Follow The Sun Psychology
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone
"No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn."
Lisa J. Atkinson
Grad Dip (Psychology). Post Grad Dip (Psychology).
Psychologist With General Registration (PSY0001970535). MAPS
To sum up my personality in a few words, I am 'curious', 'thoughtful', 'analytical', 'cheeky' and 'open-hearted'. These qualities, along with not taking myself too seriously, serve me very well as a therapist. In life, like most, I've been confronted with change, upheaval, loss and pain. I've dealt with these struggles with varying degrees of grace, adaptiveness and acceptance. I know that dealing with struggle, uncertainty and challenging life transitions can feel like an endless rollercoaster ride. Sometimes it feels exhilarating and fun, and sometimes it makes you want to close your eyes and throw up (sometimes simultaneously). Whilst I don't take myself too seriously, I don't trivialise the experiences that encourage one to seek therapy, or the courage it takes to engage in therapy.
I started out as a lawyer and accountant, knowing very early on that it wasn't for me. I stuck it at for 9 years anyway, trying to justify my 5 years of law and business school. After burning myself out and realising that my square peg didn't fit into the round hole of the corporate world, I threw it all in and travelled to Latin America. I thought I might figure 'it' out whilst doing some volunteering and drinking margaritas. Sensibly, I decided that the plane journey over would be a good time to crack up open the Lonely Planet and start teaching myself Spanish (given that I would soon be expected to teach a class of Guatemalan 9 year olds... in Spanish). How hard could it be....right? I went for 6 months and stayed for three years! My time over there changed the way I saw myself, the world and my role in it. It wasn't always easy living in developing countries, but I adapted and evolved (as did my Aussie Spanglish) when I started to befriend uncertainty instead of trying to corral it in a headlock. In doing so, I stumbled upon my life purpose whilst working with small indigenous communities in Ecuador and Guatemala. During my time in Latin America I developed an interest in trauma, holistic forms of healing (including the utilisation of natural outdoor settings for therapy) and human connection as a powerful vehicle for change, growth and healing. Going back to uni in my 30s in a new city wasn't easy either. Honestly, if I'd known in advance how hard it was going to be to retrain as a therapist, I may not have set out down the road. Retraining as a therapist was exhausting, uncomfortable, frustrating, humbling, cashflow-negative and life changing. Despite the challenges and the grind, I don't regret any of it and I'm eternally grateful that I get the opportunity to do this work everyday. Through it all I've learned (and continue to learn) to 'struggle well' when I have to, so I can manage my wellbeing in a way that serves me, my loved ones and my community. Realistically, we're not going to be able to thrive everyday, so teaching people to 'struggle well' strongly informs my approach to therapy.
As an AHPRA-registered psychologist, I integrate empirically validated psychological theories and clinical frameworks with a client-centred, kind and compassionate approach. I draw on a number of therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychodynamic approaches, interpersonal therapy, attachment-focused approaches, strength-based therapy and mindfulness. I'm experienced in providing services in a broad range of settings including large corporate firms in Australia and the UK, community based legal centres (supporting refugees), outreach support services (supporting vulnerable communities), residential aged care, supporting survivors of institutionalised sexual abuse, on-site psychological support at a Central Queensland coal mine and working in rural community health clinics (Central Queensland).
I work with adults, adolescents and children (12 years and up) presenting with a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, stress, grief and loss, adjustment issues related to life transitions, emotional, social and behavioural concerns,
personality vulnerabilities, trauma, addiction and LGBTQ+ related issues. I have a particular interest in helping clients who have suffered different types of trauma, including complex relational trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence and who, understandably, experience difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
The FTS Approach
Engaging in therapy, especially for the first time, can stir up different feelings, including nervousness, anxiety, vulnerability and perhaps even scepticism or cynicism. These are perfectly normal and relatable human reactions to seeking help with difficult challenges in life. In Lisa you'll find a calm, warm and thoughtful psychologist who will offer you a safe and non-judgemental space where you can be heard, respected and understood. Lisa is also passionate about bringing interested clients back to nature in her 'walk and talk' sessions, utilising the power of the natural world to foster mindfulness and presence.
Lisa will look beyond limiting diagnostic labels and curiously engage with you as a whole person. Lisa's primary goal is to assist you to develop psychological, emotional and behavioural self mastery and foster the belief you can recover and heal by finding, following and trusting the guiding light within.
Fees & Cancellation Policy
The cost of a counselling session is currently $175 for a 50-55 minute session. From 16 October 2023, the fee will increase to $190. For those that access the Medicare rebate ($92.90 / $116.35), the out-of-pocket cost of a session for an office based session is $82.10 or $58.65 for a walk and talk session (unless a different Medicare rebate amount applies to your individual circumstances). For those that use private health insurance, please confirm your rebate amount with your health provider.
We understand that sometimes, unexpected events can occur, which makes it necessary to change appointments. Please be aware that no-shows, late arrivals, and cancellations (including requests for reschedules at short notice) may inconvenience your therapist, the reception team and also other clients. The policy regarding missed appointments is clearly stated in the consent form, which is signed when attending the first appointment. The cancellation policy below is also outlined below and we encourage you to take this opportunity to understand the cancellation policy before booking a session.
Contact me today to schedule a personal consultation.
The cancellation policy
When you book your appointment, you reserve space on Lisa’s calendar that is no longer available to other clients. In order to be respectful of your fellow clients, please call Lisa or the New Farm Wellness Centre reception team as soon as you know you will not be able to make your appointment. If cancellation or rescheduling is necessary, we require that you call at least 36 hours in advance.
An automatic reminder is sent 48 hours before the scheduled appointment time, and this provides a timely opportunity for you to notify Lisa if you can’t attend (or wish to reschedule the appointment). Appointments are in high demand, and your advanced notice will allow another client the opportunity to access that appointment time (and to make the necessary arrangements in advance to attend at relatively short notice).
Late cancellations, reschedules or no-shows
A cancellation or request for reschedule is considered late when the appointment is cancelled (or request for reschedule is received) less than 36 hours before the appointed time. If a cancellation (or reschedule request) is advised with between 36 hours and 24 hours’ notice, a fee of $87.50 will be charged (increasing to (5 from 16 October 2023). If a cancellation is advised (or request for reschedule is received) with less than 24 hours’ notice, the full session fee of $175 will be payable (increasing to $190 from 16 October 2023). For a ‘no-show’ (i.e., when a client misses an appointment without cancelling), the full session fee of $175 will be payable (increasing to $190 from 16 October 2023).
In the event of a true, unavoidable emergency, Lisa may exercise her discretion to waive the appointment fee. This will be decided on a case by case basis.
How to cancel or reschedule your appointment
If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call the New Farm Wellness Centre on 3358-2982 between the hours of 9am and 5pm (weekdays). Outside office hours, you can also call or message Lisa on 0413 555 326 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If necessary, you may leave a detailed voicemail message. We will return your call or respond to your message as soon as possible. Where the message is received within the cancellation (including reschedule) windows, you will not be charged a cancellation fee.
Rationale for the cancellation policy
Lisa is passionate about providing quality mental health care to all her clients in a timely manner. Your appointments and well-being are very important to Lisa. As a private small business owner (like your local tradie or hairdresser), please understand that Lisa is not paid by Medicare. It is Medicare that determines the rebate amounts for your healthcare and pays you the rebate. If you don’t show up to your appointment, Lisa doesn’t get paid anything. Yet, as a sole trader, Lisa is still obliged to fund operating costs (e.g., office rent, compulsory insurance, mandatory professional registration fees, obligatory continued professional development costs, etc), income tax, superannuation and leave rquirements (including for illness and on compassionate grounds) as well as other living costs.
Things to consider before booking an appointment
Lisa is fully vaccinated (and boosted) against COVID-19. However, please be aware that FTS is part of a multi-disciplinary wellness clinic (The New Farm Wellness Centre) used by several other independent businesses and their clients. As FTS shares a reception area and bathroom with these other businesses, it is possible that you may come into contact with people who may be unvaccinated. The New Farm Wellness Centre reception area allows for social distancing and hand sanitiser is also available at the reception desk and in Lisa's consulting rooms.
Please be aware that Lisa may be treating individuals that aren't fully vaccinated (e.g., children). Both the reception area and the consulting rooms allow for social distancing during session and you are welcome to wear masks if you wish (or otherwise mandated by a Queensland Government Health Directive). Hand sanitiser is available in the consulting rooms and Lisa cleans the space between appointments.
Assess your risk
If you choose to attend appointments in person it is important to acknowledge the risk of potentially coming into contact with a person infected with Covid-19. If you choose to attend in person, you recognise that neither Lisa nor Follow The Sun Psychology is liable should you become infected with COVID-19 due to attending in person. You can choose to move any/all appointments to telehealth (via Zoom) or a walk and talk session. If you are identified as a close contact of a person who has recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have cold or flu like symptoms, a telehealth appointment should be attended instead of a face-to-face session (regardless of vaccination status). Likewise, a telehealth appointment may be necessary if Lisa is identified as a close contact and/or develops cold or flu like symptoms.
Telehealth and Walk and Talk: an alternative to office-based sessions
If you don't feel comfortable attending a face-to-face session in the office, Lisa also offers telehealth and 'walk and talk' sessions. Teleheath counselling allows you to work with Lisa conveniently from your home/office via virtual means (i.e., Zoom), while also giving you the face-to-face interaction you would get in an in-person therapy session. Walk and Talk counselling allows you to talk with Lisa while walking outdoors rather than sitting down in chairs in the office. Walking side by side rather than sitting face to face may feel more comfortable for you when discussing difficult topics. However, walking isn’t a must, sitting down somewhere in nature is also an option.
What I can offer
I am currently accepting new clients at the New Farm Wellness Centre and the waiting time for an appointment is reasonably short (e.g., 1-2 weeks). I'm also currently offering 'walk and talk' sessions out of the office in outdoor setting in the greater Brisbane area. These outdoor sessions are typically scheduled in the early morning (starting at 7am) and afternoons (last session starting at 6pm) to dodge the heat and humidity of the Brissie climate.
I offer individual counselling to adults, adolescents and children using best practice, evidenced based approaches.
Standard Individual 50 minute psychology consultation (in the office): $175 ($190 from 16 October)
A Medicare rebate of $92.90 applies if you have a current mental health care plan. Your rebate amount may be higher in certain situations (e.g., if you've reached the Medicare threshold for the year). Some private health insurers also offer a rebate for psychology services).
Walk and talk 50 minute psychology consultation (held in a mutually agreed outside location): $175 ($190 from 16 October)
A Medicare rebate of $116.65 applies if you have a current mental health care plan. Your rebate amount may be higher if you've reached the Medicare threshold for the year). Some private health insurers also offer a rebate for psychology services).
COVID-19 Telehealth sessions: same cost as face to face sessions.
Reports: Medico-legal reporting is not provided. If you require a short report and it is within the scope of practice, the fee will be $175 per hour to write the report (increasing to $190 from 16 October).
Letters: Brief letters of attendance may be provided at no cost during the time of your consultation. Please mention if this is required at the beginning of the session.
Cancellation policy: The session may be cancelled or rescheduled with at least 36 hours’ notice without charge. If the session is cancelled or rescheduled between 36 and 24 hours’ notice, a cancellation fee of $87.50 will be payable (increasing to $95 from 16 October). If the session is cancelled, rescheduled or or not attended (without prior notice) with less than 24 hours’ notice, the full session fee of $175 is payable (increasing to $190 from 16 October).
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: office-based sessions from 8am - 7pm (last session time starting at 6pm) at the New Farm Wellness Centre (187 James Street, New Farm).
Thursdays: reserved for telehealth and Walk and Talk sessions from 7am to 7pm (last session starting at 6pm).
IN 2023, I WILL NOT BE WORKING MONDAYS AND WILL NOT BE CONTACTABLE. YOU CAN CONTACT THE NEW FARM WELLNESS CENTRE FOR APPOINTMENT RELATED ENQUIRIES.
Walk and Talk sessions: these sessions are held in the mornings and afternoons in nature reserves, parks and natural settings at a mutually agreed location. Session times extend from 7am - 6pm (last session time starting at 5pm), subject to weather conditions.
If you are unwell, have been unwell or have been in contact with people who are unwell or under any kind of stay order, please only use the Telehealth service offering.