What is a Clinical Psychologist?

A Clinical Psychologist is a highly skilled health professional who specialises in understanding and treating mental health and psychological problems.  A Clinical Psychologist has a degree in psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology.  Clinical Psychologists in training are required to complete placements in a wide variety of health care services.  Many have worked for several years in health services as assistant psychologists prior to commencement of their doctorate training.  It takes on average seven years of clinical training, academic study and professional research to become a Clinical Psychologist.  Clinical Psychologist is a protected title which means that it can only be used by people who have completed an accredited doctorate in clinical psychology and have met all of the requirements for registration with the HCPC.                           

What are the benefits of seeing a private Clinical Psychologist?   

You can contact the service directly and be seen without delay.  You do not need a referral from your GP or any other health professional.  You will avoid lengthy NHS waiting lists.  You will receive unrushed, personalised care tailored to your specific needs.

I’m at crisis point.  Can you help?

I am unable to provide a 24/7 service and so if you are in crisis other services are better placed to help you.  If you feel you cannot keep yourself safe you should dial 999 or attend your local A&E department.  You can also attend the Crisis Assessment Suite at Roseberry Park Hospital without an appointment. If you are not in any immediate danger but do require urgent help you should contact your GP during opening hours and the out of hours GP service at other times.

Does my GP have to know?

Your GP does not have to know that you are accessing my service.  However, if you or someone else is at serious risk of harm I have a duty of care to act upon this.  In these circumstances your GP is the usual point of contact.  I will discuss any such disclosures with you first wherever possible.

Why are you more expensive than some other counsellors I have seen?

My fees reflect my Doctorate level training in understanding and treating mental health and psychological problems.  This means that I am more skilled at working with complex problems. As I am legally governed by the HCPC I must complete regular training throughout my working life.  I must also access supervision from another psychologist to ensure that my practice remains safe.  I will also spend some time in between your sessions working on your case.

How many sessions will I need?

We will agree a number of sessions following your initial assessment session.  This can be reviewed as we progress through the sessions.  As a very rough guide many people will need around 12 to 16 sessions.  People with more complex and severe difficulties are likely to require more sessions.  We can discuss what we may be able to achieve in the number of sessions that we agree to have.

Can you prescribe medication?

I am not a medical doctor and do not prescribe medication.  If you have queries about medication you can talk to your GP about this.

Will it work?

I cannot promise a cure but am confident in the depth of my training, experience and knowledge.  I use approaches which research shows to be effective.  The majority of people will experience some alleviation of their difficulties.  Many can achieve significant change.

How do I arrange an appointment?

You can phone the company number shown at the bottom of the page or complete the contact form to make an enquiry or to arrange a free 15 minute telephone consultation to have a brief discussion with me about your difficulties.  Following this we can arrange an appointment for you to see me for an assessment.

Will I have to talk about my childhood?

Although we may be working on difficulties in the here and now it may be useful for us to consider how this may link to your childhood.  Many psychological difficulties can be related to events in our childhoods, although this is not always the case.  Due to this I may ask you some questions about what your childhood was like.  However, for some people there are particular areas that you may not want to discuss.  If this is the case for you then I will respect this.

Can you help with historical issues?

I can help with issues from your past (including your childhood) as well as difficulties that you are struggling with in the here and now.

Can I bring someone with me?

Psychological therapy is best carried out on a one to one basis in order to give you the space to talk openly about your difficulties.  However, if you wish to bring a friend or relative to the initial assessment session to help you feel more comfortable then you can do so.

What happens if I struggle to talk about things?

I understand that some things are really hard to talk about.  There may be things that you have never talked about before.  I believe that a person should be in full control of their own journey through therapy.  Some people may need more time than others to talk.  I am experienced in adapting my approach to create a safe space to discuss difficult issues.  However, there may be some areas that you do not want to discuss at all.  This is absolutely fine. 

What if you think you can’t help me?

If I don’t think your difficulties are something I can help with I will let you know as soon as this becomes apparent.  I may be able to recommend an alternative professional who may be able to help you.

What will happen in the first session?

I will complete an assessment of your difficulties.  This will involve me asking you some questions about your worries and concerns, how long they have been a problem, how things were before your difficulties began, how you have tried to cope and what your life has been like.  Assessments can be completed over 1-3 sessions, although 1-2 assessment sessions are usually enough.

Is there anybody you would not work with?

As I am a sole practitioner I do not work with anybody who presents a high level of risk towards self or others.  Such individuals are best supported within an NHS service where they can gain access to support from a full multi-disciplinary team.

What if I have to cancel an appointment?

Appointments cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice will be charged at half the hourly rate of £45.  All appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged at the full hourly rate.

Will my information be shared with anyone?

Your information is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.  However, if it becomes apparent that either you or someone else is at risk of harm then I am duty bound to share this information.  Your GP would often be my first point of contact in these circumstances.  I may discuss your case in clinical supervision in order to gain the perspective of another qualified psychologist about your treatment.  If I do discuss your case in supervision your identity will remain anonymous to my supervisor.  My supervisor is also regulated by the HCPC and is therefore required to adhere to the same strict code of professional practice.

What happens if I can’t pay?

All sessions are payable in advance or at the start of the session.  Unfortunately, if you are unable to pay at that time I will not be able to provide you with the session.