There are dozens of options for counselling services throughout Australia, and finding the right therapist for your needs is often the key to success. Indeed, research suggests that the fit between the counsellor and client is the most significant predictor of Therapy’s success more important even than the therapists’ training, experience, or approach to treatment. You might be surprised, though, to learn that counselling isn’t just for people struggling with mental illness or major life transitions. Indeed, a therapist can help you navigate a host of issues, bringing clarity and progress to challenges.

That's where Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy can help. Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy has experience with understanding your needs and finding ways to minimize or assist in changing what is happening for you.  Bayside Counselling's goal is: to help children, adolescents, adults, and families feel strong, healthy, and peaceful from the inside-out. 

Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy's Unique Approach:

Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy combines traditional therapeutic services with comprehensive mind/body therapies. Grounded in the most current research and evidenced-based-practices, Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy has created programs to address the specific needs of those who are looking for support and understanding.  


Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy prides itself in being a one-stop-shop for your entire family’s wellness needs. Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy is here to help you strengthen your mind and body. 

Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy is recognised and registered with:
NDIS, Medicare, Department Veteran Affairs.
I also provide services for clients who wish to engage without the referral process.

Please Contact Paula for more information on telehealth platforms.

Ready to take the next step?

Contact Paula on 0401 300 266 to set up your phone consultation today! 

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Are you eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan? image

As an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, I am registered with Medicare. This allows you to have the option to talk with your GP about considering if it is appropriate to prepare a Mental Health Care Plan and make a referral to Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy.


If you are eligible, your GP will need to conduct a Mental Health Assessment with you. This is a brief report on your medical history and the main issues for which you are seeking Focused Psychological Services . 

Under a Mental Health Care Plan, you will receive up to 10 counselling sessions a year (initially 6 sessions with the opportunity to access 4 more after a review) for which you can claim a Medicare rebate.


Your GP will initially authorise 6 counselling / therapy sessions and will review your case once these are completed. They will then decide whether to authorise a further 4 sessions. You will then receive a rebate from Medicare for each session.


For your first counselling session you will need to bring your Mental Health Care Plan.

For more information on Medicare please follow this link:  https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/medicare-services


The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) welcomes the advent of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) as a rights-based approach that supports the independence and the social and economic participation of people with a permanent impairment or condition. The values of ‘choice and control’ that underpin the Scheme are consistent with the values and principles of self-determination and empowerment that have guided the social work profession for many decades.

The role of social work in the NDIS:
Professional social work skills and supports have historically been integral to disability services in both government and non-government organisations. Social workers have had a strong role in assessment, planning and case management across all types of disability and service provision. This is particularly because of our expertise in addressing both personal and systemic dimensions of support and intervention.
Social Workers focus on maintaining and enhancing quality of life in a range of settings to facilitate empowerment and assist people with disability, their families and communities. Our work includes all levels of management and program design, individual planning, counselling, coordination and case management, as well as policy development, research and advocacy.
The values, qualifications and skills of social workers constitute a precise match with the person-centred approach of the NDIS. Social work practice is across the life span, and this includes working with children, adults, families, carers, groups and communities. Most importantly, social workers work alongside people with disability to facilitate their empowerment (and that of their families) and achieve their needs, goals and aspirations.

Social workers are present throughout the entirety of the NDIS (see Figure 1) in varied roles, including planners, Local Area Coordinators, managers, supervisors and as registered providers.
Figure 1: Social work roles in the NDIS

Under the NDIS eligibility criteria, social workers can provide several specific supports, including:

• Therapeutic and counselling supports (individual and group)
• Early intervention supports for early childhood
• Behaviour support (assessment and development of support plans)
• Assistance in coordinating or managing life stages, transitions and supports
• Assistance to access and maintain employment or higher education
• Assistance with obtaining or retaining accommodation and tenancy
Participant booklets:

Three participant booklets are available to support people with disability and participants throughout their NDIS journey.
The first booklet in the series includes information about accessing the NDIS, including a useful eligibility checklist.
Booklet 1 – Understanding the NDIS
Booklet 1 covers:
  • Learning about the NDIS
  • Deciding whether to apply for the NDIS
  • Accessing the NDIS
Planning In Booklet 2: 

Understanding your current supports and preparing for your planning meeting 
  • To get ready for your meeting, think about your current supports and who provides them, and what supports and services you may need to achieve your goals. • Complete this booklet on your own or with someone’s help and bring it with you to your planning meeting. Consider any relevant reports or assessments you will need to bring with you as well. 
  • Attending a planning meeting to create your plan 
  • Learn about what will happen in your planning meeting, who you will meet with, and who you can bring along with you. 
Receiving your approved NDIS plan:
  • Learn how you will receive your NDIS plan, and what to do next. 
This booklet covers:
  1. Understanding your current supports 
  2. Creating an NDIS plan to achieve your goals 
  3. Receiving an approved NDIS plan
Booklet 2 - Planning 
BOOKLET 3: Using your NDIS plan:

Understanding what’s in your plan 
  1. Learn what the different parts of your NDIS plan mean, who can help you start using your plan and how your plan is managed. 
Learning how to use your plan 
  1. Learn how to start using your plan to achieve your goals. 
  2. Understand what you can spend your funding on, and how to find service providers. It will also tell you how you can access community and other government services outside the NDIS. 
Choosing and managing supports and services 
  1. Use this booklet to start choosing providers to deliver your supports and services. 
  2. Find out what to do if things aren’t working out or you want to try another provider. 
Reviewing your plan and progress 
  1. Use this booklet to help keep track of your goals. 
  2. Make notes about what is working in your NDIS plan and what might need to change when your plan is reviewed. 
  3. Towards the end of every plan you will need to get ready for your plan review. Start thinking about your goals, and how your plan is helping you to achieve them. You may need to think about the future goals you would like to achieve or community and other government services you may need if you no longer require support from the NDIS. 
BOOKLET 3 - Using your NDIS plan

You will receive the booklets you need during your NDIS journey, or you can access them on the NDIS website at www.ndis.gov.au
Confidentiality image

All personal information gathered by Paula during the provision of the counselling service will remain confidential and secure except when:

  • It is subpoenaed by a court;
  • Failure to disclose certain information would place the client or another person’s life in imminent danger; Your prior approval has been obtained to provide reports for a third party;
  • Confidentiality is controlled according to strict guidelines set down by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). This is also provided in accordance with State Legislation.
For further information regarding confidentiality, ethical guidelines for Accredited Mental Health Social Workers and the procedures for making a complaint, please contact Paula at Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy on:

Mobile: 0401 300 266 or
Email: paulajohnstone1@outlook.com.au 

  • Novar Gardens South Australia, Australia
  • Depending on the service provided, home visits, hospital appointments or school support can be offered. Please contact Paula to determine if the service is right for you and your family.

Paula Johnstone

Director/ Therapist

I am passionate about empowering individuals to fulfil their highest potential. I offer traditional individual talk therapy and mind/body therapies.

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If you've ever talked to family and friends about what counselling is, it's possible that each person will have their own interpretation and understanding of it. However, in general, Counselling aims to help you cope with personal situations, experiences, feelings and thoughts.
The counsellor will usually ask questions, listen to you, reflect on what you share and explore the range of options that may be available to you.

It's important to note that counselling is not about giving you the answer or providing you with a quick fix. 

It is best to view counselling as a way of putting things into perspective and opening you up to options and resources that you may not have previously considered.
For some, the idea of counselling may seem daunting or embarrassing, this may be due to:
  • fear of being judged
  • fear of others close to you may wanting to know why are you deciding to talk with a counsellor
  • embarrassment about what has or is happening for you or your family
  • concern that seeing a counsellor will draw unwanted attention to the problem or make it worse
  • feeling you should be able to manage things on your own
  • feeling things are not to be shared outside of the family
These concerns and fears are not uncommon.  This is where, Paula from Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy can assist.  With a phone call, you can confidentially talk with her about your concerns before making your first appointment.  Paula takes a sensitive and caring approach to different issues and understands that your ability to talk openly may be hindered by:
  • the nature of your situation or issues
  • bad experiences of counselling in the past
  • difficulties accessing counselling
  • or difficulties such as family commitments
In special circumstances, Paula is willing to consult with you over the phone or if local, she can come to you.
A standard counselling session usually goes for 50 minutes.
There are different rates depending on your circumstance and previsions of treatment.  
Please call Paula on 0401 300 266 for further information.


For clients wanting to claim sessions through their insurance, Bupa recognises the significant value in providing access to counselling. They have now accepted claims through your Bupa Health Insurance.
Please check with your health fund to see if you qualify.

Initially when you call and make an appointment you will only be asked for your full name, phone number and if you have: a referral through your GP, NDIS plan or other information that you may like to bring along with you.

When you attend your first appointment, we will discuss the referral pathway you have with you, such as through your GP, NDIS or privately. This information is used for administrative purposes only. Additionally, a copy of the personal information form will need to be completed, which can be downloaded from this site.

During our first meeting, Paula may ask such questions as, 'What has brought you here today?' or 'You spoke about ..... on the phone, how is that going?'

The depth of information provided by you is decided by you. Obviously, the more you can share, the greater the possibility of moving through the issues and forward. At no time will you be pushed to share more than you would like to. Many people who come to see me say, as they begin to feel more comfortable within the session, the more they are happy to share.  
As discussed earlier, making the decision to see a counsellor can seem daunting.  It is important for you to feel comfortable, so if brining someone with you helps, then by all means.
It is important to be sure you can trust this person with your personal information and not feel judged by doing so.

    Client Forms

    For the first time bookings you can save time in the initial meeting by completing Confidential Client Intake Form.


    Calm Mind: Namaste Music Happiness Frequency - Serotonin, Dopamine and Endorphin Release Music, Relaxing Meditation Music Greenred Productions - Relaxing Music


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    Amazing Things Happen - by Alexander Amelines.

    Alexander’s film gives an uplifting introduction to autism for young non-autistic audiences, aiming to raise awareness, understanding and tolerance in future generations.


    Sometimes we know something doesn't feel right. We're confused, tired, overthinking, unable to sleep or our eating patterns change. Perhaps you find yourself avoiding contact with family or friends. So, we google it.... 'I'm feeling? ......... what's wrong with me? I've decided to share a range of fact sheets that may help you make sense of your thoughts, feelings and actions. Take a look and remember, go to your GP for expert advice and if needed a Mental Health Care Plan that allows you, or someone you know, to have 6-10 sessions per year.


    Bayside Counselling & Family Therapy ensures our policies and procedures are an essential part of the organization. Providing a roadmap for day-to-day operations, along with the compliance with laws and regulations are available for all to view.


    List of regulated policies to ensure appropriate mandates are implemented.

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