Online Services

Online Services and Email Consultations

We are constantly striving to improve the support and care we provide our patients, by providing them with access to Professor Menzies’ services whenever they require them.  In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of interstate and international patients attending our Sydney rooms for treatment.  Some of these patients have required ongoing support upon their return home and typically these needs have been met by scheduled telephone consultations.

From December, 2002 we have been supplementing our telephone consultation services by offering a range of online treatment options.  We have introduced email-based cognitive-behaviour therapy and ‘real-time’ online consultations, with internet-based support group facilities currently being planned. Email consultations have already proven to be a popular and highly successful option, enabling remote patients to communicate directly and confidentially with Professor Menzies, whenever the need arises. Many Sydney-based patients have also found it to be a useful accompaniment to their in-session treatment.

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Advantages of Email-Based Therapy

1.       The cost-effectiveness of the email service

Email consultations are considerably cheaper than the cost of a full in-session appointment.

2.       Immediacy of attention

You can communicate with Professor Menzies through the email service at any time. In-session appointments are not always readily available when patients request them.

3.       Speed of response

Your difficulties are generally addressed within 48 hours. (A premium service is also available, with a guaranteed response time of 12 hours or less. Details are available on application).

4.       Convenience of service

Many patients have difficulty in attending sessions at our Glebe practice. This is obviously true for interstate and international patients, but may be equally true for many local patients with significant commitments on their time. The email service allows you to receive CBT in the comfort of your own home and at a time to suit you.

5.       You receive a written record of your consultations

Many patients forget critical aspects of advice given in traditional 'in-session' appointments. Email consultations give you a written record of Professor Menzies’ personalised CBT instruction. You can save and print out his replies for future reference.

6.      An easy means of discussing personal problems and issues

Many patients find email an easy means of discussing problems and issues which they are embarrassed to discuss in person.  Communicating via email allows you to take your time to carefully word your thoughts and questions, and to receive direct, targeted answers for the specific questions that you have raised.

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Email Consultation Charges

1.      No charge for incoming emails (there is no limit to the length of your emails - you can write as much as you like without charge).

2.      No charge for reading time (Professor Menzies does not charge to read your emails, only for the time taken in preparing a reply).

3.      No charge for outgoing administrative emails (emails regarding changes to appointment times, invoices, or statements are
not charged for
).

4.      No charge for outgoing, unsolicited emails (You will not be charged for emails that Professor Menzies writes to you of his own accord – for example, to provide you with new information or to check on your progress.  You will only be charged when he replies to an email of yours).

5.      Charges for email consultations (i.e. responses to your emails) are billed in whole minute increments at our standard in-session rate of $195 per hour.  E.g. A five-minute email response would cost $16.25.

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Ten FAQs About Our Email Consultations

1. Can I be guaranteed of expert CBT advice?

Absolutely. No junior associates or inexperienced psychologists are employed to answer emails in our practice. You are guaranteed that every email communication is dealt with directly by Professor Menzies.

2. How confidential are my emails?
 

Professor Menzies is the only individual in our practice with access to our email address. No administrative or ancillary staff in our practice have access to
rossmenzies@ozemail.com.au which is password protected.

3. Are there any sign-up fees or ongoing charges?

No. There are no upfront fees. You are not joining a gym or club. You simply pay for the consultations that you make
.

4. Do I need a VISA or MASTERCARD to access services?

Absolutely not. You do not need to pay online for email consultations. You will receive a monthly statement and email invoice which may be paid by return cheque or money order.

5. How will I know how much an email consultation has cost me?

At the bottom of each email from Professor Menzies, the time taken to provide the response is given (e.g. Email consultation - 4 minutes). In this way, there are no surprises when you receive your monthly statement.

6. Do email consultations replace the need for in-session appointments?

Most of our patients have not abandoned their conventional treatment sessions in favour of email consultations. Rather, most are using email consultations as an adjunct or addition to standard sessions. In this way, they are getting specific questions answered, as they need them, in a fast and efficient way between sessions. However, this is a personal choice. Many interstate and international patients now depend completely on email consultations with Professor Menzies and use no other form of therapy.

7. Do I need to be a current patient of Professor Menzies to access his online services?

No, you do not have to be a current patient to use the online services of our practice. If you are reluctant to come into our Glebe clinic (or it is inconvenient to do so), an email consultation or real-time on-line consultation may be the perfect way to access Professor Menzies. However, if you have never seen Professor Menzies before, you will need to firstly send him an email, at rossmenzies@ozemail.com.au, indicating that you would like to become an on-line patient. In your email you should provide a brief description of your problem/s. In order to maintain the high standard and quality of our services, Professor Menzies conducts a thorough assessment with all new on-line patients. If you are not a current patient of Professor Menzies, you will be asked to: (1) send us a referral letter from a medical practitioner (or other mental health professional) describing your condition; (2) undergo a brief telephone assessment with Professor Menzies, and; (3) complete a series of on-line questionnaires to assess your current functioning.

After completing this assessment Professor Menzies will determine whether on-line services are appropriate for your condition
.

8. Are telephone sessions also available?

Yes. Professor Menzies has five basic types of consultations:

(1) In-person, in-session treatment in our Sydney practice at Glebe.

(2) Home visits, which are available within metropolitan Sydney.

(3) Telephone consultations.

(4) Real-time online consultations.

(5) Email consultations
.

9. How do real-time online consultations (RTOCs) work ?

Real-time online consultations are different to email consultations. Our practice offers both of these services. RTOCs work by creating a link between your computer and Professor Menzies’ computer.  This system is easy to operate, and once set-up, will enable you to discuss issues and seek advice from Professor Menzies on a one-to-one basis, online in ‘real-time’.  These consultations work via a dialogue box which appears on your computer screen.  In this box, you will be able to type your queries and read Professor Menzies’ immediate replies.  Naturally, an appointment time needs to be booked for an RTOC.

10.   What are the advantages and disadvantages of RTOCs ?

Utilising the technology of the internet, real-time online consultations offer a unique method of providing cognitive behaviour therapy to patients at a distance.  This method has the advantage of being immediate – questions are posed and answered as they might be in the course of an in-session consultation at our Sydney clinic.  RTOCs are not, however, as cost efficient as email consultations since, in the latter case, only time spent responding to emails is billed. (You may take 30 minutes drafting questions in an email consultation and this is not billed. In an RTOC your writing time forms part of the clinical session and the total time of the session is billed). Also, unlike email consultations, RTOCs do not allow you to write at your own convenience, at any time of the day or night (i.e. sessions must be booked).

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How To Become An Online Patient

Becoming an online patient of Professor Menzies is easy.

If you have seen Professor Menzies before, simply send him an email at rossmenzies@ozemail.com.au with your current query. Typically, no further assessments are needed and you can begin online consultations immediately.

If you have never seen Professor Menzies before, simply send him an email at rossmenzies@ozemail.com.au indicating that you would like to become an on-line patient. In your email you should provide a brief description of your problem/s. In order to maintain the high standard and quality of our services, Professor Menzies conducts a thorough assessment with all new online patients. So, if you are not a current patient of Professor Menzies, in his first email to you he will ask you to (1) arrange to send us a referral letter from a medical practitioner (or other mental health professional) describing your condition; (2) arrange a brief telephone assessment with him, and; (3) complete a series of on-line questionnaires to assess your current functioning. Only by completing this assessment can Professor Menzies determine whether on-line services are appropriate for your condition. These assessments (including the medical referral) are not necessary for an in-session appointment with Professor Menzies at his private practice in Glebe. For consultations at his practice call (02) 9798 3474

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