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 your goals, our co-constructed formulation and the 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 via Zoom. We would mainly 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 having a young child), or (3) as follow up sessions to maintain progress.
Please contact us and we can discuss the best way forward for you.
We know that meeting for the first time can be anxiety provoking and we are experienced with helping people manage these feelings. During an assessment session we seek to understand your current difficulties and your hopes for therapy. It is also an opportunity for you to see if you feel comfortable. At the end of your first session, the psychologist will make recommendations and a treatment plan. On rare occasions we may feel we cannot offer you the service you need. if this is the case we will explain why and advise you on alternatives.
Please note that attending an initial assessment does not commit you to ongoing therapy sessions.
There is extensive research evidence about the effectiveness of therapy for a wide variety of difficulties. We deliver evidence based psychological treatments and consider the NICE guidelines when making recommendations for the approach we will use and the possible length of treatment.
What happens if we agree to work together?
Following assessment, if we decide to work together we will begin by discussing your goals for therapy. We will establish a treatment plan (based on your goals, preliminary formulation and evidence base). we will then book in a set number of sessions.
Therapy is most effective when sessions take place weekly (at least initially), and ideally we will agree a regular time and day each week for appointments. As we move towards an ending it can be helpful if sessions are spread further apart. We understand there will be times when regular sessions are not possible and we will do our best to work flexibly to meet your needs.