FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychologists are trained in:

  • assessing, diagnosing, and intervening in clients dealing with life challenges, developmental challenges and forms of psychological distress and/or psychopathology;

  • identifying psychopathology in psychiatric disorders, and psychological conditions;

  • identifying, and diagnosing psychiatric disorders and psychological conditions;

  • applying evidenced-based psychological interventions to people with psychological, and psychiatric conditions

  • referring clients to appropriate professionals for further assessment or intervention.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, and can therefore prescribe medication.  They spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment. Psychologists on the other hand focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients. Psychologists are also qualified to conduct psychological testing, which is critical in assessing a person’s mental state and determining the most effective course of treatment.

What is the difference between a clinical, educational, counselling psychologist?

Clinical Psychologists assess, diagnose and intervene with people in dealing with life challenges, particularly those with developmental and relatively serious forms of psychological distress and/or psychopathology.

Educational Psychologists are involved in assessment, diagnosis and intervention in order to optimize human functioning in the broad context of development and learning.

Counseling Psychologists assess, diagnose and intervene with people in dealing with life challenges and developmental problems to optimize psychological well-being.

How many sessions of psychotherapy are needed?

Length of therapy can vary depending on your specific needs and circumstances. Therapy can be short term for a specific issue, or longer term to deal with more serious forms of psychological distress. The treatment methods the therapist uses, the goals of the person seeking therapy, the symptoms he or she has, and the history of those symptoms will all determine the length of therapy. 

What can I expect from psychotherapy?

In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history and past events relevant to your current problem, and report progress or new insights gained from previous therapy session. In psychotherapy, psychologists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You and your psychologist will work together to identify, understand and change the patterns that are keeping you from flourishing in life.

Will the content of my sessions remain confidential?

 

All communication between the client and the psychologist is strictly confidential, and can only be released with written permission of the client. There are specific limited exceptions to the confidentiality outlined above which include, but may not be limited to, the following:

 

  • When a valid court order is issued for the release of such confidential information.

  • When there is an imminent danger to the client or another person, the psychologist is ethically bound to take the necessary steps to prevent such danger.

  • When there is suspicion that a child or elder is being sexually or physically abused, or is at risk of such abuse, the psychologist is legally obliged to take steps to protect the child or elder, and to inform the appropriate authorities.

Chinique Barnard Psychology