Why do we ask you to complete the brief “client education” series before requesting an appointment?
We need to be very clear that treatment provided by therapists using SDR Therapy for chronic pain will be extremely different to any other treatment you may have received in the past. We offer a different understanding of the nature of chronic pain, and clear techniques and strategies designed to actually switch the pain off. This is completely different to other clinics which have as a focus helping to improve quality of life in spite of your pain. We want you to be as pain free as possible, and also enjoy a much greater quality of life.
It can take a little time to get your head around just how different this is, and to decide whether or not this is something you want to do.
If you haven’t already gone through the client education series, you can enrol in it HERE.
How do you get an appointment?
You first complete the free, very brief client education series, before visiting the therapist directory at www.lifeworkspainclinic.com/sdr-therapists and selecting your therapist before filling out a survey which will go to them along with your appointment request. The clinic will then call you to arrange a suitable time for your first appointment.
Is there a health fund rebate?
Clinical or registered psychologists are able to provide health fund rebates. However in order to get a Medicare rebate, you will need to have a doctor’s referral that specifically states it’s for a Mental Health Care Plan. It’s not necessary for that to be accompanied by a detailed checklist, but some doctors require that before referring as a mental Health Care Plan client.
Medicare pays $86.15 per session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Without a Mental Health Care Plan referral there’s no Medicare rebate –having a Mental Health Care Plan referral helps to reduce your cost. After your 10 sessions, the clinic will require another Mental Health Care Plan referral from your doctor so that you can continue to receive Medicare rebates (up to 20 sessions).
The sessions can be paid as you go, or the program can be paid for in advance with 10% discount. You can withdraw from the program at any time, with reimbursement for any unused sessions. There has to be some flexibility in the program because we understand there can be travel, holidays, and of course sickness or misadventure.
What do you charge?
We generally charge $250 per session for general public, and $270 per session for workers’ compensation clients. A 10% discount is provided where the program is paid for in advance, and very flexible payment options are available for clients who meet the criteria for payment plans.
What can you expect as a result of doing the program?
You may or may not experience reduction in pain in the first few sessions because progress depends on two things. Firstly we need to explore and then extinguish direct pain triggers. Secondly we need to explore and resolve issues which create or maintain hyper-aroused states in the nervous system itself. These will be the aspects of your life which create stress or over-excitement, or lifestyle issues which negatively affect health generally.
Everyone is different when it comes to chronic pain, so some people do begin to experience big drops or even elimination of pain very quickly, while others can take weeks of work.
Unfortunately at the moment there is no way to predict how quickly or slowly a client may proceed. Roughly 50% of clients achieve a high level of pain reduction quite quickly, with most eliminating or all but eliminating their pain. There is a failure rate of around 5%, and sometimes this can be because of non-compliance, sometimes because there is an acute cause which was missed by the referring doctor and is subsequently discovered, and sometimes for unknown reasons.
The first session is primarily a case study in order to gather as much information as possible to try to determine what kind of triggers and/or stress might be at play. This informs the direction of therapy. We try to save as much time as possible for you by getting you to fill out a survey form in order to request an appointment (see www.lifeworkspainclinic.com/sdr-therapists).
Once we have at least the beginning of a comprehensive understanding of what is creating your unique chronic pain, we teach SDR techniques to switch off pain signalling by disrupting the reconsolidation phase of the conditioned responses that have been identified as at play. Generally there is also considerable ongoing attention given to various stressors because they’re the key to eliminating causes of overall hypersensitivity in the nervous system, to give your nervous system a chance to return to normal function, so that normal sensory cues are no longer misinterpreted as pain.
Do you have other resources I can use?
As a client of one of our accredited psychologists you are entitled to our free online SDR Chronic Pain Program, which includes personal support in a closed and private Facebook group, in order to add value to your sessions and provide between-session support. This has the added advantage that if you have questions or want to get help in between your sessions, we can generally get that to you faster than the clinic may be able to get back to you.
Do you have client testimonials that I could look at?
Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors are not allowed to use client testimonials. The web site has a number of research papers which may be more helpful, and a full dissertation is currently underway, with a further larger clinical trial planned for 2020.
We also have some very brief case studies of successes and failures so that you can see the range of chronic pain presentations which can be treated, and also perhaps get an understanding of various outcomes which people experience. We include a couple of interesting “failures” as specific examples of how clients can themselves can negatively affect their own progress. It’s important to us to do everything we possibly can to ensure you get the most out of your program.