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What is psychological therapy?

Psychological therapy, counselling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are all terms that are often used interchangeably in everyday language. Although these specific approaches may differ, they broadly fall under the umbrella term of “talking treatments” and have a long tradition of successfully helping people to make sense of and to overcome a whole range of difficulties.


For more information, visit the Mind website for online and downloadable booklets on the main 

"talking treatment" approaches.


How can psychological therapy help?
Psychological therapy has been proven to help people and is a recommended treatment by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for a wide range of problems including specific mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosis.


People often access psychological therapy however for many of life's problems including sadness, coping with a traumatic event (e.g., bereavement, job loss), stress, relationship difficulties, coping with a long-term physical health condition or trying to change a particular behaviour (e.g., smoking, losing weight).


Talking to a clinical psychologist who is skilled and experienced in providing psychological therapy for a range of problems can give you the time and space to explore your thoughts and feelings with the aim of helping you to improve your quality of life. We can consider together how you would like your life to look and work towards specific goals that you may have.


For more information on the types of difficulties that psychological therapy can help with, visit the Mind website
for online and downloadable booklets.


Who are clinical psychologists?
Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological well-being. They work largely in health and social care settings including hospitals, health centres, mental health teams and social services. They also work privately providing a range of expert services, including individual psychological therapy. Every day clinical psychologists help a wide range of people of all ages with all sorts of problems. They use approaches and techniques which research studies have shown to be effective.

What training do clinical psychologists have?
Clinical psychologists typically have a degree in psychology plus an additional three to five years of postgraduate experience and university training in applying the science of psychology to clinical problems. It therefore takes six to eight years to qualify as a clinical psychologist, and the qualification obtained is a doctorate in clinical psychology.

What happens during a therapy session?
At your first appointment, you will be able to talk about your situation in detail and ask any questions that you may have. At the end of the appointment, you and the psychologist will discuss your options and plan the next steps.


If you decide together that you would like to continue with the sessions, the psychologist will discuss appointment options with you and your subsequent sessions will take place regularly (e.g. weekly). Within your sessions, you will be able to talk about your experiences with the psychologist and discuss potential new ways of managing your situation.


After your first appointment, you may decide not to have any further sessions or the psychologist may suggest a more appropriate service for you. We have access to a range of additional services and professionals and so your psychologist will refer you on if possible.

Are my therapy sessions confidential?
We take the issue of confidentiality very seriously and the psychology sessions are private. If your psychologist
is concerned about the risk of harm to you or to others then they are legally obliged to share this information with relevant professionals. However, they would attempt to discuss this with you first. The process of information sharing will be discussed with you in more detail at your first appointment.

How much does therapy cost?
The cost of individual psychological therapy is £140 per 50 minute session.

Who will be my clinical psychologist?
Our clinical director and principal clinical psychologist is Dr Daniel O’Toole. Danny has over 15 years experience working in the NHS and has also worked in the private and voluntary sectors.

As a clinical psychologist, he has worked with patients experiencing a wide variety of emotional and psychological difficulties including complex trauma, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), substance use, psychosis, addiction, stopping smoking, suicidality, loss and bereavement, relationship problems and weight issues.

Danny has a passion for working with people who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of physical health problems (including illnesses such as lung disease, cancer, diabetes and heart disease) and specialises in this area in his NHS role.


Danny takes a compassionate and person-centred approach to his therapeutic work and is able to draw on a range of evidence-based approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy.


What qualifications does my psychologist have?
Dr O'Toole is registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) as a chartered psychologist. He is also registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which is the main regulatory body in the UK which legally allows psychologists to practice.


Dr O'Toole holds the following qualifications:

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsychol)
Master of Science (MSc) Degree in Health Psychology
Graduate Diploma in Psychology
BA (Hons) Human Resource Management
Certificate in Community Mental Health

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Visit the Contact​ page to enquire about therapy appointment availability

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