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Clinical Psychological Service

  1. Who are clinical psychologists?

  2. How do I obtain clinical psychological services?

  3. Will I be regarded as having mental problem if I see a clinical psychologist?

  4. What is psychotherapy?

  5. When should I consider psychotherapy?

  6. Will other people get to know about the information I disclosed during psychological treatment?

Clinical Psychological Service
Q1: Who are clinical psychologists?
A1: The clinical psychologists employed by Social Welfare Department possess a Master Degree or higher professional qualifications.  They are eligible for professional registration or membership of professional societies both locally and abroad.  They are not psychiatrists.  Their training is focused on the application of scientific psychological methods and research results to the assessment and treatment of psychological disturbances and other mental problems.


Q2: How do I obtain clinical psychological services?
A2: Please contact the Integrated Family Services Centre of Social Welfare Department at your home district or ring the SWD hotline (2343 2255). The social worker handling your case will provide initial assessment and relevant assistance, including referring you for clinical psychological service if deemed necessary. If you are already receiving service at any casework unit under the ambit of the Social Welfare Department, please ask your caseworker.


Q3: Will I be regarded as having mental problem if I see a clinical psychologist?
A3: In fact many people have seen a clinical psychologist before. There are periods in our life when all of us would need help. It is wise to seek professional assistance when you face the difficult moments in your life. It may help you find the right solution to your problems. When we feel sick, we see a doctor; when we need financial assistance, we ask for help from friends or a bank. It is only natural to seek the service of a clinical psychologist when we feel emotionally distressed. It does not necessarily mean that you have mental problem.


Q4: What is psychotherapy?
A4: Psychotherapy is treatment based on theories of psychology.  Treatment is aimed at helping people to change their perceptions, thoughts and emotional responses in order to ameliorate psychological disturbance and to raise their level of coping.  There are many types of psychotherapy, for example, family therapy, group therapy, play therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, behavioural therapy and psychoanalysis, etc.


Q5: When should I consider psychotherapy?
A5: You should consider psychotherapy if :
(i)  you are in constant conflicts with your family, spouse, children or colleagues, and you feel that you cannot stop such conflicts;
(ii)  you always feel sad and desperate about what is happening to you, you have problems falling asleep, and you have considered committing suicides;
(iii)    you are so disturbed by economic, marital or child management problems that you start to lose your concentration; or
(iv) you have experienced a severe blow to your life, such as the loss of  someone dear, or natural or man-made disasters, and you are repeatedly affected by the disturbing memories.

If you have the above problems or other emotional disturbances or traumatic experience, psychotherapy would be helpful for you.


Q6: Will other people get to know about the information I disclosed during psychological treatment?
A:6 The purpose of collection of personal data is to provide you and/or your family members with assistance or service.  The provision of personal data to SWD is voluntary.  Personal data are protected in accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, Cap 486.




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