Perinatal Counselling

Pregnancy support counselling is available to women who are currently pregnant or who have been pregnant in the preceding 12 months.

Dr Zac Elizabeth Buchanan is eligible to provide services (item 81000) with a referral from a GP. Dr Zac Elizabeth Buchanan is trained to support clients through pregnancy-related issues, and to provide information about the options and services relevant to their pregnancy concerns.

What is non-directive, pregnancy support counselling?

This is a form of counselling based on the understanding that, in many situations, people can resolve their own problems without being provided with a solution by the psychologist.

The service involves the counsellor undertaking a safe, confidential process that helps the patient explore concerns they have about a pregnancy. This includes providing unbiased, evidence-based information about all options and services available to the patient, where requested.

The service can address all pregnancy-related issues for which non-directive counselling is appropriate. An eligible woman’s partner may attend counselling sessions.

There are important differences between pregnancy support counselling and mental health psychological services under Medicare.

  • The pregnancy support counselling referral is not specifically for a mental health disorder, but can be for parenting, health or relationship concerns.
  • The pregnancy support counselling rebate only covers 3 sessions, although you may continue working with the psychologist as a private patient, or be referred again under another appropriate initiative. Speak to your GP about the suitability of other Medicare services.

Pregnancy support counselling may also help clients identify issues for which they may need help from professionals other than a psychologist. For example, it might be identified that the client needs to see medical, social services, legal or financial professionals to address concerns about pregnancy care, living arrangements, leaving/returning to work, childcare arrangements, or finances. The psychologist may help you develop strategies or identify services to access these supports.