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Psychology in Reading

The psychology department at Circle Reading Hospital helps patients with existing or new mental health concerns, including low mood, depression and anxiety. We bring together the expertise of leading psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and expert counsellors.

The psychology department at Circle Reading Hospital helps patients with existing or new mental health concerns, including low mood, depression and anxiety. We bring together the expertise of leading psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and expert counsellors so we are able to provide a holistic service for all of our patients, taking care of the mind as well as the body. Our private unit within Circle Reading provides the perfect space for confidential treatment.

If you are suffering with low mood, stress, or you are feeling under pressure or anxious you may benefit from speaking to a member of our team. Our unit accepts referrals from GPs, other doctors working within Circle Health or other units, as well as self-referrals.

If you need urgent help and support, you should seek the help of emergency services. Contact your local A&E department, your GP or call NHS 111.

If you are unsure whether to seek professional help then we are happy to talk to you further about possible solutions we can offer prior to any appointments. Our efficient administrative processes ensure you may book appointments without delay and at your convenience.

Psychology is the branch of medicine dedicated to the science of the mind. It is well known to the general public through the publicised work of professors such as Sigmund Freud and Ivan Pavlov. Historically, psychologists worked with more severe mental health diagnoses, often taking some of the caseload away from psychiatrists.

However, in recent decades the field of clinical psychology has much greater flexibility of specialisations, with an underlying theme dedicated to analysing how the mind influences the behaviour of individuals, and vice versa. Some psychologists may focus on behavioural analysis and how emotions and cognitions affect the way we view and interact with the world around us. Others specialise in talk therapy that can overlap with the types of treatment offered by counsellors. There are many types of empirically validated talk therapy treatments, and clinical psychologists will specialise in different options.

Clinical psychologists are experts in their field, having done an undergraduate degree in psychology and then several years training in a healthcare organization, before returning to university to complete a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

After this postgraduate course, psychologists must register as a qualified practitioner and commit to lifelong learning, continuing professional development, and additional specialist training. Their training and practice is devoted to assessing and treating specific mental states. These can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress and time off work
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Coping with medical illness
  • Health anxiety
  • Pain management
  • Neuropsychology

Clinical psychologists work closely with other members of a multidisciplinary team which often include psychiatric doctors, physiotherapists, specialist nurses, occupational therapists and specialist consultants such as those in surgery, rehabilitation medicine, and pain management.

Although some conditions which psychiatrists treat overlap those which clinical psychologists treat, Psychiatric doctors are able to prescribe medication and often treat more severe cases of mental illness. Now it is normal to see a psychiatrist when considering a more specialist review of any mood-related drugs prescribed by GPs, or if a psychologist believes medication may assist with symptom relief while one is undergoing talk therapy. In this way, psychiatrists work closely with psychologists and counsellors for a thorough review of mental well-being.

Many clinical psychologists also undertake academic positions and may conduct scientific research as part of their ongoing job roles.

Circle Health’s psychology department draws on the expertise of various specialists including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and specialist counsellors.

Our unit is able to accept referrals from GPs and other doctors working within the NHS, other private healthcare organisations, as an internal referral from another clinician at Circle Health or as a self-referral.

Depending on your individual circumstances we will book your initial consultation with the most appropriate member of our team.

Initial consultation

At your initial consultation, your clinician will give you time to talk through the reasons for why you are seeking support. During this conversation your clinician may help or guide you through a process of understanding the history of your symptoms and any previous treatment you may have undertaken. During this non-judgmental interview, our clinicians will aim to get as full an understanding of your background, including factors such as:

  • Current stressors and your preferred coping mechanisms
  • Family background
  • Relationships and friendship groups
  • Occupation and employments
  • Social activities and hobbies
  • Any significant physical health problems

Based on this conversation, our clinicians will also discuss your goals and ambitions for your treatment programme. Central to this will be an agreed plan of action for your treatment at Circle Health.

Additional assessments

A variety of more formal assessments may also be used during or after your initial interview. These can include a variety of methods to assess your needs and make a clinical diagnosis.

Often you may be asked to answer empirically validated questionnaires or to participate in a formal assessment of personality that may help clarify your symptoms. Aptitude tasks like IQ measures can be administered for specific purposes, and further formal cognitive assessment is available in our neuropsychology service for those who have suffered stroke or traumatic brain injury.

The right treatment for you, always

Following your initial consultation and based on your individual plan of action, we will organise treatment as needed. This may include starting or changing certain types of medication, or sessions with our clinical psychologist or expert counsellor to work on a structured programme or talking therapies.

Our unit delivers a holistic package of psychology services with expert clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, all available to work towards your goals. Based on your individual plan of action, our expert clinical psychologists and counsellors are able to provide a range of effective solutions for helping with your particular concerns.

Talking therapies

For longer-term depression and anxieties, our talking therapies are able to help by examining underlying structural and emotional causes, including looking at thinking patterns, relationships with others, and natural biases and defenses.

Our clinicians are experts in identifying specific lifestyle and trigger factors which may start periods of low mood and stress and, once identified, our unit is able to teach specific coping mechanisms to deal with these struggles.

Your clinician may also organise a steady exposure to any specific fears or anxieties during your treatment to reduce your stress levels, all done carefully with the tools you need to feel calm and in control.

In certain circumstances, there may be a chemical imbalance that is causing the underlying low mood or anxiety. In these circumstances, our expert Psychiatrists can prescribe medication to address this. Additionally, diet and exercise habits may also be fundamental to lifting mood and reducing anxiety, and we will address any lifestyle causes in a structured manner, while also having the option to engage with our physiotherapy or dietician departments as well.

Simple measures to enhance mood each day will be discussed and our experts will help you through the process of keeping you engaged in the things that hold real meaning to you. This will be done by helping you re-engage with personal life goals and ambitions which may have, in some circumstances, been lost.

Stress-free booking of appointments

With Circle Health’s depth of experience, we have developed an excellence in our non-clinical care to match our expertise in clinical care. We provide efficient and streamlined administrative procedures, enabling stress-free booking of appointments, referrals to and from diagnostic tests and cross-referrals to other medical specialties.

Not only is our psychology clinical care second to none, your appointments will be conducted in modern, discreet, private consulting rooms where you are able to feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.

Specialists offering Psychology

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