Questions about Psychological Therapy
+ What does psychological therapy involve?
Psychological Therapy is very similar to counselling in that it involves meeting a trained professional, either in person or online, and talking about what it is you have been going through. Most of us want somebody to talk to, someone who listens and accepts, especially when we are going through a difficult time. Therapists are trained to listen attentively, without judgment.
There is extensive evidence supporting the effectiveness of Psychological Therapies in helping people with a wide range of psychological difficulties or emotional distress. Therapy can be hard work, however many people find it very helpful as it offers perspectives we often cannot gain alone, and solutions we did not know were possible.
There are many different types of Psychological Therapy. There are similarities between them; however they differ in their focus. Different therapies have been found to be more effective than others in treating certain problems.
+ How does Clinical Psychology differ from psychotherapy or counselling?
Clinical Psychologists differ from many other therapeutic professionals, in that they are trained in a variety of different treatment methods. They are also trained to integrate scientific research and clinical practice, enabling them to enhance current psychological treatments, and facilitate effective psychological services. Dr Abercrombie assesses her clients and decides whether any particular therapy, or indeed combination of therapies, would be most likely to meet their needs.
Clinical Psychologists complete at least seven years full-time training prior to qualification. A degree in psychology is followed by various years’ practical experience as an Assistant Psychologist or in a related profession. Subsequently, they undergo three years of academic work and practical placements as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. This results in the qualification of Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Professional development continues throughout their career. To find out more about Dr Abercrombie's particular journey pre-and post-qualification click here.
+ Is psychological therapy for me? How do I know if I need psychological therapy?
People engage in psychological therapy for all sorts of reasons. It is effective in helping people work through a whole range of problems, big or small. It is suitable for and can be beneficial to people from a wide range of situations and backgrounds, and with a wide variety of needs. Whether you are: experiencing an extreme amount of psychological distress at the moment, and are looking for help to move forward and become more content with life; you are wanting to just talk through something that is bothering you at the moment; or you are wanting to be pro active and look after your mental health, therapy may be for you. Check out just some of the types of psychological issues Dr Abercrombie works with here. This list is far from exhaustive, but gives you an idea of the types of problems people come to therapy for.
+ What sort of psychological therapy do you offer?
Let's talk online psychology service offers a range of psychological therapies. See here for a list of the various therapies Dr Abercrombie offers. Different types of therapies and techniques have been found more effective for different problems. During your initial free online/telephone consultation Dr Abercrombie will begin the process of considering which therapy or a combination of therapies may be most useful in helping you with whatever problems you are experiencing. All therapies should make you feel that you are supported and help you to make sense of your individual circumstances. By the end of any therapy you should feel that you are better equipped to cope with the future.
+ How long does a session last?
One session will usually last for around one hour, this may vary depending on the format in which you choose to have the session ( telephone, video conferencing, instant messaging, email), or the type of therapy that you are receiving. You can discuss the length of the session with your therapist to adapt it to your needs. For example, sometimes people with chronic health problems prefer to have shorter sessions due to concentration issues and fatigue, etc.
+ How often do I need to have a session?
Most people choose to have a session once a week, as this is what research has found to be most helpful. However, the recommended frequency of sessions will depend on the therapy you choose to receive and your individual circumstances and preferences. Dr Abercrombie can discuss this further during your initial consultation.
+ Is there a set amount of sessions I would need to attend?
Not at all, this tends to vary greatly depending on each individual's circumstances. The number of sessions you have will depend on what it is you are experiencing, what you would like to get out of therapy, and the type of therapy you are receiving. The number of sessions vary from a one-off therapeutic session, to help somebody work through and reflect upon a particular issue, to a number of sessions to reach their goals and process what is going on in their lives. It can often be helpful to discuss a set amount of sessions at the beginning of therapy and as these come to an end, review how therapy is progressing and decide whether and how many additional sessions may be agreed upon at that point. Purchasing a package of sessions can also be financially advantageous due to discounts offered. Others like to leave things more open ended, and decide on the number of sessions as therapy progresses. You can end therapy whenever you feel is necessary, but it is suggested that you discuss your wish to end with Dr Abercrombie so that the ending can help bring things together as best as possible.
+ What kind of things will I have to share during therapy?
It is your decision what information you choose to share. A good place to start is to tell Dr Abercrombie what it is that has brought you to therapy, and perhaps what you would like to get out of therapy. It is important that you take things at a pace you feel comfortable, as sharing such personal information can be difficult. The type of therapy you engage in may also resulting you sharing different types of information. For example, with therapies such as psychodynamic psychotherapy or Schema focused therapy, it will be important to share some of your earlier experiences in life to help make sense of how they impact your current experiences. On the other hand mindfulness would focus more on your current experiences, helping you to engage with the world more moment to moment, nonjudgementally.
+ What if I am feeling unhappy with the therapy I am receiving or indeed even an aspect of the therapy?
It is important that you are able to feel comfortable with your therapist. Research has shown that regardless of what problem you are experiencing, or the type of therapy you choose to engage in, having a good relationship with your therapist is key to getting the most out of psychological therapy. It may be that after your initial free consultation with Dr Abercrombie, you decide you would prefer to work with somebody else. If this is the case, Dr Abercrombie would be more than happy to refer you on to any of her colleagues whom she feels would be able to help. Even if you do choose to engage in in person or online psychological therapy with Dr Abercrombie, there will undoubtedly be times where you are unsure whether the therapy is working for you, or you identify things about the therapeutic process that you think could be different. Dr Abercrombie encourages open conversations throughout the course of therapy, and aims to provide you with a containing space, whereby you feel free to reflect and work together to think about how to make your therapeutic experience as good as possible.
Questions about online therapy.
+ What is online therapy?
Online therapy is therapy delivered through the use of the Internet rather than in the traditional in-person format. Online therapy can be delivered in many different ways, including video conferencing, instant messaging (known as synchronous therapy) or email messaging (known as asynchronous therapy). It can also include working with a therapist over the telephone. Online/telephone therapy is increasingly being chosen by clients instead of traditional in-person therapy. We believe that it is offering people who may not otherwise have been able to attend therapy, for a variety of reasons, to recieve help for whatever they are experiencing. It is significantly improving accessibility to therapy for mental health difficulties. .
+ Is online therapy effective?
Yes! All psychological treatments provided by let's talk psychology service are guided by research evaluating what types of therapy/environment are most helpful for what types of problems. Prior to expanding into the world of online therapy a review of literature looking at the effectiveness of online therapy was conducted. Many studies found online therapy to work equally as well, and in some cases better than traditional in-person therapy. Click here to see a more detailed overview of some of the studies completed.
+ What are the benefits of online therapy?
Online therapy has many benefits, and there are many reasons why somebody chooses this mode of therapy. Check out Dr Abercrombie's blog explaining some of these reasons here.
+ What makes online therapy different to regular, in-person therapy?
Obviously, the primary difference is that instead of being in the same room as your therapist you are working with them from a distance using the internet, or the telephone. For some people it feels important to be able to sit opposite their therapist, whilst talking through and reflecting upon their lives and difficulties. Others, for a range of reasons, enjoy being able to access therapy from the comfort and privacy of their own home, or another place more convenient to them. Video chat therapy is the most similar to in-person therapy, as you are still able to see your therapist as you speak with them. Telephone therapy, although you cannot see your therapist, still enables you to speak with them verbally. Instant messaging therapy and email therapy have different advantages and disadvantages again. The written word can be very therapeutic, and for many people is more preferable way to share some of their personal experiences. It also means that people have a record of all communication with their therapist, in addition to having time to reflect upon their response before writing it down. Disadvantages of therapy using the written word include what might be missed through non-verbal communication.
Questions about scheduling and paying for sessions.
+ How do I book a session?
In this modern and global digital age we all have different available and preferential ways of communicating. To make the step of reaching out for help less daunting you can inquire about Dr. Abercrombie's service's and/or book your free consultation in many different ways. Click here to see all your contact options.
+ How much does it cost?
Prices for online therapy and supervision can be found on the online booking page. Your initial online/telephone consultation is free. Make sure you also have a look at the discounts available if you are purchasing a package of sessions. In order to make a psychological therapy as accessible as possible their can be some flexibility, depending on your circumstances. Discounts can also be offered for counselling students.
+ When can I start the first session?
You can arrange your first online appointment from the earliest time slot available. You can check this by contacting us directly.
+ What happens if I miss a session or can’t attend a session?
We understand that circumstances might arise that cannot be foreseen, and if you know that you cannot attend a session please let your therapist know as soon as you can to enable rescheduling the missed session. Sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice may be charged.
+ How and when do I pay for sessions?
Online therapy and supervision is to paid for at the time of booking. You will be sent an invoice to be paid as soon as possible.
+ Is my payment secure?
Yes! Payments are sent and received using Wave. Your data is secured and encrypted with the same technology used by banks. Your sensitive card details are encrypted using SSL (secure sockets layer technology) before transmission to our secure payment service provider. Your card details will never be stored on our servers.
Questions about confidentiality, privacy and security.
+ Is let's talk online psychology service confidential? Would my information ever be shared with another person?
All of your personal information is confidential. Dr Abercrombie will keep records of your time together, to help monitor and review your progress all records are kept safe and secure, and are not shared without your knowledge or consent. There are rare occasions where it is Dr Abercrombie's professional duty to break confidentiality. This will only occur if she feels you are an immediate risk to yourself or anyone else. If this is necessary she will discuss this with you, so you are aware of whom she need to share this with, and what information will be discussed. You are kept in the loop at all times. All therapists have regular clinical supervision to ensure that they are providing their clients with the best treatment possible. There may be occasions were Dr Abercrombie brings your case to supervision, but again this will be kept confidential and your name and any identifying features will not be shared.
+ Will the information I provide via the online therapy assessment form be secure?
Yes! A platform called jotform is used, ensuring that all the information you provide is encrypted and kept secure. Your security and privacy is of utmost important to us.
+ I am already familiar with Skype/face time. Why do you recommend using Zoom as a platform for video conferencing therapy? How is it different?
Skype is the most commonly used video platform around, something they are probably very familiar with. It does not however meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards for electronic health care transactions. Zoom is HIPAA-Compliant. Zoom uses a novel network-sensing algorithm to adapt to network conditions. Unlike Skype, Zoom is enterprise-friendly with FIPS 140-2 certified 256 bit AES encryption and a full suite of administrator management and control capabilities. This way you can be assured that all communication with your therapist is completely private and secure. Using let's talk online, you can be confident that you are adhering to the very best practices for online counseling.
+ What is Hushmail? Will it keep my email correspondence during email therapy private and secure?
Hushmail is an easy to use, private and secure email account. Like VSee, Hushmail is HIPAA-Compliant. When you are using Hushmail, the connection between your computer and the Hushmail server is protected by encryption. The body of the email in addition to any attachments remain encrypted when they are stored on the hard drives of the hushmail servers. By using Hushmail you can be confident in knowing that any information shared during your email correspondence with Dr Abercrombie will remain completely private and secure.
Questions about technical issues
+ What kind of computer or technical equipment do I need to use let's talk online psychology service?
One of the following operating systems: o Windows version 7 or 8 o Macintosh version OS X 10.7 or newer One of the following Internet browsers: o Chrome version 31 or newer o Firefox version 24 or newer o Internet Explorer version 8 or newer A webcam and microphone (available in stores or online)
+ Can I attend a session of online therapy with let's talk online psychology service on my mobile phone, or tablet?
Yes, you can use let's talk online psychology service on your smart phone or tablet.