We are a team of highly
specialist mental health professionals
Welcome to The St Andrews Practice
Sustainable Innovations for Mental Health and Wellbeing
We are a team of highly specialist mental health professionals offering private multi-disciplinary services including Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Occupational Therapy to adults over the age of 18. We are based in St Andrews in North East Fife but offer remote services across the whole of the UK. We offer assessment, diagnostic services and psychological interventions for a range of common mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety, OCD, reactions to traumatic experiences such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, stress, panic, relationship difficulties, grief/bereavement, difficulties managing thoughts and emotions, low self-esteem, binge-eating, bulimia, and phobias.
The St Andrews Practice is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). This means we have undergone a rigorous registration process that requires us to meet and adhere to certain standards of practice that comply with National Care Standards and current legislation.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland has regulated independent healthcare services in Scotland since 2011, when it took over this role from the Care Commission. HIS inspectors evaluate independent healthcare services regularly, using announced and unannounced inspections.
Our Clinical Psychologists are qualified to doctoral level with a range of post qualification training and experience in the NHS. They are registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and are members of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
Our psychiatrists are experienced Consultants with the highest level of medical training. They are fully accredited with the General Medical Council (GMC) and are members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych).
We do not provide crisis or out of hours support.
People in crisis or who need emergency support should contact their GP or out of hours contact NHS24 on 111.
Covid-19: Changes To Our Service
We currently offer a choice of face to face or online/telephone consultations. Please refer to our Covid-19 policy for more details on the infection control precautions we are taking. Please note this may change in line with government guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
A psychiatrist is a qualified medical doctor with additional specialist training and qualifications in mental health. They are skilled in recognising and diagnosing specific mental health difficulties and disorders based on the symptoms you experience. A psychiatrist will review your symptoms, your medical and developmental history and your physical health, and consider whether any medication may be beneficial for you, either in the short or the long term. They will be able to assess whether any medication is contra-indicated or is likely to interact with other medications you are taking. Psychiatrists are also skilled in identifying when medication is unlikely to be beneficial to you, and they may be able to recommend alternative or additional approaches. Our psychiatrists consult, diagnose, and prescribe according to the scientific evidence base for effective treatments, as stated in national clinical guidelines such as NICE and SIGN guidelines. They adhere to ICD-10 diagnostic criteria, as well as applying their extensive specialist clinical experience. In many cases people’s medication can be well managed by their GP. A psychiatrist can offer alternative expert consultation and advice when necessary.
There are different types of psychologist, for example there are Educational Psychologists or Forensic psychologists. We are Clinical Psychologists. We are trained over many years to assess and treat individuals with mental health difficulties, using psychological strategies. We use a range of methods (what we often call “models” of therapy) that are based on scientific research. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is probably the most widely used therapy model in the UK currently, however, there are a range of effective models and approaches available. We are trained in a number of different approaches so that we can tailor our interventions both to a person’s specific difficulties, and also to their preferences.
All of our clinicians at The St Andrews Practice work according to a “bio-psycho-social” model of mental health and wellbeing. That is, we take into account the impact of a person’s biological or genetic factors (for instance, a family history of a specific difficulty may increase the likelihood of an individual developing the same difficulties), their psychological factors (for example their thoughts, emotions and resulting behaviours) and their social factors (for example, what support they have around them and the quality of their close relationships). This allows us to attain a detailed holistic view of an individuals unique circumstances and integrate these factors into understanding and treating difficulties.
Sometimes people see both a Psychiatrist and a Clinical Psychologist, and take both a medical and psychological approach to treatment, depending on their difficulties. If you are having a diagnostic assessment for ASD or ADHD you will have sessions with both, as these are multi-disciplinary assessments.
Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or therapist, and there are many people that do so with a range of training and qualifications, from not very much, to quite a lot. Many counsellors and therapists are very good at what they do, however, if you chose to take this route to getting help make sure you check out their credentials and accreditation and find out what their training actually involved!
Clinical Psychologist is a protected title. That means that you can only use it professionally if you have the highest level of clinical training – a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Throughout this training clinicians complete both academic work and clinical work under qualified supervision. Doctoral trainees are very closely observed and evaluated to ensure they acquire the necessary skills to work within this role. You can be assured that our Clinical Psychologists have this qualification, and our practitioner details can be freely found on the website of our regulatory body – the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Counselling is often beneficial for people who want a safe place to talk through and get support with their difficulties. Clinical Psychology is more than that. We do a lot of “psychoeducation” in our work – that is, helping you to understand how your brain, your body, your thoughts and emotions link together and impact on your behaviours, your daily functioning and your ways of coping. Our interventions are based on facilitating long term change and improving your quality of life and wellbeing. They can be hard work and sometimes involve completing tasks between sessions, however, we know these are the approaches with the best evidence base for improving your mental health and alleviating distress.
Speak to your GP initially if you are finding it hard to understand your difficulties and what support you might need. If you want to access support from The St Andrews Practice, fill in our online self-referral form with as many details as you can, and we will review it to see if we can offer you an initial appointment to discuss things further.
If we agree that psychological treatment is likely to be of benefit to you, we will discuss and explain the range of therapies we offer and recommend one that is likely to fit with your specific needs and preferences. Treatment will be agreed collaboratively between you and your clinician. Sometimes we will use approaches from different therapeutic models if there is indication to do so. The rationale for this will all be discussed with you throughout your treatment.