Frequently Asked Questions
This a list of questions that you may have about my work. If your queries are not covered here, please feel free to contact me with your question.
Why should I see a private Psychologist?
Although all those registered with a GP are entitled to be referred for NHS psychological services when required, under some circumstances, people prefer to see a psychologist privately – for example, to avoid waiting, to fit appointments around their work times, for issues that they think would not be considered severe enough for NHS referral, to be able to choose the therapist they see, etc.
What is a ‘Chartered Clinical Psychologist’?
The title of 'Chartered Clinical Psychologist’ is protected by the British Psychological Society (BPS). To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist one needs to complete a three-year approved doctoral-level training course during which academic, research and clinical skills are acquired. Theoretical knowledge & therapeutic practice is developed in a number of approaches to therapy, with a range of client groups and with an extensive range of mental health disorders. Hence, after qualification, Clinical Psychologists may go on to work in various fields. The majority work in clinical practice either within the NHS or independently. The grounding of theoretical knowledge & practical experience in different therapeutic frameworks means that although they may choose to specialise in one particular therapy approach, they are knowledgeable in other areas & can recognise when other ways of working may be more suitable for certain clients. Also, practising Clinical Psychologists have systems in place, such has regular supervision & continuing professional development programmes (CPD) to ensure their practise is sustained to a doctoral standard.
What is the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) & why should a therapist be registered?
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the regulatory body which was set up to protect the public in their involvement with health and care professionals in numerous fields, including psychologists. They keep a register and monitor those on it to ensure they meet the necessary criteria and standards of training, professional skills, behaviour and health.
What are the differences between Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists & Psychotherapists?
These are overlapping professions which work in the field of mental health. They differ in their training, theoretical background, working environments & on an individual level, on their specific experience and interests. This is a useful link which describes the differences: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswe...
The main point of note is that a psychiatrist is a medically qualified doctor who can prescribed medication where required. Hence, clinical psychologists & other therapists would have to refer you to your GP if they thought you might require medication, who in turn might refer you to a psychiatrist if required.
What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act. CBT encourages you to talk about how you think about yourself, the world and other people and how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings. By doing this CBT can help you to change how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’), which can help you feel better about yourself & your life.
For more information: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/t...
What does it mean to be a ‘BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist’?
‘BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist’ is a title protected by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). This is a professional body which is the lead regulator of CBT practice. If they have had appropriate training, it is possible for Clinical Psychologists & other therapists and counsellors to offer CBT without being accredited by the BABCP. However, completing the approved training & fulfilling the strict criteria to achieve and maintain BABCP accreditation demonstrates that one’s practice is of the highest standard & continuously developing as knowledge in the field advances.
What are NICE Guidelines?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a special health authority provides guidance, advice, quality standards and information services for health, public health and social care, with the aim of improving health and social care in England.
NICE guidelines are evidence-based recommendations for health and care. In the area of mental health there are now a number of published guidelines such as that for depression, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (https://www.nice.org.uk/about/what-we-do/our-programmes/nice-guidance/nice-guidelines)
How much does a session cost?
Fees will depend on individual need. This will be discussed at initial telephone consultation.
How long are assessment & therapy sessions?
Assessment sessions usually last 60 minutes. In some cases a longer session or more than one assessment session may be required. Individual therapy sessions usually last 50 minutes on a weekly basis. In some cases sessions may last 90 minutes, and/or may be more or less frequent.
What is the cancellation policy?
If a session is cancelled with more than 24 hours’ notice, no fee will be incurred. Cancellation with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged at the rate of the full session fee.
For my part, I would only cancel a session if absolutely necessary (e.g. due to illness), in which case I will offer another as soon as possible, subject to consultation room availability at the clinic.
How many sessions am I likely to need?
I can give you an idea of likely number of sessions after an assessment. If there is a clearly diagnosed condition with no complications, the number of sessions recommended by NICE guidelines would be followed. It is difficult to know exactly how many sessions someone will need, although I would do regular reviews where we can discuss how the therapy is going, and if you wish to continue how many further sessions are required.