Services / FAQ's
Dr. Cleak provides assessment, treatment and management of the following conditions;
- Acute Stress and burn-out.
- Adjustment disorders e.g. loss or grief.
- Anxiety including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, and panic disorder.
- Sleep problems.
- Mild to moderate depression and other mood problems including those related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- Psychosis and paranoia.
- Manic depression / Bipolar disorder.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorders.
- Alcohol Misuse.
Dr. Cleak is able to use a variety of treatment options depending on your needs, as not one treatment will work for everyone. Available treatments include medication and psychological approaches. The psychological approaches used include;
- Cognitive Behavioural approach (CBT) - Dr. Cleak has had training in CBT appropriate for mild to moderate anxiety and depression.
CBT works by identifying the links between a clients thoughts, feelings and actions. It helps to identify thoughts and core beliefs that could be maintaining anxiety and low mood and works collaboratively with the client to make changes to these.
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) - Dr Cleak has a post-graduate diploma in Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
This approach focuses on identifying solutions through visualization, exploration of exceptions to problems, exploration of current resources and the use of scaling. This enables new thinking which creates motivation and a pathway to change
- Coaching – Dr Cleak has a certificate in Coaching and is an ACC accredited member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
This is particularly helpful for those who have developed mild to moderate low mood or anxiety as a result of life changes. This approach helps clients to clarify the changes they want and supports and challenges them to overcome any barriers, both internal and external in achieving them.
Using mindfulness allows you to develop increased awareness and space from distressing emotional or physical states. This enables you to find ways of managing your emotions rather than your emotions managing you.
- Relaxation techniques e.g progressive muscular relaxation and breathing techniques.
- Sleep hygiene
- Problem solving
Dr Cleak works closely with local psychologists, and can provide onward referral and joint working as needed.
Seeing a psychiatrist for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Many people don’t want to see a psychiatrist until they feel they have exhausted all other options because of worries of stigma or feeling judged.
However, most find the experience to be a positive step towards feeling better and more in control of their life and future.
An initial assessment usually takes between 1 and 1 ½ hours.
Prior to the appointment you will be asked to complete a demographic questionnaire about yourself.
During a new assessment we will go through your current difficulties and fit them into the context of your life story.
At the end of the assessment you will be given an initial diagnosis or formulation, and a management plan tailored to your needs. A written copy of this and the assessment will be sent to you afterwards, if you wish.
Follow-up appointments can be made depending on your needs and usually last between ½-1hr.
If you are started on medication it will be necessary to have contact within 1-2 weeks from starting it. This could be face-to-face or via telephone contact as agreed.
Q. What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
A. A psychiatrist initially trained and qualified as a doctor before specialising in mental health. This means, that unlike a psychologist, a psychiatrist will have expertise in the diagnosis of mental health conditions and is able to prescribe and monitor medication. A psychiatrist may have psychological skills in addition.
A psychologist may or may not have a psychology degree but will be registered with the British Psychological association with ongoing supervision and will have had specific training in a psychological technique e.g. Cognitive behavioural therapy.
Q. Do I need a GP referral before being seen?
A. Yes, in most cases a GP referral is needed. This enables your GP to give you safe care as they need to be aware of all medications you are taking and the professionals involved.
However, I understand that it can occasionally be difficult to organize a referral in a timely fashion and so I will, on occasion, see patients for the first assessment without a referral. However, I will always let your GP know if treatment is commenced and when it ends. Further information sharing with your GP will be up to you except in cases where risk to your or others health and safety is high.
Q. What are the boundaries of confidentiality?
A. Clearly maintaining confidentiality of your attendance at the clinic and the information you share is exceptionally important to you and the clinic. The clinic is registered with the information commission. The only times that confidentiality would be broken is if there was a significant risk of harm to yourself or someone else. On these rare occasions only the minimum information required to ensure safety would be shared.
Q. Do I have to pay privately for my prescriptions or for blood tests?
A. Your GP may be happy to organize blood tests or prescribe any medications recommended for you. I am happy to liaise with them about this if needed. Otherwise, I can issue a private prescription and blood lab. This would mean that you would have to pay the full price of the tests and/or medication at the pharmacy.
Q. Can you see me in an emergency?
A. Every attempt is made to ensure swift assessment. However, the clinic is not an emergency service and cannot provide emergency care needed for those with acute or life threatening mental illness. In this case, please contact your local GP, Crisis Response Home Treatment Team or A&E.