The Clinical Psychology Service at Myton offers support to staff, patients (inpatients, outpatients & day patients), and their relatives or carers. This service is just part of a comprehensive range of psychological support offered by all Myton staff at some level to patients and their families. The Clinical Psychology service aims to help people cope and adjust to their situation.
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
A Clinical Psychologist is someone who has post graduate training to Doctoral level or equivalent in helping people manage emotional, behavioural and physical difficulties using psychological approaches. A Clinical Psychologist is not a medical doctor and does not prescribe medication. They are regulated by the Health Professions Council and chartered by the British Psychological Society, and receive regular supervision through the NHS.
What do they do?
They firstly meet the person to assess exactly what their needs are and together they will identify some goals for treatment. With this information they will then formulate a holistic view of what the difficulty is, taking into account physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, social and spiritual factors. This assessment and formulation will then help the Clinical Psychologist and person decide what support will be most helpful for them. Where appropriate patients may be referred on to other services or professionals.
Clinical Psychologists can offer a range of specific evidence based psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy, Aceeptance & Commitment Therapy, motivational interviewing, relaxation, brief-solution focused therapy etc. Interventions can be directly with the person or can be with family members, carers, or with the staff involved in the person’s care.
Clinical Psychologists offer ‘talking’ therapies and do not prescribe medication. Sessions usually last up to an hour and take place as frequently as needed but this can be discussed on assessment.
Common reasons for referral to Clinical Psychology include:
Anxiety/worry, including panic attacks, health anxiety/hypochondriasis, traumatic reactions, obsessive and compulsive reactions, withdrawal, avoidance, anticipatory nausea and vomiting associated with adjuvant therapies, or phobias e.g. of cancer, needles.
Depression (poor sleep, poor appetite, negative thoughts about world, self and future, suicidal thoughts, social withdrawal, loss of interest, shame, loss of enjoyment).
Coping and adjustment difficulties with diagnosis, physical symptoms, treatment and decision making, living with uncertainty, re-engaging in social roles.
- Emotional distress (feeling overwhelmed)
- Physical and emotional exhaustion
- Low self esteem, loss of confidence
- Family relationship difficulties or specific concerns regarding sharing their diagnosis e.g. children, family history of illness
- Personal relationship and/or sexual difficulties e.g. guilt, ambivalence, abuse, extra marital affairs
- Body image problems
- Carer support
- Pain and fatigue management
- Abnormal/ complicated grief reactions in people with the illness and their families
- Refusal of recommended treatment (non compliance)
- People with learning difficulties who may have an impaired understanding of their illness and the effects it has on them or their family members
- People with pre-existing vulnerabilities e.g. numerous losses, traumatic loss, death of significant other in early childhood, previous mental health problems (anxiety, depression etc)
- People who have a pre-existing vulnerable personality e.g. alcoholism, drug misuse, previous suicide attempts or self-harm, presently suicidal, criminal history, childhood abuse
- People who appear to experience significant personality changes following the diagnosis
Clinical Psychology does not normally see people with ‘normal’ / transient distress or people who just want someone to talk to. These needs are best met by other skilled professionals within Myton. Referrals to Clinical Psychology are made by the staff with the patient’s/family’s consent.
If you would like to see a Clinical Psychologist or are not sure what support is most appropriate for you or your family Myton staff will be happy to talk through the various options with you.