A clinical psychologist is a psychologist who is specifically trained around mental health. They are typically trained to a doctorate level and identify as a scientist practitioner integrating theory and practise to deliver an evidence-based service to individuals. They have key skills in assessment, diagnosis, formulation and treatment of mental health disorders/emotional and behavioural difficulties and a range of developmental disorders. A formulation is derived from a comprehensive clinical interview and is designed to help clients understand the origin of their difficulties, factors that maintain their difficulties, their strengths and can contain a plan for intervention if indicated. Formulation is a key skill possessed by a clinical psychologist and can provide clients with a sense of understanding and clarity in relation to their presenting difficulties.
What does a Clinical Psychologist do?
A clinical psychologist draws on their range of knowledge and skills in order to provide either a comprehensive assessment and diagnostic service and/or a holistic person centred intervention to alleviate distress. As part of the assessment a full developmental history will be taken. You may also be asked to complete a questionnaire and/or other psychometric questionnaires exploring issues relating to your mood and functioning. A clinical psychologist has the ability to diagnose mental health disorders if they are present, but this does not have to be part of the service. Following on from this the psychologist will present the findings of the assessment to the client in the guise of a formulation. The information presented in the formulation may align itself to a particular type of intervention and this can be discussed as part of the plan moving forward. Clinical psychologists are trained in a myriad of therapies including: Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Schema Therapy and Solution Focussed Therapy to name but a few. The psychologist will be able to work with the client to ascertain which therapy approach is most suited to their presenting difficulties. Clinical Psychologists are highly trained and offer a confidential, sensitive, non judgemental service to all.
What type of issues can a Clinical Psychologist help with?
A clinical psychologist can work with people experiencing a wide range of symptoms. Typical presentations include: Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Emotional Regulation difficulties, Self-harm, Suicidal ideation, Psychosis, Eating difficulties, Bereavement, Trauma, Issues relating to sexuality, Issues relating to gender and developmental disorders (Autism). This list is not extensive and I would be happy to discuss any potential referrals with an individual to see if this was the right service for them.