Why should I consider therapy?
Because emotional pain is as legitimate as physical pain, and the removal of pain sometimes requires assistance from a professional. Because your mind and body are inexorably linked, what affects your mind will affect your physical health and what affects your body will affect your mental health. Because you can spend years reliving and re-experiencing the same problems over and over again, particularly in your close relationships. Because the progress you can make with professional help is generally much quicker than attempting to cope alone; sometimes by a matter of years.
I’ve been looking at a number of therapists, how do I choose which one to see?
Generally there are two main factors related to successful therapy. The first is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the person seeking assistance. Without a good therapeutic relationship, it is unlikely that therapeutic interventions will be effective. Therefore, it is important you choose somebody that you feel comfortable with. To do this, you may decide to contact or see a number of therapists before committing to one.
The second factor relates to professional competence and the degree to which they have invested the time and energy it requires to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to help those seeking therapy. To gauge this, it is advisable to read what they have to say, contact them with any questions you have, and ensure they are professionally registered.
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
‘Clinical’ refers to the focus on reducing psychological distress.
‘Psychology’ refers to the study of the mind using science.
To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist, not only are individuals are required to have completed an undergraduate degree or conversion course that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), they are required to gain substantial clinical experience, and to complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, which involves working in a variety of clinical settings, typically within NHS mental health services. This process usually takes at least 8 years to complete. To use the title of Clinical Psychologist, professionals must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as it is a legally protected title.
Clinical Psychologists tend to integrate psychological research and theory with their therapeutic approach. The breadth of their knowledge equips them to work with common and complex presentations. In the process, they are less likely to use diagnostic categories to classify a person’s problems, because such methods are generally considered to be unreliable. Instead, they are more likely to place an emphasis on a detailed understanding of a person’s difficulties using a process known as formulation, which identifies and maps out the main contributing factors that are unique to the individual. As Clinical Psychologists are trained in a range of psychological approaches, treatment plans tend to be tailor made to suit individual needs. Unlike Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists do not prescribe drug treatments.
What is a Counsellor / Psychotherapist?
The terms counsellor and psychotherapist tend to be used interchangeably to describe a person who practices psychotherapy. In itself, psychotherapy is a general term used to describe any method that works with mental, emotional or behavioural problems. Therefore, the level of training, experience, and skill can vary considerably between those using the title of counsellor or psychotherapist.
Whilst counsellor and psychotherapist are not legally protected titles, meaning anyone can use them irrespective of their qualifications or experience, organisations such as the UK Counsel for Psychotherapy, and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy have set up voluntary registers for those that have completed accredited courses.
What is a Psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who also have some training in psychology. When assessing individuals, they tend to use diagnostic terms to describe a person’s problems. This involves using a classification system such as the ICD-10 (European system) or the DSM-V (American system).
Diagnostic terms can be useful when attempting to gain a general understanding of what a problem involves as it gives shared language to describe a particular set of symptoms. They can provide a useful framework for professionals attempting to conduct research, establish treatment protocols, and set up services. Some people suffering from symptoms like the reassurance of a diagnosis as it gives their experience a name. Others find it less useful as it tends to overlook individual differences and does not explain why they are experiencing these problems. Due to individual differences and the overlapping nature of symptom presentations, misdiagnosis can be problematic and confusing to individuals, especially when they receive different or multiple diagnoses from different professionals. Another problem associated with diagnostic terms is the way they can be misused in a way that blames or stigmatises people.
Due to their medical training, Psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe medication. Whilst there is a tendency for Psychiatrists to work in collaboration with others who offer psychological therapy, there are some who will have specialised in psychotherapy to allow them to offer a talking therapy themselves.
What are your working hours?
We operate regular clinics for individuals and couples on Tuesday 12-6pm, Wednesday 8-2pm and Friday 8-2pm.
Thrive Thursdays operate between 6-9pm on Thursday evenings.
If you would like an assessment outside of these times, please contact us direct, however regular sessions need to fit within these dates.
How much does it cost?
Fees are charged at an hourly rate and vary between clinicians, dependent on their level of experience.
Fees range from £60 to £120 per hour.
The lower end of the range is typically associated seeing a Trainee Clinical Psychologist, whilst the higher end of the range is typically associated with seeing a Consultant Clinical Psychologist.
Can I get my insurance company to pay?
Talk to us about whether we are registered with your insurance company.
You will need to check with your insurer to ensure you are covered for mental health care. Please be aware that there is often a limit to the total cost of treatment you covered for per year. There may be a limit to how much they are willing to pay per session, which can conflict with receiving longer sessions. Your policy may also dictate that you will share a percentage of the cost of each session, or we may need to agree this with you if the session rate does not cover our fees.
You will need to gain authorisation from your insurer before any treatment can be carried out. You may also need a referral letter from your GP or psychiatrist to say psychological therapy is necessary.
How do I pay?
You can book your first appointment via this website and pay as you book. We will then send you invoices for the following sessions and ask you to pay this via bank transfer.
We ask you to pay at least 48 hours before the first session and all missed sessions need to be paid for unless you give notice of 48 hours or more.
If your insurance company is paying, then we will need to discuss whether you pay and claim the money back, or whether we issue an invoice to them directly. If the insurance company fails to pay, then we will ask you to do so. If you are unable to pay, then therapy cannot continue.
What is your cancellation policy?
Since the scheduling of an appointment involves the reservation of time specifically for you, a minimum of 48 hours (2 days) notice is required for cancelling an appointment. The full fee will be charged for appointments cancelled at short notice, i.e. within 48 hours of the appointment time. If an appointment is missed without notification, the full fee will also be charged.