Chartered Scientist

Chartered Scientist

Chartered Clinical Psychologist of the British Psychological Society

Chartered Clinical Psychologist of
the British Psychological Society.

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Registered Applied Psychology
Practice Supervisor by the
British Psychological Society.

Registered Clinical Psychologist by the Health Professionals Council

Registered Clinical Psychologist by
the Health Professionals Council.

BABCP - Accredited Practitioner

Accredited Cognitive Behaviour
Therapy Practitioner by the
British Association for Behavioural
and Cognitive Psychotherapies

Division of Clinical Psychology

Full Member of the Division of
Clinical Psychology of the
British Psychological Society

 

Seeing a Psychologist. What does it entail?

Before seeing a psychologist it may be helpful to discuss your difficulties with your GP, to address or rule out any underlying medical reasons for your problems. Some medical conditions present with psychological features e.g. thyroid abnormalities, and it is useful to address these causes before anything else.

An intial psychology appointment is an opportunity to talk through an overview of your difficulties and what you would like to achieve, with a view to deciding whether Clinical Psychology will best meet your needs. If Clinical Psychology is an appropriate avenue for you, you can contract for a number of sessions for further assessment of your difficulties and to perhaps undertake some therapy.

You will probably find that the experience of psychological treatment varies from person to person. Broadly speaking, the first few sessions are in depth assessment sessions. At these meetings your clinician will interview you and perhaps give you some questionnaires to complete, for you and your therapist to get to know each other and build up a detailed understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing, in the context of your journey through life.

After the assessment process, your clinician will discuss with you what we call a psychological formulation of your difficulties. This aims to identify the psychological processes important in the development and maintenance of your problems, and what would be the best ways to overcome your difficulties.

The assessment and formulation phases may thus lead directly to a treatment plan. This is negotiated with you and will give you a broad idea of what the therapy phase will involve. The rest of your appointments from then will be therapy sessions with an emphasis on helping you move forward at your pace, towards your goals.

The therapy is usually a relatively short term process. It generally spans between six and twenty five, sixty minute sessions on average. Sessions are normally held weekly, although you may choose to space sessions out as you reach the end of the process.

It is not uncommon for psychological therapy, at least at the beginning of the process, to stir up difficult memories and feelings, or for you to sometimes feel worse before seeing any improvements. It is helpful if you let your therapist know if this is the case, so that you can discuss together how best to manage this.

As you reach the end of your therapy, your therapist will work with you in planning how to maintain and progress the changes you have made and will signpost you to resources that can support you after you have been discharged.

All personal information is held in strict confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and British Psychological Society requirements respectively. With your consent, brief reports will be written informing your GP or psychiatrist of the work you are undertaking, and you may choose to be copied into all correspondence. Very rarely, confidentiality may need to be broken, if there is evidence of risk of harm to yourself or others. However, this will not generally be done without prior discussion with yourself, and will be done for the purpose of mobilising extra support for you.