Helping you gain your independence
Guide Dogs SA/NT is now offering a short-term, goal focussed Counselling Service to all Guide Dog SA/NT clients, their carers and their families.
The Guide Dogs Counselling Service is now inviting referrals from Guide Dogs SA/NT clients, their families, and their carers.
Referrals can either be made by a referral from a Guide Dog staff member, external health provider or from the client, carer or family member themselves.
What will the Counselling Sessions involve?
Sessions will involve short term, early intervention; goal focussed counselling to support Guide Dogs SA/NT clients, their families and their carers. The counsellor will utilise evidence based psychological stategies (Cognitive, Behavioural Therapy and Solution Focussed Therapy), proven to be effective with a wide range of mental health concerns.
What credentials do the counsellors have?
Makella Holden has been working as a Registered Psychologist since 2004 and has worked for Guide Dogs SA/NT for over 6 years throughout her career. In addition she has worked as a behavioural therapist with children with Autism and their families for many years. She has completed her Certificate 2 and 3 (partial) Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and has a strong knowledge and understanding of working with and assisting people with disabilities and their families.
Mayanthi Dharmabandu has completed a Bachelor in Psychological Science and a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Adelaide. She has been working at Guide Dogs SA/NT since 2014. In addition she has worked with other organisations as a therapeutic children's worker and case support worker, managing issues around domestic violence, homelessness, loss and grief, and family and relationship breakdown.
What are some examples of issues that a client may have that may require counselling?
Examples of issues that clients might be experiencing that may require counselling include depression and anxiety management, sensory impairment diagnosis acceptance and adjustment, problem solving, grief, loss, relationship breakdown, adjustment disorder and other situational mental health issues. Clients issues DO NOT have to be sensory related.
How long are the sessions and is there a maximum sessions allowed?
Session length is 45-60 minutes. (Initial Assessment is 60 min). All forms will be completed within session with the counsellor. The number of sessions is capped at six to eight sessions pending on client’s needs.
Where will the counselling sessions take place?
All sessions will be provided at Guide Dogs SA/NT offices. Phone counselling is also available on an as needs basis (conditions apply).
Are there any types of clients or situations where the counselling service would not be appropriate?
The service currently excludes clients with chronic, long term mental health conditions and diagnosis and clients in acute crisis or at risk of suicide. The service will not provide diagnosis reports, assessment reports, court reports or Work Cover claim reports.
How much will the counselling sessions cost?
In circumstances where funding may not be available to support the service being received (e.g. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Medicare etc.) this will be discussed with the individual on a case-by-case basis.
What about confidentiality?
All information in session will remain confidential (within limits) however it will be discussed initially and on an ongoing basis if any information can and will be discussed and or shared with clients GP/case manager/other health providers/ family members. A detailed consent form will reflect this.
Can interpreters be accessed if required?
Yes - interpreters will be provided free of charge to the client.
What about ongoing referral? Where will the client be referred to if they need more specialised support?
Clients will be referred on if not appropriate for the service or if ongoing or more specialised services are required. Clients will be referred back to their GP as part of the services protocol.
Who do I contact for more information or to make a referral to the Counselling Service?
Please contact our Client Liaison Officer on Your Support Line 1800 757 738.
Click here for a PDF copy of this Information Sheet
Click here for a word version of this Information Sheet
Click here to download a Counselling Service Referral Form
If you feel that you or a family member may be in need of mental health support and have never accessed a mental health service before, please contact your general practitioner or phone our mental health triage service on 13 14 65.