for a comprehensive assessment or treatment of clinical disorders. However, psychologists with lower levels of training can still provide valuable support for milder or more common mental health issues.

See are blog post for more information here.

In Australia, clinical psychologists have completed a doctoral or masters degree in psychology and focus on providing psychotherapy. They assess, diagnose, and treat various mental health conditions using evidence-based therapeutic approaches. Clinical psychologists help individuals develop coping strategies, address emotional difficulties, and promote personal growth.

On the other hand, psychiatrists in Australia are medical doctors who specialize in mental health. They have completed medical school and undertake specialized training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are qualified to diagnose mental disorders and can prescribe medication to address biological factors contributing to mental health conditions. They also provide psychotherapy, although their primary focus tends to be on the pharmacological treatment of mental illnesses.

While both clinical psychologists and psychiatrists play crucial roles in the mental health field, their approaches differ due to their distinct training backgrounds. Clinical psychologists emphasize psychotherapy as the primary mode of treatment, whereas psychiatrists bring a medical perspective and often use a combination of medication and therapy in their practice. Collaboration between these professionals is common to provide comprehensive care, with clinical psychologists offering therapy and psychiatrists overseeing medication management when necessary. The choice between the two depends on individual needs, preferences, and the nature of the mental health concern.

Find out more about clinical psychologists in our blog post here

Contact Elevate Psychologists Sydney. Our clinic is conveniently located Sydney CBD. If you cannot make it into the city, we can arrange for consultations via telehealth. Alternatively, you can find other psychologists near you by searching through the APS Find a Psychologist directory.


A standard clinical psychologist consultation at Elevate Psychologists Sydney usually lasts around 50 minutes. However, the duration can vary depending on individual needs and the therapeutic approach being used. 

Yes, Elevate Psychologists Sydney offer online therapy sessions, also known as telehealth services. This allows you to receive therapy remotely through secure video conferencing platforms, offering convenience and accessibility while maintaining confidentiality and professional standards.

See our blog post on telehealth here.

Your first session at Elevate Psychologists Syndey is normally an “initial intake”. During the initial intake session, the clinical psychologist will typically ask you questions to understand your concerns, background, and goals for therapy. They may discuss confidentiality arrangements, explain the therapeutic process, and address any questions or concerns you may have. This initial session is an opportunity for you to assess if the psychologist is the right fit for you.

The number of psychologist counselling sessions varies depends on your specific situation and treatment progress.

Normally the psychologist counselling sessions are held weekly in our Sydney CBD clinic and then spread out to fortnightly and/or monthly over time, in some cases, by telehealth.

In most cases, you can bring a support person to your therapy sessions at Elevate Psychologists Syndey if you feel it would be beneficial. However, it’s best to discuss this with your clinical psychologist beforehand to ensure it aligns with your treatment goals and maintains the confidentiality and focus of the sessions.

To prepare for your first session, think about the issues or concerns you want to discuss. Reflect on your goals for therapy and any specific questions you may have. It’s also helpful to bring any relevant medical records or previous therapy notes if available so your psychologist can review. 

In Australia, psychologists are not authorized to prescribe medication. However, they can work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists or general practitioners, who have prescribing authority to ensure comprehensive treatment when medication is necessary.

Fees and Medicare

Elevate Psychologists standard consultation fee for an in-clinic face-to-face session is $260 and $230 for telehealth. Please refer to our schedule of fees by clicking here.

To make our services more accessible to those in need, our clinical psychologist Sydney CBD rates have been set below the recommended fees proposed by the Australian Psychological Society which is currently $300 (see here).

If you have a GP referral / mental health treatment plan or referral from a psychiatrist or pediatrician, you will be eligible for Medicare rebates for up to 10 sessions in a calendar year. The Medicare rebate is currently $137.05 per session for a clinical psychologist (as of March 2024). Elevate Psychologists does not offer bulk billing, hence there will be an out of pocket expense to see one of our Sydney psychologists. 

See our blog post on Medicare rebates for psychologists by clicking here.

Yes, our clinical psychologists in Sydney CBD are registered with AHPRA and Medicare. If you wish to claim a Medicare rebate for clinical psychological services with Elevate Psychologists, you will need a Mental Health Treatment Plan or referral from a psychiatrist or paediatrician.

A Mental Health Treatment Plan is needed if you want to seek Medicare rebates from our psychologists.

You can get a Mental Health Treatment Plan from your GP or psychiatrist.

Referrals should be addressed to:

Vyda S. Chai
Elevate Psychologists
Suite 11, Level 7
428 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Further information please click here.

A Mental Health Treatment Plan is only needed if you want to seek Medicare rebates.

Yes, many private health insurance plans in Australia offer coverage for psychological treatment. The level of coverage can vary, so it’s important to check your specific insurance policy and consult with your psychologist regarding insurance billing and claims.

Elevate Psychologists Sydney is not a Medicare bulk billing practice, so there will be an out-of-pocket expense for all appointments.