What to expect at psychology appointment?

I have my first psychology appointment soon, unsure what to expect. My appointment letter arrived with a questionnaire to fill in asking about my mood and if I felt suicidal along with a form to fill in with my children’s details. I found this very off putting & feel quite anxious nervous about it now. Feel like I’m being judged for my capabilities as a mother before I’ve even spoken to them :( can anyone give me an insight into what sort of things we will talk about?

Hi Lexy, I have not come across this.  I too would feel uncomfortable putting details of my children without knowing why.  I think if I was you I wouldnt add those details until finding out why they want them.

Keep us in touch with how it goes.  Wendy


I had a similar appointment shortly after my stroke. I have two children. Mine seemed to be to ascertain if I needed any help and support with the children. Everyone I met was helpful when I met them but it is intimidating at first

You do not say what sort of psychologist this is. I was put on a waiting list for a neurophychologist after my stroke because hospital staff thought I had lost some short term memory. After twelve months I had my appointment and it was a hour interview in which I was asked to go over my past education and career and my feelings about the stroke. It was very friendly and I was just honest. At the end I was told my memory was better than most people who had not had a stroke and there was no need to be seen again. I suspect you are quite nervous, but I found the Meeting with my psychologist fine.

had an assessment with a clinical psychologist  a few weeks after discharge from hospital. this was three years ago now. started with a general conversation. the mood assessment questionnaire is a standard   enquiry, GPS use it in diagnosing depression and anxiety. clinical psychological assessments are more focused on cognitive assessment- I e thinking skills which are frequently affected by stroke. these are the more hidden aspects of brain injury. so you might get asked to do some puzzles.I suppose what I would say is try not to be put off by the word assessment, and if you are given any puzzles or whatever enjoy it as a game. if you're anxious tell them. it isn't an assessment of your capability of being a parent or whatevertberes no moral dimension to it. it is something that is a service to help you. I was anxious that it would tell me things about cognitive damage that I didn't want to know. in the end it was actually quite encouraging and afterwards informed support that I received from my occupational therapist. I was fortunate in that cognitive impairment was not severe, mostly slower at  thinking and less flexible in moving from tasks to task. I worked with clinicians on strategies to manage that, which by and large have been effective. my main issues were and continue to be physical impairment. cognitively things have much improved, though I am still slower, but I can live with that. the physical impairment is the main frustration.

so I understand your anxiety but will sign off by saying that it is a thing to welcomed. I am sure you will find things that will help you. I just rembered that for me the assessment was quite in depth and was done in several sessions over a few weeks. so it might not be done all in one interview.  I hope it goes well for you. of course you will be anxious. life after stroke seems to be an endless series of assessments sometimes, at least in the first months. happily it has eased off now and I don't have any more coming up. I do have a first rate physiotherapist working with me now on the physical stuff so I remain hopeful with that. it is hard work and frustrating but I am grateful for it. 

good luck, enjoy the puzzles. let us know how it goes. 


Hi everyone thanks for your replies.

Ive had two appointments so far ... The first appointment went well, we spoke about my memory, mood, anxiety and any cognitive issues i was having. We also set some goals to work towards, eg, accepting the 'new' me etc.

My second was to do some cognitive tests, different to the ones i had shortly after my stroke and we went over some mindfullness and breathing techniques to help with my anxiety. I have another appointment in a few weeks ... they are pretty intense hour long sessions, i feel drained afterwards. I am only entitled to 6 sessions on the NHS so she wanted to fit into them as much as possible.

I am four years post stroke. After my stroke I was very conscious of every single change in my head. I still am. As I improved, I felt what I can only describe as electrical pulses on the back of my head on the affected side. I also had quite a few involuntary leg movements as, in my opinion, my brain tested out new routes.

I thing we are probably all more acutely aware of all kinds of physical changes post stroke. I know I am. Always worth checking out, but there is probably no need to worry.

Hi - Like John, I too often get a distinct pulse feeling at the base of my skull on my affected side. I also sometimes get a sore patch in the area of my right side where my clot was - a bit like I've banged it with the hairbrush when blow drying but I haven't. I am 2 yrs post stroke and still get the deep pulse feeling but if I move my head around, it stops. Having recently had a full brain scan, there was nothing showing on the scan in that area so I'm no longer worried about it.  Neurologist says exactly what John said, we are more acutely aware of anything unusual after a stroke and it's only natural to be worried but pulses pop up all over our bodies now and then apparently!   

I also found out at my results that I have a small brain cyst deep in the core which has been magnified and examined to the nth degree at every angle and they have concluded I was born with it.  This is also something that is quite common but most people won't know unless they have a brain scan that they have one.  I find the brain more and more fascinating the more I find out!

Interesting as I also had a sore patch. I agree that the brain is fascinating. I am currently working on my weak shoulder, because a normal shoulder muscle does not sense gravity. Mine does. After several weeks of exercise, my brain decided to lift my shoulder several times one day.

Alas, I still have my fatigue, but am used to it now. Mind you, I changed my bed in half an hour flat today with only a bit of swearing. Have come such a long way, but more distance to travel yet..

I get this most days - it's bizarre isn't it ? Lasts for a minute or so then just disappears . Can happen at any moment I haven't made any links yet . 

Many of us get so many odd problems after stroke. To take a trivial example, I got toothache in the second year. But I knew it wasnt my teeth.

It was of course my damaged brain trying to get itself in to gear with the tooth nerves.

Its stopped now and the aches etc have moved elsewhere.

The key to remember is that the stroke does not damage any limbs etc, it is "just" the messaging system. Lack of useage will cause actual damage but in the meantime dont panic. With all the medication etc we are far less likely to have a stroke than most people.


Be positive.

Smile a lot

You are not alone




I put mine down to stimulation. Thought processing really - eg I'm getting it now when I'm thinking about what to write and then the actually typing . I'm now 11 weeks in and it was much worse at the beginning. My occupational health team were very on the ball and insisted I needed to rest before I could too tired . I found that meant in the early days literally maybe a chat with a friend for day 45 mins was mote than enough and then a rest . So no noise , or bright lights just really time to switch off . As time goes on I've found that I can manage a lot longer but it was a bit of a learning curve . Once you get over the anxiety about it that helps too - don't get me wrong it's not anxiety it's brain fatigue in my opinion but feeling anxious doesn't help .Once you laid down did it help ? You need to stop doing things before the point of no return if that makes sense . 

Just a thought have you tried calling the stroke helpline 0303 3033 100

i think I have been very fortunate in that although my stroke was mild I was giving an early discharge which meant I had 2 visits a week from stroke occupational health and physio . They supported me emotionally and with my cognitive rehab . They discharged me at 9 weeks and I'm currently waiting for the gym people to get in contact . Last week I also got a visit from a lady from the Stroke association. It is nice to know that all your symptoms are valid , so perhaps try giving them a call x

Hi Jane - Reading your post and the replies, I wondered if you rest through the day?  In the early days, I was told I needed a minimum of 45mins bed rest everyday for the first 3 months while the brain is working at its hardest.  In reality, I needed this 45 min bed rest until recently and I am 2 yrs post stroke.  Some people don't find they need to actually go to bed but can rest in a chair. Personally, I can't do this as something always distracted me. The bed rest helped to get me through the remainder of the day - as Dawn says - it's the complete 'switch off' from the outside world so all your brain has to think about is mending itself. For me, that meant curtains drawn whilst in bed, phone switched off upstairs so if it rang when resting I couldn't hear it. I never take my mobile to bed (I rarely use it at all to be honest!) The experts say 'blue light' given off by phone and TV screens are something the brain doesn't like.Also everyone in the family knew not to ring after lunch because that was my rest time.  Hopefully, you can find some answers.



Hi, there has been lots of talk recently regarding Psychology appointments. How did you get an appointment ?  I am nearly 3 years post stroke and have never had an appointment with a Psychologist. I saw a Clinical  psychologist when I was in a Rehab Unit but haven't seen anyone since being discharged.

I would like to speak to someone but don't know where to start.

I would welcome any suggestions as to which way to turn.

Regards. Sue

Hi Sue, your GP should be able to arrange an appointment for you. Hope you manage to get an appointment.


Hi Jane - they're open 10am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Thanks, will do that 



Hope you get answers soon.. forgot to mention that the golden rule they gave me about bed rest was don't fall into a deep sleep and never stay in bed longer than an hour as this will make you feel worse at night.  I usually lay on top of the bed fully dressed while I rest 

otherwise I would fall asleep! 

My consultant referred me, i am 8 months post stroke and sill under his care.

I dont know if this would help you but you can self refer for CBT, counselling / therpay via this link ... https://beta.nhs.uk/find-a-psychological-therapies-service/check