1. Do I need to see a Clinical Psychologist?

No, sometimes getting the right self-help materials and using your own support system can be enough. Alternatively, you may choose to see a specific modality therapist, for example, a CBT therapist. Clinical Psychologists are trained in multiple theories and in working with people across the lifespan. You may wish to have an assessment completed and if someone else can meet your needs, I’ll help you make an appropriate choice about who is best suited to do so.

2. What type of difficulties do you work with?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know ‘what’s wrong’. Often, problems are interlinked or something changes in life that sparks off a series of difficulties. Not being able to clearly identify the difficulty is ok and part of my role to help you to make sense of it. If your difficulty is outside my expertise, I’ll do my best to direct you either at first contact or after assessment, to an appropriate person who has the skills to best meet your needs.

Areas that I work with include:

  • Addiction(s)
  • Adjustment to retirement
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety / panic attacks
  • Social Anxiety
  • Generalised Anxiety
  • Agoraphobia
  • Domestic Violence
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Childhood and Adult abuse
  • Depression
  • Entrenched Difficulties
  • Grief and loss
  • Low Self Confidence
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Marital Distress
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post Natal Depression
  • PTSD Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Relationship Issues
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Self-harm
  • Stress
  • Trauma (sexual, physical, emotional)

3. Is it confidential?

Yes, I will ask for your GP details in case of emergency but I will not routinely update persons involved in your care without your consent. This may vary however if you are attending at the request of court or social services. In these cases, I will discuss confidentiality with you at length. In general, my confidentiality policy is consistent with the legal and professional ethics requirements of other health care professionals. At the first session there will be opportunity to discuss confidentiality or email me if you have further queries. Please see further explanation of bounds of confidentiality which we would both sign upon starting therapy

  • Anything that you disclose will, remain confidential. It is important that during your discussions, you feel you can talk openly with your practitioner and that your right to privacy is protected. This generally means that your practitioner cannot discuss you or your case with any third parties without your consent.
  • Exceptions to confidentiality: There are some situations that may arise where confidentiality-codes can be broken. Although these situations are rare, you should be made aware of what they are:
  1. If you threaten to harm another person, your practitioner is required by law to protect anyone they feel may be in danger. This could include making contact with the person or people who have been threatened and, in some cases, notifying the police.
  1. Likewise, if you threaten to cause severe harm to yourself, and your practitioner believes your threat to be serious, then he/she is ethically required to protect you in any way they see fit. In situations such as these, their intervention may involve talking to you about going to/calling your GP. I may need to involve a crisis team or, in some cases, the police.
  1. If your practitioner suspects that any child, elderly person, or incompetent person is at risk from abuse or neglect, the law requires me to report this to the appropriate body. Laws such as these are in force to protect any dependable persons from being physically hurt.
    1. Records: It is useful that your practitioner take notes during your sessions. These tend to be brief and include information such as the dates you met, the topics covered and any problems or goals you have. These are really just to document your meetings and are subsequently kept locked in a filing cabinet and protected under the strictest of privacy rules an in accordance with data protection and freedom of information rules. Records of charges, payments, diagnoses, and any other sensitive information are kept on your practitioner’s computer and is password protected.
    2. I am fully insured and accredited. I regularly attend a Clinical Supervisor to ensure best practice is maintained. If I do need to talk with my clinical supervisor, this will be done with your best interests in mind. Your identity will always be kept confidential. Furthermore, the content of what we discuss will also be treated with the same level of confidentiality and the same exceptions to confidentiality will apply to other professionals as well

4. How long does each session take?

Sessions are generally 50-60 minutes. Exceptions to this would generally be if further time is required to administer a psychometric test, for example an intelligence test. In these cases, the length of appointment would be pre-arranged.

5. How much do you charge?

Charges vary depending on the intervention required. Reading of legal reports, correspondence and report writing is charged at a similar rate to therapy and assessments. Tailored training rates are competitive. Please email me for further clarification and quotes on an individual basis.

6. What is therapy like?

Therapy is an effort for awareness and change. Your therapist will assist but you do need to be at a stage where you are ‘ready’ to engage to get the most out of it. Thinking about issues, processing and perhaps doing tasks between sessions will help your journey forward. In your first session, your therapist will spend some time getting to know you and the issues that brought you into treatment. He or she may use a formal, structured interview, questionnaires or it may just feel like a more free-flowing conversation. The therapist will ask questions about your presenting concerns, as well as your history and background. Most likely, you’ll find yourself talking about your current symptoms or struggles, as well saying a bit about your relationships, your interests, your strengths, and your goals. Most importantly, in that first session, you will begin making a connection with your therapist. You should feel safe, accepted, respected, and relatively comfortable. Not all therapists or treatment approaches are right for every person, so use your first session to assess whether or not the therapist you chose feels like a good match for your personality.

7. How long do people stay in therapy/how long will it take?

An assessment and formulation may take 1-3 sessions depending on complexity and further assessment may be required in certain circumstances (eg. memory assessment). Depending on the presenting difficulties, chronicity, therapy type and client engagement, therapy length can differ considerably. For ‘simple’ anxiety and first episode depression 5- 10 sessions can give you the skills to continue your recovery on your own. More complex and entrenched difficulties can take 30+ sessions. The majority of people with moderate difficulties will experience benefit with 15-20 sessions. At the assessment and treatment goal planning stage, this will be discussed so you can make an informed choice. People recover at differing rates so these are broad guidelines. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence will provide more evidence based information on this.

8. Can I stop when I want?

You may decide the timing is not right or the ‘fit’ between therapist and yourself is uncomfortable. Sometimes this reflects underlying issues so I’d encourage you to talk about these experiences but ultimately, it is your decision and increasing awareness of this is still progress. Sometimes very practical things happen in life and it’s better to ‘pause’ therapy and wait until you have more space for it. Either way, therapy cannot be ‘done to’ you and it’s important you consent to being fully engaged with it for you to benefit.

9. How quickly can I be seen?

I endeavor to see people as soon after initial contact as possible, usually within 2-4 weeks. However, I have limited capacity and am careful not to take on too much to ensure current work with clients does not suffer. Sometimes an assessment can be enough to recommend some self-help resources, statutory, community or voluntary resources that may be helpful. For some individuals, completing this work before starting individual therapy can work well. If I do not have the capacity or expertise to see you I will try to direct you to someone who can.

10. What if I have further questions?

The internet can be a fantastic source of information so your query may be answered on another site. It can be difficult to make judgement on what is accurate and helpful so if there is anything you cannot find an answer to, drop me an email and I’ll do my best to provide a timely and hopefully a helpful response!