Skip to content

FAQs – In Case You Were Wondering

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologist Purpose, Training and Experience

A Clinical Psychologist is a professional who provides evidence-based assessment and support for your emotional wellbeing. We develop personalised plans called ‘formulations‘ to understand the factors that might be causing and maintaining your specific challenges. We also use these to help guide you towards strategies that are likely to help you manage and overcome them.

All Clinical Psychologists are trained within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. We are qualified to work with clients of all ages, using a variety of different approaches to therapy. We also have experience in critiquing and undertaking the research that informs our practice.

Checking the Credentials of a ‘Psychologist’

‘Clinical Psychologist’ is a protected title in the UK. This means people are not permitted to use it unless they have met requirements for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC acts as the regulatory body for Clinical Psychologists. The HCPC ensures that all Clinical Psychologists meet strict professional and ethical standards and have appropriate qualifications and experience. These can only be obtained via an accredited Doctoral degree and must be maintained by continuing professional development. 

It is worth noting here that the title ‘Psychologist’ and many other variations of this are not protected/regulated. I’d therefore encourage anyone seeking support to check the qualifications, regulation, affiliations and experience of the person they or their child are meeting. 

You can check my registration with the HCPC here. You can also find me here, on the British Psychological Society’s list of Chartered members.

Can a Clinical Psychologist prescribe medication?

Clinical Psychologists do not prescribe medication in the UK. I may refer you to a prescribing Psychiatrist if we mutually agree it could be helpful. 

How many sessions will I need with a Clinical Psychologist?

Individualised Treatment

The number of support sessions appropriate for you will depend on the nature and extent of your challenges. Following your initial assessment, I will devise an individualised treatment plan and share my estimate of how many sessions you will need. Evidence-based guidelines always inform this.

During the course of our meetings, I will continually review your progress, to check that we are on track. I will also adapt my approach, if needed. I never recommend more sessions than I think are necessary to set you on a good path towards your goals. I’m always delighted to see you progress faster than expected. However, I am equally happy to provide additional input if you require a slower pace or need extra support.  

A General Guide

As a general guide, I usually recommend a course of around 6 to 8 sessions for most mild-moderate anxiety related concerns. Evidence suggests those with Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD) tend to require a slightly longer course of treatment. Guidelines state that this should be between 12 and 20 sessions. Sessions each last between 50 and 60 minutes.

Will my sessions with a Clinical Psychologist be private?

Client-Psychologist Confidentiality

I am professionally and legally obliged to ensure that my clients’ sessions are kept confidential. This means that I keep our discussions private and do not share them with others without your knowledge and agreement. 

I strongly encourage the teenagers I meet to involve their parents/guardians in their treatment. Young people who can independently consent to treatment do, however, have a legal right to confidentiality. It is therefore up to them to decide whether they wish to do this, regardless of who is paying for the sessions. I will therefore carefully discuss confidentiality and consent with you at your first session. I will also ask you to complete a form to tell me who it is and isn’t okay to share information with. 

Limits of Confidentiality

There are just a few exceptions to your confidentiality rights, which are designed specifically to protect you and others. It’s important for you to know that if you tell me something that makes me think you or someone else might be at risk of harm, I am duty bound to share that information to try to keep everyone safe. On rare occasions, there may also be circumstances where I would legally be required to provide information. For example, where there are legal proceedings which involve you, I might be required to give evidence. If this happens, I will always attempt to discuss it with you first, so long as this doesn’t mean anyone is placed at further risk.

All Clinical Psychologists, no matter how senior, are additionally required to discuss their work with a clinical supervisor from time to time. I may therefore share details of our sessions with my supervisor. My supervisor is also a Clinical Psychologist. The same legal and professional guidelines on confidentiality apply to her, as to me.

Who should attend my appointments?


I encourage teenagers to bring a parent or guardian along to their initial ‘assessment’ appointment(s). This can provide them additional support in describing the difficulties they’d like to seek my help with. Dependent upon their age and ability to consent to treatment independently, they are also welcome to come alone if they feel more comfortable doing so. 

Following initial assessment, I would generally aim to meet with each young person for therapy on a 1:1 basis, where they are happy with this. When working with younger teens, I often suggest allocating a brief section of time at the end of sessions. This allows us to consolidate and summarise the strategies covered to parents/guardians. 

Young Adults

I invite adult clients to come alone to our initial ‘assessment’. They are, however, also welcome to bring a supportive companion if they feel it would be helpful. Following assessment, I generally continue to meet adults on a 1:1 basis for our subsequent therapeutic sessions.

Will I have to miss school to meet you?

While it is not ideal for a young person to miss school time, this is sometimes necessary to attend healthcare appointments. This is due to the hours that a professional can offer during the normal working day. Your child’s mental health matters. Their school should therefore be supportive in facilitating this.

I will always try to accommodate the time and day of the week that you prefer. We can also work around important lessons to minimise disruption. 

I know that everyone’s work schedules are different. I am therefore just as open to providing recurring slots at the same time/day each week, as I am to timing sessions more flexibly on a week-by-week basis.  

Does online therapy work?

Research suggests psychological therapy delivered online can be just as effective as meeting in person. Handy tools such as screen-sharing and email enable me to offer the same treatments online as in person. They also help me extend the reach of my services nationwide/to those less able to attend a clinic. 

When considering whether online sessions are right for you, you should first check that you have a stable enough internet connection for video calls. It’s also important to have a device with satisfactory speakers and microphone (or a headset). I additionally recommend finding an appropriately light, quiet and private space. This enables us to ensure that I can see and hear you, that potential interruptions are minimised and that our time together can be used to its full potential. 

While it is possible to access Zoom via a mobile phone, the larger screen provided by a computer or tablet is more ideal for the sharing of written materials. 

What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel or reschedule a meeting, I will be happy to waive/refund your fee for that session if you give me at least 48 hours notice. I will need to charge you the full fee for missed sessions, or for those cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.

During the course of treatment, if there is a week where you don’t expect to be able to attend an appointment (for example due to a planned holiday), please let me know. This helps me allocate time to my other clients. 

Why do you charge for short notice cancellations?

This is due to the fact that less than 48 hours would generally be too short notice for me to book another client into the time I had reserved for you. 

Do you offer an emergency service? 

As a sole practitioner, I am unfortunately not able to offer support in an emergency or crisis situation. If you need acute help, you should contact your GP or dial 999, as appropriate. 

Can I pay through private medical insurance?

I do not currently accept payment through insurance providers, but may do so in future. 

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner