Therapy is an active and collaborative process, inviting you to be the observer of your own life, and take part in what needs changing. Treatment begins with a psychological assessment, understanding the problem/s in relation to recent events and historical factors. This includes an understanding of culture, gender, spiritual, and sexual orientation issues, and may include formal tools and clinical observation. The information gathered in the assessment enables us to create a psychological formulation which is an individualised blueprint of your emotional difficulties. It is this, along with the relevant evidence base, which enables what type of psychological approach and specific interventions are appropriate to help you.
The recommended length of therapy is indicated by our co-constructed formulation and evidence base. For problems of recent onset change can often be fast, commonly 8 ~ 12 sessions. If you need to work on longer term problems more sessions may be clinically indicated. We will discuss this at the start so we can plan together.
Clinical psychologists integrate clinical knowledge, science and theory to understand and treat psychological distress. Central to their approach is assessment, formulation and psychotherapy.
A Clinical Psychologist has trained for a minimum of six years (usually longer), completing a minimum of two psychology degrees; an undergraduate BSc (Hons) and an applied Clinical Doctorate. This is a practitioner doctorate and is extremely comprehensive, integrating clinical and research components. Clinical psychologists are trained to use different psychotherapeutic approaches to treat a range of difficulties and disorders, and across the different life stages. They are trained in developmental disorders (i.e. ADHD, Aspergers), neuropsychology, personality, health psychology and family/couple dynamics. Upon completion, we are awarded the title of Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Psychologists are encouraged to undertake their own personal therapy alongside training; and are thus aware of what it is like to be a patient.
Although both professionals aim to lessen mental distress, their approach is different. Psychiatrists foremost have a medical training and typically rely on medication in treatment. Clinical Psychologists use their knowledge of psychological theory to help people feel better.
Once you have initiated contact with us, we will arrange a brief telephone consultation (free of charge) to talk about the issues which have brought you to treatment. In the unlikely event you would not benefit from psychological therapy, we will explain the reasons why and suggest alternatives.
Yes, the content of psychology sessions is confidential between you and your psychologist. The only exception to this would be if we believed there was a significant risk to you or someone else. In these circumstances we may have to break confidentiality in order to contact a third party with relevant information. We would only do this after careful consideration and would discuss this with you wherever possible.
Some private healthcare insurance companies expect written progress reports to authorise treatment. Your referrer will usually request your written permission for information to be disclosed. We will discuss the content of any reports with you beforehand.
We can offer therapy sessions online, but it is important to highlight the limitations of this way of working. Research repeatedly demonstrates the importance of the therapeutic relationship in treatment.
This relationship is harder to foster online. Also, clinical psychologists are trained to pay attention to the way they feel in response to a patient (countertransference), which is valuable information for our formulation. Online therapy limits the availability of this.
Finally, part of our role is to ensure a confidential space for you. Whilst we can ensure my clinic space is confidential for the purposes of online therapy, we need to rely on you to ensure confidentiality can be achieved in your home environment.
For these reasons we would only recommend online sessions (1) where the problem is of recent onset and treatment is expected to be brief, (2) for individuals where accessibility is a particular issue (e.g. due to physical health restricting travelling), or (3) as follow up sessions to maintain progress. Please contact us and we can discuss the best way forward for you.