I’ve decided I would like to see a Psychologist. What should I do next?

If you would like to discuss how Epsom Psychology may be able to help you, the first step is to contact us by telephone or email using the contact details provided. We will be able to answer any initial queries that you may have and arrange an initial consultation session.

What happens at the first session?

The initial consultation will involve a comprehensive evaluation of your needs. In practice this means hearing your thoughts about what is troubling you, gathering details about when and how the problem has developed and discussing what might be helpful from here. It is also an opportunity for us to get to know each other and for you to decide if you feel comfortable working with me. By the end of this session, you will be able offered you some initial impressions of what our work might include. Your goals for therapy and an initial therapy plan will be discussed.

There is no obligation to have further sessions after our initial consultation. Some people find the process of discussing their difficulties in detail and hearing our impressions helpful in itself.

I’ve decided that I would like further therapy. How many sessions will I need?

It is normal for us to plan four sessions in the first instance followed by a review. The length of the course of therapy is dependent on the difficulties presented but is normally between 6 and 20 sessions. 

How long are the sessions and what do they involve?

Sessions run for between 50 and 60 minutes. 

The sessions may involve discussing thoughts, feelings and behaviours, practicing exercises both together and between sessions and keeping records or notes. We will work on problems using evidence-based therapies and in line with the guidelines given by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Are sessions confidential?

Everything that is discussed in our sessions is confidential and remains between the client and the therapist.  We will not share information about you without your permission. The only exceptions to this are if the therapist is concerned that the client or someone else is at risk of being harmed, or if illegal activity is disclosed. 

We will always discuss sharing information with others before we do so. 

It can be helpful for us to share information with your GP and other health professionals involved in your care. We will discuss this with you in your initial consultation. Personal information is stored in line with GDPR regulations.

What should I do if I feel unable to keep myself safe?

We regret that we are unable to provide a crisis service. If, at any point between sessions you feel that you are unable to keep yourself safe it is important that you contact your GP in the first instance. If it is out of hours we recommend that you present at your local A&E service where appropriate assistance can be given.

Why see a Clinical Psychologist rather than a Counsellor?

Clinical Psychologists undergo in-depth training covering the full range of psychological disorder, populations and life span. They are trained to assess using a range of techniques including interview, observation and psychometric measures. Following assessment a formulation is developed, which aims to put the information gathered into a coherent explanation of a client’s difficulties. This is then used to inform treatment using a range of evidence-based psychological models.

Clinical Psychologists complete both an undergraduate and doctorate degree and are registered and regulated by the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council). A Chartered Clinical Psychologist must also be registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and must have completed a registered doctorate degree and been qualified for a specified minimum period.

Counsellors also use talking therapy to alleviate distress and have normally trained in a specific model for this purpose. However, the term “counsellor” is not regulated and, essentially, anyone can practise using this term regardless of qualification or experience. While many counsellors are very proficient it is very important to investigate credentials before beginning work and to clarify if your difficulty is within their area of expertise.

Do you have a waiting list?

At times my caseload is full and there may be a short wait for your appointment. When this occurs, and if you prefer not to wait, I can refer you to other psychologists working in the area.  I only refer to psychologists with whom I have worked professionally, whose credentials I have checked and whom I have full confidence in. I will make sure you are in safe hands!