Thursday, May 10, 2018

Welcome & Warm-Up

Hi, welcome to our counselling conversation. 

Hmmmm... I look older and baggier than this now :-)

I have a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Psychology (Double Major) from University of Melbourne, a Master of Arts Biblical Counseling from Colorado Christian University, and accreditation as a Marriage Guidance Counsellor under the Federal Attorney General's Office.  I worked for over 30 years counselling as a registered psychologist.  I've taught various university courses (incl. post-grad) and professional development events at various universities/ colleges.  I've taught and trained counsellors/ chaplains/ pastors/ etc.  I supervise various other counsellors (same $ rates as for any client, as above) except for AHPRA registration hours.

You are welcome to ask me further questions on any of these things, and on my counselling model/ approach, etc., and anything else at any time. You can master most of my counselling theory from 'The Great Divorce' by C. S. Lewis, 'Inside Out' by Larry Crabb's, and 'Healing The Wounded Heart' by Dan Allender. You are also more than welcome - I even encourage it - to bring someone along with you in our sessions if you would like to. People who refer others to me are also welcome to come along with them if you agree together.  Some folks like to record their sessions too.

I counsel, supervise, coach and mediate at several venues:
   Afternoons Mondays & Wednesdays:  Como - from 12:15am-5:15pm at 'Lifestreams Church'; 
   Tuesdays 9:30-5:30: Byford at 'Byford Baptist Church';
   Fridays 9:30-5:30: Armadale at Crosswords Church, 38 William St, Armadale.
I also run a 'Redemptive Conversations Learning Group' and other counselling or training groups at various venues, including Monday nights at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bullcreek.

COMO:  Lifestreams Church on the corner of Murray St. & McNabb Loop, Como, at the south (downhill) end of Murray St.  If your GPS can't find it, navigate to 2 McNabb Loop. 
BYFORD:  Byford Baptist Church is at 1 Stanley Rd on the corner of South West Highway, Byford, WA 6122, on the first left just south of the Thomas Rd traffic lights, about a km north of the highway shopping strip.  I'm in the manse house - turn left at the church doors to see the sliding doors 10 meters away.
ARMADALE:  Crosswords Church is at 38 William St. on the corner of Church Ave., Armadale.  It is a big glass furniture showroom, beside Centrelink and 3mins walk from the train station.  (The train is fast and cheap and the return journey is free!)

The church venues above don't formally endorse me in any legal or official way.  They sometimes send referrals, and I rent a room from them.  Please just come in/ knock and be sure to call me if you can't find me.

My phone = 0413 69 65 68
My email address = AndrewOlsenMail (at) gmail [dot] com.

As both counsellor and receptionist, please help me to close our conversation at 50 minutes so that I can deal with payment, welcome my next client, etc..

-  Please arrange to cover the fee at the beginning of our sessions, or, better still, online before you come.
-  Payments can be made by cash, cheque, or online.  Payments online before the event are easiest.  I can do EFTPOS if we start with it or if we finish early enough to not make someone wait.
-  Online payments can be made before you come using your own online banking.  Choose 'Pay Anyone', create a 'New Payee', as follows:
                      Andrew Olsen
                                 Westpac Bullcreek
                                                       BSB 736302
                                                                        Account 597801
-  If you ever want a receipt emailed to you, you need to email me a copy-paste or screenshot of your online banking payment screen/ record/ receipt.

I offer a sliding fee scale to recognise the differences in household income.
This is a nice idea, but making any system work is trickier than it sounds.  There is no simple perfect way to do this because there are too many variables.  But here it is:

'The Roof Rule Rate'.

          Your fee is the annual income of everyone under your house roof, less three zeros.

   For example
~  If you earn $80,000 a year before tax, and nobody else at home earns, then remove three zeroes, your fee is $80.
~  If you earn $70,000 per year before tax, and your spouse earns $30,000pa,
   that makes your total annual household income $70,000 + $30,000 = $100,000 per annum, so remove the last three zeroes, your fee is $100.  
~  If your 22 year old also earns $200 a week part time...
   that is worth $10,400 a year, so it would add to the adult incomes to get a new Roof Rate total...
~  If your whole roof lives only on Centrelink income, you have a Health Care Card, or are a Full-Time Student, and are not dependant upon your parents, the fee is $40.
~  If you are self-employed or have a complex tax situation with businesses and trusts and so on, your calculations could end up wherever 'creative accounting' wants to take them!  In this case I trust you to estimate what your household would be earning if you were employed by a big company doing what you do, and use that figure.  If the figure seems very high, then you are greatly blessed, and you are welcome to see any other counsellor much cheaper.  If you see me, you are taking care of other clients who are less well off, and taking care of other ministries that I do.  P.S. divorce lawyers will cost you very very much more ;-)
~  I am very cheap.  Many of my peers charge lots more than I do and have a lot less training.  It's a balancing act.

I don't have a relationship with Medicare or Health Insurers, so rebates are not available.  Until Dec '18 I was registered as psychologist but I retired my membership over a dispute with the board.  This was the result of a complaint lodged in 2015 by a client against my approach and methods.  I can't give details because the complaint is confidential, but I can say that my wife is proud of how I got to this situation.

How many sessions?
I'm very unusual with this because I never tell anyone whether they should rebook or not.  I don't suggest how many times we should meet, or even when I think we should meet again.  I'm told that this loses me a lot of work!  However, I am seriously committed to you being fully free and responsible for engaging with me on your own terms.  I'm not trying to keep you or get rid of you.  I trust that you will rebook if you think you will get more value, and that you won't if you're not feeling it.  This is good for you.  I'm happy to meet as often, as little, or as randomly as you would like.  I'm never trying to get rid of anyone, and would offer a next week booking if I wasn't standing on my brake to support your adult autonomy.

I'm pretty crazy about getting you to write about your life and our sessions.  These links tell how powerful it is:

I wish I had learned all this 30 years ago :-)
“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.”  -  C. S. Lewis

The best ways to get in touch with me are via email and text because I can't answer the phone during sessions (though you are welcome to try, I might be free to take your call).  Email is AndrewOlsenMail (at) and phone/ text is 0413 69 65 68.

I look forward to meeting with you.