The physical symptoms of different conditions and their treatments all vary, but the impact they have on our psychological and social wellbeing is similar. It makes sense that we feel shocked and scared about a diagnosis, frustrated that we have so many extra things to think about compared with friends, angry that our life feels a lot harder. Sometimes we can feel guilty if we know people who have it worse than us, but this doesn't make our feelings go away. When there is no cure for a chronic illness, the additional suffering we impose on ourselves can make all the stuff that sucks about an illness feel even tougher. We start to turn down invitations, think we're no fun to be around. When we feel this way, the condition feels even harder to live with. This is where a psychologist can help; by making the links between the mind and body the condition is still there, but the negative impact it has on a person's psychological and social wellbeing is supported.
Unbelievably, anyone can call themselves a psychologist without any training at all because the title is not protected! However, trained Clinical psychologists are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), meaning you can check that they are registered. Clinical Psychologists are specialists in mental health who have trained across the lifespan in a number of talking therapies. Psychiatrists are medically trained and prescribe medications to help with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. They are regulated by the General Medical Council. Counsellors and psychotherapists offer lower level support to adults or children, helping clients to make their own links. They are not always regulated, meaning it is important to ask what specific training they have done. This clip explains it nicely, with the difference being that UK psychologists need to register with the HCPC https://youtu.be/GBGnegltSoM
The Covid-19 pandemic opened my eyes to new ways of working, and I've learned that online sessions can be less disruptive and work well around exams, work or lots of medical appointments. I would rather young people do more of the things that matter to them than driving to and from an appointment with me! Working online also means that I can work with amazing young people all over the UK, from the comfort of their own home. If you live near Exeter and would prefer to meet in person, contact me to see what can be arranged.