Frequently Asked Questions
The list below may answer some of your questions about the services we offer. We are also happy to discuss your options with you over the phone. More information about how to contact us can be found here.
What is treatment like?
Treatment for posttraumatic stress is conducted individually with one of our clinical psychologists. The treatment will last from 5 to 12 sessions depending on which program you are in. Sessions are typically carried out weekly and last for up to 90 minutes each. During the program you will be working with your psychologist to develop new strategies for dealing with your posttraumatic stress reactions.
Our grief treatment program is run in group format for 10 weeks, with each weekly session lasting for two hours. In addition, you will have four individual sessions to complement the content of the group sessions and to give you a chance to raise issues away from the group. The program is aimed at helping you develop new skills for managing distressing grief reactions.
Where can I get treatment?
Treatment is offered at two locations. One is Westmead Hospital, which is near Parramatta in Sydney’s western suburbs. Treatment is also offered at the University of NSW in Sydney’s east.
Who provides the treatment?
All of our treatments are conducted by qualified clinical psychologists who have specialist training in working with posttraumatic stress and grief reactions.
Do I need a referral?
No. You can refer yourself.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. The government funds the Clinic with research grants in order to investigate treatments for posttraumatic stress and grief. This enables us to provide a free, specialist service.
Can I get a report?
No. We cannot provide detailed reports for medico-legal or insurance purposes.
Is the treatment confidential?
Personal information will be treated with the highest possible level of confidentiality, but there are certain limitations to confidentiality that will be explained to you in full if you contact the Clinic. These limitations relate to risk of harm and the publication of treatment outcome studies. If results from a treatment trial that you are involved in are published, you will not be personally identified.
What does it mean that this is a research unit?
Receiving treatment from a research unit means that you are receiving cutting-edge, evidence-based treatment provided by a team of individuals who specialise in the areas of trauma and grief. Because we are a research unit, however, we are not able to treat everyone. In order to get treatment at the Clinic the primary issue that you are seeking help for needs to be related to posttraumatic stress or grief. Please “Contact Us” if you have any queries about this.
Where can I get more information?
Your GP can be a good starting point when seeking help. He or she can help to identify and explain the difficulties you are experiencing and refer you to the appropriate organisations and practitioners. Ensure you make a longer appointment (Extended Consultation) to have your condition assessed and to obtain professional advice on your treatment options.
If you need immediate assistance or support, you can call your local Community Health Centre’s Mental Health or Crisis team. You can also call Lifeline
on 13 11 14 for confidential 24-hour counselling and referrals.