What happens in a consultation?
l reserve sixty minutes for you alone. On a day and time convenient to you. We meet by video conferencing or on the phone. I will open myself up to your experience. Listen to you, be present with you, feel our emotions, develop an experience of you in my mind and respond to you honestly. My commitment to you, and my mistakes, mean that I become a part of the problem you bring. It becomes our problem. I then take responsibility for my part in the problem you bring. Changing what I do, in the consultation to help with the problem. Providing an example of a different response to the problem you bring. You then decide if that change would be helpful for you to make too. If not I change what I do in the consultation again. If this process works for you, we can have further consultations together, or we can stop.
How is group therapy different from 1:1 therapy?
Group therapy adds a different layer of experience to that available in 1:1 consultations. There are more minds, experience and responses immediately available to us. We are more open to a larger number of people. The cost is there is less privacy. Also systemic understandings of mental health problems suggest our issues are represented and resolved socially. My experience is that groups can be powerful additional way to help us change form 1:1 consultations because people can help each other.
Why do you provide free health resources and a blog?
In my career I have found scores of free health resources which have helped me, and other people, to feel healthier. I offer them as another way to receive help. My blog is a way to communicate my experience of problems you may have too. In the hope that my experience will be helpful to you. This tradition in clinical psychology is called 'giving psychology away.'
What have you learnt from your own therapy?
I have learnt that therapy is different to other relationships. The the focus is totally upon you and your problem. You don't need to feel guilty about talking about yourself or feel responsible for the therapist. I have learnt that therapy is not an easy process but can be a helpful one. I have learnt how am I part of my problems and what could I do about them. Therapy also helped me to experience overwhelming emotions without needing to act upon them. Finally how my life as a child, adolescent and an adult have contributed to how I am today. All these benefits combine to help me to be the adult I want to be.
What is a clinical psychologist?
Clinical psychologists are health 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 clients needs and psychological evidence. The psychological evidence includes cognitive, behavioural (CBT), systemic and psychodynamic explanations for the client's problems. In order to qualify, clinical psychologists need an undergraduate honours degree in psychology (or equivalent) and a doctorate in clinical psychology. They are registered by the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council), the British Psychological Society (BPS) and can use the protected title 'Clinical Psychologist.’
How do I know if I will benefit from clinical psychology?
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. But there are no guarantees of what you will experience.
How long does clinical psychology take & how much does it cost?
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 session that will transfer to your life outside session. Regular reviews are part of good practise. The first consultation with myself is free. In 2020, I then charge £40 for a sixty minute consultation. If you decide to commit to a number of sessions I can negotiate an individual price with you. For a fuller explanation of what I you pay for please see my specialism.
What about confidentiality?
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 occuring by that confidentiality being maintained. I am also 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.