Psychological Therapy

What is Psychological Therapy?

Psychological therapy is a collaborative process which seeks to identify what is important to you, recognise barriers to moving forward in life, and help to you to achieve your goals. It is important to recognise that you know you better than anyone else. The therapist is there to facilitate the process of discovery and will support you to develop strategies that might help you to overcome any obstacles to well-being using their knowledge and experience.

Psychological therapy works best when you attend with an openness to explore new ways of doing things and with a willingness to engage with self-practice outside of the therapy sessions. At the end of therapy, you should leave feeling equipped to face future challenges without regular input from your therapist. Therapy should never go on forever, although you might find that you return to therapy in the future if you become stuck again.

Finding the right therapist for you is often more important than the therapeutic model used. Therapy should not be viewed as treatment for an illness, instead it should be seen as a safe space to make sense of universal human processes that happen in a context specific to you as an individual. That is, therapy can’t remove distress and suffering from life, however, it can help you to cope better when life gets hard.

At your first session, there will be time for you to tell your story, set some goals, and to ask the therapist questions too.

Individual Sessions

Most therapy sessions take place individually, face-to-face. This will be in a private therapy room to maintain confidentiality. Some people like to bring a friend or relative along to their first appointment for support. This is perfectly fine and your psychologist will talk with you about how you would like to approach future sessions.

Following your initial assessment appointment, you and your psychologist will agree on a number of follow-up appointments if required. The number of sessions agreed may vary depending on your goals for therapy. However, it is important there is time for a regular review of how things are progressing; a review would usually take place after 4-6 sessions but it may be sooner than this.

Couples Sessions

There may be occasions where you would like to attend sessions with your partner to focus on something that is relevant to both of you. For example, a situation that is putting strain on your relationship.

In couples therapy, the therapist facilitates the conversation and supports the couple to work together to develop strategies to overcome obstacles to them moving forward in their lives together.

The therapist is not there to take sides. It is important that both individuals in the couple attend with a willingness to engage in the conversation and an openness to try new ways of doing things outside of the consultation room.

Group Sessions

From time to time, Keystone Psychology might run group therapy sessions. This could happen where there is a good evidence base for interventions provided to multiple clients at the same time, for example, mindfulness practice or Pain Management Programmes (PMPs).

The thought of group work can be daunting for some. Your psychologist can discuss this with you prior to sign up. However, it is often the case that clients really benefit from meeting other individuals with similar experiences as them. It provides and opportunity for people to share what has worked well for them and discuss times when they get stuck.

What is the difference between a
Clinical Psychologist and a psychotherapist or counsellor?

All Clinical Psychologists undertake extensive training to Doctoral level as well as being required to demonstrate further training and continued professional development (CPD) once qualified. The title ‘Clinical Psychologist’ is protected and all clinicians must register with The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practitioner Psychologist. In order to maintain their registration, Clinical Psychologists must ensure they receive appropriate clinical supervision and regular appraisals.

Whilst the majority of psychotherapists and counsellors maintain extremely high standards of clinical practice, these titles are not protected and do not reflect a specific level of training. Therefore, if you are considering seeing a psychotherapist or counsellor rather than a Clinical Psychologist it is essential

you have checked the clinician’s level of training, experience and competence prior to engaging in therapy. To help with this, skilled psychotherapists will be listed on an accredited register such as the UKCP or BACP  and these organisations ensure they meet the highest standards of practice. Similarly, a Clinical Psychologist’s registration can be checked on the HCPC website.

Traditionally, in public sector healthcare (i.e. NHS), Clinical Psychologists provide support for individuals with mental and physical ill health presenting with more complex issues, due to their level of training. They are trained in a range of different therapeutic models (e.g. CBT, EMDR, Systemic Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy etc) whereas a psychotherapist might specialise in only one therapeutic model.

Myths about therapy

Everyone copes with challenging situations in different ways. Sometimes we can get stuck into a pattern of behaviour that we find unhelpful or distressing for ourselves and others. Therapists understand that this is incredibly normal and does not mean you’re mad. Therapy is a process to explore this further and develop new and workable ways of coping.

A good therapist will be focussed on supporting you to develop ways of coping with distress that do not require constant therapeutic input. Our goal is to help you to live well without our input by providing opportunities for self-practice and review. We can then have an open discussion about ending therapy and how to effectively self-manage your well-being.

Whilst some people find it helpful to explore the impact of past experiences, more often than not, therapy focuses on how individuals can make workable changes in their lives in the present moment; finding ways to live a more fulfilling life by connecting with their values.

If we look hard enough, we can always find someone better or worse off than us. This does not mean you should not seek support if you are struggling. Therapy is a form of self-compassion and we could all benefit from a space to focus on our own needs and to show ourselves some kindness.

Current research highlights that the relationship between client and therapist is more important than the model used. Therapy is not having something done to you, it’s a collaborative process. Therefore, unless you know which model you want to work with (e.g. CBT), finding the right therapist is more important than finding the right therapy.

Self-funded Session Fees

Individual Sessions

£ 120 per session
  • 50 minutes
  • Virtual Appointments Available
  • NHS/Education staff discount available

Couples Sessions

£ 130 per session
  • 50 minutes
  • Virtual Appointments Available
  • NHS/Education staff discount available

Group Sessions

from£20 per session
  • 1 hour
  • Face-to-face & Virtual
  • NHS/Education staff discount available

Keystone Psychology has agreed a Fee Schedule with the health insurance providers below. If you have a policy with one of these providers which covers psychological therapy then 100% of session fee will be covered by your insurance provider and no additional self-funding is required. Please check with your health insurance provider if your policy covers psychological therapy.

Enquire about Psychological Therapy