I am an experienced Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years working with children, young people and their families with emotional and behavioural difficulties. I have worked for many years in the NHS and now in independent practice based in East Molesey, Surrey. I am registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (www.hcpc-uk.co.uk) Chartered by the British Psychological Society www.bps.org.uk). I hold an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate.
My independent practice is dedicated to providing specialist, effective, evidence based but family friendly psychological assessment and support. Over the last 10 years I have particularly specialised in working with those experiencing difficulties with fears, worries, phobias, obsessions and compulsions. These could affect many areas of your child's life, or be more specifically focused on friends, health worries, separation anxiety, school work, performance anxiety, or separating from parents.
I am one of three Clinical Psychologists who run Raising Resilience (www.raisingresilience.co.uk) promoting resilience in children and young people through workshops, talks, and masterclasses with children, parents and teachers.
I am the Chair and a co-founder of the Independent Practitioners Network within the Child and Young Persons Faculty of the Division of Clinical Psychology within the British Psychological Society. I am an Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society. I am a member of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (www.acamh.org.uk) and The Association of Clinical Psychologists UK.
I have completed further specific training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused and Systemic therapy. I am a recognised and fully trained user of the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) as recommended by the National Autistic Society. I regularly receive supervision to ensure that my practice meets professional standards. I ensure that I keep up to date with regular training and reading of research.
As a sole practitioner, my service is best suited to supporting those with mild to moderate emotional and behavioural difficulties. I am not able to safely support those in crisis, experiencing severe depression, or suffering from suicidal thoughts. Children and young people who are experiencing these types of difficulties are much more appropriately and safely supported by a multi-disciplinary team who have access to emergency care and different types of treatments. The NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) can be accessed via GP, who should be your first contact if you have these concerns regarding your child.
Within my practice, ensuring the safety of all children and young people is paramount in line with my professional guidelines and local safeguarding policies and procedures.
Feeling anxious is a normal feeling that happens to everyone and can help protect us. However when our anxiety alarm becomes too sensitive and goes off when we do not need protection it can be very upsetting and really get in the way of life.
Maybe your child has become very avoidant of situations or over reliant on reassurance from you. They might be lacking in confidence in new situations. They might experience lots tummy aches and headaches. Possibly having thoughts that worry them and stop them concentrating on other things. They might find it difficult to get to sleep or become more irritable and short tempered. These are very common problems and with support can be overcome.
I work together with children, young people and their families to identify ways that they would like their life to be and feel different. You are very much in control of what you would like help with.
I can offer my training, experience and expertise of what has been shown to help other people to try to find the best ways of helping you.
I believe in the importance of parents/carers having a key role in helping to understand problems and to support a child or young person's emotional well being. Therefore I always meet parents and carers before I meet their child. Ideally, I also work in partnership with parents and children, especially for younger children, but also if appropritate, for older children too.
As a Clinical Psychologist I am trained in a broad variety of psychological assessments and therapies. I am also trained in child development and learning, and what influences these processes. Our extensive training also helps us to consider factors outside of your child, such as friendships, school environment and family relationships.
I specialise in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is a talking skills based therapy that is well researched and evidence based. lt focuses on understanding how feelings effect us, and learning different ways of thinking and behaving in order to develop more positive ways of coping that build confidence and resilience. It is quite a structured approach, based on clearly defined goals, and often uses pictures and diagrams to help us work out what might be helpful.
Welcome to my website and the first steps to getting help!
You are not alone. On average 3 children in every classroom find it difficult to cope with their feelings, thoughts or behaviours. Think how many that is in your school, town, or county, let alone across the whole country.
Seeking help can give you hope but also feel scary about what might happen. I have written down some questions that other children and young people have asked me before.
I see many children and young people every week for a range of reasons, whether:
Coming to see me is always your choice and you can stop coming at any time, although it is most helpful if we can have a chat about that so that we can talk about what type of support might be more useful for you.
We might meet alone or with a parent, depending on what you feel most comfortable about. The appointments are usually an hour but can be shorter if that feels too long for you.
We will talk about stuff that you are good at and things that you enjoy. We will talk about things that might be troubling you and how you would like them to be different. Together we will try to come up with a formulation to summarise your difficulties, to explain why they may be happening and to make sense of them. The formualtion summary also helps us to work out what needs to be done in order for you to feel better and recover - hwether that is ways of solving problems, get help from others, or find ways of coping differently with things. I have training in lots of different ways of helping people depending on what the situations seems to be.
Once we have had a chance to work out what you want and what might be useful, we will make a treatment plan. This usually means meeting every week or every other week for about 8-10 sessions. Sometimes I see people for less than this or sometime more. You can stop seeing me whenever you like, but I would really appreciate it if you could tell me before you stop coming, especially if there is something about the sessions that you do not like.
Our sessions are private and confidential, which means that I will not talk to anyone about what you say, unless I am concerned that you or someone is in immediate danger. If I want to talk to someone else to ensure your safety, I will always try to talk to you first about who and what should be told. Given parents/carers are often people who can help and are responsible for looking after you, it is often useful to let them know things, but again you will be in control of when and how this happens as long as there is no immediate risk of harm to anyone.
I am not the only place you might be able to get help. It is always important to talk to someone if you are having thoughts or feelings that you do not know what to do with. If possible talk to your parents first. Maybe a trusted friend will have some ideas what you can do or where you can go for help. Otherwise you can talk to your teacher, Head of Pastoral Care, school counsellor, school nurse, SenCo or GP. They are all used to helping children and young people with their thoughts and feelings.
There are also free helplines for children and young people, such as Childline 0800 1111.
Please look on my "Useful website" page to find some other sources of support.
It is important to remember that thoughts and feelings can sometimes feel overwhelming and leave you believing that you are all alone. All feelings are temporary and will go, especially if you find the right people to talk to. You are never alone - just keep on looking and never feel embarrassed about what you are feeling or for asking for help.
Information for families and professionals on a variety of parenting issues, and childhood emotional and behavioural difficulties, including what to do in a crisis.
Read Well Scheme (www.reading-well.org.uk)
Promotes reading for health and well being - lists mind boosting books and books available on prescription via local libraries. All books have been recommended by professionals or young people.
Royal College of Psychiatry(www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation.aspx)
Has many different leaflets about all emotional, behavioural and neourdevelopmental difficulties that can be ordered or printed out.
NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk)
Find out about symptoms and treatments for many different health problems and disorders, including emotional and behavioural ones.
NHS 111. Call NHS 111 if you need urgent medical help but it is not a life threatening situation.
A national family support service providing help and support on all aspects of family life. They offer a confidential helpline, on line chat, email support, online parenting courses, forums, leaflets and general information.
Freephone: 0808 800 2222
They are a national charity committed to improving the mental health of all children and young people through giving advice, training, campaigning and distributing publications. They offer reliable and accessible online information about common emotional issues for both children and young people. They have a confidential helpline (by phone or email) for parents who are concerns about the emotional and behavioural well being of their children aged 25 years or under. Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm Tel: 0808 802 5544
Works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding. They have information specifically for children,young people and their families -
OCD-UK is the leading national charity, independently working with and for almost one million children and adults whose lives are affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Also have pages specifically for children (http://ocduk.org/childrens-ocd-guide) and young people (http://ocduk.org/young-peoples-ocd-guide).
ChildLine is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK. Children and young people can call them on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem – counsellors are always there to help you sort it out.
Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide.
National Autistic Society(www.nas.org.uk)
The website includes information about autism and Asperger syndrome, the NAS and its services and activities.
If you are making a new enquiry please include brief information about your concerns regarding your child and about the type of support that you are looking for.
Please remember that email is not a completely secure way to send personal information. My email account is secure and encrypted, however you might also want to send any personal details by a password protected document.
All those with parental responsibility for you child must be aware and agree to a referral to my service
My main clinic days are:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
I aim to respond within 48 hours but if you contact me outside of these hours there will be a delay in my response. Many thanks.