What is Psychological Therapy?
Psychological therapy (often called ‘talking therapy’) involves exploring psychological difficulties that are getting in the way of how we would like to feel.
It offers a safe, non-judgmental and confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. Therapy allows you to talk with someone who can listen attentively and help you to improve things.
Sometimes people engage in psychological therapy because they have a specific difficulty such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems or changes in health. Other people choose to engage in psychological therapy in order to learn more about themselves, their patterns of behaviour and relationships, and to work towards future goals.
Psychological therapy is a collaborative process. I may ask you to complete tasks outside of your therapy sessions. These are designed to help you to make meaningful changes that will improve your wellbeing.
Who will deliver my therapy?
I am a Clinical Psychologist. I have been working in mental health since 2001 and as a qualified Clinical Psychologist since 2007, during which time I have gained experience of working with people of all ages and abilities, and in a variety of specialisms.
As a Clinical Psychologist I am trained to doctorate level in a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches, and as such will be able to use the most appropriate approach for your needs. I have specialised in Cognitive Analytic Therapy and draw on a number of other models in my work.
As a member of the Health & Care Professions Council I am bound by the highest standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Please visit www.hcpc-uk.co.uk for more information. I am also a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, reflecting only the highest standards of training and expertise. More information can be found at www.bps.org.uk.
What if I want to cancel a session?
In the event you need to cancel or rearrange your appointment it is important that you let me know as soon as possible either by phone or by email. There is no fee payable for cancellation of appointments with more than 24-hours notice. The full session fee will be charged for cancellations of less than one working day and for non-attendance.
If your sessions are funded by a third party (for example, a health insurer), it is important to check their policy in relation to paying fees for cancelled or unattended sessions. In the event that they do not fund these, you will be charged the fee directly.
Will my information be kept confidential?
The content of your sessions and any records are confidential in accordance with Data Protection guidelines, except in the following instances:
- If I need to contact another healthcare provider (for example, your GP) as part of your care.
- When you give your consent for confidentiality to be broken.
- If the Psychologist has reason to believe there is a risk of you harming yourself or others.
- If information disclosed during a session is of such a serious nature that confidentiality cannot reasonably be expected to be maintained; such as information relating to child protection, crime, fraud, acts of terrorism or safeguarding.
Should I be required to disclose confidential information, I will endeavour, where possible, to discuss this with you first.
Your data may be shared with third parties involved in the practice management of Grow Psychology, such as an accountant. In these instances, they are bound by the same data protection laws.
Further information on data protection can be accessed at the Information Commissioners Office at www.ico.org.uk.
Who can I talk to if I require urgent support?
Occasionally, people experience a sudden deterioration in their mental health and may require immediate mental health support. This is especially important if you experience thoughts about wanting to harm yourself or end your life. If this occurs, it is important that you contact your GP, the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit the A&E department.
I am unable to offer crisis care, but will work together with other healthcare providers to provide consistent therapeutic support if you are already accessing psychological support from me.
How long will therapy last?
The length of therapy will depend upon several things, including how many goals you have for therapy and how many factors are contributing to your current difficulties. It is important to make me aware if you can only budget for a set number of sessions, as this will allow me to tailor the therapy accordingly.
Current NHS guidelines for most psychological difficulties (including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD and anxiety) recommend 12 to 20 sessions. Generally I work with people for 4 to 24 sessions. Your progress will be reviewed regularly, and the ending of therapy will be planned in advance.
For therapy to be effective, it is important that you attend regularly. It is helpful to start with weekly sessions and these can be spaced out as you progress through therapy.
I am struggling with a particular issue, however I don’t think I need to access therapy, can you assist with this?
At times we all experience situations about which it is helpful to have a space to reflect so that we can look after ourselves and plan a way forward. I am able to offer a briefer involvement if you are looking for a space to think a problem through or understand it better, but not looking for psychological therapy.
I am using my Health Insurance to pay for therapy, what information do I need?
I am registered with the major insurers, including AXA Global, Allianz and AVIVA. Registration with Bupa is pending whilst they update their website. It is important to discuss your individual cover with your insurer prior to attending for assessment. Please be aware that some insurers require your GP to make a formal referral prior to assessment.
What will happen in the first appointment?
The first appointment is 90 minutes long. This is an opportunity for me to hear about your reasons for coming to therapy. I will ask you about different areas of your life so that we can begin to build an understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing, how they developed, any triggers, what keeps the situation going, what is helpful, what you have tried to date, and so on.
Together we will be able to think about your goals and make informed choices about therapeutic approaches.
Are there any contraindications for therapy?
I will offer you an initial telephone consultation in which we will briefly discuss your difficulties and what you are hoping to gain from therapy. In some instances, your needs may be better addressed by another provider. I will be open with you about this and will signpost you to a more appropriate service.
I will be unable to see you if you are under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.
I recognise that therapy is an important investment of time, money and personal resources. I will not encourage you to continue with therapy if I don’t feel that you are benefitting from the experience or if you are not making progress towards your goals.
I am self-funding my sessions, how do I pay?
Payment for sessions can be made by cash or card when therapy is taking place face-to-face, or by bank transfer prior to the session.
If therapy is taking place online, you will be provided with the bank details for making a BACS payment.
Payment is required at the start of each session.