I need therapy now! – Video and Phone Counselling with ACT Curious

by | Oct 29, 2021

Two-thirds of our ACT Curious clients take advantage of video and telephone counselling.  Have you considered the benefits?  Telehealth is effective, convenient and safe.  If you need to speak with a therapist you have options. Remote counselling gives you access to high-quality therapy when and where you need it.[1]

At ACT Curious, our team of experienced therapists specialise in treating vicarious trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), along with many other mental health issues.

You won’t be alone.  Telehealth numbers have spiked during the pandemic.  Thousands of Australians have utilised video and phone counselling to ensure their mental health in 2020 and 2021.  They know what our clients know.

Telehealth works. Telehealth can work for you too.  Studies suggest that remote counselling for the treatment of common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD is as effective as face-to-face therapy.[2] Plus, it keeps everyone safe if you’re worried about COVID-19.

Video and phone counselling are subsidised by Medicare.[3] In fact, remote counselling will save you time and money on travel.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a private client, a business owner, or a manager.  The numbers add up.  Remote counselling is the smart choice and the right choice for thousands of Australians and millions worldwide.

Effective therapy via video and phone counselling

Our experienced ACT Curious clinicians offer the convenience of therapy delivered via telephone or video counselling to address issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, grief and loss, relationship or family difficulties, as well as work-related stresses, including burnout.  We offer proven, evidence-based telehealth therapies to clients right around Australia, including:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness training;
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EMDR);
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).

Experienced therapists make a difference

Everyone deserves the best mental health care.  With ACT Curious, you can access proven therapists, using video and telephone consultations to deliver proven treatments with measurable client outcomes.  Nearly all of our ACT Curious therapists, 95 percent, have experience as managers or team leaders; 95 percent of our team specialise and have extra qualifications in trauma treatment as well.  Consider the benefits of remote counselling with experienced therapists. 

You can be anywhere and access therapy ‘on your terms’:

  • Access best practice treatment from the privacy and comfort of your home or office.
  • Save time and your costs of travel to attend face-to-face consultations.
  • Telehealth is convenient and mobile; many clients continue with their ACT Curious therapist even after moving interstate, or when travelling around Australia on holidays.
  • Booster sessions are available when you need them; monthly, six-monthly or annually, as required.

Do you prefer telephone or video?  The choice is yours:

  • Stay connected with your therapist to ensure continuity of care.
  • Some people prefer phone counselling as they don’t like seeing themselves or being seen.
  • Social anxiety and stigmatisation are slashed by remote counselling from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
  • Confidentiality is ensured. You won’t bump into people you know.  You won’t run into your therapist at the supermarket if they’re based elsewhere.
  • Remote counselling allows some people to open up more with their therapist.
  • Are you a ‘digital native’? Video and phone calls are now a natural part of life for younger (and many older) people.

Injury, ill-health, age and a busy life challenge us all:

  • Juggle your hectic family, work, and personal commitments with telehealth.
  • If you are in lockdown or quarantine due to the pandemic, stay safely isolated while continuing to access proven treatment.
  • People living in rural and remote locations can access the best mental health care, especially when it is not available close to home.
  • Older people who may not drive, or lack family support, don’t need to leave the comfort of their home to access our experienced therapists.
  • People with disabilities and NDIS clients can access our experienced therapists for support and proven mental health treatments delivered in the way best suited to their needs.

Your security and privacy are ensured:

  • Our ACT Curious clinicians use the Doxy.me online platform for video consultations. Doxy.me is secure, free and it’s easy to use.
  • We can also use Zoom, Skype, or another video conferencing platform you prefer.
  • We follow government and professional telehealth guidelines and codes of practice to ensure high professional standards, security and privacy for all clients.[4]

Do you have a good fit with your therapist?

  • Access experienced trauma specialists who use proven evidence-based treatments.
  • We specialise in treating vicarious trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Our experienced team has the capacity right now to help you address immediate concerns.

Remote counselling is your choice – try it

When you’ve built a therapeutic relationship with someone you know and trust, telehealth allows you to continue therapy through lockdowns, quarantine or periods of isolation.  Telephone and video counselling are both popular with our ACT Curious clients.  Two-thirds of our clients enjoy the flexibility of remote counselling, with a 55:45 split in favour of a phone call.  All you need to do is consider one simple question:

Are you receiving evidence-based treatment from experienced therapists?

We can help you choose.  Remote counselling is just as effective as face-to-face therapy for the treatment of many common problems.  If you can’t access the mental health care you need locally if you are always on the go, and especially if you are comfortable talking on the phone or making video calls, remote counselling can work for you.

Our clients have learned the value of continuing therapy via remote counselling.  It’s detrimental to pause your mental health therapy during lockdown.

Remote work is here to stay, so are video and phone counselling

When you think about it, telehealth isn’t new.  The good people of the Royal Flying Doctor Service have been treating people remotely for nearly a century.[5]

Lifeline Sydney was launched in 1963.  Today, Lifeline Australia, SANE Australia, BeyondBlue and many other organisations offer telephone contact numbers, call back services, websites, online chats, web forums and smartphone apps.[6] These services have saved lives for decades.

Necessity born of the pandemic changed the nature of work for millions of Australia.  Demand for telehealth spiked too, to an average month rate two orders of magnitude higher than pre-pandemic.  Medical, public health and technology experts are all pushing for the extension of telehealth, and suggest it is set for a permanent boom.[7] The future is now. 

Telehealth is popular and works

Whether you are an Employee Assistance Program client, private client, NDIS participant or come with a referral from your General Practitioner we work with you to match you with the right ACT Curious therapist.

Did you know that 15.7 million people have used 79.6 million telehealth services of any kind in Australia during the pandemic?  Telehealth has been a massive public health success.[8]

Beginning in mid-March 2020, the Australian Government temporarily added around 300 telehealth items to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), including mental health care.[9] This funding enabled access to Medicare-subsidised psychological therapy via telephone and video consultations on a scale never seen before.[10]

Chances are that you know someone who has made the most of remote counselling during the pandemic.

The Better Access Initiative was extended to all Australians during the pandemic.  Extra support will remain available until 30 June 2022 for people with a GP mental health treatment plan in place.[11] Given the popularity of telehealth for mental health care, we are awaiting Australian Government confirmation of Medicare funding for video and phone counselling through the rest of 2022 and beyond.

Move forward with ACT Curious video and phone counselling

The popularity of remote counselling is really no surprise in the age of Facebook and Tik Tok.  You need experienced therapists who deliver high-quality clinical mental health care in the way that suits you best.

Our ACT Curious clinical social workers, psychologists, counsellors, and dieticians are experienced and have delivered proven mental health therapies remotely for years.  At ACT Curious, we know we are changing lives with our video and phone counselling.

Our clients deeply value the video and phone counselling options available with their ACT Curious therapist.

Let ACT Curious help you find the right combination of face-to-face, video and telephone counselling.  We are a member of EAPAA (Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australasia)  and have provided Employee Assistance Program Services to organisations and companies throughout Australia since 2007. We offer ACT, CBT, EMDR, grief and crisis counselling, clinical supervision, NDIS mental health services remotely.

AT ACT Curious, we have your mental health needs covered. Our experienced clinicians will help you to thrive and move forward in your valued direction    

 

 

 

AUTHOR Michelle Trudgen is the Clinical Director of ACT Curious.

CONTACT US  📞    0438 922 979 (Australia Wide)  email: hello@actcurious.com

DISCLAIMER The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

COPYRIGHT © ACT Curious Pty Ltd, 2021.

[1] ‘Telehealth’ is a broad term.  In the context of mental health, remote counselling or consultations might be conducted via video, telephone, SMS, or online.  Telehealth delivery also includes directed and self-paced online mental health programs.

[2] See, e.g.: Rebecca E. Reay, Jeffrey C.L. Looi & Philip Keightley. (2020). Telehealth mental health services during COVID-19: summary of evidence and clinical practice. Australasian Psychiatry, 28(5), 514–516; Carmen Morena, Til Wykes, Silvana Galderisi, et al. (2020). How mental health care should change as a consequence of a COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet Psychiatry, 7, 813–824; Xiaoyun Zhou, Centaine L. Snoswell, Louise E. Harding, Matthew Bambling, Sisira Edirippulige, Xuejun Bai & Anthony C. Smith. (2020). The role of telehealth in reducing the mental health burden from COVID-19. Telemedicine and e-Health, 26(4), 377–379.

[3] For details of Australian Government funding of telehealth for mental health care, see Australian Government, Department of Health, Better Access Initiative (last updated 25 August 2021).  Additional mental health sessions are available to everyone under the Better Access Pandemic Support measure until 30 June 2022; Australian Government, Department of Health. (2020, May 8). COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services Mental Health Services: MBS Changes Factsheet; Australian Government, Department of Health. (2021, June 28). COVID-19 MBS Psychiatry Telehealth Services: Frequently Asked Questions.

[4] See, e.g., Australian Government, Department of Health (2019, March 28). Better Access Telehealth Initiative for Rural and Remote Patients: Guidelines; Australian Government, Department of Health (2020, December 8). COVID-19 Telehealth Items Guide (Version 2.1).  Also see the telehealth guidelines and codes of conduct of the bodies including, for instance, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), and Australian College of Rural & Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

[5] The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has formally supplied remote mental health programs since 2009, and informally supported people for decades; see Lara Bishop, Andy Ransom, Martin Laverty & Lauren Gale (2017). Mental Health in Remote and Rural Communities, Canberra: RFDS, Table 3.1.

[6] Lifeline Australia (call 13 11 14), SANE Australia (call 1800 187 263), BeyondBlue (call 1300 224 636).  For extended lists of help lines, see the Australian Government’s, Mental Health and HealthDirect websites.

[7] Will Castles, Rob Price & Liz Scarano. (2021, March). ‘Video visits go viral: COVID-19 sparks new interest in video doctor’s visits.’ In Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2021: The COVID-19 Catalyst: Australian Edition, Deloitte Australia, 32–35; Stephen Duckett. (2020). What should primary care look like after the COVID-19 pandemic? Australian Journal of Primary Health, 26, 207–211; Ian Hickie & Stephen Duckett. (2020, May 6). Coronavirus has boosted telehealth care in mental health, so let’s keep it up. The Conversation; Dana McCauley. (2020, August 31). Push for Medicare telehealth extension for mental health support. Sydney Morning Herald.  Mental health professionals, health policy experts, and professional bodies including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the RACGP, the APS and the AASW have called for the extension of (mental health) MBS telehealth funding beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Also note the pre-pandemic submissions of numerous mental health and medical bodies to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Inquiry into the Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia (Report: December 2018), and the Productivity Commission, Inquiry into Mental Health (Report No. 95: 30 June 2020).  Chapters 11 (Supported online treatment) and 12 (Bridging the mental healthcare gaps) of the Productivity Commission report advocate the extension of telehealth.

[8] Aggregate Australian telehealth statistics to 25 October 2021, see: www.digitalhealth.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/telehealth.  Also see Stephen Duckett & Anika Stobart. (2020, June 12). Australia’s COVID-19 response: the four successes and four failures. Grattan Institute: Carlton.

[9] The Hon Greg Hunt MP. (2021, April 26). Universal Telehealth extended through 2021; Australian Government, Department of Health. (2021, September 24). COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services.  For an overview and detailed timeline of telehealth in Australia during the pandemic, Sally Hall Dykgraaf, Jane Desborough, Lucas de Toca, et al. (2021). “A decade’s worth of work in a matter of days”: The journey to telehealth for the whole population in Australia. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 151, 104483.

[10] See above, Note 3.

[11] See above, Note 3.

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