FAQs

What is the difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A Clinical Psychologist has completed an undergraduate degree in psychology followed by specialised postgraduate training in psychological theory and intervention across the lifespan. Clinical Psychologists have several years of experience and training before they qualify to practise, and they use a range of psychological models and approaches in order to help people to overcome difficulties and challenges. Clinical Psychologists also have advanced training in clinical research, and many work in academic roles as well as in clinical practice. Clinical Psychologists are scientist-practitioners whose work is informed by the best available research evidence. A Clinical Psychologist can not prescribe medication, and their work is not led by diagnostic categories.  A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has undertaken further specialist training and has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatric treatments will often include medication.  

Are the sessions confidential?

Yes. All your information is treated in the utmost confidence, and is stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. For your security, I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller. Ordinarily, I will only share information about your treatment with other healthcare professionals who are involved in supporting you (such as your GP, for example), and information is always shared with your prior consent.

Who else has to know that I am coming for therapy?

It is up to you who you choose to tell. Depending on why you are seeking therapy, it can be very helpful to let your close friends and family know so they can support you through the process, but this is entirely at your discretion. Because I am not a medical practitioner, I will ask you to give me your GP’s name and address, and I will write a brief letter to inform them that I have seen you and to describe the nature of my involvement in your care. Unless you request otherwise, I will routinely copy this letter to you so that you can see what I have written. I have a legal and professional obligation to disclose information to third parties if I am concerned that you or somebody else is at risk of harm. This is very unusual, and I would always discuss it with you in advance of sharing any of your personal information more widely.  

How many sessions will I need?

The answer to this question varies enormously between individuals. It depends on the nature of your difficulties or concerns, and what changes you are hoping to make. Many psychological issues are amenable to relatively brief interventions (somewhere between 8 and 16 sessions), while others require substantially more than this. We may agree on a fixed number of sessions at the beginning, or we might decide to negotiate a contract as we go along. We will make a joint decision about when is the most appropriate time to end therapy. Of course, you are free to choose to end the therapy before the agreed date should you wish to. In these circumstances, I would invite you to attend a final session to talk about ending, and to attend to the tasks of ending both the therapy and the relationship.

Will therapy help me?

This question is unfortunately impossible to answer with certainty. The type of therapy I offer has a robust evidence base and has been shown to be effective for a wide range of difficulties. The effectiveness of psychological therapy depends on a large number of factors, such as – for example – the nature of the problem, the quality of the client-therapist relationship, external events that may interfere with or enhance therapy, and how ready you are to change. My experience shows that the therapeutic relationship and your engagement with therapy are both crucial to a good outcome.

What happens if I start to struggle again after the end of therapy?

Many people find it helpful to come back for a small number of ‘top up’ sessions several months after therapy has ended. If you have completed treatment with me and think you would like some additional sessions, please get in touch and I will be happy to discuss the options with you.

What are the Terms & Conditions?

It is very important that you are fully informed about and comfortable with the practical framework for therapy, and a list of terms and conditions is available here (pdf - opens in new window). I will also email you a copy of this client agreement before your first appointment so you have a chance to read it through carefully in your own time. At the initial appointment, I will go through it with you to answer any questions you may have, and to make sure you understand it and are willing to agree to its terms. If you are happy to proceed, we will both sign it.

Fees

Clinical session fees vary between £100 and £180 depending on the type and the length of the session (e.g., initial assessment, routine therapy appointment, specialist consultation, individual therapy or couple/family session). 

Payment is due at the end of each session (on the same day) by bank transfer, cash or cheque.

Cancellation Policy: I work on the condition that sessions that are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice are paid for in full. Sessions cancelled 24-48 hours in advance are charged at 50% of the agreed session fee. There is no charge if a session is cancelled with more than 48 hours' notice. 

I am a registered provider with several of the major health insurance companies (AXA PPP, WPA, BUPA, Cigna, Vitality Pru). If you intend to use your health insurance to pay for your sessions, please be sure to tell me this at the time of booking. If I am not already registered with your insurer, it may be possible to organise this, so do please ask. 



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