What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical psychology aims to reduce psychological distress and enhance psychological well-being. This is achieved by supporting clients to

1) understand the difficulties they are experiencing (by developing a psychological formulation),

2) cope with a variety of psychological difficulties, and

3) develop and practice new ways of managing the difficulties.

Clinical Psychologists have extensive, Doctoral level training in assessing a range of psychological difficulties across the lifespan, and determining the most appropriate form of help. They are trained in a number of evidence-based psychological therapies. Clinical Psychologists are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and registration details can be checked at http://www.hpc-uk.org/check/. The British Psychological Society's (BPS) Directory of Chartered Psychologists can be found here http://www.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/lcm

How many sessions will I need?
This will be different for each person/family. Birchtree Psychology always seeks to offer interventions that meet the individual needs of our clients. Usually, 6-20 sessions are recommended, followed by a session to review progress and to agree further work, if necessary. The appointments usually happen on a weekly basis. 
What if I need help urgently?
Birchtree Psychology is unable to offer emergency help. If you need support urgently, please contact your GP or NHS 111 for advice, or go to your local A & E department.
What will happen in the assessment meeting(s)?
Usually the first two sessions are assessment appointments (sometimes a longer assessment period is required). During the assessment, you will have the opportunity to talk through your difficulties and concerns, and express your hopes and goals for psychological therapy.  We will work together to start developing a shared understanding of your difficulties, such as why they have developed and what may contribute to them. 
By the end of the assessment, we will agree on the next steps, and whether or not psychological therapy is likely to be helpful.  There is no obligation for you to continue to therapy / intervention following the assessment.
You may also be signposted to another, more appropriate service. 
Will our conversations be confidential?

Everything we talk about will remain confidential, which means that your information will not be shared with anyone without your permission. This is unless I think that you, your child or someone else is at risk of serious harm. In such situations, I would always seek to discuss my concerns with you first, and explain why I have to break confidentiality. However, the urgency of the risk of harm may require me to act immediately. 

All record keeping, such as session notes (short summaries of what is discussed in sessions) is done in accordance to the British Psychological Society's Code of Ethics and Conduct. All clinical psychologists receive regular supervision in which work with clients is discussed. The supervisors abide by the same Code of Conduct and standards for confidentiality.

Please see the Privacy Notice for more information.