Fit to Practice: Everything you wanted to know about starting your own psychology practice in Australia but were afraid to ask.

Kaye Frankcom, Bruce Stevens, Philip Watts

Australian psychology practice today is a dynamic, well respected and increasingly competitive environment. Many new psychologists graduate with an expectation of setting up their own private practice. But how is that best done? What are the traps to avoid, the questions to ask, the knowledge needed to succeed? 

Find out here in this book written by three highly experienced psychologists with more than 75 years of private practice experience between them as well as backgrounds in academic training, dealing with complaints about psychologists, training and supervision of psychologists, and presenting as expert witnesses. They've seen or experienced just about everything that can be thrown at a modern Australia psychology practice and lived to impart their advice.

Written from a no-nonsense approach, with plenty of practical examples and personal reflections from each author scattered throughout, this is a manual designed for those either entering private practice or already practicing who might want to continue their professional development.

Topics covered include:

setting up in private practice

Medicare audits

treatment in a private practice setting

consultation, supervision, self-care

ethical dilemmas

Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT)

record keeping, case notes, writing reports

avoiding legal pitfalls

contingency planning

closing and selling a practice

About the Author

Kaye Frankcom (M.Psych, clinical, Masters in Science in Medicine, pain managment) is an endorsed clinical and counselling psychologist who commenced private practice in country Victoria and has been operating a group practice of 14 psychologists in Melbourne for over 15 years. She was the President of the Psychologists Board of Victoria for 5 years and then became the first Victorian practitioner appointed to the Psychology Board of Australia. She is a presenter for the APS Institute and an accredited trainer with the International Centre for Clinical Excellence. She has consulted to Worksafe Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission and Comcare in regards management of mental health claims. She is an in demand supervisor and executive coach to allied health practitioners. She still practices as a psychologist clinician.

Professor Bruce A. Stevens (PhD Boston University, 1987) is an endorsed clinical and forensic psychologist. He holds the academic position of Wicking Professor of Ageing and Practical Theology at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia. He established Canberra Clinical and Forensic Psychology which is now one of the largest practices in Canberra. He was on the national executive of the Clinical College for four years and helped to organize a number of national conferences. He has written seven books for leading publishers such as Random House, Harper Collins, PsychOz Publications, Australian Academic Press and Wiley-Blackwell. He has given countless professional workshops and is an advanced trainer in Schema Therapy for couples and individuals.

Dr Phil Watts is an adjunct associate professor in clinical psychology and endorsed in forensic psychology.  He runs a busy private practice in Perth and has done so for 25 years.  The private practice has included extensive work as a clinical psychologist in his early career but in the last decade has specialised in forensic assessment.  He is well known around Australia for training in a variety of legal, ethical, and practical topics.  He is an author of five books including Shared Care and Divide Lives; Internet Pornography: A Self-treatment guide for men; Psychological survival guide for breast cancer; and Surviving the witness box.  Dr Phil also teaches on a casual basis at several universities including University of Canberra and Murdoch University.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 The basics: life since Medicare
  • Chapter 2 How to set up in private practice
  • Chapter 3 Compliance: Medicare audits and other regulation issues
  • Chapter 4 Psychological treatment in a private practice setting
  • Chapter 5 Where do you belong? Consultation, supervision and professional support and self-care
  • Chapter 6 Ethical dilemmas: traps in private practice land
  • Chapter 7 Tricky and complex presentations in private practice
  • Chapter 8 Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT): how to and why you should implement it in private practice
  • Chapter 9 Record keeping, case notes and writing reports
  • Chapter 10 Cross-examination: preparing for court and giving evidence
  • Chapter 11 Contingency planning
  • Chapter 12 To close a practice (and sell it if you can)
  • References