A Clinical psychologist is a practitioner who has trained over several years to be able to work with people with a variety of different difficulties. They will have studied at to doctoral level and typically will have gained experience of working with: children, young people and families; people with learning disabilities; adults and older adults. Clinical Psychologists then decide where they would like to specialize and gain extra experience and training in their chosen field. A Clinical Psychologist’s overall aim is to understand and reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological well-being.
They work with a full range of people with mental or physical health problems and have specific skills in conducting cognitive assessments (tests and puzzles to work out how the brain is functioning)
Clinical psychologists work largely in health and social care settings, and will often work alongside other professionals in their multi-disciplinary teams and in other agencies.
A Clinical Psychologist will typically undertake a clinical assessment, using a variety of methods including, psychometric tests & questionnaires, face to face discussions and direct observation of behaviour. From assessment, a Clinical Psychologist will help you to develop a bespoke ‘formulation’; that is a shared understanding of what the presenting difficulties are and what may be keeping them going. Assessment and formulation inform what interventions are likely to be helpful. Clinical Psychologists are trained to use a wide range of psychological interventions. Often these are talking therapies.
Clinical Psychologists may contribute to your assessment by exploring whether there are other factors or conditions which explain the difficulties you / your child is having.
They have skills in sharing a psychological formulation / understanding of how young people present and what factors may be impacting on them and affect their social communication and interactions.