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July 10, 2019
This is always the time of year I dread because we need to review our fees to make sure we can keep doing what we are doing for our future together. Raising fees always brings up much anxiety for me which is why, apart from the Director, no psychologist fees at Attuned Psychology have risen in the past three years.
However, as of August 1, 2019, we do need to increase fees slightly to cover the inevitable increase in costs we need to bear, which has included an important investment this year; soundproofing in every room to ensure that you can feel free to speak and not be heard by anyone.
This is what I call a sound investment in our future because feeling like you are in a bubble for your session where you will have little distraction and the assurance of privacy, is a valuable part of the service we can offer.
We take your privacy very seriously, which is why when we had to search for new premises recently, we used the opportunity to also find a property with secluded parking at the rear. That feature is not only valuable from a privacy perspective, it also offers great convenience.
Overall, the move to new premises has not been without cost but again, we have taken a long term view so that our property meets your needs for comfort and privacy so that every client who walks through our doors can have a positive experience.
Costs aside, when we moved our North Adelaide practice to Melbourne Street on February 28, 2019, it marked an exciting new era for Attuned Psychology. Our bigger beautiful character building in Melbourne Street, where we’ve been for four months now, is helping us start the new Financial Year with a sense of anticipation about what the 2019/20 year brings and what it means for all of you in our community.
As a result of this massive change, which was really a six month project to pull off, I’ve been lucky to expand our team and carefully shape the environment to be one that feels spacious, welcoming, nurturing, professional, warm and artistic. I see it as a space that is truly “attuned” to both client and staff needs, where the high ceilings and decor allow you to breathe and be supported with whatever you need. It is a space that allows for growth and expansion with five large consulting rooms instead of three. The spaciousness of all rooms allows to provide the best mix of individual therapy, couple therapy, family therapy and assessment to suit your needs.
For those of you who have been to our new practice at 278 Melbourne St you would have seen some of the changes for yourself.
We have been so pleased to hear the feedback with comments like:
“Wow, this is a real step up”, “It feels so warm and inviting” “I love it!” “You should be very proud of what you have created here”.
We are continually refining what we do – this is just the start of this second stage of Attuned and we welcome your feedback always. I was on a mission to create something that was my dream at 25yrs of age and I’m so pleased to be sharing that with you now.
1. More rooms has allowed us to increase access to psychologists with more of our staff offering 4 or 5 days of availability during both business hours and after hours for your convenience. This has also allowed us to incorporate more educational assessments and neuropsychological assessments availability, given we were able to take on Catherine Cheetham, our eminently experienced Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist, for four days a week. We are currently recruiting for another full time psychologist to join our team so we hope to have a new team member soon.
2. Increase of administration staffing has allowed for more personalised service with reception staff now available to answer your enquiries or change appointment times from 8.30am until 9pm from Monday-Thursday and Saturday from 9am-2.30pm. Shared staffing across our two sites at Glenelg South and North Adelaide is allowing for better service in both of our locations.
3. Rooms with brand new furniture (the leather couches have been a hit) designed with both children, adults, couples, and creatives in mind. These include spaces for children to sit and play or draw with the psychologist, as well as comfortable furniture for adults. There are comfortable chairs that can be moved easily to adapt to family therapy and a beautiful aesthetic that blends the old and new to create a peaceful space. There is even more South Australian art for you to enjoy than before. Our interior designer worked with me tirelessly over a number of months with a very difficult brief and has created something very special.
4. New, upgraded Nespresso coffee machine with fabulous local pod coffee of different strengths. We did the research to find the biodegradable options and they seem to be a hit. Thanks to Urban Brew!
5. Fresh flowers every week to soften the waiting room and make it feel inviting.
6. New beautiful waiting room toys and other therapeutic tools to suit children and teenagers of different ages. How popular the lovely Grimms pastel rainbow has been with kids. We have seen some wonderful creative displays with it. We will be adding to this collection over time to ensure the space feels child friendly and mindful.
7. Large car park at the back to make parking a breeze. No more worries about finding a park before your session.
8. Approval for and construction of a wheelchair ramp outside and inside the building to increase access for clients with a disability or mobility issues. This will make those visiting with a wheelchair more able to access services from the back entrance. Clients arriving from the front on Melbourne St can walk down the side path to access the building from the back ramp.
9. As I mentioned previously, soundproofing in every room to ensure that you can feel free to speak and not be heard by anyone. It is nice to feel like you are in a bubble for that hour with little distraction and to have the reassurance that we have taken your privacy very seriously.
10. We have modified one of the toilets to ensure disability access and had custom made gender neutral signage including braille to ensure access for all clients is safe and comfortable.
We have already been lucky to see the changes occurring in clients we have worked with in this space and look forward to many more outcomes of in our future together as we build a collaborative team.
As I continue to grow, it’s my desire to continue to offer high quality services, with psychologists who are skilled and experienced to meet your needs and who all work towards outcomes that are meaningful to you. Having an environment that facilitates this including a calming and functional physical environment with fabulous staff who make you feel important and cared for no matter how you are feeling, is so important. Being “attuned” to your needs is critical and this space has allowed us to invest in the areas we have been dreaming about for some time. I will assure you that this is a constant mission to ensure we are constantly improving our services and that your experience exceeds your expectations.
At the start of this article, I mentioned our need to increase fees slightly, as of August 1, 2019, to invest in our future together. We agonise over such decisions and we are pleased to note that our fees are still lower than recommended fees set by the Australian Psychological Society, which sit at $256. Furthermore, our cancellation policy loosens their recommendation. While theirs suggests cancellations without seven days notice should incur a fee, we have pared ours down to just three days notices. By only charging our cancellation fee when you cancel with less than three days notice, it means we are doing the best we can to make sure we offer everybody the best service. Our reminder SMS service is another feature to help you remember your appointment and avoid such fees.
Let’s look at the actual number. Effective 1st August all fees for all psychologists will increase by $10 for business hours services for a 1 hour consultation and $15 for a 1 hour after-hours consultation. 1.5 hr consultations will also go up in price proportionally. Our full fee schedule will be available in the practice and we will have a flyer for you to take home to remind you of this if you are a current client when you next come in.
We do understand that a transition to new pricing is a necessary but challenging time for us all, and we will make sure we discuss this with you at your next appointment so you are informed before the higher charge is expected, most likely at your next appointment. We understand that it is important to do this carefully and sensitively and will appreciate your understanding of the justification for this price rise.
Please let us know if you have any questions about the new practice or the new fee structure. Donna, our practice manager would be pleased to address any concerns on an individual basis to ensure your access to treatment does not get disrupted if there are any current financial concerns.
I’m thrilled to continue to be the Director of Attuned Psychology alongside Donna the practice manager at the helm of a fantastic team. We pride ourselves on providing high quality outcome focussed services that are accessible across a range of hours for your convenience, in a comfortable relaxing environment. We will continue to work on doing all we can to aim for the best outcomes and experience for all of you. We look forward to seeing you soon in our lovely space and welcoming you with a lovely cup of tea or a great coffee to compliment the warmth of our psychologists.
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