Therapies – what’s the difference?
Clinical Psychology – focuses on the understanding of behaviour, emotions and thinking and their relationship to mental and physical well-being. Clinical Psychologists develop expertise in a wide range of talking therapies, and an in-depth understanding of specific health conditions and research to hone a Psychological treatment which is specific to the needs of the person and their situation. This is always offered within a supportive, safe and confidential space and should provide a person with additional understanding, and skills with which to improve their well-being. Clinical Psychologists most often see people who are experiencing significant recent or on-going struggles, including a range of diagnoses. They also work with families or teams supporting an individual. They often work with other health care professionals, benefiting from and sharing knowledge in the service of supporting individuals.
Psychiatry – has its foundations in medicine and Psychiatrists all trained as medical doctors before specialising in mental health. Their focus is usually on understanding the often complex medical elements, including biochemistry and neurology which can play a significant role in some mental illness. Their medical training also allows expert assessment which can seek to clarify complex situations where physical health and mental health may be interlinked and require a range of interventions. Psychiatric assessment can either form the basis for effective treatments using medicine or can be a starting point from which they or other health care professionals can use to guide their own work more successfully. Psychiatrists sometimes train in talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Psychiatrists can play an important role if urgent medical treatment is required as they have close links with hospitals and medical doctors.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – is a very well researched talking therapy which has been shown to be effective, when used in a bespoke manner, in a wide range of difficulties. Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapists have undertaken formal training and examination in this approach. They commonly have prior training in another health care profession such as nursing, occupational therapy, clinical psychology or psychiatry before choosing this specialism. This approach uses on-going research in to specific mental health diagnoses, to hone talking therapies, which allow a person to make sense of their own difficulties and to develop techniques and approaches to help themselves. It focuses on providing clarity and self-help tools.
Counselling – is a talking therapy which can be effective for a range of emotional issues. It provides a safe and confidential place to explore behaviour, thoughts and feelings in a trusting relationship which is non-judgemental and empathic. For those who find it hard to talk to friends or family, or who need an objective view, counselling can help to resolve emotional issues through self-exploration which can empower self-growth, improve relationships and reduce emotional suffering. Counsellors usually offer individual work, and tend not to involve family members, but may suggest specialist support from a Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist or Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for someone who may be experiencing specific difficulties which may benefit from a more structured approach.