What is a "Child Psychologist"?
AND WHAT IS A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?
In the UK, the title "Child Psychologist" is not a protected title. In theory, this means anyone could call themselves a "Child Psychologist" without any qualifications. This presents a worrying situation for parents when we are looking to find the right help for our children. "Clinical Psychologist" is a legally protected title here in the UK, meaning that anyone calling themselves a Clinical Psychologist must have reached a certain standard of training, and adhere to rules around ethics, conduct and continued learning.
At Forward Thinking, we are all qualified and accredited Clinical Psychologists who have specialised in working with children, adolescents and their families. As we are qualified as Clinical Psychologists, this means that we are accredited with, and regulated by, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS; see "Ensuring Quality Care"). Being accredited and regulated in this way means parents can have peace of mind, and feel assured that we are properly qualified and adhere to a rigorous set of standards set by both the HCPC and BPS.
In the UK, Clinical Psychologists need to have undertaken a minimum of an undergraduate degree in Psychology and an HCPC accredited Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Most Clinical Psychologists have undertaken further postgraduate studies before completing their Doctorate. Our Doctoral Training involves working with people of all ages and ability, and we are taught to use several evidence-based therapies. We are also trained in the use of assessments that look at a person’s neuropsychological functioning, development and emotional well-being.
As Clinical Psychologists, we are trained to work with people across the lifespan, but here at Forward Thinking we have specialised in working with children, adolescents and their families: spending more time training in child and adolescent mental health; behavioural difficulties; and the assessment of neurodevelopmental conditions. In addition, since obtaining our Doctorates in Clinical Psychology, we have all worked in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Independent Child Services for many years, gaining further experience and expertise in working with children, young people and their families.
Clinical Psychologists are trained to combine a child and their family’s experiences with scientifically evaluated theories in order to identify the causes and maintaining factors in the problems they are experiencing. Clinical Psychologists do not give medication to help with these problems, but seek to help change some of the factors identified as keeping a problem “stuck” – and we use methods that research has found to be most likely to help with these problems.
You can find out more about our team of Clinical Psychologists here: https://www.weareforwardthinking.co.uk/meet-our-team