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16 June 2011

Dear {Preferred Name},

Welcome to APS Matters, your fortnightly alert to the latest news and information from the APS.

Please note that any queries or comments relating to information in this edition of APS Matters should be directed to the APS Member Assistance Centre at memberassistance@psychology.org.au. Please do not reply to this email as it is an unattended mailbox.


Prof Lyn Littlefield, APS Executive Director From the Executive Director

APS survey strengthens campaign against Better Access cuts
Members will be aware that in response to the proposed Budget cuts to the Better Access initiative, the APS undertook a study of the nature and severity of disorders of the Better Access consumers who will actually be affected by these cuts. The member response to the survey was phenomenal, with data provided on 9,900 people who received between 11 and 18 sessions of treatment from psychologists under the program in 2010. The results of this study of nearly 10,000 Better Access clients offer compelling evidence in support of the retention of the current annual session allowance under the Better Access initiative and have really strengthened the APS campaign against the cuts.

The study demonstrates that 84% of these people had a moderate to severe or severe disorder at the commencement of treatment by a psychologist, with nearly half (43%) having additional complexities such as a second ICD-10 mental health disorder, personality disorder or drug and alcohol abuse. The research shows that by the end of psychological treatment only 3% remained severely affected, while for 43% of people their disorders were effectively reduced to either no symptoms or only a mild presentation. The APS survey has demonstrated that the removal of these eight sessions of psychological treatment will have a dramatic impact on many thousands of people with serious mental health problems.

The APS prepared a media release last week based on the survey results and has provided data from the study to the Minister for Mental Health and senior bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). I have personally met with the Minister’s mental health advisor, senior DoHA bureaucrats and influential senators to discuss the impact of the proposed cuts, and we will step up our advocacy with senior members of the Government and other parliamentarians when the Budget legislation is introduced into the Federal Parliament. The APS survey media release has been picked up in political alerts (which are distributed out of Canberra to politicians and government departments), prominent daily newspapers and publications including the Canberra Times and the Medical Observer. Some rural media outlets have picked up the story as it applies to their local audiences. In addition, a number of members have talked about the impact of the cuts on radio and in opinion pieces. APS members have also been active online, running petitions and discussing the impact of the cuts from their personal perspectives as psychologists working at the coal face.

View media release

Lyn Littlefield, APS Executive Director

In this edition:
  1. Medicare CPD requirements for psychologists
  2. APS 2011-2012 schedule of recommended fees
  3. Renew your APS membership online
  4. APS online CPD: CBT fundamentals: Processes and techniques in cognitive behaviour therapy
  5. Key conference dates
  6. Research opportunities

1. Medicare CPD requirements for psychologists

There has been some confusion about the CPD requirements and deadlines for psychologists providing Medicare items under the Better Access initiative. These requirements must be met for the psychologist to maintain billing rights to provide Medicare items. The confusion has arisen as the specific CPD requirements and deadlines for meeting these requirements vary depending on which Medicare items the psychologist provides.

  • Psychologists who provide Medicare Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS) items (MBS items 80100 to 80120)
    Ten hours of FPS-related CPD activities must be undertaken by 30 June 2011 to maintain billing rights to provide these Medicare items. (These hours can be counted towards meeting the Psychology Board/APS 30 CPD hours.)

    More information on the CPD requirements for Medicare FPS providers can be found on the APS website Medicare CPD pages, including a series of frequently asked questions (PDF).

  • Psychologists who provide Medicare clinical psychology items (MBS items 80000 to 80020)
    Fifteen hours of clinical psychology-related CPD activities must be undertaken by 30 November 2011 to maintain billing rights to provide these Medicare items. (These hours can be counted towards meeting the Psychology Board/APS 30 CPD hours and are the same requirements to maintain eligibility for membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists and Psychology Board area of practice endorsement in clinical psychology.)

    More information on the CPD requirements for Medicare clinical psychology providers can be found on the APS website Medicare CPD pages, including a series of frequently asked questions (PDF).

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2. APS 2011-2012 schedule of recommended fees

The new APS 2011-2012 schedule of recommended fees for psychological services, which is applicable from 1 July 2011, is now available.

View 2011-2012 schedule of recommended fees

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3. Renew your APS membership online

Members are able to renew their 2011-12 membership online through a secure and easy-to-use process. Click on the red 'Renew Membership' button on the homepage of the APS website, enter your member login details and follow the four-step process.

Renew membership

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4. APS online CPD: CBT fundamentals: Processes and techniques in cognitive behaviour therapy

This 10-hour online CPD is the ideal way for providers of Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS) Medicare items to meet their CPD requirements before the 30 June 2011 deadline. The CPD provides information on the latest research and developments in the CBT field, giving you an improved understanding of the current cognitive behavioural models of anxiety and depressive disorders. Access to video recordings of simulated therapy sessions, and regular opportunities to engage in online forums with fellow practitioners will also contribute to your learning.

View more information and enrol in this CPD activity

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5. Key conference dates
  • Submissions now open for the 2011 APS Educational and Developmental Psychology Conference
    The committee now invites submissions of abstracts for the forthcoming conference. Submissions close 16 August 2011.
    View information about the conference and online submissions

  • 9th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference
    Online registration for this conference is now closed; however, you can still register onsite at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre by visiting the conference website.
    View conference website

  • 2011 APS College of Clinical Psychologists National Conference
    Don’t miss out on registering at early bird rates for the 2011 APS College of Clinical Psychologists Conference to be held from 15 to 17 July at the Hyatt Regency Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Early bird registration has been extended to 30 June 2011.
    View conference website

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6. Research opportunities
  • How are mood, stress, and our sex lives related?
    This is a study of the relationships between low mood, stress, and sexual problems, over time. While it's commonly known that the three go hand-in-hand, there is little research on how they relate to each other over time. We can apply what we learn about the relationships between these everyday difficulties to new treatment programs for depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunctions.
    View details

  • A comparative study of the perceptions of criminal justice professionals regarding offender remorse 
    Australian criminal justice professionals are invited to participate in an online survey regarding the perceptions they hold about offender remorse. Specifically, this study will attempt to examine the central characteristics of offender remorse and compare the perceptions held by criminal justice professionals in their assessment of offender remorse.
    View details

  • Characterising the symptom presentation of perimenopausal depression and associated risk and protective factors  
    Research has shown that there is a relationship between reproductive status and mood. There is known to be an increased risk of becoming depressed when going through the menopausal transition and this project is looking to explore whether depression during this time might be different to that experienced during other stages of the lifecycle.
    View details

  • Are you an Australian aged 50 or older? Would you be interested in participating in our research?
    Researchers in the School of Psychology, Deakin University are currently conducting a survey to examine the different aspects of drinking patterns in Australian adults, and how these are affected by other aspects of human behaviour and lifestyle.
    View details

  • Resilience in relation to stress, personality, coping and depressive and anxiety symptoms in Australian adults. 
    We are looking for male and female participants aged between 18 and 65 years to take part in this study, which will examine the relationship between resilience, stressors, personality traits, coping styles and depressive and anxiety symptoms.
    View details

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View the latest recruitment and business opportunities for psychologists.
Upcoming events and CPD

28 June 2011(ACT):
Loneliness – concept, interventions and research


28 July 2011 (NSW):
Psychologists' and counsellors' guide to WorkCover NSW

24 September 2011 (NT):
Treating behavioural sleep problems in children: What psychologists need to know

12 July 2011 (QLD):
“How can I ever trust you again?”: The application of emotionally-focused couples therapy for the treatment of attachment injuries.

24 June 2011 (SA):
From boyhood to manhood: Difficulties and challenges of transition

12-13 August 2011 (TAS):
The brain and anxiety. Utilizing neurobiological information as psychotherapeutic tool

26 June 2011 (VIC):
Understanding attachment: The connecting thread through the life cycle

28 July 2011 (WA):
Tips for being an expert witness in court


Search online for CPD activities and events at APS Events Calendar

News and media releases

7 June 2011
Budget cuts will deny effective treatment to people with serious mental health disorders

 

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