Treatment services

How to access treatment

There are many services in Victoria that provide treatment and support for BPD. However, accessing them can be confusing. Spectrum and the Australian BPD Foundation have developed a Guide to Accessing Services for BPD in Victoria (315KB PDF).

Common questions people have regarding treatment include:

  • How do I find treatment for a personality disorder?
  • How do I know if this psychologist is good enough?
  • How do I find a psychiatrist for my daughter/brother/friend?

We recognise there are many different and effective approaches for treating personality disorders. Although Spectrum-based treatments are effective, there are other ways of supporting recovery from BPD. These include:

  • Public community mental health services: These can be accessed via local public hospital networks. To locate a service in Victoria, use the Find a mental health service website. For Australia-wide information, use the Head to Health website.
  • The *Better Access to Mental Health Care Scheme through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access): This initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder, through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to clients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered), eligible social workers, and occupational therapists. Read the better access to mental health care fact sheets for more information. *Note for referrers: Under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Scheme, the ICD-10 diagnosis most appropriate for people with BPD is F60.3 Emotionally unstable personality disorder.
  • Private treatment programs (fee for service): This option may be partially covered if you have private health insurance. Mental health services can be accessed via private hospitals and private BPD treatment programs. See a list of the services available in Victoria.
  • Referral to a private psychiatrist: This treatment option requires a referral from your family doctor (GP).

Finding a private practitioner

  1. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) lists all registered psychiatrists. Visit the Your health in mind website to find a psychiatrist. This requires a GP referral. Medicare funds cover part of the costs of consulting a psychiatrist for up to 50 sessions a year.

  2. Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Australian Clinical Psychology Association have searchable databases for psychologists who work with BPD. A GP referral is needed to access a psychologist under the Better Access Scheme (see above).

  3. Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) Register. The PACFA Register provides a comprehensive list of psychotherapists and counsellors for the Australian community.

  4. Australian Association of Social Workers. This website offers a searchable directory of members who have elected to make their details available to the public.

  5. The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) is a national progressive professional peak association of counsellors and psychotherapists.

  6. Occupational Therapy Australia lists individual occupational therapists working in private practice settings who are members of Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA), and have chosen to make their contact and practice details available to the public.

  7. Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Credentialed Mental Health Nurses are registered nurses who have completed an accreditation process that ensures they have advanced expertise in treating mental illness. They often work as part of a GP or private psychiatrist practice, and there is usually no gap charge.