Frequently Asked Questions
What is a clinical psychologist?
Clinical psychologists have studied at university-level for a minimum of six years. They specialise in understanding how people’s actions, beliefs, experiences and culture affect their mental health and wellbeing and use this knowledge to help people make positive changes to their lives. To this effect they are trained in a number of different psychological models and interventions, which gives them a ‘toolbox’ of evidence-based techniques that they can apply flexibly and tailor to your unique difficulties and circumstances.
What is therapy?
Psychologists have expertise in psychological patterns and difficulties; however, you are the expert in your own life and experiences. Therapy is an interactive process of developing greater insight and understanding, through the sharing of ideas and experiences that occur in (and after) sessions. This can then enable you develop new life skills, gain a different perspective on yourself and your life, and make some positive changes to enhance your wellbeing.
Are you able to prescribe medication?
Clinical psychologists work by talking to people about their difficulties. If you wish to explore pharmacological solutions to your difficulties, we can recommend psychiatrists who are able to prescribe medication.
How long do sessions last?
The standard length of individual sessions is 50 minutes. In some circumstances, your psychologist might suggest a longer session, if you are in agreement with this. The psychologist will be ready for you at the appointed time and will be unable to make up the time by extending the session if you arrive late.
How much do sessions cost?
Psychological consultations cost £110
Individual sessions cost £110
Couple sessions cost £120
Family sessions cost £130
How can I make payment for my sessions?
Payment can be made at the end of the session with cash or a cheques, or in advance of the session via an online bank transfer (details on request). We are unable to take debit or credit cards.
How do I get the most out of my sessions?
Therapy is a two-way process, guided by your psychologist but also requiring active participation from you, for example, by prioritising the sessions and attending regularly and on time, following up on in-between session suggestions, and being as open with your psychologist as you are able to. Therapy sessions represent a small proportion of the week and what you get from the sessions largely depends on how you keep the ideas in mind and put them into practice. Your psychologist will ask you not to consume alcohol or mind-altering substances before the session as they create an altered state which will affect your ability to connect with and process emotions, and retain information that was discussed.
How long will therapy take?
Each person’s therapy journey is unique so this depends on the areas and goals you wish to address. It is also common for new goals to arise as therapy progresses and change occurs. The first few sessions are typically spent exploring what it is you wish to address and ensuring a meaningful, shared understanding can be developed.
What if I feel worse?
Therapy involves getting in touch with (often painful) feelings as part of the change process and people sometimes experience this as ‘feeling worse’ even though it might be a sign of progress and is very common. Your psychologist will want to know if this is the case to see what might help you to work through this. Ending therapy prematurely at this point can be detrimental.
What if I can’t make a session?
Therapy works best when sessions are attended regularly and you will be reserved a session slot at the same time each week. If you are unable to attend a session, we ask that you let your psychologist know. The full fee applies for sessions missed and cancelled (even with notice). Where possible you will be offered an alternative session that week, or if this is not possible, a skype or telephone session.
What if my session is cancelled by my psychologist?
Your psychologist will give you advanced notice of any holiday or planned absences, and you will be charged for these. They will do what they can to avoid unplanned cancellations but these might arise if, for example, they were unwell. You would also not be charged for these and if possible, attempts would be made to re-arrange your session.
What if I want to end therapy?
It is recommended that if you would like to terminate your sessions you talk with your psychologist about this. Similarly, if your psychologist thinks it is time to bring sessions to an end, they will discuss this with you. In either case, it is important that ending therapy is a mutually agreed decision and that there is at least one session to bring the work to a close, so there is no “unfinished business” that might cause you distress once your sessions have ended. For this reason, a minimum of a week’s notice is required to end therapy. The process of ending a longer term therapy can take longer than this and can be an important part of the work in itself.
Will my psychologist be available outside of sessions?
Yes, you can contact your psychologist by email in between sessions if necessary and they will respond as soon as they can. However, your psychologist is unavailable for emergency support and this should be sought elsewhere. Your psychologist will give you information about where to seek this kind of help.
Do you work with corporate clients?
Yes, we can work with you to tailor packages and are happy to work with human resources and/or occupational health departments. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Do you offer anything in addition to therapy?
Yes, in addition to the above, we can offer supervision, training, and consultation to other professionals. We are also able to write consultation reports (NOT medico-legal reports). Details and fees available on request.
The Lighthouse Psychology Practice
108 St. John's Hill
London SW11 1SH
145b Brighton Road
Call: 07722 032506