FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLINICAL/COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST AND OTHER THERAPISTS?
Clinical/Counselling Psychologists have Doctoral level training in more than one therapy across the age range in a number of core areas; adult, child and adolescent, learning disabilities, older adults and neuropsychological testing. Clinical Psychologists are recognised as having the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise by The British Psychological Society.
It takes on average 7 to 10 years to train as a Clinical/Counselling Psychologist which includes academic study, research training, clinical training and supervised practice.
Clinical/Counselling psychologists are required by law to register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to practice and must adhere to high levels of professional practice standards and conduct. The titles ‘Psychologist’, ‘Counsellor’, ‘Therapist’ and ‘Psychotherapist’ are not protected by law, therefore anyone can use them regardless of their training or experience.
HOW DO I KNOW YOU ARE QUALIFIED?
We are registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and with the Health & Care Professions Council (HPCP).
We have Chartered Psychologist status with the BPS which reflects the highest level of psychological skill and expertise. You can find out more about the BPS and check the register here.
Clinical/Counselling Psychologists in the UK are required by law to be registered with the HCPC in order to practice (statutory regulation). They must adhere to high levels of professional standards and conduct. You can find out about these and check the practitioner register here.
It is important to remember that some titles are not protected by law, which means anyone can use them, regardless of their level of training, expertise or experience.
HOW LONG DOES EACH THERAPY SESSION TAKE?
Each session lasts 50 minutes unless it it for a specific intervention such as EMDR which may take longer.
DO I NEED TO SEE A CLINICAL/COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST?
If your difficulty is affecting you to the degree that you are considering therapy, then therapy is likely to be helpful. There is no cut off for how unwell someone needs to feel and everyone’s concerns are valid and real to them.
Psychologists are highly trained professionals who have a unique set of insight and skills. If you chose to see a Clinical/Counselling Psychologist, you are choosing a psychologist with the highest level of training and expertise.
HOW MANY APPOINTMENTS WILL I HAVE?
The number of appointments offered is will depend on what we feel is likely to be the minimum amount needed to address your identified area of focus, and could be anywhere between 1 and 24 or more if you felt this could be helpful.
Some treatments (such as IPT) work to a set number of sessions. Whist we would encourage you to commit to these, there is no obligation to do so and no penalty if you change your mind. You can chose to book at number or session in advance or request them one at a time when suits you.
DO I HAVE TO TELL MY GP?
No, you do not have to inform your GP, or anyone, that you are attending appointments.
However, if you told us something that made me think that you, or someone else, is at risk of harm it is likely we would need to pass on that information and this may be your GP.
If you would like your GP to be informed of your progress this can be arranged with your written consent. We can also provide an assessment service and provide a letter of treatment recommendations for your GP if you are having difficulty accessing, or are awaiting, NHS input.
IS THERAPY CONFIDENTIAL?
Everything you discuss during therapy is confidential, although there are some exceptions to this. We discuss cases in supervision to ensure that we are working safely and effectively. If we felt that you, or someone else, was at risk then we would have to pass this information on. Confidentiality is fully covered in the terms and conditions discussed at any first appointment.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL AN APPOINTMENT?
If you are unable to attend your appointment please let us know as soon as possible. 48 hours notice is required for cancellation or rescheduling of your appointment. Where there is less notice, or you fail to attend your appointment, the fee for that session will be incurred.
HOW DO YOU STORE MY INFOMATION?
Information is stored in keeping with GDPR regulations. We use cloud-based, fully encrypted software to securely store information. Any paper forms you fill out or notes taken during the sessions are scanned, attached to your records and then destroyed. There is no client information stored on the premises. Full terms & conditions are available on request and will be discussed during an initial appointment.
CAN THERAPY MAKE ME FEEL WORSE?
If you are attending therapy it is likely that there is something upsetting or emotionally challenging that is holding you back. Facing up to this might feel uncomfortable to scary to begin with. Processing difficult feelings can lead to short term distress, but in the longer term will allow you to work through these feelings and move on with your life.