What is a clinical psychologist and how do they differ to other therapists?

It can be really confusing to know the difference between the different kinds of therapists and psychologists! Clinical Psychologists are highly skilled in understanding and treating psychological and mental health difficulties. We have to go through quite a bit of studying to become qualified including doing an undergraduate degree and a 3-year Doctorate in Clinical Psychology as a minimum. The training involves doing lots of different placements in a variety of different fields using a wide range of therapy models! Some of us may specialise in formal diagnostic assessments such as neurodevelopmental difficulties such as Autism and ADHD. Clinical Psychologists often specialise in an area of health for example, child mental health, physical health, forensic etc. so some Clinical Psychologists may be better suited to help you than others, based on their specialisms, expertise and experience. 

The nice thing about being a Clinical Psychologist is that we are expected to engage in life-long learning, keeping up to date with all the new therapeutic approaches. This means we continue to enjoy what we do, are always learning in the role, can provide the best possible support and intend to remain current with the ever-changing times. 

Clinical Psychologists hold a protected title, and are regulated through the Health and Professions Council (HCPC). Due to all of the training, experience and expertise, the fees for seeing a Psychologist are usually substantially more. 

If you want to find out more, you can read more about the role of Clinical Psychologists here: https://acpuk.org.uk/clinical-psychologists/

Do I need to be referred by a GP or other Professional?

You don’t have to wait to be referred by a GP or someone else to get the right support. As long as you are over 18 you can refer yourself. All you need to do is get in touch using the contact form.

If you’re under 18, I’d encourage you or your parent, carer or guardian to get in contact and we can discuss the referral together. 

What type of therapy is right for me?

It can be really confusing to know which approach will be best suited to your needs. Don’t worry – this is what I am here to help with! We will work together and I will provide guidance on what approach will be best suited to help you. Remember, I often merge therapies together based on your need, and as long as you feel therapy is helpful you don’t need to worry too much about having the “right” therapy. We will always review and discuss whether therapy is continuing meeting your needs. 

Is your approach right for me and what I need?

It’s really important to choose the right therapist for you, as this can really influence the outcome of therapy and any positive changes you experience. My approach will probably be a good fit for you if you have goals about what you want to change, you are committed to making changes for yourself, are looking for tools and developing skills to use in your day-to-day life, are open and willing to do a bit of work between sessions if appropriate. 

Is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

Yes! There are many benefits from accessing therapy online, such as saving time and money on travel, being in the comfort of your own space, and ensuring that you can see someone who is the right person for you even if they are not local to you. The only requirement is to make sure you have a private and confidential space where you can speak openly, as well as having a strong internet connection. 

Why are the fees higher for Child & Adolescent services?

Working in Child & Adolescent mental health requires having highly specialist skills and knowledge in assessment and treatment, and adapting these as necessary to their cognitive and emotional development. It’s important to see a specialist who can understand issues affecting young people, including childhood development and wider influences such as social media and education. At times, the risks for young people also tend to be more pervasive and complex which need to be managed quickly and effectively. Treatment approaches also differ compared to other groups such as liaison and direct work with multiple agencies and systems including the young person’s family, their school, GP, and Social Care. For these reasons, assessment and treatment fees are slightly more. 

How many sessions will I need?

Although it would be easy, there are no “right” number of sessions, as this will depend on what your difficulties are, your hopes and goals for therapy, and whether you’re looking to have short term or longer term therapy. On average, therapy sessions can be anywhere between 6-24 sessions. Therapy is regularly reviewed every 6-8 sessions to ensure it is continuing to be helpful and if further sessions are needed. Often people report feeling an improvement in a relatively short number of sessions. We will agree what number of sessions is helpful and continue to review this. 

Can I bring someone with me?

Absolutely! If you would like to bring a spouse, parent or partner with you to the assessment you are more than welcome. We will check what you are comfortable with in terms of sharing information to preserve confidentiality. For therapy sessions, we can discuss what is appropriate and helpful for you. 

What if I need urgent support?

If you’re really struggling or feel you’re in crisis, it’s really important you know where to go. Unfortunately I do not offer emergency support or out of hours service. If you require immediate mental health attention, the best point of contact would be your GP or to visit your nearest A&E hospital department. If you’re unable to get there safely, then call 999. 

What if I need medication?

If you think you might need medication or would like to speak to someone about this, the best person would be your GP and/or Psychiatrist. I cannot recommend or prescribe medication, and you would be best speaking to a medical doctor to help you in your decision.

Not answer your question? Get in touch and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.