Clinical Psychology FAQs
What is Clinical Psychology?
Clinical Psychology is a form of psychotherapy focussed on using the most up-to-date, evidence-based psychological theory and research to understand and treat a wide range of mental health / psychological difficulties. This will include complex issues such as psychosis, through to more common problems such as anxiety and depression. Clinical Psychologists have extensive training (a minimum of an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology) and are a regulated profession, via the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC).
Their breadth of knowledge allows Clinical Psychologists to draw upon a range of proven techniques and therapies to ensure that each individual receives the most appropriate and effective treatment.
What will happen when I see a Clinical Psychologist?
Your first session with a Clinical Psychologist will involve an assessment. This is an opportunity for us to get to know one another, as well as to gain a clear understanding of the nature of your difficulties.
The outcome of this assessment session is a psychological formulation (explanation) of your difficulties. Through this formulation we will establish a shared understanding of the factors contributing towards and maintaining your difficulties. The ability to individualise an intervention, rather than use a single “one-size-fits-all” therapy approach, is one of the core skills of a Clinical Psychologist.
Treatment sessions will be structured and include recommendations for putting learning into practice between appointments. In this way, sessions build on one another and are as productive as possible.
How many sessions will I need?
Whilst there are no restrictions on the number of sessions available, a Clinical Psychologist will always aim for therapy to be time-limited and focussed. Therapy sessions are typically held weekly in order to maximise the opportunity for progress and momentum. Following assessment, a set number of sessions will be recommended.
By setting clear goals, we ensure that our work is always focussed on progressing towards a future in which you are better equipped with the tools and strategies to cope effectively and independently.
At the end of the set number of sessions, we will decide the next step together, be this further sessions, signposting to other useful services or drawing our work to a successful conclusion.
Which type of therapy could help me?
Your Clinical Psychologist will recommend the most appropriate type of therapy based on your specific needs, personal preferences and the nature of your difficulties, as well as the current scientific theory and evidence-base.
If you have a preferred therapeutic approach, please do let us know. For any therapy to be effective, a strong therapeutic relationship built on empathy, warmth, collaboration and trust is paramount. We will always take your personal preferences into account.
Will sessions be confidential?
All psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists work to an ethical framework where adhering to client confidentiality is paramount. No information is disclosed to third parties except where the client consents, is at risk of harm to themselves or to others, or where disclosure is required by law. Your therapist will explain this in detail. In addition, it is a requirement of most accrediting organisations that therapists have their own professional supervision to ensure ethical practice. They will share information about clients with their supervisor, but confidentiality is always respected and information anonymised.
What if I am in crisis?
We do not provide emergency cover out of hours. You can either contact your GP practice or the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90. You can also visit the Samaritans website.
Counselling and Psychotherapy FAQs
What is Counselling and Psychotherapy?
Counselling and Psychotherapy provide the opportunity for you to explore thoughts and feelings which may be preventing you from leading a fulfilling life. We aim to increase resilience and wellbeing in the long term. There are different approaches but all place value on building a trusting relationship between counsellor and client.
What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms for these talking therapies. Traditionally psychotherapy is considered to be longer term and might focus on more entrenched psychological problems that have built up over a long period of time. In reality the two overlap significantly.
When are appointments available?
Please contact the practitioner directly to discuss availability and arrange an appointment. You will find buttons on each individual practitioner’s page, giving you a variety of methods to get in touch.
What will we do in our sessions?
You will first meet your therapist for an assessment session. They will try to understand you as a whole person, not just someone with a problem. They will ask about your current difficulties and find out what you would like to achieve from your time together. You will decide if you think that the therapist is the right person for you and the practitioner will decide whether they think they can help you. If the therapist is not the right person they will try and suggest an alternative. The nature of subsequent sessions will depend on who you are working with and what you agree between you. We work using several therapeutic approaches and through doing this, try to ensure that the way we work with you is right for you as an individual. Please see practitioner details for further information on how they work.
How many therapy sessions will I need?
The number of sessions you will need will depend on the reasons you have chosen to come to therapy and your goals for therapy. Talking therapies can be short term or open ended with no set limit to the number of sessions.
Will psychological therapy work for me?
Practitioners always try to ensure that the work you do together is tailored to you as no one particular therapy suits everyone. You are unique, the issues you bring are unique to you and you are the expert on you! We can bring experience, professional training and a sound theoretical knowledge, as well as empathy and warmth. We work using several therapeutic approaches and through doing this, and try to ensure that the way we work with you is right for you as an individual.
Who do I contact if I am in crisis?
Most therapists do not provide emergency cover out of hours. You can either contact your GP practice or the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90. You can also visit the Samaritans website.
Will everything I say to my therapist be in complete confidence?
All psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists work to an ethical framework where adhering to client confidentiality is paramount. No information is disclosed to third parties except where the client consents, where you are at risk of harm to yourself or to others or where disclosure is required by law. Your therapist will explain this in detail. In addition, it is a requirement of most accrediting organisations that therapists have their own professional supervision to ensure ethical practice. They will share information about clients with their supervisor but confidentiality is always respected and information anonymised.
What is the difference between a Dietitian, Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist and Diet Expert?
The British Dietetic Association offers this comprehensive guide to the roles and functions to help you choose the right person to seek help and advice from.
Is the title ‘dietitian’ protected by law?
Only those registered with the statutory regulator, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the title of ‘dietitian’.
What qualifications do dietitians have?
The minimum requirement is a BSc Hons in dietetics, or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in dietetics. Dietetic courses are structured to include biochemistry, physiology, applied sciences and research methods which underpin nutrition and dietetics. These are complemented by social and behavioural sciences and the theories of communication to support the development of skills required for professional dietetic practice. All courses require a period of supervised practice including NHS settings, where an individual must demonstrate clinical and professional competence before being eligible to apply for registration. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is the professional body and Trade Union for dietitians and is also responsible for designing the curriculum for the profession. Courses must be approved by the HCPC and demonstrate that graduates meet the Standards of Proficiency for Dietetics.
Who are dietitians regulated and quality assured by?
The HCPC’s role is to protect the public. It is an independent, UK-wide health regulator. It currently sets standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 14 professions. The HCPC keeps a current register of health professionals who meet its standards and takes action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. Registered professionals must keep up-to-date through compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD). If an individual is not happy with treatment they are given, or if they are worried about the behaviour or health of a dietitian, they can approach the HCPC who will investigate and take action.
Do I have to let my GP know if I am seeing a dietitian?
You can self-refer to a dietitian or be referred by your GP, consultant or other health professional. The consultation is confidential but it is useful for your GP to be aware of any recommendations and I will seek your permission to share a copy of my report with them and any other health/education professionals as appropriate.
Can I come to see a dietitian using my health insurance?
Yes, most insurance companies will cover consultations with a dietitian, although be aware that they do not always cover the fees in full.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please give 48 hours notice if rearranging or cancelling an appointment. Cancellation without giving 48 hours notice may result in a cancellation fee being charged.
Do Osteopaths only treat back pain?
No, an Osteopath can treat any musculoskeletal pain, this includes Foot, Ankle, Knee, Hip, Hand, Elbow, Shoulder, Neck and some types of Headache.
Do I need to see my GP before visiting an Osteopath?
You do not need to see a doctor if you are paying for your own treatment. However, some insurance companies require you to see a doctor first. Osteopaths are primary healthcare professionals and as part of the consultation will make a comprehensive record of your medical history as part of your initial consultation, if the presenting complaint is beyond the scope of Osteopathy and requires medical attention your Osteopath will inform you what further investigations would be appropriate and may refer for medical follow-up.
What happens when you consult an Osteopath?
At the start of your initial consultation, your Osteopath will take a detailed medical history, this will include consideration of your daily activities including work and hobbies. This information will allow your Osteopath to gain a good understanding of the functional demands that are placed on your body by your lifestyle.
Your Osteopath will than move on to a thorough observation of standing and seated posture and consideration of how certain movements affect your presenting complaint. This phase of assessment may be somewhat provocative at times as your Osteopath seeks to find the causative factor for your pain, and subsequently inform decisions around treatment modes that may help relieve your symptoms. As part of an appropriate management plan, and only with the patient’s express consent, your Osteopath may consider it appropriate to refer to another specialist healthcare provider for guidance and support in your health care. This may include another member of the Healthcare on Demand team, or your G.P. following assessment, your Osteopath will explain to you what they think is causing your symptoms and will advise you of what they can do to help resolve them. With your consent they will continue from here with Osteopathic treatment which is likely to include elements of massage, joint articulation, joint manipulation and exercise recommendations. Treatment itself is rarely painful, however you may experience an increase in symptoms following the assessment due to the need for a small number of provocative tests to evaluate the cause of pain.
For ease of the postural assessment and treatment you may be asked to undress to a degree which may vary depending on the area of body receiving treatment. If you would prefer to remain fully clothed this is entirely your right, however it may limit the extent to which your Osteopath is able to evaluate your complaint effectively. You may like to consider wearing appropriate discrete underwear, or light weight minimal gym clothing such that you feel comfortable during the assessment and treatment. Towels will be used to protect your modesty throughout the treatment and only areas of the body required for assessment or treatment will be exposed.
Following your Osteopathic treatment your Osteopath may offer you advice and guidance to support your ongoing recovery. This may involve exploring tailored stretching, strengthening, or breathing exercises to help combat predisposing factors for your complaint, and aid in the prompt resolution of symptoms.
Is the title Osteopath protected by Law?
Yes all Osteopaths must be registerred with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and in order to do so must be fully insured. Your Osteopath should be able to show you proof of their registration and their registration number when asked, or you can check that they are registerred by searching the GOsC website here
Can I use my health insurance to see an Osteopath?
This depends on your policy and on the requirements they have of the Osteopath you intend to see. Some insurance companies have a list of a limited number of Osteopaths they will fund, Other insurance companies cover all Osteopathic consultations. Please check with your insurer before you book an appointment if you intend to use your insurance to fund treatment.
Who regulates Osteopathy in the UK?
‘Osteopath’ is a title protected by law and all Osteopaths must be registerred with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). GOsC are responsible for regulating the profession and dictate requirements around training and continued professional development. For more about GOsC see http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/
Is Osteopathy appropriate for Children?
Osteopathy, as a healthcare model is appropriate for all ages. All Osteopaths are able to treat children and babies, however some Osteopaths have a particular specialism in treating babies and young children so it is worth asking your Osteopath before hand if you are booking treatment for a child. Children and young people under 16 years of age must attend Osteopathic treatment with a parent or legal guardian.