How do I make an appointment?

Ring 0439 427 405 to inquire about the availability of appointments or to book a 10 minute free telephone consultation, or email Jill at If you want to contact Val Javen directly you can call her on her mobile phone, 0413 275 744 or email her on The numbers are provided on the Contact page.


What are your hours?

We do have after hours appointments available, however they are in greater demand. There is more flexibility during office hours.


How do I pay?

You can pay with a personal cheque or cash, by direct transfer, or by nominating a bank account or credit card to be debited.


What happens if I cancel an appointment?

Depending on when you are able to notify your counsellor and whether an alternative appointment time can be arranged, the usual session fee may apply. Sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged at the full fee.Your counsellor will inform you ahead of time of the cancellation policy that applies to you. Your personal circumstances and the arrangement you come to with your counsellor - including for example timing and regularity of appointments - will factor here.


Can I be assured of confidentiality?

Confidentiality is an important part of the counselling relationship. All sessions are treated with strict confidentiality within this counselling service.  No information will be shared with other health practitioners or services without prior consent, unless you are in danger of harming yourself or others.


What if I want regular counselling but I don’t have any flexibility with my work hours?

This is not uncommon. Most of our clients who work full-time are able to accommodate counselling by starting work later, finishing earlier or taking a longer lunch break – just as they would do to attend a fitness class or ferry their children to and from care. However, we do offer a limited number of appointments starting as early as 7am and as late as 7.30pm, and some Saturday sessions.

Some clients take advantage of Skype sessions if they are unable to get in for their appointment or are away on business. This ensures the momentum of therapy is maintained.


How long will I have to wait before I get an appointment?

Waiting times vary throughout the year from one to several weeks. If you have flexibility with your timing and are able to attend during the day, we can often see you the same week.


How often should I come?


Most often we will will arrange to see you at a set time and day on a weekly basis. This tends to be a workable and practical arrangement that allows both you the client and the counsellor to benefit from routine, continuity, and momentum.



In some cases a client chooses and/or we may recommend twice-weekly sessions. This may be because a client will benefit from additional support and assistance at a difficult time. In other cases, especially where more in-depth, psychotherapeutic work is being done, twice-weekly sessions can accelerate and/or improve progress. Or if appointment times are available, additional sessions may be useful in the lead up to, or following a break in counselling, for example, for a business trip or holiday.


For how long am I likely to come to counselling?

This, of course, varies depending on your needs and goals. Duration of counselling is generally determined as follows:

  • In the beginning we suggest most clients come for at least a couple of sessions and usually three to five. This preliminary counselling and assessment allows you to be supported in talking about your situation and to provide relevant background information. We need to see how well we work together and to draw conclusions about options and goals for moving forward.
  • If together we agree that further counselling will be beneficial, your needs, goals, preferences, and circumstances will roughly determine the course of your counselling or psychotherapy.
  • If your reason for seeking assistance relates to a specific incident about which you want to gain better clarity, we will likely agree on a set duration, such as six to eight sessions, or three to four months.
  • If for example, you have experienced complex difficulties in a number of relationships throughout your life and you are seeking to gain understanding as well as achieving significant future change, we may agree that it will be best to work together for at least the following 12 months.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Both counselling and psychotherapy are professional activities that offer an interpersonal relationship to enable people to develop self-understanding and to make changes in their lives, but there are differences. In general terms, counselling tends to focus on specific issues or events, for a short to medium time period (a few weeks to several months), and usually on a once weekly basis. Psychotherapy tends to focus on deep-rooted issues, with the aim of facilitating more fundamental changes for the person and the way they relate to others.  It is usually medium to long-term work.  Whereas counselling may be more problem-focused, many people engage in psychotherapy to learn more about themselves and to live life in a more rewarding way.


What is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

In psychodynamic therapy therapists help people explore emotions, thoughts, early-life experiences, and beliefs to gain insight and to think about the patterns they have developed in their lives over time. Recognising repeating patterns helps people see the ways in which they avoid distress or develop ways of coping so that they can take steps to change those patterns.

The therapeutic relationship is central to psychodynamic therapy as it highlights the manner in which people interact with friends, loved ones and work mates. In addition, noticing what comes up in therapy can help reveal the ways that early-life relationships affect how a person in the present. This close look at interpersonal relationships can help a person to see his or her part in relationship patterns and help to change that dynamic.


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to what you are experiencing each moment with curiosity instead of judgement, and using this to notice not only your thoughts but your feelings, sensations and reactions. Practising mindfulness allows us to be more present in our life and work. This claim is based on evidence acquired from years of neuroscientific research and it can improve the quality of your life. It helps you to be more attuned to yourself and to give you greater freedom to decide how you want to respond and behave.


How do I get the most out of counselling and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are most effective when you are ready and willing to make changes.Timing is important.

The following points maybe helpful to hold in mind:

  • As much as you are able to, share all your thoughts and feelings openly in the therapy session.
  • If you unsure of anything during the counselling process, ask for clarification.
  • It is helpful to discuss any doubts, concerns, or discomfort you have during your session. Remember it is your time and needs that are important.
  • Sometimes, as previous or unknown feelings are stirred, you may at times feel worse before feeling better. This is a common experience early on and generally improves as time passes.
  • Reflect regularly on your progress and goals during the period of therapy.
  • Think further about what you are discovering when you are between sessions, and see what more can be noticed.
  • Aim to attend every session, missing as few as possible.
  • Remember, real change takes time and practice. Changing your neural pathways cannot be done in one or two sessions.