Frequently Asked Questions
• Will therapy be helpful and will it make a difference?
Yes. Your committment to the overall process and understanding that it may take a couple of sessions before you notice changes is important. Our clients find ways of gaining insights and understandings that help them to increase their self-esteem and self-worth. They are able to communicate their needs in a healthier manner and achieve positive outcomes for themselves and others. Our clients report on feeling more confident and more responsible for the choices that they make.
• Will the changes last?
Yes, we believe that if you are willing to make things better for yourself and others, then you can change the way you feel, think and behave. We know that sometimes it's hard to be motivated and we will help you explore and resolve this too. Anything is possible! We will work with you at your 'heart' and 'head' level and help them to align with each other. This will enable you to identify the cause of your distress and dysfunction and help you to develop kindness for yourself. We will also assist you to develop practical strategies and find long term permanent solutions. You will have a choice about doing something different!
• How long is each session and how long will it take overall?
Each session is an hour long. Most of our clients are able to notice a positive difference after 4 to six sessions. Some have reported on feeling better after one session! However, other clients benefit from longer term therapy (up to 6 to twelve months) where changes need to be consolidated and established. Once our clients have reached a stage of therapy where goals have been met, we end our work. Our clients are always welcome to come back for a one off session or a few sessions that address a specific issue. We believe that therapy is a dynamic process, your life and emotional reactivity and response is not static, so there maybe new issues and challenges that need to be explored and addressed.
• Is Therapy Confidential?
Yes, therapy at Mindful Relationships is confidential; we have a confidentiality policy that we will discuss with you at your initial consultation.
• What is the cost of therapy and will I get a rebate from my Private Health
Cover or Medicare?
Yes, most of our clients receive rebate towards the cost of therapy, either through their private health cover or Medicare. Please talk with us about your personal circumstances and our scheduled fees for Therapy and Family Law Mediation.
• Will you take sides?
No, our therapists and mediators don’t take sides. It is important for us to maintain a neutral position in order for us to be effective and to help you to make positive changes. However, we do encourage each of you to take responsibility for your part in creating and maintaining the problem.
• Can I come on my own or does my partner have to come to Couple Therapy?
Yes, you can come on your own. Sometimes, our clients report that they have personal issues that they need to resolve in order to function well in the couple relationship. Also, there are times when it is possible, that it takes only one person to create a change in the dynamics in the relationship. However, you have to be sufficiently motivated and committed to doing the work on your own!
• Does my partner have to know that I am coming to therapy?
No, there may be issues that you would like confidential help with. For example you may need to explore what you really want in your relationship or you may want to end the relationship and not know how to.
• Do you work with children and adolescents without parents?
Yes, there are times when this is necessary but we believe more effective and lasting change happens when parents are involved in and support therapy.
• Can we come to Family Therapy without our children?
Yes, we can help you explore parenting issues, gain new insights and give you ideas and strategies that will help you resolve the problem.
• Can I choose the gender of my therapist?
Yes, we will do our best to offer you a therapist of your gender preference.
• Can I choose the ethnicity of my therapist?
Yes, we will do our best to offer you a therapist of your ethnic preference.
• What if I have to cancel?
Given that we often have clients waiting to see our therapists, we ask that you give us at least 48 hours notice of cancellation to offer your appointment to another client. However, we also understand there may be emergency situations when you may not be able to give us 48 hours notice, i.e. sickness.
For cancellations less than 48 hours, that are not emergencies, we reserve the right to charge you the full rate.
Family Law Mediation Questions
• How long does Mediation take?
Usually 4 to six sessions but there are times when the process can take longer and this depends on you, your ex- spouse and the complexity of the situation. Each session is between 1 to two hours long. Joint sessions are always at least 2 hours.
• What is the scheduled fee for Family Law Mediation?
No, our scheduled fee per hour is considerably less than a lawyer and you may be able to claim Medicare Rebate. Please talk with us for more detailed information.
• Do we have to come together?
No, indeed there are times when it is better and advisable that you don’t come together. Please talk with us about your circumstances so that we can make an appropriate decision together.
• Can you see us separately?
Yes, at the first session we like to see you and your ex-partner individually. When it is appropriate we will see you together so that the process is more efficient. Please talk with us about your circumstances so that we can make the best decision for you.
• What is Child Informed Mediation?
At Mindful Relationships it is your child’s ‘experience and voice’ that guides and informs our Family Law Mediation. We have a high success rate in mediating parenting matters because child informed mediation is the leverage that enables parents to move beyond fighting about their children. When parental conflict is entrenched we have found that the most effective way to help parents focus on their children’s best interest is by compelling them to hear their child’s truth, their experience, their hopes and fears.
Child Informed Mediation provides a child an opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and views to a professional child therapist. Most children value being able to tell their story. They feel that a load has been lifted when they able to share their experience with an objective third person, in a safe and confidential environment. A number of therapeutic techniques are used by our child therapists to help your child express what they are thinking and feeling.
We have over 10 years of experience in providing child informed mediation and while we remain convinced that it is it the most effective way of resolving entrenched parenting matters, we also know that it is highly beneficial in helping your child adjust to your separation.
• Do I have to bring my child to Mediation?
No, it is not absolutely necessary, our experience, research, observation and your individual situation will guide our recommendations. If you have any concerns or questions please contact us for further information.
• What is a Certificate 60I?
When parents are not in agreement about parenting matters, the Family Law Act requires that they must attend Mediation and obtain a Certificate of Attendance (Section 60I Certificate) before an application for a Parenting Order can be made to the Court.
• Who can issue a Certificate 60I?
At Mindful Relationships our Family Law Mediators are Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRP) and they can issue a Certificate 60I.
• When will a Certificate 60I be issued?
1. If you did not attend mediation because the other party refused or failed to attend.
2. If you did not attend mediation because the practitioner (mediator) considered that your circumstances were not appropriate for Family Dispute Resolution.
3. If you did not attend and the parties did not make a genuine effort to resolve the issues.
4. If you did attend and the other party (or you) did not make a genuine effort to resolve issues.
5. If Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) started but the practitioner (mediator) considered that it would not be appropriate tocontinue.
• Is the Mediation agreement legally binding?
No, a Parenting Plan established in mediation does not have legal obligation but can be taken into account in consequent parenting proceedings including contravention proceedings. You may choose to lodge a signed copy of the Parenting Plan with The Family Court as part of an Application for Consent Orders. You may want to obtain legal advice before lodging an Application for Consent Orders with the Family Court.
• What happens if we can’t reach an agreement?
While most of our Family Law Mediation work is successful, every now and then, we do encounter situations where an agreement between both parents is impossible and we need to issue a Certificate 60I. However, at least at this stage, both parents have identified specific points of agreement and disagreement and their time and money has not been wasted!
Before you see a Counsellor or a Mediator, wouldn’t you like to know how good he or she is? Wouldn’t you like to know that your time and money is wisely spent? Well, at Mindful Relationships we pride ourselves on the fact that over the last 10 years “word of mouth” recommendation has been 100% of our referral base. And now the secret is out! We are growing and we want to offer our unique Counselling and Mediation services to more children, adults, couples and families who would benefit from expert Counselling and Mediation. We know we can make a difference!.