FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Getting Started

Yes, Cova Psychology can assist you in selecting a psychologist in Melbourne who is well-suited to your needs. Our experienced reception team take into account your preferences, specific mental and physical health issues, as well as the type of psychological treatment you’re seeking. Whether it’s for cognitive behavioural therapy, managing anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, or couples counselling, we make the process easily accessible.

Our psychologists have specialist training in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, and all of our therapists are passionate about building a strong therapeutic relationship with new clients. As a team we are able to address a wide range of psychological difficulties, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, sexual health concerns, and anger management. Your well-being is our priority, and we strive to provide mental health care plans that are both effective and tailored to help you with your life challenges.

In our private practice, we also offer grief counselling, and our psychologists are equipped to support those dealing with repetitive behaviours or substance use. With a focus on enhancing your overall mental and physical health, we ensure that our services are easily accessible and that our experienced team is ready to help you navigate through your therapy journey.

Yes, Cova Psychology can assist you in selecting a psychologist in Melbourne who is well-suited to your needs. Our experienced reception team take into account your preferences, specific mental and physical health issues, as well as the type of psychological treatment you’re seeking. Whether it’s for cognitive behavioural therapy, managing anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, or couples counselling, we make the process easily accessible.

Our psychologists have specialist training in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, and all of our therapists are passionate about building a strong therapeutic relationship with new clients. As a team we are able to address a wide range of psychological difficulties, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, sexual health concerns, and anger management. Your well-being is our priority, and we strive to provide mental health care plans that are both effective and tailored to help you with your life challenges.

In our private practice, we also offer grief counselling, and our psychologists are equipped to support those dealing with repetitive behaviours or substance use. With a focus on enhancing your overall mental and physical health, we ensure that our services are easily accessible and that our experienced team is ready to help you navigate through your therapy journey.

Upon your first contact with Cova Psychology, our warm and experienced team will guide you through the process of matching you with a psychologist. They consider your mental and physical health, the psychological treatment you require, and your scheduling needs to ensure that you receive support as soon as possible.

The initial contact is intentionally structured to maximise the potential for a good therapeutic fit between you and your psychologist. Then, when you meet your psychologist, they will work collaboratively with you to explore your mental health concerns and formulate a bespoke psychological care plan.

Our reception team will also provide information about the Medicare rebate, which can help make psychological treatment more affordable. We aim to make your experience with us as seamless as possible, so you can focus on your journey to improved well-being.

Our reception team are very experienced at matching people to a suitable therapist. Upon initial contact, our Admin team will ask you about your needs and preferences. This will include questions such as:

  • A brief description of what you are seeking therapy for?
  • Any specific treatments that you are particularly interested in or have been suggested to you?
  • Any factors that you really do or really don’t want in your therapist?
  • What days / times you are available for appointments?

They will then be able to link you with the most suitable therapist.

Of course, we cannot guarantee that you will feel your therapist is the right fit for you. If this is an issue, we encourage you to discuss this with your therapist or go back to our Admin team, and we can help you to resolve this. It is important to be able to develop a good therapeutic alliance with your psychologist and if that doesn’t happen, it can be detrimental to your treatment progress.

The cost of a psychology session in Melbourne can vary based on several factors, such as the length of the session, the experience level of the psychologist, and the type of therapy provided. At Cova Psychology, we offer a range of services with varying fees to reflect these differences. For detailed information regarding our fee schedule, please reach out to our office.

New clients may be eligible for a Medicare rebate under a mental health care plan, which can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses. We ensure that you receive clear and detailed information about pricing right from the start, so you can make an informed decision regarding the financial commitments involved in commencing therapy.

In Melbourne, psychological services can be partially covered by Medicare or private health insurance. New clients with a mental health care plan from a GP can receive a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions with a psychologist within a calendar year. This helps make psychological treatment for mental health issues more affordable and easily accessible throughout the calendar year.

Our experienced team at Cova Psychology can provide guidance on how to obtain a mental health care plan and discuss the potential for a Medicare rebate.

Private health insurance may also cover part of the cost for psychological treatment, depending on your policy. We recommend checking with your insurer to understand your coverage for mental health services.

The first therapy session, also known as the intake session, is a vital aspect of your therapeutic process. It involves both you and your therapist asking questions to gain an understanding of your needs and to start creating a treatment plan.

During this initial consultation, your therapist will inquire about various topics such as:

  • What motivated you to seek therapy?
  • Your background information
  • Previous treatments that you may have undergone
  • Your objectives and goals for attending therapy


This session allows safe space for setting boundaries on any sensitive subjects that you are not yet ready to discuss. As a patient in therapy, it is important to feel safe and comfortable while working at your own pace.

Also during the initial session, you will discuss the client agreement, which includes important elements such as the confidentiality terms, cancellation policy, and your rights as a client. This conversation is an integral part of the “Informed Consent” process, ensuring that you are fully aware of and comfortable with the terms of therapy at Cova Psychology. Although there is a bit of paperwork and housekeeping, the first appointment is not just procedural but is a significant step towards establishing a trusting and collaborative therapeutic relationship between you and your psychologist.

In your first session, your therapist will explore what has brought you to therapy, your current situation, as well as a history of the issues you are wanting to address. The initial stages of therapy are sometimes referred to as a “psychological assessment” and will generally carry over at least the first two sessions. This process ensures your therapist has a good understanding of your experiences, enabling you and your therapist to create a treatment plan which is tailored to you. 

Sessions will typically last for 50 minutes.

Our experienced team of Melbourne Psychologists are dedicated to offering evidence-based psychological treatments to foster mental and physical health. At the forefront is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a well-researched approach for addressing psychological difficulties such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders by shifting painful emotions, behaviours, and thoughts.

Cova also offers a range of other evidence-based therapies to address various psychological difficulties including:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is utilised to help clients live in ways consistent with their values, even in the face of painful experiences.
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is effective for those with emotion regulation difficulties, offering skills in mindfulness and distress tolerance.
  • Schema Therapy is another evidence-based treatment offered, which can help unravel and reconfigure deep-seated patterns or schemas that negatively impact an individual’s life.
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a transformative therapy that has been extensively researched and proven to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a transformative approach that identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities or “parts” within each person’s mental system, aiming to heal traumatised parts and restore balance to the mind.
  • Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) focuses on improving an individual’s ability to mentalise, which involves understanding the mental states that underlie human behaviours, enhancing emotional regulation, and fostering more secure attachments.


These therapies are part of Cova Psychology’s commitment to providing the most effective and scientifically supported treatments to our clients, ensuring that each individual’s journey towards healing and growth is grounded in the best practices of psychological care.

If you’re keen on a particular type of therapy, let us know when you first make contact with us at Cova. However, don’t feel you need to determine this on your own. Generally, your psychologists will make recommendations regarding which therapies will be most effective for you as part of their assessment process. As such, collaboration with your psychologist is crucial in finding the most suitable therapy for you.

Open and honest communication between you and your therapist throughout the assessment process plays a vital role in determining which therapy or combination of therapies are implemented. By discussing specific goals, past experiences with therapy, and desired outcomes from treatment, your psychologist can personalise the approach according to your needs.

Regularly providing feedback on how therapy is progressing helps guide any necessary adjustments in the treatment plan. Providing feedback to your psychologist will deepen their understanding of you and your experiences, leading to an enhanced therapeutic relationship. The better your psychologist understands you, the more they can tailor your treatment plan and the types of therapies used to you and your needs.

This is difficult to predict, but is something that you and your therapist will start to discuss from the first session. The number of sessions required is influenced by many variables including the complexity and the history of the issues being treated. 

We typically see clients and couples aged over 18. We have some limited availability for clients between the age of 13-18 years.

At Cova Psychology, we understand that seeking support for mental health is a significant step. Our team, led by Principal Clinical Psychologists Sarah and Chris, offers a compassionate and professional approach to therapy, emphasising evidence-based treatment plans tailored to each individual’s situation.

Our range of therapeutic services is designed to meet the varied needs of our clients, covering a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), complex trauma, emotional dysregulation, dissociation, ADHD, eating disorders and more. We believe in adapting our expertise to fit your personal journey towards mental wellness.

We are committed to staying abreast of the latest psychological research to ensure that our practices are effective and informed. Our administrative staff are also able to support you with the practical aspects of therapy such as appointment bookings as well as navigating Medicare and NDIS coverage.

At Cova Psychology, we focus on your well-being, offering a space where professional care meets understanding, and where your journey to improved mental health is our main concern.

Psychologists and psychiatrists are both essential health professionals in the field of mental health, but their specialist training and responsibilities vary greatly. In Melbourne, psychiatrists are health professionals with a medical degree and specialised knowledge in mental healthcare who can prescribe medication and arrange hospital admissions as needed for those with psychological difficulties.

In contrast to this, psychologists are health professionals who focus on therapeutic techniques, counselling and behavioural interventions without prescribing medication to address psychological difficulties. To become registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), they must complete six years of education including a four-year undergraduate degree followed by two years of post-graduate practice.

Typically, these health professionals work together to create comprehensive treatment plans. Psychologists provide therapy sessions to improve patients’ emotional well-being, requiring extensive supervised training prior to registration. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, handle the medical aspects of treatment, including prescribing medication after thorough evaluations. They base their prescriptions on widely accepted medical standards and ethical considerations. Both professions are committed to the patient’s best interests, using their unique skills to inform treatment choices and optimize outcomes, while considering the potential risks and effects of their approaches.

At Cova Psychology we offer psychological services only. If you require a referral to a psychiatrist we recommend you discuss this with your GP.

Costs/Funding

You don’t need a referral. However if you do obtain a GP referral and Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP), this will allow you to access Medicare rebates which will make your psychology appointments more cost effective.

To be eligible for a Medicare rebate you will need to book a long consultation with your GP or psychiatrist, who can provide you with both a referral and Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). Your doctor may arrange for these documents to be sent directly to Cova, or you may bring them along with you to your first appointment.

Your Mental Health Care Plan will entitle you to rebates on your psychology sessions for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. The rebates reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, though will not cover the full cost of your appointments.

If you have your bank account details linked with Medicare, we can process your Medicare rebate at the same time you pay your fee. Rebates typically take 24-48 hours to show up in your bank account.

Many health insurance providers cover a portion of psychology sessions under Extras cover. The coverage will depend on your insurer and your individual plan. Contact your health insurance provider direct to discuss their coverage of psychology sessions.

Many health insurance providers cover a portion of psychology sessions under Extras cover. The coverage will depend on your insurer and your individual plan. Contact your health insurance provider direct to discuss their coverage of psychology sessions.

At Cova Psychology, most of our therapists are able to provide services funded by a range of third parties including NDIS, WorkCover, TAC, DVA, Victims of Crime and Melbourne City Mission. 

No. Cova Psychology is not a bulk billing practice and we do not offer concession prices.

Telehealth/Online Sessions

“Telehealth” refers to health services being provided via communication with an audio and visual connection. At Cova, sessions are held through video conferencing (Zoom) or by phone. Aside from the format, telehealth sessions are the same as in-person sessions – the sessions last 50 minutes, the cost is the same and we will provide the same high quality psychological care to clients.

“Telehealth” refers to health services being provided via communication with an audio and visual connection. At Cova, sessions are held through video conferencing (Zoom) or by phone. Aside from the format, telehealth sessions are the same as in-person sessions – the sessions last 50 minutes, the cost is the same and we will provide the same high quality psychological care to clients.

Yes. Telehealth sessions can be accessed by all Australians, irrespective of where they are living (previously it was restricted to people living in rural and regional areas). As with face-to-face sessions, you can access Medicare rebates with a referral and Mental Health Care Plan. The referral/MHCP is exactly the same, does not need to specify telehealth, and can be used for in-person or telehealth sessions at your discretion.

Accessing a psychologist via telehealth has become much more common since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth sessions obviously allow people to access therapy with much greater ease and convenience, allow people to seek out therapists with greater expertise or earlier availability that might not live geographically close to them, and enable sessions to be held in the comfort and safety of your own environment.

Understandably though, there have been questions asked about the relative efficacy of telehealth vs face-to-face therapy. Reassuringly, a recent meta-analysis (where you group together lots of separate studies) showed that telehealth was as effective or better! [Snoswell, et al., 2021]

Accessing a psychologist via telehealth has become much more common since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth sessions obviously allow people to access therapy with much greater ease and convenience, allow people to seek out therapists with greater expertise or earlier availability that might not live geographically close to them, and enable sessions to be held in the comfort and safety of your own environment.

Understandably though, there have been questions asked about the relative efficacy of telehealth vs face-to-face therapy. Reassuringly, a recent meta-analysis (where you group together lots of separate studies) showed that telehealth was as effective or better! [Snoswell, et al., 2021]

There are some points to keep in mind when setting up a telehealth session:

  1. Technology – It goes without saying that a telehealth session can really suffer if your internet/device is struggling! Try and test this out before the session to have this working optimally.
  2. Privacy – Obviously confidentiality is important, so make sure you can be in a space where you know that no one can hear (and maybe see) you. Sometimes earphones can help with this, but again test it out first! There is nothing worse than worrying that your housemates/parents/work colleagues are privy to your therapy session!
  3. Distractions – You will need a quiet, uninterrupted space to really focus. Make sure you are off the work meeting, that someone else is looking after the kids/energetic puppy and the TV/phone/etc is off!
  4. Camera – Set up your camera so that your therapist can see your face and the level of light allows them to see your expression. Whilst therapy sessions can be done on the phone, the communication is much better if you can both see as well as hear each other!

To learn more about telehealth please click here.

EMDR

Yes we do. Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a type of psychological treatment offered by virtually all therapists at Cova.

Yes we do. Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is a type of psychological treatment offered by virtually all therapists at Cova.

If you are interested in EMDR, please let our Admin team when making your first booking. 

The initial phases of EMDR start like most other therapies – with a full psychological assessment – and this is completed before commencing any trauma processing. As is standard in all sessions, you and your therapist will then develop a treatment plan, and decide whether it is appropriate to engage in other therapeutic work first and at what stage to commence trauma processing. 

Once you begin trauma processing, you and your therapist may choose to move to 80-min sessions. The possibility and rational for this will be discussed with you by your therapist. It should be noted that the Medicare rebate is capped and does not increase for the longer sessions. This means that the gap between the Medicare rebate and the overall cost of the appointment will be higher if you choose this option. 

To learn more about EMDR please click here.

If you are interested in EMDR, please let our Admin team when making your first booking. 

The initial phases of EMDR start like most other therapies – with a full psychological assessment – and this is completed before commencing any trauma processing. As is standard in all sessions, you and your therapist will then develop a treatment plan, and decide whether it is appropriate to engage in other therapeutic work first and at what stage to commence trauma processing. 

Once you begin trauma processing, you and your therapist may choose to move to 80-min sessions. The possibility and rational for this will be discussed with you by your therapist. It should be noted that the Medicare rebate is capped and does not increase for the longer sessions. This means that the gap between the Medicare rebate and the overall cost of the appointment will be higher if you choose this option. 

To learn more about EMDR please click here.

Couples Therapy

Couples therapy or relationship counselling has a slightly different process to individual therapy at Cova. For couples therapy, the first session runs for 80 minutes and both people attend together. This is then followed by two individual assessment sessions which each member of the couple will attend separately (for 50 minutes). These initial three sessions are for your therapist to assess you as a couple & then individually. Following this, you will meet and discuss the next stages of therapy.

Unfortunately couples therapy sessions are not eligible for Medicare rebates. Sometimes though, private health insurance can be used to help cover the cost of sessions.

To learn more about Couples Therapy please click here.

Couples therapy or relationship counselling has a slightly different process to individual therapy at Cova. For couples therapy, the first session runs for 80 minutes and both people attend together. This is then followed by two individual assessment sessions which each member of the couple will attend separately (for 50 minutes). These initial three sessions are for your therapist to assess you as a couple & then individually. Following this, you will meet and discuss the next stages of therapy.

Unfortunately couples therapy sessions are not eligible for Medicare rebates. Sometimes though, private health insurance can be used to help cover the cost of sessions.

To learn more about Couples Therapy please click here.

Other

Confidentiality is a key part of our service. Our confidentiality terms will typically be sent to you, in writing, prior to your first appointment (as part of the Client Agreement) and these will be discussed with you in your first session. As a general rule, your information is kept completely private unless:

  • Your therapist is worried about the safety of either you or other people
  • Feedback is being provided to a referring party (for example, your GP)
  • It is subpoenaed by a court or otherwise required/authorised by law.
  • You have provided consent for your information to be shared with a third party.

Please talk to your therapist if you have questions/concerns regarding any of this. 

Confidentiality is a key part of our service. Our confidentiality terms will typically be sent to you, in writing, prior to your first appointment (as part of the Client Agreement) and these will be discussed with you in your first session. As a general rule, your information is kept completely private unless:

  • Your therapist is worried about the safety of either you or other people
  • Feedback is being provided to a referring party (for example, your GP)
  • It is subpoenaed by a court or otherwise required/authorised by law.
  • You have provided consent for your information to be shared with a third party.

Please talk to your therapist if you have questions/concerns regarding any of this. 

Our cancellation terms will also be provided to you prior to your first attendance at the clinic. Our cancellation policy is that we ask that you to give us at least 48 hours notice if you wish to change or cancel your appointment. The primary reason we charge a fee for late cancellations is to value the time of the psychologist which has been booked, as well as being able to service other clients in need. At late notice, it is unlikely that the appointment time can be filled with another client. 

Unfortunately, Medicare rebates cannot be claimed on cancellation fees. If you wish to discuss a cancellation fee that has been applied to you or our cancellation policy in general, please get in touch with Cova’s reception.

At Cova, we highly value your feedback! We want to run the best practice possible and your feedback is such important information for us to be able to do this! We strive for all of our clients to experience the highest quality care, from their first interaction with our reception staff, to their psychological treatment with their therapist. Please feel free to share your experience with us at any time. At certain time points during your therapy, we will seek out your feedback. This is so that we can ensure that we are meeting our standards of care, as well as bringing our attention to any areas that could be tweaked or improved. 

If you’re not satisfied with your experience at Cova, we definitely want to hear about it! We would encourage you to raise issues with your therapist directly, or alternatively, you can contact our reception if you would like to share your feedback with our directors. 

At Cova, we highly value your feedback! We want to run the best practice possible and your feedback is such important information for us to be able to do this! We strive for all of our clients to experience the highest quality care, from their first interaction with our reception staff, to their psychological treatment with their therapist. Please feel free to share your experience with us at any time. At certain time points during your therapy, we will seek out your feedback. This is so that we can ensure that we are meeting our standards of care, as well as bringing our attention to any areas that could be tweaked or improved. 

If you’re not satisfied with your experience at Cova, we definitely want to hear about it! We would encourage you to raise issues with your therapist directly, or alternatively, you can contact our reception if you would like to share your feedback with our directors. 

You can read our Social Media and Website Policies and Disclaimer here.

Getting To Us

We are located at Suite 19, 12 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000. We are located on the first floor. You will need to go up the stairs/lift and then keep walking around until you reach Suite 19.

We are located at Suite 19, 12 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000. We are located on the first floor. You will need to go up the stairs/lift and then keep walking around until you reach Suite 19.

The clinic is very close to Parliament station and there are many nearby tram stops (the building entrance is directly opposite the trams that run along Collins St – Tram Stop #8 Spring St/Collins St).

In terms of driving, nearby off-street parking can be found in the surrounding streets of the CBD, or in East Melbourne (along Macarthur St, Gisborne St, St Andrews Pl, Cathedral Pl or Albert St). There also a number of parking building nearby such as First Parking (34-60 Little Collins St) or Secure Parking (12-20 Flinders Lane). Allow extra time to find a car park, especially for your first appointment.

We do have wheelchair access to our building. You will need to let us know if you require this as we will be letting you in a separate door at the back of the building (which can only be opened with a key). Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access to the toilets in our building.

We do have wheelchair access to our building. You will need to let us know if you require this as we will be letting you in a separate door at the back of the building (which can only be opened with a key). Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access to the toilets in our building.

Crisis Lines

If you are requiring more urgent/emergency help (for example, you or another person is in crisis or considering acting upon suicidal or homicidal thoughts), it may be more appropriate to call 000 or one of the numbers below:

Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
A 24-hour/7 days telephone service providing crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
A 24-hour/7 days phone and online counselling to people affected by suicide.

If you are located in Victoria, you can also contact the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams (CAT Teams) in an emergency. These are accessed based on your geographical area so you will need to go to the following website and click on the link for your region to determine which number to call.