Psychologists help people to manage many common issues, such as stress, anger, anxiety, sleeping difficulties, depression, learning difficulties, family communication, behaviour problems, and developmental disorders. 

Clinical Psychologists also have specialist training in the diagnosis and treatment of complex mental health problems such as major depressive disorder, severe anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and personality disorders.

At New Ability Health our psychologists are all fully qualified clinical psychologists with many years of experience. All of our Clinical Psychologists are Members of the Psychology Board of Australia, and the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

Taking charge of your mental health can be a big step. At New Ability Health we can help you work out where to start, and support you through your journey. 


Our Psychologists

Dr Stephen Hirneth

PhD, MPsyc (Clin), BA(Psyc)(Hons) MAPS FCCLP


Dr Steve is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working with adults, children and teenagers, treating a wide range of issues, from common life stressors through to severe mental illness. Stephen has worked across a range of mental health settings, including hospitals, community health centres and private practices. 

Stephen has extensive experience working with children and adolescents, having worked for over 10 years for local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, treating young people with severe and complex mental health disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety disorders, attachment disorders and pervasive developmental disorders.

Stephen has also worked extensively with adults, working for many years in private psychology practices in the area. Stephen has a particular interest in anxiety disorders, depression and bipolar disorders. Stephen is trained in a range of psychological therapy techniques, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). 

Stephen is a Psychology Board of Australia accredited supervisor for all forms of supervision in psychology. Stephen is well-recognised in the Newcastle area, providing supervision to other psychologists, lecturing and teaching postgraduate students, and providing clinical leadership to staff across a range of services.

Stephen has also held several leadership and senior management roles in local psychology services, and can provide coaching / mentoring for other professionals aiming to develop their efficiency and effectiveness. 

Stephen has a keen research interest, particularly in the area of bipolar disorder, and has published a number of research studies in this field, funded by national research grant schemes. Stephen is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists and was an invited reviewer for the recent APS publication “Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions in the Treatment of Mental Disorders”. 


Psychology services available

Psychology Services are available for the following issues

Mental health

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Drug and Alcohol Misuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Harm Behaviour

Emotions and life stress

  • Worry and over-thinking
  • Work related stress
  • General stress management and relaxation 
  • Managing Anger
  • Loss, Grief and Bereavement
  • Adjusting to life changes
  • Improving self esteem and confidence
  • Shyness and social anxiety 
  • Improving Assertiveness
  • Sleep Problems

School issues

  • Learning problems and IQ assessments
  • Bullying and school related stress
  • School readiness and separation anxiety 

Professional development

  • Psychology supervision
  • Leadership and organisational coaching   

Our Psychologists are skilled and experienced in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of serious mental health disorders and other psychological problems for children, adolescents and adults. 

Depending on the specific needs of the individual client we can provide short term solution-focused interventions through to long term intensive psychotherapy.


Fees and Rebates - Psychology


A standard 50 minute Clinical Psychology consultation fee is $210. Other services such as learning assessments, supervision or coaching will have different fees. For your convenience we can accept cash, credit card or debit card payments

Medicare Rebates 

If referred by your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician under “Better Access to Mental Health Care” (also known as a Mental Health Treatment Plan) you will be entitled to a medicare rebate ($126.50) which covers a portion of the appointment fee, although you will still be required to pay a ‘gap’ fee of $83.50. Your rebate can be deposited directly back into your bank account immediately following payment of your appointment fee.

If claiming under medicare you are eligible for 6 sessions to start with and then a further 4 once your GP has reviewed your progress (maximum 10 sessions per calendar year). 


The psychology rate for NDIS clients is $214.41  per hour.

Private Health Insurance 

Our staff are registered with most major health funds. Many private health funds offer rebates for psychological services. Please check with your private health insurance provider to see if you are eligible to claim for psychological services.

Workcover and Insurance 

Our psychologists are registered with Workcover Australia. If you are referred by a GP and this is approved by Workcover Australia, then the assessment, treatment and related report fees are covered by Insurance companies. 

Our Cancellation Policy 

We require 24 hours notice if you are unable to attend your appointment. We will send reminders by text and telephone call to assist you to remember your appointment. If you do not attend a scheduled appointment or if you give less than 24 hours notice that you are unable to attend your appointment you will be charged a $50 cancellation fee to cover our operating costs and loss of revenue due to the session being reserved for you. This cancellation fee applies to all clients. 

If you wish to re-book following a missed appointment (not attended or cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice) we will require the cancellation fee to be paid prior to the appointment being re-booked. 


Additional information for Clients

What to expect when I see a psychologist

Pre-appointment assessment and consent forms

Please come 20 minutes earlier for your first appointment. We will ask you to fill in some forms about your current mental health, to get your consent about treatment, and to check your permission for us to talk with your doctor or other professionals. 

First appointment 

In your first appointment we will get to know you, discuss the issues you would like help with, review your current mental health, and come up with a treatment plan and some first steps for working on your goals. 

Report to your referring doctor

If you have been referred by a doctor, we will write to your doctor after your first appointment (with your permission), to inform them of the assessment results and treatment plan. 

Requests for other reports

We can only provide treatment related reports. We are not able to provide independent medico-legal assessment in regards to psychological injury or criminal matters. Because our service is focused on treatment, we cannot be independent and impartial witnesses for the court if we have developed a treatment relationship with you. We also do not collect the extensive information required required for these requests. 

We may be able to provide support letters, for example; special consideration letters for school, or letters for Centrelink. We are happy to provide these to existing clients. Please note these requests require additional time to complete and therefore will be charged for at the psychologists’ hourly rate.