This page has been updated with current information for the COVID-19 pandemic and telehealth Medicare items for psychology.

All psychotherapy offered by Bernie McCarthy is via telehealth, i.e., video or phone. You may obtain rebates for telehealth sessions. See the information below for funding and fees.

Documents to be completed by new clients can be accessed here.

No matter where you are, you can access teletherapy with Bernie McCarthy via video or phone.

We cannot change our childhood. But we can let go of the defensive postures formed at that time…. To that extent it seems that in emotional life, much as in history, we are only doomed to repeat what has not been remembered, reflected upon, and worked through. (Robert Karen, Becoming Attached, 1994, pg. 408.)


Psychotherapy is a non-drug approach to a range of emotional and psychological problems including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties. These problems may cause you to ask for help from your doctor or other health professional and s/he may refer you to a psychologist for treatment.

Bernie McCarthy offers clinical psychology services to people of all ages (14+ years) , usually referred by GPs with a Mental Health Treatment Plan. This entitles the person to claim a rebate for up to 20 services per annum (until end of 2022) in groups of 4 or 6 sessions with a GP referral. Individuals may engage in therapy without a referral from a doctor and pay full fee..

People living in Commonwealth Government funded aged care beds are not eligible for Medicare rebated psychology services and so need to pay for these services themselves or they may access private health or other sources of financial assistance.

Type of therapy

Bernie McCarthy uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), an approach developed for over 40 years by Dr Habib Davanloo and used internationally. ISTDP focuses on assisting the person to experience feelings that are blocked as a result of early life experiences in attachment relationships. These blocks often cause problems in relationships, work, enjoyment, self-understanding and self-esteem.  By identifying the blocking habits or patterns, and the function of anxiety in avoiding feelings, we can alleviate much of the distress caused in the problems the person experiences in life.

ISTDP uses the insights of attachment theory and the dynamics of the psyche to help the person arrive at a new understanding of themselves, what they want in life and how they need to live to achieve their goals.  There is a strong and increasing evidence base for the effectiveness of this therapy for a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety (OCD, PTSD, panic, agoraphobia, generalised worry), personality difficulties, and eating disorders. For more information please go to

To look at more evidence go to

A recent meta-analysis of 28 randomized-controlled trials (the highest level of evidence) of Experiential Dynamic Therapy ( a form of short term psychodynamic psychotherapy, showed that EDT out-performed supportive therapy at follow up. This means that people continue to get better after they finish therapy. This is very different to most therapies from which people more often than not relapse and are back where they started from.

Prof. Allan Abbass talks about ISTDP

Prof Allan Abbass on ISTDP on Shrink RAP Radio


Usually at the two locations listed below but during the pandemic therapy is available via video and phone (telehealth).

Sentient Being, 70 Commercial Place, Eltham Vic 3095

Tuesday to Friday 9am to 6pm. (Telehealth)

Bernie’s practice is located in the heart of Eltham Victoria at Sentient Being, a wellness centre.  It is well signposted, so please follow the signs. Rooms are easily accessible by car and are opposite the Eltham train (Hurstbridge line) and bus station. There is unfortunately no disabled access. Parking is 1 hour outside the centre in Commercial Place. Elsewhere nearby is 2 and 4 hour parking.

Yarra Ranges Physiotherapy, 2419 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction Vic 3797

Monday 9am to 6pm (Face to Face)

Centre for Emotions and Health (Yarra Junction) is located adjacent to the old railway station in Yarra Junction in the Yarra Ranges Physiotherapy centre. There is disabled access (no steps).

Fee policies

50-60 minute session is $215.00.

Payment is at the end of the session. Preferably by online electronic transfer. An online payment authority must be completed for this to occur and will be provided in the New Client Pack which will be sent to you when you phone for an appointment.

Workcover, TAC, Victims of Crime

Bernie provides therapy for clients funded by these organisations. You will need to provide your claim number, date of injury, etc.. Invoices will be sent to the funder. You may need a referral from your GP.

Medicare rebates

Clients of psychologists may obtain Medicare rebates for psychological therapy services.

To obtain a Medicare funded service from a psychologist you must follow the steps below:

1.         Visit your GP if you think you have a psychological condition that requires treatment  (eg. depression, anxiety, stress etc.)

2.         Obtain from the GP a referral letter to the psychologist and a Mental Health Care Plan

3.         Contact Bernie to make an appointment

Until the end of 2022 medicare rebates may be available for up to 20 sessions per annum to eligible clients. These will be in groups of 6 and 4 with a requirement for a new GP referral between each ‘treatment course’ of 6 or 4 sessions.

Video recording of therapy

It is standard practice with Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) to video record all sessions. This enables the psychotherapist to pay close attention to you instead of writing notes during the session, and to review the video of the session and sometimes consult with their supervisor (all psychologists have a supervisor or mentor with whom they consult to review and improve the quality of their psychological practice). Your consent will be obtained for the video recording to occur. The usual privacy and confidentiality provisions apply to this aspect of your engagement with the psychologist, i.e., video recordings will be kept securely and no other person has access to the recordings as is usual practice with patient notes.

If possible this will be done during the pandemic. However, it may not depending on the software.

Medicare payment at this psychology practice

The payment and a rebate from Medicare are processed electronically on the day. You are only out of pocket for the difference between the fee charged and the rebate. Currently the rebate is $126.50.

Missed appointments

If you need to cancel an appointment, please tell us at least 24 hours ahead of time, otherwise you may be charged for the missed session.

Health insurance rebates

If you are using your private health insurance with extras (including Clinical Psychology) to fund your therapy you will need to make payment at the time of the session and take your receipt to obtain a rebate for part of the fee by presenting your receipt to your health fund. The Australian Psychological Society has more information on health insurance rebates and psychologists.

Length and frequency of treatment

Psychotherapy typically involves regular sessions, usually 50-60 minutes in length. The first session may be longer (two hours). Duration and frequency vary depending on the nature of your problem and your individual needs. Short-term psychotherapy is regarded as under 40 sessions. Symptom relief can be achieved under 10 sessions. Deeper character change takes longer.


Information you share with us will be kept strictly confidential, and will not be disclosed without written consent. By law, however, confidentiality is not guaranteed in life-threatening situations involving you or others, or in situations in which children are put at risk (such as sexual or physical abuse or neglect). Psychologists are required by law to report child abuse when we become aware of it. A court may subpoena records. If we need to discuss your treatment with a colleague, we will take pains to disguise identifying information including a pseudonym.

Phone and Emergency Contact

If you need to contact Bernie McCarthy by phone, do not hesitate. When he is not available an answering voicemail will take a message. He is usually able to return calls within the day. You will not be charged for phone calls unless you have a scheduled conversation of an information exchanging or problem solving nature that lasts more than ten minutes. If you cannot reach him in an emergency, you can find help at the Accident and Emergency Department of the nearest public hospital or by phoning 000.

Physician contact

Physical and psychological symptoms often interact. We encourage you to seek medical consultation if needed. In addition, medication may be helpful for psychological problems. When appropriate we will arrange a referral for medication evaluation.

Code of Ethics

Psychologists are bound by the laws of the state, Commonwealth of Australia and a professional code of ethics, which guide professional relationships with clients. They serve to protect your rights in any professional relationship with a psychologist.

Charter for clients

Freedom to withdraw

You have the right to end therapy at any time. If you wish, you will be given names of other qualified psychotherapists.


We value your opinion of our service and ask that if you have a complaint about any service provided by McCarthy Psychology please contact us first (0408145819 or so we can address any issues and provide you with any information that may help to respond to your complaint.

Complaints about the conduct of psychologists can be made to the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA)

Australian Psychological Society (APS)

Bernie McCarthy is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society, the major professional body for psychologists in Australia. Full membership requires at least four years training and two years supervision under an experienced senior psychologist.

A range of valuable resources are available on the APS website for clients of psychologists.

College of Clinical Psychologists

Bernie McCarthy is a Fellow of the College of Clinical Psychologists.  This means he has completed specialized six years training or more (a Masters degree) and supervision for two years under an experienced senior psychologist in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Clinical Psychologists have specialist expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of severer mental health conditions.


Mobile 0408 145 819