What is the difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medically trained doctor, who has gone on to do further training in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication and provide diagnoses. Some psychiatrists will have done further qualification in non medical therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive behaviour therapy.

Clinical Psychologists have an undergraduate degree in psychology, followed by a post graduate doctoral level degree in Clinical Psychology. This provides clinical psychologists with training in a broad range of therapeutic techniques, and experience in applying these across all ages ranges and in a variety of settings. Some clinical psychologists will have done further training in order to provide diagnoses in specific areas, such as Autistic Spectrum Conditions, but cannot prescribe medication.

What kind of difficulties does SCCPP work with?

We work with a wide range of emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and young people up to the age of 18. Typical examples would include problems with anxiety, anger or behavioural problems. You can find more details by clicking on this link to our Difficulties/Issues We Work With page.

At SCCPP we don’t work with severe mental health problems where multi-disciplinary team approach is necessary or where in-patient treatment might be needed. For example, we would not take on children with a full blown eating disorder or psychosis.

What therapies do you offer?

We work with children and their families in a variety of ways. We work with children individually, with parents and other family members individually or with families together. With younger children we would typically work mainly through parents and with older children or young people we would be more likely to work mainly with the young person themselves.

Clinical psychologists are trained in a broad range of therapeutic approaches and we draw on a range of techniques. As well as psycho-education, we draw on behavioural approaches, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic family therapy, solution-focused therapy, and others. The choice of treatment depends upon best practice guidelines for the presenting problem and the method that suits circumstances and the particular child and family best. For example, if a one-off appointment has been agreed, then we would be more likely to draw on solution-focused approaches as these are specifically designed to suit short or very short pieces of work.

Do you do assessments for Dyslexia?

No. Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty rather than an emotional or behavioural problem and assessment for dyslexia falls outside the core skills of a clinical psychologist. Some clinical psychologists may have done additional training to undertake these assessments but we haven’t done so and therefore this is not something we offer.

How much will it cost?

SCCPP charges by the hour for some kinds of work, for example, treatment sessions. We will always give you an estimation of the number of sessions we think will be required before we begin. For other kinds of work there is one fee to complete the task. An example of this might be an ability assessment. You can find details of our charges by clicking on this link to our Fees page.

Do you guarantee confidentiality of the information about my family?

The information we hold about children, young people, families and school is confidential and will not be discussed with anyone else, except in the circumstances detailed below. In circumstances where it may be considered desirable (but not necessary) to share information about your child and family, this would only happen with your explicit consent. We conform to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and are registered with the Information Commission.

In cases where a child’s safety is at risk, we are obliged to act in the best interests of the child and in accordance with professional and ethical codes of conduct, to protect the well-being of children and young people. Examples of this include any type of ongoing abuse, or where the abuser may have ongoing access to children, as well as issues such as a child being bullied at school, where the school is unaware. This may mean sharing our concerns with local safeguarding services. If we have met the child via another organisation with whom we are working, for example, a school, then we will also act according to the safeguarding policy of that organisation.

How do you store information about my child?

We are using paper records to store information at present, which are kept in a locked filing cabinet when not in use. However, we are looking to transfer to a paperless system, using a secure cloud storage system, such as Dropbox, in the near future.