Hi, you should be able to find a clinical psychologist / psychologist who will bulk bill you - that is you won't have to pay anything. Some psychologists bulk bill everyone, some will bulk bill if you're not working / single parent / pensioner etc. You do need a “Mental Health Treatment Plan” from a doctor though, and there's a limit of 10 sessions, but that's usually enough. Just check with the psychologist you see first regarding bulk billing.
The title “counsellor” is quite broad, and I don't think it's regulated, so anyone can call themselves “counsellor”. There are plenty of good counsellors out there, but there are also counsellors (and psychologists) who aren't going to be good for you. If you don't think the person is on the right track within 2 or 3 sessions, then they're probably not on the right track!
Clinical psychologists have completed six or seven years of university training which includes two or three years of full-time post-graduate training in treaating psychological / psychiatric conditions, and another couple of years of supervision.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most common approach used by psychologists because it has the most evidence that it works. There are other approaches that have evidence to back them up, but CBT has the most research to support it. Some psychologists will add in other variants, but I'd just make sure that CBT is the core approach. And if CBT doesn't work for you, then I would try non-CBT approaches!
Good luck with it, it would be great to hear how you (all) get on!
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