Clinical Psychology is the application of science to understand human thought, emotion and behaviour. In the practice of clinical psychology evidence-based methodology and tools are utilised to assess, diagnose, and carry out psychotherapeutic support. The ultimate aim of clinical psychology work is to accurately identify and reduce psychological distress as well as promote psychological well-being. Clinical Psychologists may undertake a range of psychological and psychometric assessments, such as with cognitive or academic functioning as well as in clinical areas of personality and psychopathology. Some clinical psychologists may also be practitioner/researchers, actively engaging in research to help advance scientific knowledge of mental health.
Who do clinical psychologists work with?
They work in a variety of settings from schools to outpatient clinics and inpatient hospitals. They tend to work with individuals with mental or physical health difficulties which might include anxiety, depression, serious and enduring mental health problems, adjustment to physical illness, neurological disorders, addictive behaviour, childhood behavioural disorders, personal and family relationships and learning disability. They also work with people who simply wish to have a better undertsanding of their cognitive profile or pattern of interacting with others.
What are the qualifications for Clinical Psychologists?
Clinical psychologists will have obtained at least a Masters degree in the specific training of practising clinical psychology. In order to be officially registered with or licensed by any regulatory body in most countries however, a doctoral degree, PhD or PsyD, specifically in clinical psychology is a basic requirement, to include at minimum a year of internship in applying the science of psychology to clinical problems. Most clinical psychologists are required to have significant relevant work experience before being accepted onto a doctoral training course, and thus it takes 6-9 years to achieve full doctoral qualification. In some countries Master's level clinical psychologists may begin practising following the completion of the Master's degree and appropriate registration as a Master's level clinical psychologist.
In the UK, USA, and Australia, for example, all clinical psychology graduates who wish to practice and call themselves Clinical Psychologists, must first pass professional tests set by the relevant regulatory board (HCPC, UK; Individual State Licensing Board, USA; APRA, Australia) and provide a high level of evidence of supervised practice in order to achieve the right to refer to themselves as clinical psychologists and render services as such. They must additionally be accepted as a member of a professional organisation such as the British Psychological Society (BPS, UK), American Psychological Association (APA), or Australian Psychological Society (APS) and uphold the code of conduct an ethics, maintain minimu CPD and supervisory requirements as well as maintain a clear practising record and have appropriate professional indemnity insurance in place.
While there is no regulatory body in Hong Kong for psychology, psychotherapy or counselling, and therefore there exists no possibility for being registered in Hong Kong, there are a number of voluntary bodies who offer professional membership to those who meet the criteria set by each organisation.
What is the difference between a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist and a therapist?
A clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist often work in the same setting and both can give mental health dignosis. A psychiatrist is additionally trained to select and qualified to prescribe and monitor medications where deemed appropriate. A clinical psychologist has been trained to carry out psychometric assessments in the course of preparing a diagnosis and to help you think about whether a psycholotherapeutic intervention, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), may help, whereas a psychiatrist can help you think about whether a biological treatment such as an anti-depressant may help. Clinical psychologists often work alongside psychiatrists and may refer you to one if they feel it will be helpful; and psychiatrists may refer you to a clinical psychologist if they feel this will be helpful.
Therapists and counsellors typically do not have training in psychometric assessments and tyipcally specialise in providing one or two particular types of psychotherapy. If you know what form of therapy would most likely help your problem, you might go directly to see a therapist or a counsellor.
How do I get to see a clinical psychologist?
You can refer yourself directly to see a clinical psychologist and referrals can also come from teachers, doctors, or other educational or health care professionals. All referrals are treated in a non-judgmental manner and with the strictest confidence. When you meet with a clinical psychologist, the initial meeting will usually be for an assessment and then the clinician will discuss with the client teh treatment options.
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What is Psychotherapy & Counselling?
Psychotherapy and counselling are terms that are often used interchangeably. Psychotherapy is the general term used to refer to 'talk therapy' with a trained professional and can be carried out by clinical psychologists, individuals who have specifically trained in a specialist branch of psychotherapy, or counsellors, who have general training as a helping professional but do not typically carry out specialist assessments to inform their work with clients. In all cases, professional clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, and cousnellors alike, all should provide support services in a safe and neutral environment where one can explore any issue(s) that may be prominent in your life. We work to ensure top ethical standards are in play with every member of our team as each is a professionally qualified practitioner, is a member of a professional organisation relevant to their country of origin, maintains regular CPD and receives ongoing supervision for their practice. Many simply refer to all practitioners as 'therapists'.
All therapists should be educated to at least Masters level with a relevant degree in counselling or a specific psychotherapeutice approach, and maintain professional membership with a relevant organisation. There are very few regulatory systems in the world for psychotherapists and counsellors so these minimum standards are important.
What can I do with a Psychotherapist or Counsellor?
Psychotherapy and counselling are practces that are suitable for a range of enquires, but not all counsellors will be trained to support queries that are more clinically based, such as chronic depression, alcohol or drug dependence, schizophrenia, and similar. It can be helpful to have some understanding of which particular theoretical orientation your therapist may take, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT, emotional focused therapy (EFT), motivational interviewing (MI), etc, but if you do not, you can ask what type of therapy they provide to ensure you can get the most out of any work that you do together.
Typically, therapists provide support any of the following concerns, but soe may specialise so it important to query what each therapist specialises in before commencing any course of support.
Chronic Health Management
Social Skills Training
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Our e-therapy support services ensure everyone can have the opportunity to seek support in a safe, confidential and private environment in an affordable and portable environment. Our team are always ready to be there for you in person or online, when you are ready, just call or write to arrange a time to meet. Our online therapy services also mean that you can maintain support strategies whilst traveling, when schedule upsets occur and even when social anxiety comes in to play.
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Coaching Psychology uses the art and science of psychology in an everyday way to support clients in achieving their own sucess with normal and exceptional needs and desires whether at work, home, school or in life generally.
The tools and techniques applied by qualified practising coaching psychologists are often cognitive and behavioural, born from the clinical, counselling, organisational and occupational psychology disciplines.
A main goal of coaching psychologists is to support clients in setting client directed goals and the paths to achieve them, whether for personal or professional success.
Coaching psychologists support clients in realising, understanding and accepting the choices that have been mafe and those that can be made. This is achieved through empathic reflection and exploration of those choices made in order to more effectively assess possible future choices and options available right now. Effectively, they support client's future happiness, satisfaction and success. At appropriate times, coaching psychologists may also actively and/or constructively challenge beliefs and assumptions when they prevent clients from realising a fulfilling path for life or their real potential.
Techniques employed stem from the long and professional history of psychological practices and include psychometrics where appropriately supportive and informative. These are always explained and explored to find the correct blend appropriate for each client's unique presentation. Psychotherapeutic techniques may also be utilised in order to explore the more serious issues such as unresolved childhood issues, such as abuse, coping with psychiatric injury or disability where the issue can be dealt with in positive ways.
The use of traditional psychological approaches in coaching psychology relationships, that are not clinically or medically focussed, is an effective way to support those with mild to moderate mental health issues in the wider community. This does require however, that these complex boundaries are addressed within any coaching psychology relationship in advance and that explicit client permission is sought in all instances at the beginning of all such endeavours.
In all cases the best interests, needs and client wishes are always respected and lie at the core of all coaching psychology relationships.
The course of any coaching psychology programme will take the time it takes and is only considered fulfilled when the client feels that s/he is able to independently carry out the task of preparing their own pathways for self-achieving success without ongoing support.
Ultimately, coaching psychologists support the development of insight in their clients and the subsequent utilisation of client's own inner resources in achieving any current or future outcome desired or needed. This must be achieved by each client in their own uniquely personal way in order to have enough meaning to instill an internal motivation and locus of control. This allows for greater personal understanding and therefore facilitates the rapid and constructive adoption of any skills imparted on the part of the coaching psychologist and insights gained on the part of the client.
Coaching psychologists and the services they provide function largely to provide compassionate, supportive and traditionally psychologically structured services and are held to the same high levels of ethics and conduct.
Specialised training and development ensures that professional practices are delivered to an appropriate standard and the multidisciplinary nature of training and consultation ensures that services offered are integrative, all-encompassing and fulfilling for each and every unique individual relationship.
Coaching psychologists especially work to get every client to express who they are, in their own terms and no one else's, including any criteria placed upon them by external agencies, family, peers, colleagues or previous helping relationships.
Psynamo provides a selection of professional, evidence-based Coaching Psychology services to suit your needs. Our Coaching Psychology services are completely confidential and are tailor made to your goals. This means we will use the tools that best suit your requirements in working together to achieve the goals you set.
We are able to offer a range of packages to suit you whether you would like a single session or would prefer to enjoy the beneft of reduced fees for multiple session bookings in advance.
First sessions for packages will up to be 1 hour 50 minutes in duration (equivalent to two sessions). Standard (and single) sessions are 50 minutes in duration. Longer sessions can be arranged in advance if needed.
Certain student coaching psychology services incorporate and benefit from a range of standardised assessments to inform the course of sessions. We will advise you about any specific assessments at the time, including any additional costs that would fall due.
All sessions may be face-to-face and adult sessions may also be held via Skype and/or telephone.
* Student coachees age range 9 to 17. Please note students under the age of 16 must be escorted by an adult. ** All fees are quoted in Hong Kong dollars. The prevailing exchange rate at the time of session reservations will be confirmed and charged for clients based outside of Hong Kong. All prices are current at the time of updating, please confirm fees before commencing services.
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