We have answered some common questions for you.

A positive mental health is wealth. We understand that it can be difficult to ask for help, but encourage you to take the first step as it make a huge difference in your life.

" The team at Mindset Consulting Psychology acknowledge the challenge ahead all of us with the corona virus pandemic. Our thoughts and well wishes go out to everyone out in the world and thank the healthcare staff that are fighting with us on the front lines.

It has been heartwarming to see the number of free resources being made available to help those who are struggling. If we have the ability then we have the responsibility and as a psychology provider we have put together a list of helpful links to access information from their website. Coming soon will be a curated information manuscript I will have been writing on how to stay psychologically healthy during Covid-19. Stay safe and lets stay strong together."

Covid-19 Resources

  • Rick Hanson Podcast on Fear and Coronavirus

  • 60 second Anxiety Hack

  • A technique to reduce very intense emotion

  • Meditation to calm the anxious mind

  • Working with Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Coronavirus anxiety: how to cope if you’re feeling anxious about the outbreak

It is normal to have a ‘bad day’. Everyone experiences periods of low mood and sadness in response to daily stress in life. Depressed mood can become a problem when there is a persistence and starts to affect your ability to cope or function in life. Depression is the condition that can occur suddenly or gradually and can vary in severity and symptoms.

Common symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Low mood, feeling flat or tearfulness
  • Loss of pleasure in activities
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Lack of motivation
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of concentration and/ or poor memory
  • Indecisiveness
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism or despair
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive feelings of guilt or shame
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or plans

If left untreated, Depression can cause significant effects on our health and wellbeing and negatively impact relationships, performance at work or school and enjoyment of life. Causes of Depression can involve many factors. Some of these include conflict, grief + loss, relationship issues/ conflict, traumas, personality styles, coping mechanisms and stress management, unresolved issues and resentments, low self esteem.


Relationships are fundamental to one’s psychological health and wellbeing. Research has shown that having satisfying relationships with a partner, family and friends are associated with increased levels of happiness and lower risks for mental health and physical illness.

 It is not surprising that relationship related concerns are one of the most common reasons for seeing a psychologist. The types of relationships issues people may seek help in treatment include:

  • Social isolation or loneliness
  • Difficulties and conflict in relationships across different areas of life – work (bosses/ colleagues), family and friends.
  • Poor communication
  • Insecure Attachment style (jealousy, commitment issues, clinginess, trust issues,
  • Sabotaging behaviours in relationship (infidelity,
  • Dating Anxiety
  • Fractured relationships marked by intense idealisation and devaluation
  • Lack of boundaries (enmeshment or people pleasing)
  • Repeating patterns in relationships (toxic friendships, break-ups, disconnection)

Relationship counselling involves identifying key issues relating to your attachment style and personality factors that contribute to the difficulties. Learning practical tools that relate to improving interpersonal skills, self awareness, communication, emotional intelligence are central to treatment. The goal is to develop healthier responses to dealing with conflict and also creating more satisfying relationships.

The most obvious loss or grief relate to a death of a loved one (bereavement). There are other losses can bring about feelings of loss and grief (financial and career losses, opportunities, ‘future’ dreams and hopes, relationships, health and vitality, independence and things in life not turning out the way we expected). Grief is universal response to loss but its intensity can vary depending on the degree of importance and attachment to the loss. It is important to note that not everyone grieves in the same way.

In the worst cases, there are individuals who suffer more severe grief, which can last up to months. This form of grief can pave the way to isolation, loneliness and depression.

Grief Therapy focusses validating feelings while working through ‘stages’ and ‘tasks’ that support you in processing the loss in a healthy manner.

Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression is a mood disorder which describes episodes of extreme high (called hypomania) and low (called depressive) moods.  Bipolar Disorder occurs in approximately 1% of the population (1in 100) will require hospital care. This illness affects men and women equally and typically begin in their early to late 20s.

People with this condition would describe mood swings whereby the ‘high’ is experienced as being extremely euphoric or elated and low as being extremely sad and depressed. These episodes range from mild to severe and affect how a person thinks, feels and behaves. A depressive episode mimic a depressive symptomatology. In contrast,  a hypomanic episode can manifest in feeling over-confident, pressured speech, racing thoughts, reduced need for sleep, increased productivity, impulsivity, recklessness.

Treatment involves education about the disorder and learning about mood changes. Self regulation and emotional regulation

  • Learning to monitor mood and sleep to help predict mood changes
  • Learning to identify and respond to early warning signs of mood changes
  • Identifying activities that give a sense of pleasure or achievement, and working to include these in regular routines
  • Learning to break down overwhelming tasks into manageable steps
  • Cognitive therapy (identifying, challenging and replacing unhelpful thoughts)
  • Learning how to actively cope with problems.

Burnout is a syndrome defined by the World Health Organization as a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by chronic workplace stress, characterised by exhaustion, feelings of cynicism or resentment towards your job, and diminished professional productivity. As an increasingly prevalent health issue to Australia’s workforce, it is important to recognise when, and if, you are experiencing burnout. 

Burnout occurs when you are exposed to prolonged stress experienced in the workplace, to the point where you feel you cannot cope with the daily demands of your profession. Feelings of being overwhelmed and mentally drained coincide with a decreased sense of motivation and interest in your profession, eventually leading to reduced professional efficacy. As such, burnout can cause serious detrimental consequences on job and life satisfaction, and burnout has been linked to deterioration in professional competency, and increase in absenteeism and job turnover rates in a 2010 study.

It is important to understand that burnout does not only concern work performance, as this condition has been found to lead negatively impact both physical and mental health. In a 2012 study, the syndrome was found to be positively correlated with insomnia, increase in use of alcohol or drugs, and has even been found to be a predictor of physical disease. It is commonly understood that stress induced conditions such as burnout have led to increased susceptibility to cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, and mental health conditions. 

In particular, burnout has been strongly linked to depression – at face value, they appear as similar conditions, sharing symptoms such as feelings of helplessness, social isolation, and increased fatigue. It has been found that high scores on the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the most common tool used by mental health professionals to assess burnout, correlate strongly with symptoms of depression. Like with depression, burnout is a condition which affects all scopes of life – it was found in 2017 that those experiencing burnout experienced an increase in interpersonal relationship issues. Daily aspects of life such as taking care of your children, maintaining household chores, and socialising with friends during times of leisure can become challenging and draining tasks. 


Considering all these far reaching consequences of burnout to your mental health and overall well being physically, emotionally, and socially, it is critical to recognise if you are affected by this syndrome. You may be experiencing burnout if you feel constantly physically and mentally exhausted because of work, dread the thought of handling work tasks, have little motivation towards a career that you once had a passion for, or if work constantly plagues mind even at times of rest. If you feel like you are impacted by burnout, seeking advice from a mental health professional is the first and foremost step you should take in the process of addressing and treating the condition. Your mental health professional will likely use the aforementioned MBI scale to assess the level of burnout you are experiencing, and recommend a variety of options for treatment, such as talking therapies. 

However, as burnout is a relatively newly studied condition, you may feel at a loss of how to approach treatment, or as though your treatment options are limited. Dr. Aileen’s Mindfulness Retreat offers the perfect opportunity to kickstart your treatment plan, providing you with key strategies and personalised, one on one therapy sessions from board certified psychologist, Dr. Aileen herself. Unlike other ‘wellness retreats’, Mindfulness Retreat sets itself apart with its disciplined strong psychological basis, and a focus on real, results driven treatment plans formulated by clinical and positive psychology expert, Dr. Aileen.

Mindfulness Retreat aims to help address and overcome burnout through a holistic, multiscope approach which balances bettering not only your physical and mental wellbeing, but bettering your lifestyle to ensure you can be in your optimal environment to prosper. Under the guidance of Dr. Aileen, you will learn essential skills such as problem solving strategies to help identify lifestyle stressors, how to effectively and efficiently handle workloads without burning out, and how to best mitigate work stress by removing your additional lifestyle stressors.

These critical life skills and lessons are complemented by the optimum environment our mindfulness retreat gives for relaxation and deep reflection. Exercise, nutrition, and good quality sleep are the groundwork to excellent health, a philosophy which Mindfulness Retreat honors by ensuring your comfort by providing a personal chef to each client, meditative exercise sessions, and an environment of tranquility and peace. Don’t let burnout burn you out. Find a holistic piece of mind, at Mindfulness Retreat.


Most frequent questions and answers

Every person has a different journey through therapy. Each appointment is approximately 50–60 minutes long but the number of sessions required for every individual varies and is largely dependent on the nature of the goals and issues outlined in the initial consultation. On average, people attend between six and ten sessions for a short-term or brief intervention. We provide regular reviews and feedback to keep you involved in the treatment process.

Some people work with a psychologist to develop coping strategies to reduce or manage symptoms of mental illness. This type of work can be short to medium-term, but may also require less frequent check-ups over a longer period of time to deal with any setbacks and prevent relapse.

Others engage in therapy to understand long-standing patterns of behaviour or thinking that may stem from childhood experiences, or to receive ongoing support. While this type of work typically occurs over an extended period of time, again, this is dependent on client preferences.

For others however, therapy may simply be something they engage with on a one off basis or for a small handful of sessions to deal with a specific issue or chat through a particular concern. Although a specific problem or challenge is typically what brings people to a psychologist – at least initially – therapy can be a wonderful space for ongoing growth and self-development.

No. Most people will experience stress and struggle at some point in their life, simply due to the daily demands of living. Psychologists can help with supporting you and also build better coping mechanisms in order to deal with any stress or issues you’re faced with moving forward.

At Mindset Consulting, we believe therapy is an investment towards a better life. Most services are eligible for a rebate under major health funds or Medicare. If you do not have any health subsidy entitlements, please get in touch to discuss short-term therapy options. Our solutions-focused approach to treatment means that you can still benefit during times of crisis where we provide immediate support to help you better deal with any issues you may be facing.

Every practice is different but here is a brief overview of how we tend to work at Mindset Consulting:
At the beginning of your first session, your psychologist will run through any important paperwork with you, including a consent form that covers issues such as confidentiality and fees. If you have been referred by a GP or psychiatrist, we will also discuss the details of your Mental Health Treatment Plan at this stage. The remainder of the session is spent discussing the issues that have brought you to therapy. As well as developing a thorough understanding of your concerns, your psychologist will also explore relevant details in regards to your family history, social relationships, work situation and any past counselling you may have done. This information helps to form a better understanding of what may be triggering for you and allows for deeper, more collaborative work in future therapy sessions.

Psychologists are health professionals who work in a range of areas including clinical, health, neuropsychology, sports, forensic, organisational and community settings. To become a fully registered psychologist you must undertake an undergraduate degree, an Honours degree and complete at least two years of supervised training and further education in the field of psychology – either a Masters or Doctorate degree. Psychologists assist people with everyday concerns such as stress and relationship difficulties, as well as mental health issues. Psychologists use ‘talk therapies’ to support people and help them develop the necessary coping strategies they need to prevent ongoing issues. There are a large number of research studies supporting the effectiveness of psychological therapy.

Psychiatrists, on the other hand, have completed a medical degree and done further training and study related to the medical diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and are able to prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists also combine therapy with medication.

Counsellors can come from a broad range of backgrounds with various levels of training. Currently in Australia, the term ‘counsellor’ is not protected. This means that anyone can refer to themselves as a counsellor. Having said this however, many counsellors have undertaken training and formal education – ranging from a Diploma to a Masters degree.

If you have a referral from a GP or psychiatrist for a Mental Health Treatment Plan, you will be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate of $124.50 when seeing a clinical psychologist, for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.

Some private health insurance plans include psychological counselling as an extra. To find out if you are eligible for a partial rebate, we recommend getting in touch with your insurance provider for more information.

You will need to make an appointment with your GP who will assess whether you are eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan. In order to claim the Medicare rebate, you will need to bring a copy of your Mental Health Treatment Plan to your first appointment.

No. While you do not need a referral to make an appointment, if you decide to go ahead without referral from your GP or a psychiatrist, you are required to pay the full fee for each session out of your own pocket.

All the information that you disclose within a session is confidential. There are only two exceptions to this rule: firstly, if you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else; and secondly, if your sessions are subject to court orders. In either instance, your psychologist will discuss these scenarios with you.

Free resources

If you are in search of support, there are a number of free resources available in Australia where you can seek out additional help: