Find out more about clinical psychology in Kent and psychological therapy at Peaceful mind psychology Kent

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

A Clinical Psychologist will have completed an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology, then after further relevant work experience in health and social care settings, they will complete a three year professional post-graduate training programme leading to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. This training incorporates academic study, research and supervised clinical experience in NHS settings and will equip them with the knowledge and therapeutic skills needed to treat mental health difficulties across the life span. Clinical Psychologists are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) who keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards for training, professional skills, behaviour and health. This is statutory regulation and it exists to protect the public against the risk of poor practice. It works by setting agreed standards of practice and competence by registering those who are competent to practise and restricting the use of specified protected titles to those who are registered. Sanctions may be applied to registered psychologists, such as removing them from the register if their fitness to practice is impaired. Clinical Psychologists are also likely to be registered as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), the representative body for psychologists in the UK. The BPS operates a Register of Chartered Psychologists. All Chartered Psychologists have completed Society-recognised education and training of at least six years' duration and have demonstrated knowledge, skills and autonomous practice to professional doctorate standards. Chartered Clinical Psychologists must undertake appropriate ongoing training, development and updating of their skills. All members of the society have to adhere to a Code of Conduct and can be subject to disciplinary procedures if this is broken. 

Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists have all been professionally trained to help people with psychological distress or mental illness. The differences between these professions is further discussed here . ‘Clinical Psychologist’ is a protected title and only those with the appropriate qualifications, experience and registration are entitled to use it. The generic title ‘psychologist’ is not and can be used by anyone regardless of experience and training which can be misleading. You can check the qualifications and professional registration of anyone working with you or your family, click on the BPS and HCPC logos on this site for links to check the registers. Further information about the clinical psychology doctorate can be found here. Information about careers in clinical psychology can be found here.


What is psychological therapy? 

Psychological therapy or ‘talking therapy’ involves meeting with a trained professional (e.g. a clinical psychologist, counselling psychologist, psychotherapist, accredited regulated counsellor or therapist) to talk about problems you are experiencing in relation to emotional well-being, relationships, life problems, work issues or mental health. Through talk, we can start to understand together how the problems arose, how they are affecting your life and how we may work together to help you manage distress, reach life goals and overcome the difficulties. The type of psychological therapy offered to you will depend upon the nature of the difficulties, the research evidence regarding treatment of similar difficulties, your previous experience of treatment (if any) and your goals and your own preferences for treatment. I am trained and experienced in providing different types of psychological therapy including Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).


CBT, EMDR, Psychological Therapy and Clinical Supervision in Kent with Dr Bristow



Who might I be able to help?

I am experienced in working with adults for short or long term individual psychological therapy to address specific problems or more complex difficulties. I can also offer assessment and consultation sessions for adults together with their partners / family / carers. I have experience in working with people who are new to psychological therapy and those who  have previously tried counselling and psychological therapy but continue to struggle with their difficulties. I can also offer supportive work to help people improve their ability to manage their difficulties and enhance their wellbeing. Sessions may also be helpful for people who feel 'stuck', or would like support in coming to terms with difficult life events, managing stress, building confidence, help in achieving life goals or wanting to change unfulfilling aspects of their lives.


I am not currently able to provide specialist diagnostic assessment for ADHD or Autistic Spectrum difficulties, or neuropsychological assessment but I can offer general assessment to identify whether psychological therapy would be helpful for you provide this treatment where possible. I am not able to offer specialist addiction treatment if you are currently struggling with alcohol addiction or addiction to substances, in these cases I would recommend help is sought from specialist services to address this difficulty first.


How do we get started?

I accept 'self referrals' or referrals from family members, GPs, other health care professionals, occupational health departments, rehabilitation companies and from the legal profession (as long as it is clear that you are consenting to being referred and contacted!). I am also a recognised health provider for a number of private health insurance companies, including BUPA, Aviva, WPA and AXA-PPP. You or your referrer can contact me via telephone, email or the website contact form to either book an initial appointment or ask more about the service.  The aim of an initial appointment is to talk about any difficulties you are having, how they affect you, how they developed and find out more about you as a person, how you want to live and what you want to achieve. We will work to understand your difficulties and situation and think about ways forward that suit you as a person and your situation. We will consider what type of therapy would best match this and if this is not something I can provide then I can make some suggestions as to your next steps or other suitable therapists.  If you want to bring someone with you to accompany you to the session then that is fine. As part of this, I will provide you with written information about the terms and conditions of therapy, the confidentiality and disclosure policy and the fees.


What  other  clinical psychology services are provided?

Clinical supervision services can be provided for individual professionals on a regular basis or ad hoc dependent on the needs and issues. I can offer clinical supervision in relation to working with adults in community, rehabilitation or inpatient settings; using CBT, EMDR or integrative approaches; and working with complex issues and managing risk. For supervision, training or consultation services, please contact me directly to discuss your individual requirements and the fees.


My personal approach, qualifications and experience

Qualifications and Training


I first studied psychology at the University of Kent, Canterbury -BSc (HONS) Social Psychology, 1997.  I later completed the Advanced Certificate in Education Post compulsory (Cert Ed), while teaching psychology and related subject areas in various adult education contexts. 


I completed supervised NHS clinical placements, a piece of doctoral level research and studied for three years with Canterbury Christchurch University (Salomons) to obtain a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) in 2006.

Since then I have maintained continual professional development, including further study of CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, MBT, systemic approaches, energy psychology and in 2014 I completed EMDR part 1-4 training with EMDR Works, London

Background and Experience


I have been an independent Clinical Psychologist in private practice  since 2016, providing psychological therapy and clinical supervision.


Prior to this I had 10 years of practical post qualification experience as a Clinical Psychologist in Kent in NHS adult mental health including work in community, inpatient rehabilitation, inpatient acute, forensic and prison settings. As part of this, I have experience of working with clients suffering with complex and long-term difficulties. This also included seven years of experience of offering regular clinical supervision to other staff within the NHS (Clinical Psychologists, Counselling Psychologists, CBT for psychosis psychological practitioners, Trainee Clinical Psychologists and Doctoral Trainee Counselling Psychologists). 


I have nine years of experience in health and social care, health and wellbeing, teaching, training and research in Kent prior to qualification as a Clinical Psychologist. This includes designing, delivering and evaluating interventions for the East Kent Health Promotion Service (NHS); research evaluation and therapeutic work within the voluntary sector (KCA UK); and experience of planning, developing and commissioning young people's drug and alcohol services (Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team). I also have broad experience of teaching and training.



Ethos and Philosophy


I take a flexible and creative approach to clinical work, whilst setting realistic goals appropriate to  clients and their context, drawing on a range of psychological models in formulation and intervention.


The main orientations used are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) (including third wave approaches particularly Acceptance and Commitment therapy ACT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and integrative psychological therapy. I also provide psychometric assessment and specialist risk assessment.


In all my work, I endeavor to provide a safe, accessible, approachable, caring, trustworthy, supportive, empowering and effective service.


Clinical psychologist in Kent- Dr Rachel Bristow, clinic in Folkestone Kent
Chartered Clinical Psychologist in Kent British Psychological Society
HCPC registered practitioner psychologist kent


British Psychological Society  Chartered Membership No. 088010

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Member of the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registration No. PYL01846

 EMDR Association UK and Ireland Membership  No B0298

Clinical Psychologist in Folkestone, Kent

providing CBT , EMDR , integrative therapy and clinical supervision


Consulting Room in Folkestone  in easy reach of Hythe, Ashford, Dover, Canterbury and Thanet Kent. Close to Folkestone West Station.


Dr Rachel Bristow / Peaceful mind psychology Kent

Folkestone- CT20 area

Tel:  07981 026838     Email:


Appointment hours are Mon, Weds and Fri 9-5pm.  Attendance at the clinic address is by appointment only. Enquiries can be made via email and voicemail anytime 

© 2016 Rachel Bristow.    All images and written content are the property of the website owner, except where stated and the external links from the website.