What is a Clinical Psychologist?
A clinical psychologist completes an undergraduate degree in psychology or a conversion course after their first degree, gains relevant work experience, and then applies for doctoral-level university training with evaluated clinical placements and academic assignments to achieve the qualification of a Registered Practitioner. The training is extensive and enables clinical psychologists to assess and treat a range of difficulties, to work with individuals across the lifespan, and to draw on many different approaches.
Clinical psychology is an “applied science”, which means that the therapy provided is grounded in research and is supported by evidence from studies evaluating the efficacy of the approaches. Clinical Psychology is a legally regulated profession and psychologists are required to undertake Continued Professional Development and to receive regular supervision to practice.
I'm not sure if I need therapy, should I come?
Attending an initial appointment does not commit you to therapy in any way. It is often helpful to meet for one or two sessions before you decide if it is right for you, and whether you feel it will be of benefit.
I don't know what sort of therapy I need - how do I find out?
This will depend upon various factors; for example, how you view the world, how you think about things in your life, and how you understand your own emotions. It is important that we find a way of working that you feel comfortable with. This can be discussed and adapted as therapy progresses. Whilst I specialise in psychodynamic psychotherapy, which is interested in the less conscious aspects of our functioning and the ways in which our early experiences influence how we relate to ourselves and others, I draw on my knowledge and skills from other psychological therapies in an integrative way to ensure I tailor sessions to suit your needs. Your therapy can encompass different approaches if you feel this would be helpful.
How many sessions will I need?
The length of therapy varies considerably dependent upon individual circumstances. We can discuss in the initial consultation sessions whether it would be best to work on a single issue in a time-limited focused therapy, or whether you would prefer to explore wider, deeper issues on a longer-term basis. As part of our work together we will review how therapy is progressing from time to time. This may include exploring when you feel you have achieved your goals in therapy and when it feels right to end therapy; alternatively you may decide you’d like continue working together on an open-ended basis to explore deeper issues. Sessions are offered at least once weekly, however later sessions can be less frequent to monitor maintained changes.
Are sessions completely confidential?
Your right to confidentiality will be maintained and respected. The only exceptions to this are if I am seriously concerned about your immediate safety or that of others, or if I am required by law to disclose specific information. In such exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to seek help outside of therapy. Wherever possible I would endeavour to discuss this with you beforehand.
In line with the requirements of my professional body, I am required to engage in regular supervision during which no identifying details are disclosed. The limits to confidentiality will be discussed with you in full when we meet.
During the initial consultation sessions I will take notes and request personal details which are used solely for the delivery of a therapy service to you. Brief anonymised notes will be written subsequent to therapy sessions and stored securely in a locked desk drawer and password protected electronic device. Your information will not be discussed or released to a third party without your explicit, written consent, unless required by law.
What are your clinic times?
I currently work on Tuesday - Friday 9am-5pm, and occasionally have evening appointments available Monday-Friday. Please do contact me to discuss my current availability.
Is there a waiting area if I arrive early?
Unfortunately, I do not have a waiting area for you to use. I therefore politely request that you do not attend in advance of your session time as I will not be able to start the session early.
What if I need urgent help or support?
I am unable to provide you with emergency help. If you are concerned about your safety or have urgent concerns, you can contact your GP or the out-of-hours NHS service on 111. If you need between-session support I do not charge for reasonable email contact between regular therapy sessions but cannot guarantee an immediate response. Alternatively, you can contact a Freephone support line such as the Samaritans (116 123, 24 hours a day, throughout the year) or SaneLine (0300 304 7000, open 6pm-11pm daily).