Clinical Psychology Therapy

Clinical Psychological Therapy employing many therapeutic approaches.

Evidence based psychological interventions aimed at delivering positive changes to the lives of people experiencing mental/physical health difficulties including depression, anxiety, adjustment to physical illness/pain, personal and relationship difficulties, loss and grief etc.

How does it work?

Clinical psychologists work in partnership with clients to assess and enable clients to understand, manage, seek relief and work towards recovery from their symptoms where appropriate. Clinical psychologists are trained to a very advanced level in many evidence based psychological approaches which enable a flexible and effective intervention that is centred on individual client needs. Not a one size fits all approach!

What conditions can it commonly help?

Clinical Psychology Therapy delivers positive changes to the lives of people experiencing mental/physical health difficulties including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Adjustment to physical illness/pain
  • Personal and relationship difficulties
  • Loss and grief

And more.

What can I expect from a Clinical Psychology Therapy session?
Initially clients can expect a thorough assessment session (occasionally more than one). During this you will have the opportunity to explore current difficulties and evaluate whether you feel comfortable working with the clinician and whether the clinician is best placed to help them. Further sessions will be mutually agreed if deemed helpful to the client at that stage.

The session will not require the client to undress and will not involve any physical examinations etc.

Therapy can, of course, be challenging and there may be some distress when discussing issues that are upsetting. However, the therapist will guide and support the client and take things at their pace.

What's the different between a Clinical Psychologist and a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

Counselling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably these days. The difference comes down to the level and direction of training. Counsellors often undergo training and personal development for 3 years, with Psychotherapists training for 7 years. Both forms of training are often based on psychological theories.

Like Counsellors and Psychotherapist, Clinical Psychologist’s are trained in working with individuals with severe and/or enduring mental health difficulties. A Clinical Psychologist’s training comprises a good first degree (3 years), interim supervised clinical experience as an assistant psychologist (often over several years) whilst gaining sufficient experience to seek an interview for a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate (formerly MSc) course. These courses are highly competitive and will only consider applicants with 2:1 degrees or above. Clinical Psychology training then continues post clinical qualification as a requirement of professional registration and in respect of specialisation in particular areas. In summary, qualification as a Clinical Psychologist takes a minimum of 7 years but realistically to reach specialist level a minimum of 9 years. Effectively career long training and evaluation is expected as a requirement of professional registration and the right to use the legally protected title of Clinical Psychologist is contingent upon this.

It is possible to be a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist (and use these terms) without the need for any post graduate training although some may highly trained.  There are no legal restrictions around the title of “counsellor”, “psychotherapist” or “psychologist” so credentials should always be checked.

In practice Clinical Psychologists are trained as “scientist practitioners” and will therefore apply an analytical approach to initial assessment and formulation of a treatment plan based on a client’s presenting difficulties using scientific evidence based approaches.  They are trained in many psychological approaches to a high level and are therefore able to tailor treatment to individual needs. Clinical Psychologists are also trained in using and analysing psychometric assessments to identify areas which may need intervention (for example HADS – hospital anxiety and depression scale, WAIS Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – for assessing cognitive ability where there may be concerns relating to memory, etc.)

What's the different between a Clinical Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Clinical Psychologists are not the same as Psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialise in mental health, prescribe medications, medical interventions etc. Clinical psychologists are intensively trained in exclusively mental health psychological approaches, and do not prescribe medications or other medical interventions.


Meet the Practitioners

Contact the Alma Vale Centre here
to find out more about Clinical Psychology Therapy