What to expect when you visit

Take the stress out of your first appointment, by understanding what to expect when you visit.

General Counselling

Our services vary depending on your needs. After contacting Service Access you will be added to the counselling waitlist. A counsellor will contact you to schedule your first assessment appointment. Sessions are about 50 minutes long, however your first appointment may go a little longer. On your first visit, you will meet with one of our psychologists or family therapists, who will discuss your concerns, thoughts and general health with you. This helps us understand what support may be best for you so that we can select the right treatment plan and approach. You only have to share as much as you feel comfortable with. You and your counsellor will then discuss treatment options and develop counselling goals and a plan for further counselling.

After that you may start regular counselling sessions with us, including:

  • individual, couples or family counselling
  • counselling for children
  • group programs with people in similar circumstances
  • connections to other support services if needed

Our team of experienced and qualified psychologists, social workers, and family therapists work together to find the most effective way of supporting you. We use a range of techniques including:

  • Bio psychosocial assessment
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Single Session Work
  • LIFT stepped care model

Your counsellor can also recommend appropriate groups currently running at Banyule Community Health (e.g. Family Violence Support Group for Women, Mindfulness Group, Gambling Support Group, Chronic Pain Group) and assist with referral to other specialist services that you may require (e.g. Mental Health, AOD, Gambling, Social Work, Financial Counselling, GP, Physiotherapy).


Every person seeking help with a mental health concern receives the right care at the right time from the right person.

Your first session will be with a psychologist, social worker or mental health nurse, for a thorough assessment, who will hear from you about your concerns and general health. You only have to share as much as you feel comfortable.

You will receive expert support from mental health nurses, psychologists and counsellors, care coordinators and peer workers, who have lived experience of mental health concerns.

LIFT works with you and your care team, building on your strengths, to support your recovery.

It is flexible, to meet your needs, and recognises that the impact of your mental health concerns will vary over time.

LIFT provides low level to higher intensity supports, including:

  • online support
  • face-to-face, or telephone counselling
  • group programs to assist recovery and develop skills for wellbeing
  • care coordination to assist you to access the supports you need for recovery
  • support to access a wide range of specialist services to address other needs, such as:
       Gambling related harm- link to Gamblers Help section of website
       Problematic substance use- link to AOD section of website
       Family violence- link to Family Violence section of website
  • General Practitioner (GP) and others to support your physical health and wellbeing
  • employment, education, training, financial services

Acknowledgement: Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website (www.health.gov.au) for more information.

Disclaimer: Although funding for these Allied Health services has been provided by the Australian Government, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Australian Government.