HOW CAN I CHECK THAT A PSYCHOLOGIST IS PROPERLY QUALIFIED? You can check whether the psychologist is registered as a ‘practitioner psychologist’ with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which regulates health professionals in the UK and was set up to protect the public. The HCPC only registers professionals who meet agreed standards for their training, professional skills and behaviour and can take action against health professionals who fall below these standards. Jenny is registered as a ‘Practitioner Psychologist’ with the HCPC (www.hpc-uk.org). She is also a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This means that she has undertaken a BPS approved Clinical Psychology training programme (www.bps.org.uk).
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT MY FIRST MEETING? The first meeting is an assessment; an opportunity to talk through the problems you have and to think about the treatment that will suit you. It’s also an opportunity for you to see whether you feel comfortable with me. By the end of the first or second meeting, we will have a shared understanding of the goals, and likely length, of therapy.
HOW LONG WILL THERAPY LAST? This depends on the problem you are seeking help for and the goals of therapy. This will be ediscussed after assessment depending on your needs.
HOW LONG ARE THE MEETINGS? Assessment is usually one hour and follow up sessions 50 minutes. Assessment may take place over one or two sessions. Complex assessments, such as those requested by a bariatric surgeon, may take up to 2 hours.
WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE COVER THERAPY? Health insurance usually covers treatment for emotional difficulties. You would need to phone your insurer to check your level of cover and get a pre-authorisation number before the appointment. After this I will invoice the insurance company directly, though there may be an excess charge payable by you.
WHERE WILL I BE SEEN? My clinic is at the Brighton Consulting Rooms, 18a Clermont Road, Brighton BN1 6SG. There is paid on-street parking and a disbaled parking space outside the clinic. The consulting rooms are located right next to Preston Park station. Local bus stops are a 5 minute walk. In some circumstances, for example if it’s impossible for you to travel, I may be able to make home visits.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T ATTEND AN APPOINTMENT? Cancellations made more than 10 days notice before the appointment will not be charged. Cancellations made with less than 10 days notice will incur the usual session charge, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
ARE THE SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL? I would usually write a short letter to your GP/referrer to keep them informed on the goals of therapy. If there is information you do not want included in this letter, this is generally fine. Howveer, it’s important that you are aware of the limits to confidentiality. For example if you disclose information that suggest that you or someone you know you is at risk, I would have a professional and legal responsibility to share this information.
WHEN MAY IT NOT BE APPROPRIATE TO WORK WITH ME? I am not able to provide a crisis service, so if you are concerned that you are unable to keep yourself safe between sessions and/or regularly engage in risky or self-harming behaviours, you should seek support through your local NHS service. Please discuss this with me if you are unsure.