Frequently Asked Questions
What is Clinical Psychology / who are Clinical Psychologists?
Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and clinical knowledge, that aims to understand, prevent, and relieve psychologically based distress and to promote well-being and personal development. The title of Clinical Psychologist is protected in the UK. They may work with adults, children, adolescents, families, couples, groups or organisations. Clinical Psychologists may also choose to specialise in a particular field. All Clinical Psychologists will have completed a undergraduate and doctorate degree, with most having several years experience working in the field. Many Psychologists also continue with further post-graduate training in specialist interest areas.
The Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) currently regulates 16 health and care professions in the UK, including Clinical Psychologists. Each of the professions regulated by HCPC has at least one professional body: for Clinical Psychologists this is the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Psychologists may also apply for Chartered status, which reflects the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise.
What is the difference between a Psychiatrist, Psychologist and Psychotherapist?
The difference between the disciplines is their background and training and the different approaches that they use. Psychotherapists use a number of talking therapies to assist in their work as do Psychologists. Though Psychologists have a post-graduate doctorate degree in Psychology and can often use psychometric assessments to support their approach. Psychiatrists are fully trained medical doctors who have specialised in mental health and are able to prescribe medication.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
If you are using private medical insurance to help pay for your sessions, you may need a GP referral letter to be sure that your bills are covered. Otherwise, you do not need a GP referral to access our services. If you have a pre-existing condition then I am often keen to liaise with your previous treatment providers so that I can make sure that we know what has already been tried and what has worked, as well as details of any on-going prescriptions or treatments. I never automatically pass any information to your GP without your permission.
What is an evidenced-based treatment?
Evidence-based treatment is the integration of clinical expertise/ expert opinion, best research evidence and client/ caregiver values to provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs and choices of the individuals we serve. Ultimately the goal of evidence-based practice is providing optimal clinical service to clients on an individual basis.
How much does a therapy session cost?
Individual 50-minute therapy sessions are charged at £110 per session. Payment can be made before the session by BACS transfer or by cash in the session. Several clients choose to self-fund their sessions, or use their private healthcare insurance to cover all or part of the cost. Please see my Fees page for more information.
Where will my sessions be based?
I offer sessions from my quite and comfortable consulting room at Carlton Psychology in central Farnham. For directions please see my contact page. I can also offer telephone and online sessions. If a home visit or school observation is required this can be arranged. The cost of these visits can be discussed on a case by case basis.
How will I know you are the right Psychologist for me?
I can offer you a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We can briefly discuss your current concerns, to determine whether I may be the right person to support you or your child. Please contact me to arrange.
What happens at the initial assessment appointment?
During the first appointment I will work with you to develop a better understanding of the difficulties you or your child have been experiencing. This will include thinking about ‘why me,’ ‘why now,’ why still’ and also ‘what is currently going well in your life.’ Finding answers to these questions can be both therapeutic and enables a trusting relationship to develop in order to work together to find answers to these common but often puzzling questions. This will lead to a shared understanding about your difficulties and to decide together what the best therapeutic approach might be. You may set goals at the end of this session, or goals may develop as the work continues in future sessions, either way you and I would work together, at a pace that suits you.
How often are sessions held?
Sessions are typically held on a weekly basis and are 50 minutes in length. Some clients ask to attend fortnightly but this often leads to a disruption in the momentum of the therapy and can result in the work taking longer and overall requiring a greater number of sessions. However, in some circumstances this may be able to be arranged, and this can be discussed in your initial assessment session. I understand the demands many individuals have on their time and therefore I can offer telephone and online sessions if required.
How many sessions will I need?
I offer a wide number of services offering clinical assessments, short-term therapy through to long-term treatment. The number of sessions depends on your personal situation and presenting issues. It is usual to start off with 6-8 sessions, which can then be reviewed at that time. All therapy approaches offered are evidence-based and effective.
As much as possible I will endeavour to schedule a regular, recurrent session for you or your child, for example on the same day and time each week. In addition, some clients find it helpful to schedule periodic “booster” / follow-up sessions after their treatment is complete.
What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?
I operate a 48-hour notice period if you need to cancel a session. Any sessions cancelled with less than 48-hour notice will be charged in full. If you are unable to get to your appointment, I can offer you an online session at the same time.
If you have paid for your session, and need to cancel with more than 48-hours notice, I will issue you with a full refund.
Are sessions confidential?
All of the conversations and sessions that you have with me are kept strictly confidential. The exceptions to this are if you pose a risk or danger to yourself or to others, or if I become concerned you may be at risk of harm from others. If this was to occur, I would speak to you first and together come up with a plan as to who would ‘need to know’ and how we would best inform them. This would not be done behind your back but always with your knowledge.
Do you offer urgent appointments?
I do not offer an emergency service. If you require help urgently please request an emergency appointment with your GP or go to your local A&E department.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me so that I can help.