Frequently Asked Questions
It is a condition of booking that you provide your credit card details at the time of making your appointment and complete our intake form within 24 hours of making your booking.
Booking and session fee policy
We value your commitment to therapy and believe it is vital to the success of your therapeutic progress. For this reason, we ask that you reflect on your commitment to attending therapy, as well as your ability to maintain your time free from competing obligations, before booking your session.
When you are confident that you can attend a particular session, we will set that time aside for you. Whether or not you attend, a fee will be attached to that session, which will remain your responsibility.
If you find yourself in circumstances where you are unable to attend your booked session, please call us with as much notice as possible, so we can arrange an alternative way for you to engage, including by telephone or video link.
If the appointment time is no longer suitable for face-to-face, telephone or video engagement, you will need to let us know at least 2 full business days in advance in order to avoid being charged the full cost of the session.
Please note that providing notice of appointment changes will not be accepted via SMS. Our phone’s SMS messages are not monitored.
At the time of booking, in order to reserve your chosen appointment, it’s our policy to take credit card details. Your card details are kept securely on our practice management software, Halaxy.
At the time of your session, the payment will be processed automatically and an invoice will be emailed to you.
We require credit card details for all bookings, even if a third party organisation will be covering the entire fee. If your appointment is eligible for the external funding, we will organise invoicing and payment via the details you provide us with.
When requested, Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling is pleased to offer longer sessions of 75 minutes and 90 minutes to individuals and 75 minutes to couples.
As this is a substantial time commitment for both therapists, clients and the business, the following is applicable:
Payment of the relevant session fee is required at the time of booking and for at least two appointments in advance.
Seven (7) days’ notice is required for cancellations or changes otherwise the full session fee is payable.
Cancellations and reschedules
Please note that we require credit card details at the time of booking. These details will then be securely stored for any subsequent appointments. Create Balance will debit the session’s fees once the scheduled appointment time has commenced. An invoice will then be emailed to the client. Taking credit card details enables convenient and contact-free processing of payments.
Please note that for longer session bookings, we require payment of the relevant session fee at the time of booking and for at least two appointments in advance. We also require seven (7) days’ notice for cancellations or changes otherwise the full session fee is payable.
Our mental health therapists are experienced and skilled in assisting people who have challenges with addiction – from alcohol and other drugs to gambling, sex, pornography or technology. Our therapists strongly believe that addiction is most often a coping strategy and a symptom of other underlying issues, such as trauma, anxiety or depression. Fulfilling urges can provide temporary relief from distressing feelings but ultimately it does not address the root cause of distress. Our therapists will work with you to uncover what the root cause of your distress is and help you begin the healing process.
Read more about Addiction
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is not a mental health issue but a neurobiological condition. That being said, having ADHD can present particular challenges which can affect a person’s overall mental health and wellbeing. In the lead up to a diagnosis or after a diagnosis has been received and a treatment plan established, the therapists at Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling can assist you to work through limiting beliefs, identify your unique character strengths and work with you to develop strategies for achieving your goals.
Please note: We do not assess for or diagnose ADHD. You will need to seek a diagnosis from a psychiatrist who specialises in ADHD. We recommend Mind at Peace Psychiatry.
To read more about ADHD, visit: ADHD
The therapists at Create Balance not only have extensive experience working with people who suffer from anxiety, but they also have lived experience of this mental health concern. This means that you will be supported by someone who is genuinely understanding and empathetic about the challenges you live with. They will acknowledge that seeking support can be especially difficult for people experiencing anxiety and they will create a safe space for you to share your worries and difficulties.
Read more about Anxiety.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Our therapists work with a wide range of neurodiverse individuals, including those on the autism spectrum. Whilst our therapists understand some of the common traits, strengths and challenges for people with ASD, they also recognise that every one of their clients is a unique individual. Our therapists seek to get to know their clients beyond their diagnosis.
We have one wonderful therapist who work with children to support their mental and emotional wellbeing. Please view Louise‘s page to learn more about her therapeutic approaches.
Our therapists work collaboratively with pairs of people who are facing challenges within their relationship, whether that be in a marriage, a de facto relationship or a friendship. Our therapists utilise mindful communication strategies and attachment theory to assist couples in developing respectful and effective communication and behaviour skills and to help them develop feelings of security in their relationships. Our therapists are highly motivated to provide a safe and supportive environment for all clients, including those from culturally diverse backgrounds and the LGBTQI+ community.
For more information see our Couples page.
- If you are experiencing a crisis, please call one of the following numbers to access the immediate you need:
- Emergency Services – 000
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
- Gambler’s Help – 1800 858 858
- DirectLine (alcohol and drug support) – 1800 888 236
- 1800RESPECT (sexual assault, domestic and family violence) – 1800 737 732
- MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78
- Suicide Helpline (VIC only) – 1300 651 251
- Suicide Call Back Service (national) – 1300 651 251
- Salvation Army Crisis Line 24/7 (VIC only) – 1800 627 727
- Emergency Housing – Opening Doors – 1800 825 955
- MensLine (DV) – 1800 600 636
- Nurse on Call – 1300 606 024
- Legal Aid (M-F, 8:45-5:15) – 1300 792 387
- Griefline (7 days, 6am-12am) – 1300 845 745
Depression is a common mental health concern that our clients seek support for. The approachable, respectful and empathetic therapists at Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling can assist you to gain a positive and hopeful perspective and help you make sense of the way you’re feeling. They use a range of therapeutic interventions, depending on the type of depression you’re experiencing and the unique factors that may be contributing to your challenging state of mental health.
Read more about Depression.
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is an evidence based therapy for a wide range of distressing mental health concerns. It involves bilateral stimulation, which basically means a client uses their eyes, their ears or their sense of touch to track a visual, a sound or a sensation which moves side to side. This process taxes the working memory and enables the brain to be reprogrammed, helping to alleviate and even extinguish painful thoughts and memories. Treatment time will vary, depending on the complexity of the issues. To read more about EMDR:
Many of our therapists have undertaken at least Level 1 training in EMDR. Create Balance’s Director, Shannon Bowman has also completed Level 2 and is an Accredited EMDR Practitioner with EMDRAA. For more details, visit:
If you are seeking EMDR for children, we suggest contacting Mr Sergio Giurina | Psychologist/Accredited Practitioner | 258 Shannon Avenue, Geelong West | 0412691847 | 5223 9999 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the Crisis FAQ on this page.
Dean is able to provide Family Therapy. Booking this type of appointment provides the opportunity for three or more clients to attend the one session.
Louise is able to work with families but with two people only.
When seeking support for your family or friendship group, the person or people of concern do not necessarily need to attend. Our counsellors can help you understand your unique dynamics, identify your challenges and help you develop strategies for improvement.
For more information, call us on (03) 5222 1553.
Intake form and communication
An online intake form will be sent to you shortly after making your first booking. We require that it is completed within 24 hours. When you click on the link, a verification code will be sent to you for added security. This form will ask for important information, outline privacy and payment policies and ask for your consent to counselling and fees. You’ll also be asked about your goals for therapy.
Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling offers a safe space for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
253 Latrobe Terrace, Geelong VIC 3220
Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling is located in Geelong West, on the corner of Pakington Street and Autumn Street, opposite West Park. The entrance to our building is on Autumn Street. Enter through the glass sliding doors and take either the lift or the stairs to level one.
See Couples Counselling above or visit our Couples page.
Medicare and mental health treatment plans
Shannon and Nick are Medicare registered mental health social workers and are able to accept mental health treatment plans. Please see the Fees information towards the top of the page to find out how much the rebate is. Clients may have the opportunity to access up to 10 Medicare subsidised sessions per year. Mental health treatment plans cannot be used in conjunction with couples therapy or NDIS funded sessions.
If you intend to utilise a mental health treatment plan, please book an extended appointment to see your GP and have the referral addressed to the relevant Medicare registered therapist at Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling. Your GP can fax the plan to us on +613 8414 4026. When making your first booking, please provide your bank details so that we can process your rebate efficiently.
Clients are still able to see Shannon and Nick without a mental health treatment plan for an unlimited number of sessions per year. We also have other skilled psychotherapists who see clients privately, with session fees around the same as the subsidised fees of our mental health social workers.
Although Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling are known to specialise in the support and treatment of anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, relationships and ADHD, we are able to help clients with a wide range of other mental health concerns. Some of these concerns may include emotion regulation, fears and phobias, nightmares, insomnia, confidence, grief, chronic pain and more.
As well as face-to-face therapy, our therapists offer the options of online (Zoom) and telephone therapy. These options provide the opportunity to remain in the comfort of your own home or to remain engaged in your therapeutic journey whilst travelling away from home.
Please note that we do not currently offer EMDR therapy via Zoom and that face-to-face appointments should be booked.
Opening hours and contacting us
Generally, we have staff available to answer your calls from 9am to 2pm everyday. If calling outside of these hours, we encourage you to leave a message, so that we can get back to you as soon as possible. You can email any time. You can book online at any time. Please be advised that text messages are not monitored.
Appointment times will depend on the therapist you see and their set availability. Generally, the earliest appointments are at our clinic are 8am and the latest possible appointments are 6pm on select days. Some appointment times are highly sought after. We recommend forward booking multiple appointments so that you can be assured to receive consistent support at your preferred time.
Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling do not commonly offer outreach therapy but it may occasionally be organised in exceptional circumstances. Please call us on 0434 415 575 to discuss the possibility of our therapists providing outreach therapy.
There is free 1 hour parking opposite the practice and free 2 hour parking in nearby streets. There is also limited untimed parking in surrounding streets.
Create Balance values the privacy of our clients. Everything discussed in your sessions is confidential; however, there are some exceptions to this which are mandatory reporting requirements. If your therapist holds concerns about you or someone else being at mortal risk or if they are concerned about the risk of abuse to a child under 16, they are mandated to alert third parties. However, you will be informed by your therapist about the involvement of third parties, if they believe it does not pose additional risk.
Notes taken during sessions will be held securely and will be kept for seven years after your last session, and then destroyed. You may view your file at any pre-arranged time and can have a copy of it within 7 days of making the request. However please note that therapists are allowed to withhold any notes or material believed to put you or a third party at risk. Courts may subpoena notes if you are involved in certain legal matters. You will be notified if this happens.
As part of professional development and to assist working with you, your therapist may discuss your case anonymously with other mental health professionals including their Supervisor.
Create Balance uses the practice management software, Halaxy. Halaxy’s data is protected by 256-bit bank grade security and encryption; meaning patient records, notes, and payment information are protected to the same level required by banks.
Private health insurance
We don’t currently have any relationships with private health insurance funds but if this changes, we’ll add this information to our website.
See Couples Counselling above or visit our Couples page.
Reminders for appointments
You will be sent a confirmation text and email three business days before your appointment. It is very important that you check the details of your scheduled appointment to ensure you do not miss your session. If your session is missed, the full fee must be paid. If you need to reschedule or cancel, you must provide notice at least two full business days before your appointment.
The therapists are Create Balance Psychotherapy and Counselling are passionate about Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Schema Therapy and Laser Therapy. However, they are also experienced and skilled in other therapies such as Attachment Based Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Ego State/Parts Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behaviour Modification, Trauma Focused Therapy, Person Centred Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Exposure Therapy and more.
Our therapists are passionate about helping clients recover from the mental, emotional and physical impacts of their traumatic experiences. Treatment for trauma at Create Balance will vary depending on the individual, the traumatic event and whether the person is experiencing PTSD or CPTSD. We offer a range of innovative therapeutic interventions, including EMDR and laser therapy.