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FAQ

Will my Doctor/GP be told I’m in Counselling?

When we begin our assessment for counselling,  I will talk with you about confidentiality and what it means with respect to your privacy and law. 

I have strict rules that protect your confidentiality: that where the law does not over-ride me, I will not discuss our work with anyone (other than my obligatory clinical supervision).

This means that I will not inform your doctor/GP about your counselling as a matter of course.

 

Let’s highlight a couple of potential exceptions:-

  • If you wish me to write to your doctor/GP, we will discuss this in session before I agree to do so.
  • If your health (physical or mental) appears to warrant intervention from your doctor/GP, in rare circumstances I may request your permission to write to your doctor/GP, but we will discuss this in session before I take any action.

So, when you come to me for counselling I will not automatically inform your doctor that you are receiving therapy from me.

My counselling practice is independent of NHS primary care services.

Categories
FAQ

Do I ask my Doctor/GP to refer me for Private Counselling?

No – you are not required to ask your doctor/GP to refer you to Dean Richardson for private counselling.

As a BACP Accredited counsellor/psychotherapist with his own private practice in Portsmouth (Hampshire) and via video conference through Skype, Dean is fully qualified and experienced to work with individuals, couples and groups.

Dean offers individual the following services:-

… all are in his private practice in Portsmouth & Southsea and online through the Internet via Skype video conference.

You can make your own appointment for counselling to discuss your options for counselling with Dean Richardson – you do not need to seek a referral by your GP (general practitioner / doctor) and your doctor is not automatically informed of any decision you make to enter counselling.

Dean is qualified to make his own judgements & recommendations to you on suitability for counselling through a process called the “counselling assessment”.  This assessment session is a 50 minute appointment for individuals (or individuals wishing to join a therapy group), and 4×50 minute sessions for couples. What you need from counselling will be discussed to help you identify the focus for counselling work before any counselling begins (although many find the assessment process therapeutic too).

If counselling may not be a suitable therapy for you (or your partner when considering couple relationship counselling) other options can be discussed including referrals to therapies and therapists who may be more appropriate for your needs.

Categories
FAQ

Can I ask my Doctor/GP for Counselling?

Counselling can be made available to you on the NHS via your GP.

There is often “stepped” process involved – including a waiting list to begin treatment depending on your presenting issues.

An illustrative example would be:

  • Initially, your doctor may first ask you to come back again in a few weeks time to see if things are better.
  • If things don’t feel better then next you may next be given access to reading material – a form of self-guided self-help therapy.
  • If this doesn’t help you may be offered access to a computerised [tooltip text='Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy that is focussed on helping a person change the ways they think, how they feel, and their behaviour, in a stepped process. CBT has a reputation for being a manualised treatment (patient is diagnosed and a matching treatment prescribed) which is how computer-based CBT treatments have been created.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy'] CBT [/tooltip] treatment.  This may help you identify and deal with your problems through suggestions the computer may offer based upon your responses to questions.
  • If these “self-guided” therapies remain ineffective, a referral to a low-level  (trained & qualified) therapist may be the next step – involving a waiting list of several weeks or months.
  • If the low-level impact fails to help you, you may be referred to another therapist for further treatment.

Low-level impact treatments are cost effective to the NHS because of their being no need to train highly skilled therapists.

The initially-mild interventions offered to you should be overseen by a therapist who should have an initial qualification, adequate experience & appropriately supervised (i.e. newer (lower-cost) therapists are more commonly used early low-impact intervention stages of a patient’s NHS counselling).

You may later be offered a fixed number of sessions of face-to-face counselling if the previous therapeutic intervention didn’t work for you. You may be offered to meet with a more experienced psychotherapist or psychiatrist if the previous experiences of therapy are ineffective.

Why CBT/Stepped Process?

This NHS stepped process is partially due to costs and partially due to new procedures introduced called IAPT (read more).

CBT is a treatment that GP’s can understand – it principally works on a diagnoses/prescription modality, where several treatments can be normalised (i.e. the CBT therapist follows someone’s recommendations/instructions for treating a particular ailment).  Of course, one would not take a prescription from an unqualified GP, so one would not be prescribed a form of therapeutic treatment from an unqualified CBT therapist – but there are various levels of experience & qualifications.

IAPT originally only offered CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).  Mild forms of CBT can be offered by minimally trained therapists using a form of manualised therapy (e.g. you may be diagnosed and a therapist may refer to a set of therapeutic interventions that are recommended for your form of diagnosis).

Whilst CBT can be effective for certain issues it is not a fix-everything therapy and not everyone likes to feel like they are responding to a manual-of-therapy.  If you can be helped by the processes then this will be beneficial – albeit that to get to the higher forms of treatment the previous experiences of treatment may have to have failed first.

Private Counselling – Your Choice of Treatment.

Unlike NHS Stepped-Treatment, private counselling with Dean Richardson begins with the FULL service.

There is no tiered/stepped process with Dean. You start immediately with full 50-minute weekly sessions working with Dean face to face.  No computers giving you questionnaires.  No books to read.

You and Dean will begin with an assessment session (meeting to talk about what you need from counselling, and discussing what counselling may and may not be able to help with).

You and Dean will meet weekly (usually the same day, same time, same location – which helps many people manage their commitments elsewhere).

With Dean’s assistance you might decide to discuss choose how many counselling sessions you wish to attend (such as brief/focal counselling) or you may with to work with Dean until the focus of the needs for counselling have been fully addressed.

No waiting lists – no maximum number of sessions.

It’s a very personal counselling service that aims to create a therapy that works for you and your needs.