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“Clinical psychologists are trained to work with individuals of different ages with behavioural, emotional and/or psychological distress which disrupts their everyday functioning and well-being. They aim to reduce distress and to enhance and promote psychological well-being, minimise exclusion and inequalities and enable service users to engage in meaningful relationships and valued work and leisure activities” NHS England
Clinical Psychology is a highly regulated profession. Whilst anyone can call themselves a psychologist, the term Clinical Psychologist is a legally protected title and should only be used by those who meet the criteria set out by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). All Clinical Psychologists must be registered with the HCPC.
All registered Clinical Psychologists will have completed an undergraduate degree in psychology (3 years) and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology (3 years). It is also usual for them to have also completed some postgraduate work before commencing the doctorate. Clinical Psychologists are trained by the NHS and gain experience working across the lifespan as well as in different specialisms during their training.
Clinical Psychologists are widely considered to be experts in mental health. Their training enables them to understand and assess a range of emotional and psychological difficulties. An assessment often involves finding out about many different aspects of a person’s life, including their background, current concerns, family life, social situation and their physical and mental health. Clinical Psychologists work collaboratively with their clients to build a shared understanding of their difficulties and agree what would be a helpful to work on in therapy, ensuring their client’s hopes or goals are at the centre of the work they do.
Clinical Psychologists are trained in a number of therapy approaches and will balance individual formulation and scientific evidence when thinking with clients about what approach might best suit their needs.