Helping You To Find A Way Forward
Dr. Penny Rogers offers a range of assessment services for children and adults. The service is run on a part-time basis (Thursdays only), due to HSE commitments.
Referrals can be made by parents, teachers, self (for adults), and health professionals. Due to time restraints, follow-up psychological interventions are no longer provided.
What is Psychology?
Psychology is defined in broad terms as the study and understanding of what people experience and how they behave. Psychologists work at using this understanding to help people with difficulties and to help them bring about desired changes. All psychologists share a first degree level qualification in Psychology. This degree focuses on human behaviour from several crucial perspectives, including developmental theory (covering both normal and abnormal development), cognitive development, personality theory, learning theory, social psychology, neuropsychology, research methodology and statistical analysis. Professional Psychologists then specialise in one or other areas of Psychology by obtaining further qualifications at Master or Doctorate level, for example in Clinical, Educational, Counselling or Occupational Psychology.
What is Clinical Psychology?
Most Clinical Psychologists work or have worked inside the Health Service Executive (formerly Health Board) and in this setting generally specialise in working with a specific group of people, for example: children, adolescents, adults, older adults, forensic patients, mental health patients or learning disabled clients. This may involve gaining advanced qualifications and expertise in fields such as Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, Child Development, Child Psychotherapy or Organisational Consultancy.
Clinical Psychology focuses on ameliorating the psychological difficulties of people referred to them. Sometimes the problems experienced may be relatively mild and of recent origin (e.g. mild panic attacks) while in other cases they may be more severe and enduring (e.g. severe mental health problems). Problems can also be related to a specific disability (e.g. people with Multiple Sclerosis or Down’s Syndrome). Psychologists will work with the client themselves and/or their carers and families.
What’s the difference between Psychologists and Psychiatrists?
A Psychiatrist has their basic training predominantly in the biological sciences. They spend three years post graduation as medical doctors prior to writing the examination for membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The primary focus of the examination is on psychiatric illness, with a few aspects of psychology included, namely human psychological development, basic psychological processes in the adult, general principles of social psychology and psychotherapy. Unlike psychologists, whose training is extensively focused on the psychological, psychiatrists training is focused more on the organic. Psychiatrists have traditionally focused on diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness using strategies which tend to be physical (pharmacological) although many psychiatrists also employ psychotherapeutic interventions. Psychiatrists, unlike Psychologists, have the ability to prescribe medication.
An Overview of Psychological Intervention
What is involved in an assessment?
The purpose of psychological assessment is to obtain an in-depth understanding of the present person’s complaint or difficulty and based on this to reach a decision on the type of intervention or recommendations to be suggested. The main assessment tool in many cases is a detailed interview covering the person’s current and previous life history and social context. In addition, clinical psychologists may use a range of psychometric and projective tests during an assessment. These include simple diagnostic tests, detailed assessment of personality functioning, the assessment of IQ and intellectual aptitude and complex neuropsychological testing. The psychologist may obtain, with consent, information from a variety of informants, including the client, their family (if appropriate and relevant), other professionals or services working with the client, including the school (for children).
The aims of psychological intervention
The primary aim of all psychological interventions is to help a person return to, or obtain his/her optimum level of psychological functioning and quality of life. This entails maximising the potential to function in the areas of forming and maintaining relationships, taking on and achieving life goals and having a capacity for emotional enjoyment. This work may be carried out with the referred person or their families or carers.
The process of psychological therapy
The process of therapy involves talking about one’s own personal issues, arriving at a detailed understanding of these and finding ways to make meaningful changes at an individual and/or interpersonal level. The process of therapy can be difficult and is not necessarily the right intervention for all individuals.
There are a vast array of different therapeutic approaches, which have different underlying theories and utilise different skills or techniques.