A Clinical Psychologist can help you to address emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship difficulties. We are trained to work with a wide range of issues however, so if your specific emotional difficulties have not been mentioned, there is still a good chance that a Clinical Psychologist could help you.
The process typically begins with an assessment, which helps us to build up an accurate picture of the symptoms that are troubling you. We then work with you to develop what is called a formulation. This is like a ‘map’ of the problems; how they might have started and what might be keeping them going. Then, we use the formulation to help us decide on which psychotherapy approaches to use in order to help you to recover from the symptoms identified in the assessment.
The British Psychological Society requires us to be trained to be competent in the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and at least one other psychotherapy approach. Many training programmes exceed this minimum requirement however, and competence in the use of systemic, psychodynamic, and cognitive-analytic approaches is common. Clinical Psychologists often draw on more than one approach at the same time, particularly when a person has very complex problems.
Clinical Psychologists training from 1995 onwards complete a DClinPsy, which is a PhD level training programme. Prior to 1995, Clinical Psychologists were trained to Masters level. As well as equipping us with expertise in the application of psychological therapies, the DClinPsy arms us with doctoral level skills in scientific research. Choosing to work with a Clinical Psychologist therefore increases the chances that your treatment will be informed by serious and critical engagement with the question of which psychological therapies have been shown to be effective, and under which conditions.
Another thing that speaks to the quality of the care we offer is the fact that we are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council, a statutory body setting and overseeing standards in the quality of our training and our professional behaviour. Therefore choosing to work with a Clinical Psychologist offers you an added level of reassurance that your treatment will be both safe and effective.