Thursday, 5 January 2012

Our Hands On Practice

Our practice prides itself in being hands on.
What does that mean?
This means that all the work, whether it be therapeutic or assessment oriented is done by a PhD level Psychologist. Unlike many other practices, we do not use other staff to clinically engage with our clients and then have the Psychologists report on work they haven’t done themselves.
This is important for a number of reasons.
The  actual work that is done, the therapy or the testing, the time that is spent with the client, is completed with a the most competent and well trained professional in the practice. While this is a time intensive process, it is our belief that every referral  should receive treatment from the most qualified professional in the practice.
After many years of practice, I have learned that consulting to a case is not as good as actually doing the case yourself. You can’t get a real feel for the complexity of the issues by supervising someone who has actually logged the face-to-face time with the client. In order to do the best work, you have to do this yourself, experience the content, the issues yourself. While this model may be widely used in publicly funded institutions, it is not appropriate in a Private Practice setting where the client or the client’s family is funding the treatment themselves.
There is no substitute for actually logging time with the client. Too much information, both qualitative and quantitative is collected in face to face sessions. Incidental cues, what a client reports when actually doing a task or a test, their facial expressions, their demeanor, how they respond,  all are critical in any psychological process and are often easily lost in a supervised situation where one person does the work which is reported to the Psychologist who then directs the treatment direction.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of Psychological Testing (an Issue that I will address in my next BLOG). To have a tester log the time with the child or adolescent and then report the ‘numbers’ to the Psychologist who is then responsible legally and ethically to provide the results to the Parents, is not the best model in a Private Practice situation. In our Practice, we do not use a middle person to work with our kids or adolescents or young adults. We do this ourselves.
Hands on, that’s what we mean.

There’s no substitute for personal interaction.
For us this is a critical component in a quality oriented Private Practice in Psychology.

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