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Frequently asked questions

Below you'll find answers to some of the most common questions about me, my sessions and about therapy in general. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

  • What kinds of problems can you help with?
    I am experienced in working with a wide variety of difficulties and dilemmas, both for children and parents - from understanding and tackling problems with your child's behaviour, to helping parents manage feelings of anxiety, guilt, and many others. I also have a wealth of experience in helping parents and children with neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism and ADHD. You can read more about the issues I can help with here.
  • What are your qualifications and experience?
    I am a fully qualified Clinicial Psychologist, having completed my professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2012. I have over a decade's experience working across UK NHS mental health services, specifically those for children and families, as well as in independent practice. I continue to undertake various additional trainings to ensure my practice is up-to-date. I also work in clinical academic research for King's College London and Canterbury Christ Church universities; as an International Paralympic Classifier for athletes with Intellectual Impairments for World Para-Athletics; and in psychological consultancy and supervision. My professional registration is with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) under the category of “practitioner psychologist”. My HCPC registration number is PYL28684. I am a member of the UK Association of Clinical Psychologists (ACP-UK), and of the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH). You can read more about me, my approach and my experience here.
  • What is a Clinical Psychologist?
    Clinical Psychologists in the UK are trained to a doctoral level in both clinical practice and research. We work across the lifespan, assessing and treating diverse mental health concerns using a range of evidence-based psychological therapies. We are trained in using clinical assessment and standardised assessment tools for a variety of mental health, neurodevelopmental, and cognitive conditions. We focus on understanding why difficulties have arisen (this is called “psychological formulation”), rather than simply focusing on labels or diagnoses, because this helps us to best tailor our therapy or support. We consider a wide range of factors impacting on individuals, including psychological, sociological, and neuro-biological processes. We use talking psychotherapies to help clients resolve difficulties, and we are trained in multiple therapeutic approaches to ensure we can best meet each client’s unique needs. Clinical Psychologists are trained to critically appraise research and clinical evidence, in order to make sure that our work is always guided by the latest science. We regularly read new research papers, and keep up to date with latest health policy and clinical guidelines, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and World Health Organisation (WHO). We complete ongoing professional development and training. Clinical psychologists are also trained to undertake and publish research and audit, to contribute to the psychological evidence-base, as well as to use it in our clinical work. Clinical psychologists also offer supervision, facilitate reflective practices with organisations, to offer consultation, and to facilitate service and policy development. Clinical psychologists often work with the media to help the public understand psychological concepts. We are regulated in the UK by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) under the category of “practitioner psychologist”. My HCPC registration number is PYL28684.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • How is a Clinical Psychologist different to a psychotherapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist?"
    “Clinical Psychologist” is a protected title in the UK. This means that you are only allowed to call yourself a Clinical Psychologist if you have completed an approved 3-year Doctoral degree training. This doctorate is different to an academic PhD because it involves extensive clinical training in assessing and treating mental health conditions, as well as requiring a clinical research project and thesis. Most Clinical Psychologists also need a number of years of therapeutic and research experience before gaining a place on this doctoral training. The Clinical Psychology doctoral training in the UK requires training with individuals across the life-span, including children, teenagers, working age adults, and older adults, in addition to people with intellectual impairments. Other titles, like “psychologist” “psychotherapist” "neuropsychologist" or “therapist” are not protected, which means that, legally, anyone can call themselves these titles. It is important to carefully check the qualifications of anyone offering psychological interventions. Professional bodies such as the UK Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy aim to ensure professional standards and safe practice by accrediting therapeutic trainings and keeping a register of qualified professionals. Psychotherapists and other therapists (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapists) work with clients experiencing emotional distress, and are typically trained in one specific therapeutic approach (e.g. CBT, psychoanalytic psychotherapy). They may not have training in psychological assessment and diagnosis. The depth, length, and breadth of training varies. Counsellors are trained to use active listening skills to support people with emotional difficulties, rather than using active therapeutic treatments. Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialise in the diagnosis of mental illnesses according to medical guidelines and diagnostic labels. They can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists undertake additional training in talking therapies. See above under "what is a Clinical Psychologist" to read more about what Clinical Psychologists can offer. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
  • What will happen in my consultation or therapy appointment?
    In a 30 minute Power Chat, we will have a focused conversation discussing the problem that you bring. I will typically provide psychoeducation (information to help you better understand the issue from a psychological or neurodevelopmental perspective) and brief advice, usually practical recommendations or strategies to try. I may also suggest places that you could seek additional support or information. In a Parent Consultation, we can discuss difficulties related to your child, to parenting, and/or to your own well-being. There is often scope to work on more than one problem, particularly if they are related. Initially, we will map out the areas of focus and make sure that I fully understand your family, your child and any wider context. The outcome of Consultation sessions typically includes psychoeducation, plus a coherent plan of strategies or approaches to try, plus troubleshooting and tailoring after you have had chance to try out new ideas. These sessions can be open-ended, or a self-contained package of sessions. In Individual Therapy, we have freedom to explore and work on difficulties that you bring. Our initial sessions will form an assessment phase to help us develop a joint understanding of the issues that have brought you to therapy. Depending on your needs and preferences, we can work in a more goal-focused or a more exploratory way, tailoring the therapeutic approach specifically to you. The fact that Individual Therapy does not have a set end date does not mean it will last forever! We will regularly review how things are going, and our work can be short- or longer-term, depending on your needs and preferences. If we meet for a free 15 minute consultation to see if we are a good match for individual therapy or consultation, we’ll discuss the issue that brings you to me, what you are hoping for from our work together, and any questions you might have. After the call, you can take your time to decide if you’d like to go ahead with further sessions.
  • How will I know if therapy is helping?
    In individual therapy, I work in a collaborative way with you, which means you will always be an active partner in deciding how we approach the issues you bring. We will review our work regularly to check how things are going, how you are feeling, and progress towards any concrete goals. Of course, therapy is a process, and one that can sometimes be a bit zig-zag. We will always discuss what is happening for you and whether you feel comfortable with where we are taking the work. If we come towards the end of our work, we will discuss how to finish in a way that feels right to you. While some people prefer a clear ending, some clients like to leave the “door open” to return for further sessions in future if needed.

Let's talk

I know that the most important thing when making the leap to contact a psychologist, or join a course, is to find someone who you can connect with and who “gets” you and your family. Find out if I can help by booking a free 15 minute chat where I can answer any questions and see if we'd be a good match.

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