Understanding Therapy

Different types of therapy and medications can be used in the treatment of mental health issues. By better understanding the benefits and drawbacks, you can make the choices that are right for you.

Key Terms

Mood Disorder

Mood disorders are a broad umbrella term used to include all different types of depressive and bipolar disorders. Conditions which affect mood can range from feeling extremely low to extremely high. Whilst it is normal to experience periods of different moods, mood disorders are characterised by emotional extremes and difficulties in regulating mood.

Learn More: Am I Depressed or Just Sad?


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy helps people to process the negative images, emotions, beliefs, and body sensations associated with traumatic memories that seem to be stuck. The therapy involves reconnecting the traumatized person to their memories in a safe and measured way.

Learn More: About EMDR Therapy


Anxiety is an emotion which is characterised by feelings of worry, fear, and tension. For many people, anxiety can become a mental health concern if they find that they are regularly experiencing anxious feelings, their fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation, and they find they are avoiding situations which may make them anxious.

Learn More: Why am I anxious for no reason?

Frequent Asked Questions

No, health psychology and clinical psychology are not the same, although they share some similarities. While health psychology focuses on the relationship between psychological factors and physical health, clinical psychology focuses on diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Clinical psychologists work with individuals experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. They use various therapeutic techniques to help clients manage their symptoms and improve their psychological well-being.

On the other hand, health psychologists work with individuals to help them adopt healthy behaviors and cope with chronic health conditions. They may provide interventions such as stress management training, pain management, or smoking cessation programs. Health psychologists may also work with healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes and help patients adhere to their medical treatment plans.

While there are some overlaps between the two fields, health psychology is primarily concerned with the relationship between psychological and physical health, while clinical psychology is primarily concerned with diagnosing and treating mental health disorders.

An example of health psychology would be a study examining stress’s impact on physical health. This research might investigate how chronic stress affects the body, such as increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease or exacerbating existing health conditions. Health psychologists may also study how people cope with stress and develop interventions to help individuals manage stress more effectively.

For example, a health psychologist might design a stress management program that includes relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and social support. Another example might be investigating the psychological factors that influence adherence to medical treatment, such as medication or physical therapy, and developing interventions to improve compliance and promote better health outcomes.


To become a health psychologist in the UK, you typically need to have the following qualifications:

  1. A British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field.
  2. A BPS-accredited postgraduate degree in health psychology includes completing at least two years of supervised practice in health psychology.
  3. Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practitioner Psychologist in the field of Health Psychology.
  4. Relevant work experience in a health-related setting, such as a hospital, health clinic, or public health agency.
  5. Continuing professional development (CPD) to maintain registration with the HCPC and stay up-to-date with the latest research and practices in the field.

Note that the requirements for becoming a health psychologist may vary depending on the specific job or employer. It’s always a good idea to check with the BPS and HCPC for the most up-to-date information on qualifications and registration requirements.


In the USA, the qualifications to become a health psychologist typically include:

  1. Completion of a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in health psychology or a related field, such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or behavioral medicine.
  2. Completion of a supervised clinical internship or residency program in health psychology or a related field.
  3. Licensure as a psychologist in the state where you plan to practice. Requirements for licensure vary by state, but typically include completion of an accredited doctoral program, a certain number of supervised clinical hours, and passing a licensing exam.
  4. Additional training or certification in a specific area of health psychology, such as behavioral medicine, pediatric health psychology, or rehabilitation psychology.
  5. Continuing education and professional development to maintain licensure and stay up-to-date with advances in the field.

Note that the specific qualifications may vary depending on the employer and the specific job requirements. It’s always a good idea to check with the American Psychological Association (APA) or state licensing board for the most up-to-date information on qualifications and licensure requirements.

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