A psychologist and a psychiatrist are often confused as having the same meaning. While both study the brain, emotions, feelings and thoughts, there is a distinct difference between the two fields of study.
Psychiatrists begin their careers in medical school and then go on to four years of residency training typically at a hospital’s psychiatric department.
Psychologists go through five to seven years of academic graduate study and hands-on clinical training, culminating in a doctorate degree.
As medical doctors, psychiatrists can prescribe drugs, whilst psychologists cannot.
Some people refer to psychotherapy as “talking treatment” because it is generally based on an individual talking to a therapist. However, psychotherapy is much more than talking about your problems. A trained psychotherapist will help you to tackle a specific or general problem by giving you the tools to be able to cope more effectively. In psychotherapy, therapists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits. There are many different professionals that practice psychotherapy such as; clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, marriage and family therapists and social workers.
Psychotherapy is a professional relationship between a therapist and a client. Psychotherapists are trained to understand what you say and how you say it. They pay close attention to body language, voice tone and content to fully understand what you are trying to say.
While family or friends can help you feel better or even provide good advice for change, this is not psychotherapy. You can tell therapists things without having to worry about your information being told to others or in any way affecting your job, family or relationships.
Psychotherapy provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who is objective, neutral and non-judgmental. You and your therapist will work together to identify and change the thought and behaviour patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
By the time you’re done, you will not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but you will have learned new skills so you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.
The way in which our psychologists and counsellors will work with you will depend in part on what you seek from psychotherapy, how you understand your difficulties, available support, and any time-constraints you have. We believe that the relationship between the therapist and the client should be a collaborative one, in which we both work together to come to an agreement on the goals and focus of therapy.
Unfortunately, most of our therapists are not able to take on new clients at the moment and currently have a waitlist; however the waiting time between each therapist varies and some therapists have shorter waitlists than others.
When you make an appointment to see other healthcare professionals, it is usually a one-off appointment because you feel unwell or that something is not right with your physical health. Psychotherapy does not work in the same way – most of our clients have a fixed time that they are seen each week.
In order to achieve treatment goals in the most effective way, our experience has proven that consistency of sessions is recommended. Therefore, once we take on a new client, we need to ensure there is space for them to be seen weekly (or whatever frequency the client and therapist decide upon).
Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to slot in clients for one-off appointments, as we wouldn’t be able to guarantee that we had space to continue to see them in the future. We can only take on a new client when an existing client has completed their course of therapy.
We would be happy to add you to our waitlists, but if you are seeking therapy sooner, we would also be happy to provide you with appropriate referrals who may be able to see you immediately.
In the event that you need to cancel your appointment, please be sure to give us a minimum of 24-hour notice. Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, will be charged at your regular session rate.
We understand that sometimes things happen that are out of your control, people get sick and/or emergencies occur. We ask that if you are ill, you provide us with a doctor’s note so that we can waive your session fee.
There are several reasons that we have a cancellation policy in place:
- Therapy tends to be most helpful to people who view their appointments as an important and valuable component of their lives. The cancellation policy helps to avoid people booking a session as a means of reserving themselves a time for therapy rather than making a commitment to actually attend their therapy session. This commitment to therapy helps you to make therapy a priority in your life and perhaps for the first time value yourself by making you a priority.
- Each therapist at Central Minds has a specific number of hours available to see clients. By taking you on as a client, your therapist is agreeing to be available to you with commitment and consistency and we ask that you do the same for your own therapy.
- Many of our therapists are currently fully booked. The 24 hour cancellation period allows us to offer your time slot to someone else who may be waiting for an appointment.
- Please submit a contact form, or alternately you can call or email us directly.
(Please allow 48 hours for us to get back to you).
- You will be provided with the name and details of a suitable therapist based on your request. You may be given more than one name if several therapists have availability to take on new clients and have expertise with the issue you are struggling with.
- Once you pick a therapist, our administrative team will assist you in scheduling a pre-screen call with the therapist. This is not an assessment, but rather a short call to determine if your therapist is the right fit to work with you.
- Once you have completed your pre-screen call, your therapist will instruct our administrative team to either:
- (a) Book you in directly for an appointment
(b) Add you to their waitlist
(c) Refer you to another therapist who has expertise working with the issue you are seeking help for.
Please note: If you do not hear back from our administrative team within 24 hours from your pre-screen call, please contact us to ensure you haven’t missed our call or email.
Your therapist cannot prescribe medication, only a medical doctor or psychiatrist can do this. Whilst we do not prescribe medication, there may be times where we feel it would be beneficial or necessary for you to consult with a psychiatrist regarding medication. Depending on the nature of your presenting problem, it is sometimes most effective to combine psychological intervention with medication.
We work closely with a number of established psychiatrists in the community and so if needed, we are able to personally recommend psychiatrists with whom we have an established professional relationship with.
Central Minds holds the privacy and confidentiality of our work as a foundational value. We view confidentiality as a precondition to a trusting therapeutic relationship and a critical component of effective psychological treatment.
All our staff members strive to ensure the confidentiality of all communications with clients, both in-person and electronically.
Your private information will be shared only with your written permission to do so. Our therapists follow legal and ethical standards set by their regulating bodies. However, if at any time your therapist feels that there are safety issues concerning you or others, or others’ property; then this confidentiality may be broken.
Psychology & Counselling Services
We recognise the courage it takes to seek professional support. If you have questions and would like to know more about working with us, please check out our frequently asked questions or fill out the contact form below. Once you have submitted a contact form, a member of our team will be in touch with next steps within 48 hours.
How to Get Here
Use Exit G to leave Central MTR Station.
Unit 2001 Ruttonjee House,
Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
Please note: Central Minds voicemail and email are only checked during normal office hours. In case of emergency please attend your nearest emergency room or call 999 for immediate assistance.