A Clinical Psychologist is a highly trained specialist working in the therapeutic application of the scientific study of human thought and behaviour. Registered Psychology is a legally regulated professional made up of who has a postgraduate qualification. Clinical psychologists are trained by the NHS, just like doctors and nurses, and most work there too, many also work in private practice.
Registered clinical psychologists have a degree in psychology plus an additional three to five years of postgraduate experience and university training in applying the science of psychology to clinical problems. It takes a minimum of six years to qualify as a registered clinical psychologist, and the qualification that Registered clinical psychologists hold is a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Clinical psychologists help a wide range of people of all ages with all sorts of problems, for example those with particular emotional or mental health problems, such as depression or schizophrenia, bi-polar effective disorder. Others patients may have difficulties with their thoughts, which can take many forms, such as problems with memory or perception after a head injury, a learning disability or dementia.
A clinical Psychologist may treat people living with health conditions such as HIV, cancer or chronic pain, assisting people who have difficulties in sustaining relationships or both victims, survivors and perpetrators of abuse.
In determining a treatment plan, a clinical psychologist will consider what scientific research says about its probable cause and what will be likely to help. Then based on this a plan including how many sessions and which specific approaches / techniques to use will be developed. A session with a Clinical Psychologist will take up to an hour and will be both private and confidential (as set out with law and good practice and with the same limitations as a GP), although under some circumstances others such as family members or carers may be present it is usually one to one. Usually a session will be either an assessment or part of an on-going treatment plan.