Counselling & Psychological Support Services

Counselling at the Gender Centre

The Gender Centre counselling service provides a high quality professional psychological service to the transgender and gender questioning community. The values underpinning our work include: integrity, compassion, respect, vitality, resourcefulness, professionalism and perseverance, and is guided by the following core values.We are committed to assisting clients reach their full personal potential through the provision of psychological counselling services and programs.
  • We are committed to achieving this with fairness and integrity.
  • We aim to provide a high quality counselling service which acknowledges human rights and ensures respect, dignity and confidentiality. It is of a particular concern to remove barriers to clients' achievements resulting from their gender, age, cultural and national background, socio-economic background or disability.
  • We will ensure that our service operates within the bounds of ethical guidelines, and the relevant codes of behaviour for psychologists, counsellors and social workers, including the maintenance of client confidentiality.
  • We will ensure access and equity issues are met for all.
The Gender Centre's counselling service is available to all clients including residential clients, community clients, partners, family members and friends of people with gender issues at no cost. The counselling service also provides support and education to school counsellors as well as counsellors in rural areas. The Gender Centre's counselling service provides:
  • Counselling to all clients of the Gender Centre;
  • Counselling to partners and families of clients of the Gender Centre;
  • Confidentiality contract (see below);
  • M.T.F. and F.T.M., transgender parents, over 55s and transgender youth support groups;
  • Referrals to psychiatrists, endocrinologists and other specialists;
  • Supervision to counsellors who have a transgender client; and
  • Placement opportunities to student counsellors.
The issues covered in counselling may include (but are not limited to):
  • cross-dressing;
  • self-harm;
  • suicide;
  • alcohol & other drugs;
  • depression;
  • harassment;
  • hormones;
  • relationships;
  • family;
  • employment;
  • discrimination;
  • anxiety;
  • sexual health;
  • accommodation; and
  • surgery options.
The counsellor has qualifications in counselling, education, workplace training and assessing and is a member of CAPA. The counselling supervisor is a member of the following professional associations:
  • Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (H.B.I.G.D.A.);
  • Clinical Member of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of N.S.W. (CAPA);
  • Registered member of the Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (P.A.C.F.A.); and
  • Australian Society of Sexuality Educators, Researchers and Therapists (ASSERT)
  • Please don't hesitate to send our Counsellor an email 

How does the Counselling service work

Step 1 A referral to the Gender Centre Counselling service  is made by a GP and sent or emailed to the counsellor at  counsellor@gendercentre.org.au  please ensure that a contact number has been provided on your referral letter so we can contact you

Step 2
  The counsellor will contact you to arrange your first session with us 

Step 3
Your Counsellor will provide you with counselling sessions

Step 4
After you finish all your sessions visit your GP for a review

The Gender Centre Inc. Counselling Contract

Terms and Conditions

Confidentiality:

The counsellor keeps all notes under lock and key in the filing cabinet in the counselling room.
The counsellor may seek supervision on your situation in keeping with the "Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (P.A.C.F.A.) Ethical Guidelines", thus:
Counsellors and supervisors are responsible for protecting the client's rights of confidentiality in the supervisory context by ensuring that shared information is disguised appropriately.
Supervision is a professional requirement for a counsellor to be registered in N.S.W.
The counsellor will ensure that details of your case are kept strictly confidential except for situations where there is impending risk of harm to self or others and where mandatory reporting conditions (outlined below) apply.
"Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of N.S.W. Inc. Code of Ethics and Good Practice" states:
Circumstances may arise where a counsellor believes that a client is at risk of imminent self-harm or imminent harm to others. Such situations may give rise to exceptions to confidentiality.
Mandatory Reporting Requirements: "Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of N.S.W. Inc. "Code of Ethics and Good Practice" states:Legislation now in force within the state of New South Wales makes it mandatory for all counsellors to report to the relevant authority, any concerns they have where a child is at risk of harm. The relevant authority is the N.S.W. Department of Human Services, Community Services.
Residents of the Gender Centre: Confidentiality as above holds except where information relevant to housing is deemed necessary for the residential service and case management.

Cancellation Policy for Counselling & PSS

The cancellation policy for the counselling service has changed.
Due to the high number of requests for counselling,within both programs  & the waiting time to get an appointment, we now require a minimum of 24 hours’ notice to cancel an appointment. If you cannot attend a booked appointment, please call 9519 7599 at least one business day prior to the booking, and let reception know.
If you fail to attend an appointment without informing the Gender Centre, you will lose any future bookings and will be required to re-book for counselling and wait until new appointments are available.

Psychological Support Services

The Gender Centre's Psychological Support Service's run by Dr Sinead Berry a Clinical Psychologist and James Panuccio also a Psychologist are provided as part of the CESPHN ( Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network) Mental Health Flexible funding pool and operates out of the Gender Centre on a Monday Wednesday Thursday and Saturday of each week.

The PSS service provided by The Gender Centre is a short term face to face psychological service providing 9 sessions at no cost to the client our psychologist's have  expertise in working with adults young people and children.To be eligible for  the PSS, an individual must be referred in by a G P. ( Please note if you are out of the CESPHN area you can still accsess the psychologist by obtaing a referral from your GP along with a Mental Health plan that way we can bulk bill you )

The psychological support service is particularly suitable for underserviced and/or hard to reach populations: i.e transgender gender questioning and gender diverse people.

This service is seen to be benificial for clients who may benefit from short term treatment, and are unable to access other available psychological services

Eligibility to the Psychological Support Service

To be eligible for PSS, an individual must be referred by a G P to the Gender Centre .
    • Young people (12-25 years)
    • People who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    • People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
    • People who have attempted, or who are at risk of suicide, or self-harm
    • Other underserviced groups, including:
    • Adults who are, or are at risk of becoming homeless
    • Must be transgender gender diverse and or gender questioning

How does the Psychological Support Service (PSS) work

The Psychological Support Services provides FREE short term face-to-face Psychological therapies for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns

Step 1 A referral to the PSS is made by a GP and faxed to 95198200 or emailed to executivedirector@gendercentre.org.au please ensure that a contact number has been provided on your referral letter 


Step 2
Once we have received your referral letter from your GP the psychologist will contact you to arrange your first session

Step 3  Your psychologist will then provide you with 9 face to face sessions

Step 4 After you finish all your sessions visit your GP for a review and any need for further sessions

If you are new to the counselling service please fax through your GP referral letter to the Gender Centre  on 9519-8200 and download and complet the counselling form and bring it in with you to your first appointment.

pdfDOWNLOAD COUNSELLING FORM

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The Gender Centre Inc. is funded by Sydney Local Area Health District through the AIDS and Infectious Diseases Branch and the N.S.W. Government Department of Human Services, Community Services under the Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) program.

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