Why should you see a Clinical Psychologist?

The choice you make about the therapist you see and the therapeutic approach they use is important.   You can read about the differences between therapy approaches here.                            

 

Many people benefit from seeing a Clinical Psychologist to help them with difficult problems such as depression, fears and phobias, trauma, low self-esteem and social anxiety, or with life events such as job losses, bereavement, separations, health problems, or stress.  There may be childhood issues or ongoing difficulties with family.  These and other problems can cause unhappiness, frustration and distress which can affect relationships, health, work and social activities.

Clinical psychologists are specialised in understanding the factors underlying these problems such as childhood events, environmental situations, personality or unfortunate life events.  From their expertise of a range of psychological approaches, they can put together a plan of therapy that is best suited to the individual to help them with their problems.

Benefits of Private Therapy

Seeing a clinical psychologist privately can be very cost effective.  Many treatments are focused and time-limited with the emphasis on you building up your own skills base and self-efficacy.  This means fewer sessions are needed and it is more likely to reduce the risk of relapse after the treatment has ended.  Some people's health insurance may cover therapy sessions.

Seeing a clinical psychologist can also allow you to tackle your problems now rather than waiting weeks or even months.  Also, you are not restricted in the number of sessions that can be provided which can lead to a more complete treatment package been offered compared to that provided in the public sector.  Furthermore, private therapy tends to be more confidential without the need to necessarily go through a referrer such as a GP.

You may not have a clear idea of what therapy is about, but the fact that you are reading this would suggest that you are hoping to find something that will offer you an opportunity for change.  By reading some of the other pages on this website, you may find what you are looking for.  Alternatively, contact me to discuss how I may be of help to you.

 

 

Differences between therapies

The terms 'clinical psychology', 'psychotherapy' and 'counselling' are often used interchangeably to describe talking therapies, but there are some key differences in theory and practice.  The British Psychological Society answers the question 'What is the difference between a clinical psychologist and a therapist or counsellor?' with:

'Clinical psychologists have extensive training in assessing a range of psychological difficulties and determining the most appropriate form of help, as well as being trained in providing more than one type of therapy.  Therapists and counsellors, on the other hand, usually specialise in providing one particular type of therapy, like psychodynamic psychotherapy, counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.'

(See www.clinicalpsychology.org.uk for further information about clinical psychology.)

People also wonder about the difference between psychiatry and clinical psychology.

Click on the links to read more:

Clinical Psychology
Psychotherapy
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Counselling
Difference Between Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is recommended for the treatment of people with more complex disorders such as clinical anxiety or depression, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders or psychosomatic problems. Clinical psychologists have a first degree in psychology and therefore consider what the science of psychology tells them about the most effective way of helping people with their problems.  In therapy, through the use of psychological theories and therapeutic techniques, people are helped to increase insight and understanding of their difficulties, alter unhelpful ways of coping, relieve emotional distress, develop personal growth and learn ways to reduce the likelihood of relapse.  Clinical psychologists may specialise in such treatments as cognitive behavioural therapy, schema therapy, more psychodynamic approaches, and acceptance and commitment therapy or mindfulness approaches.
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Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a generic or general term for any 'talking therapy'.  It is a process that allows a person to come to a fuller understanding of their abilities, difficulties, motivations or worries in conjunction with the help of a therapist and includes several therapeutic approaches used to treat emotional distress, psychiatric disorders and everyday stress and problems.
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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy was pioneered by Sigmund Freud in the late nineteenth century and has since been continually developed and researched.  It explores the role of the unconscious in the development of psychological difficulties and, in particular, the conflicts in the unconscious mind that can cause psychological distress.  The exploration of early childhood and current relationship patterns provide a greater understanding of what these unconscious drives or impulses are and how they may be influencing current behaviour and emotion.  For this type of therapy, it is not uncommon for a person to be seen more than once a week.
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Counselling

Counselling is a talking therapy more suitable for people with non-clinical problems and who are faced with specific life stresses, difficult situations or relationship problems,  Alternatively, they may wish to develop better ways of living.  Counsellors tend to offer compassionate listening rather than a detailed understanding of a person's difficulties and strategies for change.  There is an emphasis on mental health promotion rather than treating disorders.  Counselling emphasises the individual's resources rather than their weaknesses, with a focus on a reflective, experiential process.  Issues that might benefit from counselling could include adjusting to adverse life events or circumstances such as bereavement or other loss, separation,or ill health.  It also can be useful for personal development such as increasing self-esteem and confidence, improving relationships, enhancing interpersonal and social skills and developing assertiveness.
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The Difference  Between Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Psychiatrists are medical doctors first and foremost and who have specialised in offering medical treatments, usually medication, to help emotional problems or disorders.  A small number of psychiatrists are also trained in psychotherapeutic treatments as well.  Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medication, and they use psychological therapies to help people with their emotional distress.
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