Frequently asked questions
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
Clinical psychologists are skilled in working with a range
of people, including children and their families, adults and people with learning difficulties. Clinical psychologists are trained in the use of a range of psychological models and techniques that have strong evidence for their effectiveness.
Clinical Psychologists are the only professionals trained in the use and interpretation of standardised cognitive and neuropsychological assessments including those used for the assessment of learning disabilities. Clinical psychologists are trained by the NHS, just like doctors and nurses.
What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A Psychiatrist is a medically qualified doctor with an additional qualification in Psychiatry. Their training is focused on mental illness. Clinical Psychologists have a degree in Psychology, followed by a 3-year doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Their training focuses on understanding normal development, as well as helping families deal and cope with challenging circumstances. Clinical Psychologists do not prescribe medication.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Therapist/Counsellor?
Clinical psychologists have extensive training in assessing a range of psychological difficulties and are trained in providing more than one type of therapy. Therapists such as Psychotherapists and counsellors usually specialise in providing one particular type of therapy.
The other main difference is that ‘clinical psychologist’ is a protected professional title. Therapists, psychotherapists and counsellors are not yet legally regulated professions; anyone can use these titles without formal qualifications.
If you want to check whether a psychologist is legally registered you can enter their details on the website of the Health & Care Professions Council: www.hpc-uk.org
What will happen at a first appointment?
At an initial consultation I will offer you the opportunity to get to know me and how I work and give you the chance to think about whether working together may be useful. At this appointment I will aim to find out a little about you, including getting to know you and your family, whether you are employed or in education, what your interests are, etc. I will also ask about the difficulties that have brought you to meet with me and I will want to hear about the strengths, qualities and skills that you possess, which may help us to solve the problem you are experiencing.
At the end of this first appointment we will make a plan about the next steps. We may decide to meet for further appointments or it could be that we will not need to meet again.
Do you see children separately from their parents?
This would always be done in full discussion with parents. Depending on the age and confidence of the child, it can sometimes be helpful to see children on their own. Older children and teenagers will be offered the chance to be seen on their own and with young people’s permission, parents will be invited to get feedback at the end of each session.
How long will the sessions last and how frequent are they?
How often we meet varies with each person, but it can be from as little as 1-3 sessions, to over 10. First appointments last for an hour and each follow-up appointment is 50 minutes. Some people attend appointments on a weekly basis while others prefer to attend fortnightly appointments.
It is rare to be able to offer a ‘quick fix’ to complex or long- standing difficulties, but together we can spend time working out the best way forward for your circumstances.
Are the contents of the sessions confidential?
I abide by the HCPC and BPS codes of practice and I am committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of information that you give me about you following GDPR guidelines.
Our conversations and any notes I write are confidential, although it may sometimes be useful to share some information with your GP and/or in some circumstances you may want me to write a formal report. We will always discuss what information you are happy for me to hold and share about you.
The exception is if I am required to disclose information by a court, or if to do so would protect you or your child from significant harm (mental or physical). In this instance it is my duty of care to contact other professionals to ensure your safety or the safety of others. I will always consult with you before sharing anything about you.
Where are appointments held?
I am based in London and have clinic rooms in East London and in Mayfair.
I also offer online sessions for those who are not based in London. A mix of face-to-face and online sessions is also possible for those who would find this most useful. This can be especially useful when parents wish to have sessions separate to their children and for practical reasons these need to happen during evenings or antisocial hours.
In some circumstances I may be able to carry out sessions in your home or at your child's school. This will be negotiated on a case by case basis.