Interview with a Clinical Psychologist
This interview originally appeared on Happy Tokens on October 11, 2018
What is to a Clinical Psychologist? What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and other Psychologists i.e. Educational Psychologists?
Hi, I am Dr Tina Mistry, Clinical Psychologist. A clinical psychologist traditionally works in the NHS and has been trained in the NHS. This is changing however, and many are working in many other settings.
A clinical psychologist has to have an undergraduate degree in psychology. This degree provides a foundation to psychological concepts and theories but also teaches skills in conducting research. In addition to the bachelor’s degree clinical psychologists need vocational experience of working within psychology services as assistant psychologists. In these roles assistant psychologists apply their knowledge and understanding of psychology to administering psychometric assessments, neuropsychological tests and support qualified clinical psychologists in their day to day role. Assistant psychologists can then apply to train in clinical psychology by completing a doctoral degree. This is a three-year postgraduate degree which provides specialised training in working with mental health issues ranging from anxiety, depression, trauma etc. During this training approaches are taught on how to support mental health issues that arise in adults, children, patients with learning disabilities, older adults, people with physical health issues and forensic patients. As part of the degree specialised research is conducted as well as developing skills in audit, service development, service evaluation, running groups, supporting, consulting and supervising other professionals.
The difference between clinical psychologists and educational psychologists is context. Educational psychologists also have a post graduate doctoral degree however their training is focused on working within the education sector with children aged between 2-18years and they support and consult to systems that support these children to include parents, teachers etc. Whereas clinical psychologists work across the age spectrum and can offer direct psychological intervention to adults and children.
How long have you been a Clinical Psychologist, and why did you become one?
I have been a clinical psychologist for 7 years. The reason for embarking on this career is that mental health issues affect everyone, and I am passionate about supporting parents and parents to be. I believe that parenting is hard and often emotional difficulties are ignored not only within the parent but also within the child. I hope that I can offer parents psychological insight and knowledge in how their emotions and behaviours affect and influence their children and vice a versa.
What is the best thing about being a Clinical Psychologist?
I love listening to and understanding people’s stories. I am in such a privileged position to hear things that often many people do not fall party to. I truly respect and appreciate any client adult or child that comes to me for support. Therapy is not an easy option.
How do you work with parents and children?
I like to work collaboratively as possible and I aim to be transparent. I want to involve the parents as much as possible if that is what the child would like as it is important for the parents to feel part of the process but also teach them ways to support their child.
What does a day in the life of to a Clinical Psychologist look like?
It can vary, currently I am in the process of establishing my private practice, so marketing my services, networking with other businesses is important too. On clinic days, I see clients for 50 mins at my therapy office in Knowle or my Birmingham office near the Bullring. I will only see a maximum of 6 clients per day, as I want to offer the best service possible. Any more and I feel tired and am not giving my best. I often see clients weekly or for some fortnightly works too. The sessions often recap any important themes from the previous session and we think together exploring ideas as well as thinking about ways to support the client. Some sessions can be difficult as we may name and explore painful feelings or experiences. My aim is to create a safe and secure relationship first so that you know you can trust me and that I will support you when you feel overwhelmed with emotion. It is very important that we all take care of our own wellbeing too. So, in the job doing nice things like relaxation, exercise socialising etc are vital. We try to practice what we preach!
Should you need any more info or want to speak to Dr Mistry feel free to contact her:
Many many thanks to Dr Mistry for sharing her time and expertise with Happy Tokens. It has been an absolute pleasure.