Frequently Asked Questions

My frequently asked questions will help answer many of the most common queries

Psychology is the scientific study of how people think, feel and behave. Clinical Psychologists specialise in mental health. They do not prescribe medication but aim to help people to resolve their difficulties through evidence-based talking therapies. Clinical Psychologists base their practices on what is scientifically known about problems (such as depression and anxiety), to use psychological principles that have been well established in studies and to use treatment methods that have been shown to be effective. They use therapeutic approaches that are recommended treatments in the guidelines of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (

Clinical Psychologists generally undertake a three-year Undergraduate degree in Psychology, then typically work as an Assistant Psychologist or Research Psychologist for several years before completing a three-year Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. This training involves working with the lifespan of clients from children and adolescents, adults to older adults and can include specialist areas such as neuropsychology, addictions and health. It also involves extensive research training. Whereas some therapists are trained specifically in one type of therapy, Clinical Psychologists are trained to use a range of therapies in different settings. This means that Clinical Psychologists have a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to ensure a full understanding of psychological difficulties and can use a tailored individual approach to each person. In addition to their original programme of studies, Clinical Psychologists are also required to undertake a career-long programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep up-to-date with the latest psychological theories and therapeutic approaches.

Clinical Psychologists are also expected to undertake supervision of their clinical practice, for the duration of their professional life, to ensure the highest standards of clinical care are provided to their clients.

There are a number of different reasons to see a clinical psychologist privately:

  • If you are uncomfortable about anyone knowing you are seeing a psychologist, seeing a private clinical psychologist is the only way of ensuring others are not informed.
  • Although the quality of psychology provided by the NHS is generally excellent, psychological services are under-resourced so the waiting lists are usually six months or more. Seeing a clinical psychologist privately would ensure immediate treatment. This also allows you to choose the number of sessions you’d like.
  • Generally there are more flexible appointment times when seeing someone privately, so if you work full-time you would not need to inform your employer about your visit.

If you do not want anyone else to know that you are seeing me, I do not need to inform anyone. Everything you say to me is strictly confidential. However, there are two exceptions to this:

  • I will discuss you (without naming you) in supervision to ensure I am giving you the best possible care.
  • If, in the unlikely event, I suspect that you are at risk of harming yourself or anyone else, I have a duty to inform your GP. I would, however, discuss this with you before I speak to anyone else, wherever possible.

Please feel free to discuss this with me. I will do my best to be as flexible as possible and schedule additional sessions. There may be times when I have no opportunities to do so, but I would try to ensure that you are supported when you need to be.

This very much depends on the difficulties that you are facing. Some people experience significant improvement in their lives from CBT within 8 sessions alone, whereas others need longer.

We can discuss this at your assessment as it is important that you are provided with an approach that best suits you. I tailor my approach to the individual (guided by scientific principles and knowledge) and if I feel that the approach you want would not be suitable for your problems I will discuss it with you and explain why. If the approach you want is one I do not feel sufficiently skilled in, I will try to help you find someone who is.