Can I contact Hilary between sessions?
It is common for clients (or parents/caregivers) to want to contact their therapist between sessions for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to): scheduling, requesting support letters, providing updates, and seeking advice/support. Based on my boundaries and capacity, I have outlined how best to manage/communicate these common requests:
I need to reschedule my appointment
If you have set up your Halaxy account, you should be able to manage your appointments online. If you are cancelling/rescheduling an appointment with less than 48 business hours notice, you will need to contact my virtual administrative assistant (refer to the cancellation policy).
I need a support letter for school/university
You can make this request directly during a session or via an email to my administrative assistant, however I cannot provide a letter unless and until we have had an appointment to discuss it; I need to speak to you/your young person about the request to:
ensure it is appropriate for me to provide a letter
check I have all the information I need
confirm with you/your young person exactly what information I have consent to share.
Please be aware I require at least 2 weeks notice to provide a letter of support, and cannot provide letters to clients who are not currently engaged in therapy (i.e. past/discharged clients).
I want to help my clients as best as I can, and that means dedicating the necessary time and thought to writing a letter that is not only supportive, but also meets ethical, legal, and professional standards.
I want to give you an update about me/my young person
Any emails you send will not be read or responded to by me until our next appointment; my administrative assistant will upload any correspondence to your file. Email is not recommended to convey sensitive information as it is not confidential.
I need support
If you need non-emergency support (i.e. there are no risk concerns), you can:
use the online booking system to schedule an earlier appointment
call/email my administrative assistant and ask to be put on my cancellation list in case an earlier appointment becomes available
check if your workplace has an employee assistance program you can access
contact your school wellbeing team
consider documenting any events and your thoughts and feelings, and bringing any notes to your next appointment.
I need urgent support
As a therapist in private practice I cannot provide crisis/emergency support. If you are in need of immediate help, please reach out to an emergency service or helpline such as:
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Qlife - 1800 184 527
MensLine 1300 78 99 78
Family Violence 1800 015 188
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Line 1300 651 251
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732
Why can't you give support via email/between sessions?
There are several reasons I cannot provide support via email/between sessions, including (but not limited to):
A great deal of time is needed to read, reflect and respond sensitively. On work days I spend the majority of my time in sessions with clients, writing notes, corresponding with other health professionals, and preparing for sessions. This leaves little to no time to monitor (let alone respond to) emails; one of the many reasons I have an administrative assistant!
Written communication is prone to misinterpretation.
Emails do not include sufficient information/context for me to provide support; I will not be able to assess the mental state of the writer, nor will I have the information required to give appropriate psychological support.
Medicare Referral Questions
My referral from my GP was faxed but you haven’t received it, can you follow up with my GP for me?
As a small clinic we do not have capacity to follow up on referrals, so you will need to contact your GP clinic to request your referral be re-sent.
If you’re worried about your referral not being received, you can ask your GP to provide you with a copy of your referral to provide to us/Hilary directly.
You don’t have my referral yet, so can I wait until you do to pay for my session?
Regardless of whether you have a current referral on file, payment is due at the time of your appointment. Processing rebates is a service we provide for the convenience of clients if/when we have all the information required to do so (i.e. your medicare card details and a current referral/mental health care plan).
Can I communicate with my young person’s therapist without my young person knowing?
Sometimes parents want to give me information, but don’t want their young person to know the information has been shared. This often comes up when parents aren’t sure how to talk to their young person about something or are worried it will lead to an argument.
While this is understandable, receiving information in this way prevents me (the therapist) from being able to act on or use this information in therapy with your young person. It can also undermine the trust between you and your young person, and your young person and me.
I can help you to discuss the issue/information openly with your young person in a therapy session. I can scaffold the discussion to support you and your young person, and offer ideas and suggestions for how you might resolve the issue or move forwards.
While it may sound daunting, this can give you and your young person a more positive experience of having a tough conversation; bringing these discussions to therapy can actually strengthen your relationship.
I’m worried my young person isn’t telling their therapist everything that’s going on - what do I do?
There may be things going on for your young person that are really difficult to talk about, even with their therapist. Your young person may also be worried that if they do talk about these things in therapy, it will become the only focus and they won’t get to talk about other things that are important. If you’re not sure if your young person has raised an issue in therapy, I recommend starting by (gently) asking them, e.g. “I know you really don’t like talking about X with me, and I was wondering if it’s something you have felt able to tell Hilary?”.
If your young person says no, it’s important to stay calm and not push them. For example, you might respond “Ok thanks for letting me know. I’m not trying to pressure you, and I wanted to check if there’s anything I can do to help if you do decide to talk to Hilary about it? I really care about you and you deserve to have someone to talk to”. Sometimes even just agreeing to let me know there is something they’re not ready to talk about can be helpful, as I can also validate this and demonstrate that I will go at your young person’s pace.
Where is Morgendorffer Lane Therapy?
Morgendorffer Lane Therapy is located at 68 Victoria street, Footscray. The signs on the windows read "The Mind At Heart", as the building is leased by another therapist and Morgendorffer Lane Therapy operates out of one of the rooms.
Is the building accessible?
The building is on the ground floor, and there are two steps at the entrance. The first step is 9cms high, and 81.5cms deep. the second step (which meets the front door) is 10cms high.
The narrowest doorway in the building is 70cms wide
The bathroom is not fitted with railings