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FAQ

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Whether you are considering using Gateway Psychology’s services or have a question about us, please refer to our FAQs below. We’ve put together lots of information about our services, as well as how they differ to counselling or psychiatrist services.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d be more than happy to answer any of your queries by phone where needed.

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What is a Clinical Psychologist?
A clinical psychologist is trained in psychology to doctorate level. He or she provides assessment and treatment of emotional, social, behavioural , developmental and mental health difficulties. The assessment and treatment methods used by a clinical psychologist are based on research evidence  showing that they are effective.  The  ‘talking therapy’ provided by a clinical psychologist helps clients to gain a  detailed understanding of their  difficulties, change unhelpful behaviours, find more effective coping strategies and improve overall emotional well-being. A  clinical psychologist is trained in a variety of approaches and tends to work with more complex problems and  clinical diagnoses. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders,  clinical depression, anxiety, phobias and developmental disorders. A clinical psychologist may work with  individuals or groups, and is also trained to provide comprehensive assessments for decision making  purposes, consultations, training, supervision and research.
How is this different to a counsellor?
Counselling is also a ‘talking therapy’ but is better suited to people with problems that are non-clinical. Counsellors tend to help people with difficulties such as specific life stressors or adverse circumstances. These could include personal development issues such as enhancing self-esteem or social skills; or interpersonal and relationship problems. Rather than exploring a detailed understanding of a person’s difficulties, a counsellor offers compassionate listening and the opportunity for reflection. Overall there is an emphasis on mental health promotion rather than the treatment of disorders. 
How is this different to a Psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialised in mental health. A psychiatrist is able to make clinical diagnoses of mental health problems and disorders and can also prescribe medication for those problems. Some psychiatrists have further training in a specific therapeutic treatment approaches, for example, family therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy; however, their primary approach is from a medical rather than psychological perspective.
Does Gateway Psychology also see adults?
Although our focus is primarily on children, young people and families, we work with adults from time to time. This will usually relate directly to the difficulties of a child with whom we are working. However, sometimes we will see adults for therapy relating to their own difficulties.  Many of the difficulties that emerge in adulthood have their roots in childhood experiences; as such, many adult clients find that our  understanding of childhood trauma is helpful in making sense of their current difficulties.
Can you see someone in an emergency?
Although we have the flexibility to respond to referrals and see people at relatively short notice (usually within a few weeks) we do not offer a crisis or emergency service. We find that clients benefit from the predictability and regularity of scheduled sessions and, as such, endeavour to adhere to planned sessions, usually on a weekly basis. Should a current client need support between sessions, a plan will be devised between therapist and client to appropriately manage this need. In the event of a crisis arising, clients would need to contact their  GP or local Accident and Emergency service. 
Do you see people on evenings and weekends?
At this time we are not able to provide regular evening or weekend appointments. However, should a current or prospective client experience significant difficulties in attending an appointment during regular working or school hours, it may be possible to arrange a ‘one-off’ after hours appointment.
How much will it cost and how do I pay?
Our fees for assessment, therapy, consultation, training and supervision reflect our level of training and expertise as clinical psychologists. In general, for individual therapy our fee is in the region of £120.00 per hour. However, this may vary depending upon the nature of the difficulties, the type of therapy being offered, and the duration of therapy.

If you are self-funding your child’s treatment, the first appointment fee is payable at the end of that appointment, either by cash or cheque. Thereafter a monthly invoicing arrangement can be arranged if preferred, with payment expected within thirty days of the date of invoice, either by cash, cheque or electronic bank transfer.

If you as an individual have referred your child to our service, it may be that you have private health insurance. Please ask your insurance provider whether your child’s treatment is included in your policy and whether there is an excess or a maximum limit to the amount that you can claim. Where your policy does not cover the full cost of treatment, you may need to gain your health insurance provider’s agreement for you to pay the shortfall yourself.

If you represent an organisation or other agency, invoicing details will be requested at referral or booking of the first appointment. There is an expectation that invoices will be paid within thirty days of the date of invoice.

Please contact us, either via our contact page or by telephone or e-mail, to obtain information on current fee structures for training, consultation, supervision and assessments for the Courts or children’s services.

Please note that appointments not attended, or not cancelled with 24 hours advance notice , will be charged at full fee.

Is it confidential?
As qualified psychologists, we adhere to the codes of ethics  and ‘Best Practice’ guidelines of both the Health Care Professions Council and the British Psychological Society. As such we have regular supervision with a qualified psychologist, and in this confidential meeting, some information about a client’s difficulties might be discussed, usually in anonymized form. Other than this,  information about a client will only be shared with the client’s permission, unless we believe the client or someone else is at risk of harm. In this event, we would do our best to discuss any concerns with the client before sharing information with anyone else.
How do I refer or book an appointment?
Our service can be accessed as follows:

Self-referral
People who wish to pay for the service themselves can contact us directly. This may include parents of children and young people, or even the young person him/herself. Should a young person self-refer, we would require the consent of the person responsible for funding the treatment.  For further information, or to arrange an appointment, please contact us via our contact page or by telephone or email.

Referral from GPs, Consultant Psychiatrists or other agencies
The above professionals can refer a client to us directly, either for self-funded treatment, or for treatment funded by the agency. It is essential, however, that the consent of the client is gained prior to referral.

For clients who have private health insurance, please contact your health insurance provider first to check that your difficulty is covered by your policy and whether there is an excess or a maximum limit to the amount that you can claim. You would also need to clarify whether your provider requires a referral from a consultant psychiatrist or GP.

For further information, or to arrange an appointment, please contact us via our contact page or by telephone or email.

Referral from solicitors or associated agencies
We accept referrals from solicitors or associated agencies when psychological therapy has been recommended as part of their claim for compensation for personal injury. The above professionals can contact us directly via our contact page, or by telephone or email, for further information or to make a referral.

What will happen after referral/at the first appointment?

Initial telephone consultation (free)

Should you have specific queries about seeing a psychologist or feel we need to know more about your difficulties prior to your appointment, we offer a pre-session telephone consultation of up to fifteen minutes. This will help us both to think about the best options for your child. Following this you may wish to confirm an appointment for initial assessment, or you may wish to think it over before deciding to do so. If, as a result of our telephone consultation, we feel that psychological therapy is not the best option for your child at the current time, we will tell you and suggest other options for support and appropriate help.

First appointment
Following your enquiry or  on receipt of a referral via our website, email or letter, we will contact you to arrange an initial appointment for a day, time  and venue that is mutually suitable. The first appointment is regarded as an initial assessment appointment and usually lasts about ninety minutes. This appointment is usually attended by the child together with parents or carers. It is an opportunity for the psychologist to gain as much detail as possible about the child’s background, development and the current problem in order to think about the best way forward. At this appointment the psychologist will discuss the way forward with you, thinking about whether further specific assessment is required, what kind of treatment and number of sessions are likely to be most helpful. The psychologist may then write a brief letter to the referrer (either yourself or another professional such as your GP) to confirm these outcomes.

Further therapy sessions
Should a course of therapy be the agreed outcome of the initial assessment session, therapy sessions will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time and venue, usually on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Each session will last about an hour.  Regular reviews of progress will be built into the course of therapy, to ensure that appropriate progress is being made.