Assessment & Treatments

The information on this page provides details of the initial assessment provided by Dr Gary Jackson, and explains the two most commonly used types of psychiatric treatment that Dr Jackson may suggest during the assessment.

Jump to Types of Psychiatric Treatment


Initial Private Psychiatric Assessment

Before any psychiatric treatment can begin, an initial assessment is required to ascertain the appropriate way forward for each patient, taking into consideration their specific individual needs.

An initial assessment with Dr Jackson takes around 45 minutes and can be conducted at any one of his three private practice clinics.

Dr Gary Jackson specialises in the private assessment and treatment of a wide range of adult mental health issues. To make an appointment please see your GP for a referral or alternatively telephone 01245 244717

During the initial assessment Dr Jackson will discuss with you, in detail, the treatments you may find helpful and whether you would benefit from group therapy, outpatient counselling, medication and monitoring, day care or inpatient care or any other type of suitable treatment. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the suggested treatments and Dr Jackson will ensure you are clear on everything before agreeing the best way forward for you.

The assessment does not involve any form of physical examination. First of all, Dr Jackson will take a full history, asking about things such as current symptoms, circumstances, family background and physical health.

Next, he will advise whether any investigations such as blood tests or scans may be required. Sometimes tests such as these are advisable because psychiatric symptoms can be caused by physical illness. For example, anxiety can sometimes be caused by an overactive thyroid gland.

Occasionally it may be necessary for a second opinion to be sought from, for example, a neurologist or a physician if physical health problems or complications are suspected. If Dr Jackson thinks the opinion of another specialist may be helpful then he will discuss this with you and suggest making a referral.


Types of Psychiatric Treatment

In psychiatry there are two main forms of treatment: psychological, or ‘talking’ therapies; and medication treatment, both of which are described in more detail below.


1. Talking Therapies

talking therapy

Talking therapies (psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and counselling) can be helpful for most kinds of mental health problems. These therapies must be delivered by someone properly trained in a specific technique.

The most well-researched and evidence-based psychotherapy is called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Most appropriately used for anxiety and depression, CBT involves the patient carrying out homework tasks and practicing new techniques taught by the therapist. CBT is a very ‘here and now’ focused therapy which aims to help the patient find ways of coping with specific problems, such as a phobia for example. CBT employs mental strategies such as weeding out automatic negative thinking, as well as behaviour change strategies that involve encouraging someone with a phobia to gradually begin facing the situations they are avoiding.

More general counselling (sometimes called psychodynamic counselling or therapy) helps people think through life-related problems such as relationship issues, and explore their emotions connected to those problems, helping them to release pent up difficult feelings and make decisions that allow them to move on.

Psychoanalysis, a form of psychological treatment involving an understanding of the unconscious mind which came about through the work of Sigmund Freud, is rarely employed nowadays and is only appropriate for a very small percentage of people with emotional difficulties or suffering from a psychiatric illness.

Talking therapies can be delivered in a group therapy format or on a one to one basis depending on the preference of the patient.

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2. Medication Treatments


It is a common misconception that drugs used in psychiatry are addictive. However the fact is that these days, the majority are not. If an addictive drug is prescribed, it will only be for a very short period of time so that addiction developing is impossible. The vast majority of drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions are well tolerated (i.e. they don’t cause intolerable side effects) and safe. Most drugs are prescribed for a finite period of time, and it should never become a concern that drug treatment will inevitably result in a lifetime need for the medication.

Should medication treatments be suggested, Dr Jackson would explain, in detail, the pros and cons of any such treatment; potential side effects; the likely duration of treatment and whether there could be any possible complications. Written information on any drug prescribed is always readily available.

Whatever treatment is decided upon, it will be always be a joint, agreed decision between Dr Jackson and his patient.

Dr Jackson absolutely respects patient confidentiality and will clarify with his new patients who their clinical information should be shared with.

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