HIV Psychology Service
Many people diagnosed with HIV find that living with HIV has a psychological impact on their life and mental wellbeing. The psychology service at the Ian Charleson Day Centre is here to support you through all aspects of HIV, from diagnosis to treatment and living with HIV.
Psychological therapies are available within the service through our team of highly experienced specialist psychologists. You can self-refer if you would like to talk to someone about your thoughts and feelings, or speak to your Doctor or Nurse and request for a referral. Alternatively a referral may be suggested by your Doctor or Nurse.
How can a psychologist help?
Individuals living with HIV, their partners and/or their families may come across a number of issues that they need help with. Psychologists are specifically trained to support people through many difficulties experienced by being HIV positive. These include:
- New diagnosis and difficulties with coping / adjustment
- Depression and anxiety related to HIV
- Disclosure (to partners past / present, family, children and others)
- Practising safer sex / risk reduction
- Relationship problems / therapy for partners and/or family members
- Pregnancy/ testing of children
- Adherence. (beginning treatment/ difficulties and / or terminating treatment)
- Coping with chronic illness
- Managing co infections e.g. Hepatitis C
- Neuro-cognitive screening for mild cognitive impairment
- Substance misuse problems and onward referral
The HIV Psychology Department offers a Neurocognitive Screening Service for patients reporting mild to moderate cognitive difficulties including problems with concentration and attention, co-ordination and movement, memory, slowed thinking, difficulties with completing complex tasks, personality change, irritability and emotional changes.
The screening involves testing which takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Depending on the outcome, patients may then be offered a short course of psychological intervention or onward referral to a more appropriate service.
How to Refer
If you are interested in finding out more about the psychology service and/or would like to be referred, please feel free to talk to any member of staff in the Ian Charleson Day Centre (ICDC).
Due to the high number of referrals there may be a short wait before you are seen by the team.
Mental Health Web-based Resources
Please speak to your clinician if you would like further resources. Please note that by clicking on these links, you will be taken to third party websites.
Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty
https://www.psychologytools.com/articles/free-guide-to-living-with-worry-and-anxiety-amidst-global-uncertainty/ (available in multiple languages)
MIND website provides helpful suggestions for managing isolation
Mindfulness App: https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness
Useful articles, stories and posts on mindfulness: https://tinybuddha.com/
Self-Help Booklets on Anxiety, Sleep, Depression, Stress, Anger, Bereavement (and many more)
Mental Wellbeing Audio Guides for Depression, Anxiety, Sleep problems, Negative Thinking
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: leaflets to help manage PTSD symptoms
Coping with Re-Emerging PTSD
Coping with Flashbacks and Dissociation
Coping with Nightmares and Sleep
Coping with Anger and Irritability
Using Grounding Techniques
Using Special Place Imagery
Using Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Using Controlled Breathing
Managing Alcohol Problems
Managing Drug / Substance Misuse
Identifying Domestic Violence - Power and Control Wheel
Coping with Suicidal Thoughts
General / Useful Psychology Articles and Resources
The Power of Vulnerability
Depression and anxiety