All of our services are bound by our professional codes of conduct, and we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, ensuring that we give a confidential service that adheres to the Data Protection Act. Click here for more information
What to expect…
People often don’t know what to expect when they go to a first therapy or assessment appointment. We know that a lot of people can feel anxious and unsure. It can be difficult to discuss personal issues or difficulties, therefore it is important to us that we do our best to create a safe, confidential and supportive space for you to come to meet with us.
Your first appointment with us would be an assessment (see below for further information). These are usually longer than regular sessions to let you have time to feel comfortable. We will ask you to complete some basic administration forms, and we will ask you to complete a general (and brief) questionnaire about anxiety symptoms, and one about depression symptoms. We do this as these symptoms are often present even if they are not the main reason you have come for help.
We then ask you to tell us the reasons you have come to meet with us, what it is you would like help with and how you might like us to help you.
Following the assessment, we discuss with you how we think we can best help you, and if you think that this is something you would like to do. You do not need to know, or have chosen any particular type of therapy or intervention before you make contact with us. If you are unsure, or do not know, then we will be able to advise you and make recommendations based on your situation and your needs.
If you decide that you would like to receive help from us, we then arrange a series of appointments, usually weekly, and usually lasting between 50 minutes and an hour. We endeavour to start the intervention with you as soon as possible.
The nature of these sessions will then vary depending on the type of intervention that we have agreed is best suited to your needs.
Clinical psychologists have extensive training in assessing a range of psychological difficulties and determining the most appropriate form of help. Your initial appointment will last up to 90 minutes and is an opportunity for you to let us know what you feel are your current difficulties and how you would like us to help you move forward.
We will consider the information you give us from a wide perspective and draw on a range of psychological theories and knowledge. This would allow us to develop an understanding of the nature of the difficulty or situation, how it has developed, how it is being maintained and continuing to cause concerns, and the implications of what this might mean in terms of finding the right type of help for you to change, manage or move on from the situation.
Following assessment, together with you, we agree if any of the interventions offered by Iris Psychology are appropriate to meet your needs. You are not under any obligation to receive interventions from us, and if we do not feel that we are the right service to meet your needs then we will let you know, and sign-post you to different organisations. We will never work outside of the remit of our professional competencies and training.
Assessment Only Service
We do offer an assessment only service for those looking for a ‘one-off’ psychological assessment and report. These sessions may last up to 2 hours, or could be carried out over more than one session if this seems necessary. Any assessment will include recommendations of things that could help the situation and promote psychological well-being, although you would not be under any obligation to follow these.
If a detailed (non-legal) psychological report is required, this can be provided and is charged at an additional rate to the assessment fee.
Therapies / Interventions
We offer specialist expertise in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Please follow one of the links (above or below) to our page on this therapy for detailed information.
CAT is a talking therapy that looks to develop an understanding of how a person thinks, feels and acts, and how this links to the events and relationships that form the basis for these experiences. These are often, but not always, considered from earlier in the person’s life, or from childhood. The therapist and individual then work together to further develop the understanding of the difficulties, how difficulties sometimes associated with past can still become apparent in normal everyday life, and in finding ways to make changes in feelings, thoughts or actions.
Once the understanding of the problem has begun, and difficulties recognised and named, then any of the different techniques outlined below can be used to help the person make the changes that they want to make. The individual and therapist consider the different options together and find the ones best suited to that person, or that situation.
CAT has been demonstrated as effective in a wide range of clinical settings, for a wide range of emotional and physical health difficulties.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a talking therapy that focuses on how a person thinks about a situation and how this impacts on the way they act. In turn, our actions impact on how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in changing the client’s behaviours, or their thinking patterns, or both of these. CBT is mainly concerned with how you think and act now, instead of looking at and getting help with difficulties in your past.
CBT has been proved to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions.
There are many features that overlap between different therapies. The differences between CAT and CBT are discussed further here:
Health coaching involves an individual and their coach working together to find a way to make a sustainable behavioural change in a shared and meaningful goal, related to the physical or mental health of the individual concerned.
Health coaching draws on the principles of positive psychology, solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing, with a focus on the rapport and trust held within the therapeutic relationship.
There are again, many overlapping features, but a difference between therapy and coaching is that the focus of therapy is usually on understanding and changing a problem whilst coaching focuses on the solution.
Mindfulness is an approach that helps people change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences.
Mindfulness exercises or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) are ways of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. Mindfulness training helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.
Mindfulness has been shown to be effective with a range of emotional and physical health conditions, including depression and anxiety.
We can work with organisations or groups of people to help you understand or find a way forward from difficult or complex situations. This can be as a one-off or as a series of meetings.
We offer a clinical supervision service, individual or group, for professionals working within the area of mental health, at a frequency best suited to your needs.
We will ask for evidence that you are appropriately qualified to practise within the field for which you require supervision. This would include professional membership where applicable, and professional indemnity insurance.
We are unable to offer this service to individuals without the appropriate qualifications.