FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have any questions just contact me and I'll be happy to answer them. Here are my answers to commonly asked questions. Just click on the question you would like my answer to.
What are your fees?
The first consultation is free. In 2024 I charge private individuals £70 for a stand alone sixty minute consultation. Organisations are charged according to their schedule of fees. Payment is to be made by bank transfer or PayPal. Payment is requested on the day of the session. For an full explanation of what I get paid for please see the about page on this website.
What happens in a typical consultation?
e.g. Can you read my mind?
I cannot read your mind. Instead, in a typical consultation, I focus on you and the problems that you bring. I open myself to your experience. I listen, am present, experience your emotions and respond honestly. I then help, by changing what I do. Providing a different human response to the problems you bring. You can then decide if that change would be beneficial for you to make too and we can practise it together. If not, I will keep changing what I do until we find a change which works for you. I have created a whiteboard video to also graphically illustrate this process.
Can I choose what happens in my consultation?
Yes. Your goals, the amount of structure, theory, silence and emotion in consultations, the psychological model(s) used and the homework provided. In this way we can speed the process of making your consultations most useful to you. Moreover my experience, and clinical research, also suggest that consultations are most effective when the customer can exercise choice.
What is a clinical psychologist?
Clinical psychologists' are health care professionals. They specialise in the assessment and treatment of psychological problems. Clinical psychologists create helpful professional relationships for their clients. These helpful relationships are guided by the customers wishes and psychological evidence. The psychological evidence includes cognitive, behavioural (CBT), systemic and psycho dynamic explanations for the customer's problems. In order to qualify, clinical psychologists need an undergraduate honours degree in psychology (or equivalent) and then complete a doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsych). They are registered by the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council), the British Psychological Society (BPS) and can use the protected title 'Clinical Psychologist.’
Are clinical psychologists doctors?
Yes and No. Most clinical psychologists now hold a doctorate in clinical psychology. This allows them to use the title Dr. However they are not medically trained doctors.
Can clinical psychologists diagnose and do they have to?
Yes. Clinical psychologists, in the UK, can diagnose mental health conditions. This includes mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) anxiety disorders (social anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, health anxiety & PTSD) psychosis, ADHD, personality disorders and alcohol and drug problems. However clinical psychologists do not have to diagnose. Diagnosis should only happen with the consent of the patient.
Can clinical psychologists prescribe medication or section people?
No. In the UK clinical psychologists are not qualified to prescribe any form of psychiatric (or other) medication. In the UK, this role is carried out by GP's and psychiatrists. Sectioning means to commit a person compulsory to a psychiatric hospital in accordance with a section of a mental health act. This can be done by psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses or police officers. A small number of clinical psychologists (not me) are approved clinicians who can also detain (as part of a team of professionals.)
Can clinical psychology help? depression? anxiety? PTSD? psychosis? ADHD?
Yes. There is a wealth of research to back the effectiveness of psychological therapy in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, psychosis, ADHD and many other problems ( see https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance .) But there are no guarantees of what you will experience. Clinical psychology has risks and benefits. It can involve discussing unpleasant aspects of your life. You may experience temporary feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, clinical psychology can have benefits for people. Better relationships, solutions to specific problems and reductions in feelings of distress. In sum you can purchase the conditions to make a recovery from your problems more likely but not the recovery itself.
What is psychology? What is psychotherapy? What is psychological therapy?
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. Psychology considers conscious and unconscious phenomena. Plus mental processes such as thoughts, feelings, and motives. As such psychology is an academic discipline of both the natural and social sciences. Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental conditions by verbal communication and interaction. Similarly psychological therapy is a relationship different to other relationships. The focus is upon you and your problem. You don't need to feel guilty about talking about yourself or feel responsible for the therapist. It involves talking, feeling and thinking. In particular in new ways. Getting used to talking about difficult emotional things. To make them less difficult and emotional.
Can psychological therapy make you worse?
There is a risk in psychological therapy. Adopting familiar roles can mean a person remains stuck in the distressing patterns of relating that may have brought them to therapy in the first place. It is the job of the therapist to be alive to these dangers. Making conscious shifts in practise to become aware of, and then step back from, any unhelpful roles. I have explored this danger, and its remedies, in my blog come unstuck in therapy. You can also read more about the research on possible negative effects of psychological therapy here : Parry, G., Crawford, M., & Duggan, C. (2016). Iatrogenic harm from psychological therapies – time to move on. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(3), 210-212.
How long does clinical psychology take?
Clinical psychology is a temporary intervention. The total number of consultations depends on a number of factors. The nature of the problem you bring, the costs and benefits of clinical psychology for you and other factors in your life. I aim to develop good habits in consultations that will transfer to your life outside session. Regular reviews are part of good practise. Ordinarily, you will decide when the intervention starts and stops.
What about confidentiality & ethics?
e.g. Do you have to tell my GP about our work together? How will my data be handled? What ethical relationships do you promote?
I work within the codes of ethics of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS.) These include a duty of confidentiality, unless there is a significant risk of harm occurring by that confidentiality being maintained. This includes communication with other healthcare professionals like your GP. Regarding data I am compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.) As such I am a registered data controller with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO.) If you have concerns about my practise you can raise them directly with myself or with any of these regulatory bodies. I have also written an article about the particular ethics of the co-productive relationships I promote.
Do you receive regular clinical supervision?
Yes. I receive monthly clinical supervision from a HCPC registered clinical psychologist. This best practice helps me work safely and effectively. In my supervision I discuss the dilemmas, and experiences, of working with my customers. I have received this kind of clinical supervision, from a clinical psychologist, for seventeen years.
What if I need to cancel or rearrange a session?
Sessions can be cancelled or/rearranged up to 48 hours before the agreed time. After this sessions are charge in full. Please contact me at the earliest opportunity so we can find days and times that work for you.
Can I receive consultations through my private health insurance?
Yes. I am recognised provider of medical treatment with the following healthcare insurers. Aetna Global Benefit (SP093319); Aviva (600123739); AXA PPP healthcare (AP04471); Nuffield Health (fk20nzcontact) & Vitality Health Insurance (SP093319.)
Why do you offer video conferencing or outdoor therapy?
Working these ways means I can charge less and be more flexible about the days/times I offer. I have received my clinical supervision by video conferencing, for the past four years, and have found it equally effective as face to face supervision. Most importantly I have been pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness, for customers, of using video conferencing exclusively since April 2020. This experience is also backed by the research literature: 'Videoconferencing has an established evidence base in the delivery of cognitive behavioural therapies for post‐traumatic stress disorder and depression, with prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, and behavioural activation non‐inferior to in‐person delivery' (Thomas et al, (2021.)) Outdoor therapy also has a strong evidence basis to support its use. Most recently : Cooley, S., Taylor, E., Ceslikauskaite, K., & Roberston, N., (2023). Outdoor therapy: Maverick or mainstream? A survey of clinical psychologists, Clinical Psychology Forum, no 370
What have you learnt from your own therapy?
I have learnt how I am part of my problems and what can I do about them. To allow myself to be known, to trust other people and to attach to them. Therapy also helped me to experience more powerful, diverse and complex emotions. Containing the experience so I don't have to act upon them and can experience other peoples emotions at the same time. Instead to name them, their strength, understand how they come about and how they might become useful in my life. Finally how my life as a child, adolescent, and as an adult, have contributed to the person I am today. All these lessons, from therapy, help me to be the adult I want to be.
Where can I leave a review of my experience with you?
You are not for me. Do you recommend any other professionals?
Yes, there are a small number of professionals whose work I know well, and so feel comfortable recommending them. Two such professionals are, Dr Roberta Babb who is a clinical psychologist and Mr John McNaughton who is a registered counsellor.
What about privacy?
I use the information I collect in accordance with all UK laws concerning the protection of personal data, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the GDPR 2016. Andrew Perry is the data controller. If another party has access to your data I will tell you if they are acting as a data controller or a data processor, who they are, what they are doing with your data and why I need to provide them with the information. If your questions are not fully answered please contact myself. If you are not satisfied you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) https://ico.org.uk.
For individual clients I will routinely ask for your, name and address (postal and email), date of birth, GP details and emergency contact details. During the course of initial contact and then subsequent therapy, I will inevitably also collect other personal data relevant to assessing and treating your presenting psychological difficulties. Collecting this data helps me: Contact you to set up assessment and therapy. Conduct a psychological assessment. Devise and implement an effective treatment plan (therapy). Communicate (when necessary and agreed with you) with relevant third parties to support your treatment and manage any risks which may arise.
Any personal information we hold about you is stored and processed in line with The Data Protection Act 1998 (in force on the date this statement became operational) and the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) adopted on 27th April 2016 and enforceable from 25th May 2018.
Your data will be kept for the lifetime of your status as a client. When you cease to be a client, your data will kept for a minimum period of seven years, and a maximum period of ten years in accordance with General Medical Council guidelines. If you are a child your data will be retained until 7 years after your 18th birthday. If you are an adopted child or adult your data will be retained for 100 years in line with Ofsted recommendations.
You have the right to ask for your data to be deleted but I do not to have comply with this request if there is a legitimate reason for continuing to retain this data (for example possible future legal requests). I will keep electronic invoices for seven years as this is the required length to comply with the HMRC requirements. After seven years I delete the invoices.
What about data security?
All client files and therapy notes are kept secure in a locked filing cabinet.
Expired paper records, and IT assets, will be destroyed, when no longer needed, by a certified disposal service meeting British Standard EN 15713.
Access to your personal information is restricted on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only i.e. for those concerned directly with your care and with your account.
I use personal computers that computers are password protected and the hard drives are encrypted. Passwords are not shared. In the unlikely event of a data protection breach we will notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) so that their procedures can be followed. I will also notify all individuals whose data may have been accessed to alert them to the breach and any potential risks.
Data accuracy: Should, during the course of your contact with us, any personal data be subject to change e.g. if you move address, change GPs, change your name etc. I would be grateful if you could notify me at the earliest opportunity so I can ensure our records are up to date. Please contact myself, if you wish to update the accuracy of the personal data we hold about you. I may require additional verification that you are who you say you are to process this request. If you wish to have your information corrected, you must provide me with the correct data and after I have corrected the data in our systems I will send you a copy of the updated information. All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by the data controller are entitled to:
Ask what information I holds about them and why.
Ask how to gain access to it.
Be informed how to keep it up to date.
Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.
If you would like to request a copy of the data I hold about you, this is called a subject access request. Subject access requests should be made in writing or email. I will aim to provide the relevant data within 30 days. I will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information. We may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by Law. In practice, this means that we may not provide information if I consider that providing the information will violate your vital interests. In certain circumstances the Data Protection Act allows myself to disclose data (including sensitive data) without the data subject’s consent. These are:
Carrying out a legal duty
Protecting vital interests of a Data Subject or other person.
If the data subject has already made the information public.
Conducting any legal proceedings, obtaining legal advice or defending any legal rights.
Monitoring for equal opportunities purposes – i.e. race, disability or religion.
Providing a confidential service where the data subject’s consent cannot be obtained or where it is reasonable to proceed without consent: e.g. where we would wish to avoid forcing stressed or ill data subjects to provide consent signatures.
Under these circumstances, I will disclose relevant data. However, I will take all reasonable steps to notify the individual whose data is being disclosed about the disclosure. I will also ensure that any such data request is legitimate, reasonable and necessary.
Will receiving private help affect my eligibility for NHS treatment?
No. 'NHS organisations should not withdraw NHS care simply because a patient chooses to buy additional private care. The NHS should continue to provide free of charge all care that the patient would have been entitled to had he or she not chosen to have additional private care' (Guidance on NHS patients who wish to pay for additional private care - GOV.UK https://lnkd.in/e3EUwUXG ; Scottish guidance : CMO(2009)3 - Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates https://lnkd.in/epnRpyn2 .)