Information for Patients

What is the Clinical Health Psychology service?

You may have a physical health condition and be wondering how we can help.
We are psychologists who work within medical and surgical teams to provide a holistic approach to health problems. Everyone’s experience of living with a health condition is different. Your health condition might affect you in one or some of these ways:
 
  • Feeling distressed, as if you can’t cope with it all
  • Giving up things you enjoy
  • Feeling unhappy or angry about how your health condition has affected your life
  • Having concerns about work or studies
  • Interference with relationships with partners, family and friends
  • Worrying or feeling hopeless about the future
  • Losing your self-confidence
  • Difficulties with managing your condition or the treatment
  • Finding it hard to make changes your doctor or other member of your hospital team has recommended

How can I benefit from meeting with a psychologist?

We can talk with you about your own experience. We can explore how your physical health impacts upon your life and then look at how you would like your life to improve alongside your health condition. We can help you identify what changes are achievable and meaningful to you. We may then help you to develop new skills and/or expand your existing skills to help you work towards your desired changes.

Does this mean my doctor thinks my problems are ‘all in my mind’?

No - certainly not! Seeing a psychologist does not mean that we or your hospital team think your problems are in your mind. You are simply taking a very positive step in trying to reduce the impact of your physical health condition on your life.

What about confidentiality?

Everything you say to your psychologist is confidential and we will normally only disclose information to professionals involved in your care with your consent.
 
The only time we may have to break your confidentiality is if you tell us something that makes us concerned about your safety or the safety of someone else. In this case we would always discuss this with you first if possible.
 
With your consent, your psychologist will write a summary letter to your referrer and relevant health care provider(s) describing the outcome of your referral.

What next?

If you are interested in meeting with us and have not yet been referred, please talk to your hospital doctor or nurse and they can refer you. Some services allow you to self-refer – please visit each speciality page for further details about how to do this.
 
Your medical care will not be affected in any way if you decide that you do not want to pursue this sort of help.
Working on it!