Psychology South Essex


Q.    What should I expect from an initial consultation?

For individuals and couples an initial consultation usually lasts around 90 minutes.  During that time, we will discuss your reasons for seeking help from a psychologist and what you hope to achieve.  In order to develop a clearer understanding of your difficulties, we discuss your background, development, key life events, medical history and previous experience of psychological difficulties.  Using all of this information we develop a shared understanding of how your difficulties developed, how they are maintained (why they persist), and consider ways in which therapy could help you to make changes.  We may ask you to complete questionnaires which can help us to further understand your problems and also offer a measure of the severity of your difficulties so that we can monitor your progress during therapy.  The initial consultation also offers you an opportunity to get to know your Psychologist and decide whether you would like to work together to make changes to your life.

For organisations, an initial consultation usually lasts around 90 minutes and can take place face to face, on telephone or via skype.  During this conversation we seek to develop a clear understanding of the needs of your organisation, and to determine the best psychological intervention to address this, whether that be a further consultation, training, coaching or one to one meetings with key personnel.   

Q.  Do I need therapy? What happens during a therapy session?

There are many reasons why people decide to seek therapy, low mood, worry or anxiety, difficulty in relationships, unhelpful behaviours such as over or undereating, compulsions, gambling, excessive use of alcohol to name but a few.  For some people, these may be lifelong difficulties and associated with earlier life events.  Other people have felt resilient and generally coped well with the complexities of life, but currently feel overwhelmed by difficult feelings and/or thoughts.  During therapy we develop an understanding of the origins of internal experiences such as thoughts and feelings and of behaviour, and work on changing these. It is an active process, which may involve you challenging yourself... The techniques and tools used will depend on which therapeutic approach is appropriate, a decision which will be taken jointly between the individual and clinician. 

Q.  What is a Clinical Psychologist? 

Clinical Psychologists work with clients (individuals, couples, families, groups or organisations)  to improve psychological well being and functioning, and to help them to reduce any distress experienced as a result of the difficulties they face.  We do this by applying psychological theory to understand their problems.  What this means in practice, is that we meet with people and through our conversations develop a psychological perspective on their current situation, and decide together how to make meaningful changes by using psychological techniques (e.g. relaxation, noticing and changing thoughts, changing behaviours).  We don't prescribe medication.

We undergo doctoral level training, and are required to keep up to date with current research and practice in order to maintain our registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).  During our training we learn to work with clients across the lifespan (from birth to death) and with a broad range of difficulties and presentations.  We learn to apply current research to our practice in order to provide the most up to date and effective interventions for our clients. 

Q. Is what I say confidential?

We offer a safe and confidential therapeutic space.  However, there are limits to this confidentiality as described in our terms and conditions sections on this website. 

Q. How much does it cost?

Please see our terms and conditions. Prices of each of our services are detailed.

Q. How do I know if I need to see a Clinical Psychologist for the Diagnostic Dementia Assessment?

You or your relative or a friend may be concerned about your experience of memory problems or other cognitive changes. Alternatively, your health care professional (such as GP, nurse, medical consultant) may be recommending an assessment. The assessment could help to clarify the capture and extent of the changes, help to think about possible intervention options and available advice and support.

Other benefits of arranging an assessment may include:

- Provision of specialist reports to clients and referrers

- Provision of ‘base-line’ assessment enabling close monitoring, reassessments and reviews

- Provision of specialist reports to compliment other investigations providing broad, comprehensive analysis of symptoms and experiences

- Helping partners, families and carers understand and manage cognitive changes

- Assistance with supporting and maintaining independence in the community

Q. Who will I see if I decide to have the Diagnostic Dementia Assessment?

You will see a qualified Clinical Psychologist, with specialist knowledge and expertise in working with people with cognitive deterioration and associated psychological changes.  Their relevant expertise includes:

- Neuropsychology

- Mental health conditions associated with adulthood and  later life

- Psychometric assessment of cognition and emotion

- Differential diagnosis of dementia

The Clinical Psychologist will be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

(Please view the professional profiles of the Clinical Psychologist working Psychology South Essex).

Q. What will happen at the Diagnostic Dementia Assessment?

Firstly, the Clinical Psychologist will have a conversation with you, often a detailed one. This is likely to involve asking questions about the changes you have notices, the background to these difficulties, your feelings and thoughts about your situation and how these changes may be interfering with your everyday life.

If required and indicated the Diagnostic Dementia Assessment is also likely to involve some cognitive assessment – an administration of a range of tests providing more in-depth information about your psychological processing.  Depending on individual circumstances, this can take about two to three hours and may need to be spaced out over two to three meetings, but you will be advised on this prior to the appointment. It is often helpful to bring a relative or a friend along with you to this appointment.

Q. What will happen after the Diagnostic Dementia Assessment?

By the end of the appointment a plan of action will be agreed with you about what options may be available. The options may include:

- Recommendations for further appointments with the Clinical Psychologist to explore changes in more depth

- Recommendations for further appointments with the Clinical Psychologist to explore psychological changes and find ways of helping – this may include psychological therapy

- Feedback to your medical professionals to contribute to broader medical investigations

- Practical recommendations to help you cope with changes and risks

- Preparation of a letter or report – as appropriate. 

Q. What should I do now?

If you have any further questions, would like further information, or would like to book an initial consultation, please either e-mail, telephone or use our contact form