Areas of Expertise
I have specialised training in a range of evidence-based psychotherapy approaches, and tailor treatment according to the needs and preferences of each patient.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
For patients who will benefit most from a structured approach, I use CBT to help you understand how our emotions, thoughts and behaviour are connected. By challenging unhelpful thoughts and emotions, this promotes positive behaviour change, which helps you to feel better and improves life on a daily basis. CBT can be particularly helpful for anxiety symptoms, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), behavioural problems, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASD).
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
For those struggling with emotional regulation or self-harm, I often use DBT techniques to help you better deal with difficult emotions, increase your resilience to emotional distress and improve interpersonal skills. DBT is proven to help in reducing distressing symptoms by providing you skills to manage emotions, tolerate distress and increase interpersonal effectiveness. Once these symptoms are reduced, it becomes easier to establish healthy routines and habits that promote a stable and happy lifestyle. Developing new skills that help you to cope better with emotional stress will have a positive impact on your wellbeing and health, both now and in the long-term future.
I can also provide support to parents to develop the skills they need to help their children with emotional regulation difficulties. For those struggling with the opposite of undercontrolled behaviours, but having difficulties to feel their emotions, connecting with others or being open to deal with new experiences, Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy can be very helpful.
Mentalization-based therapy (MBT)
Mentalization is the ability to think about our thoughts and perspective objectively, as well as understanding how others may have different perspectives or feelings from us. By practicing your ability to mentalize in a safe and supportive therapeutic environment, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationships with others. Ultimately, MBT will help you to have more fulfilling and supportive relationships, foster self-awareness and improve wellbeing.
ASD / Autism Assessments
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by persistent needs within social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts: social reciprocity, nonverbal communicative behaviour, skills in developing and maintaining relationships, and understanding and communicating emotions. In addition to this, the diagnosis requires the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that continues during a lifetime, but symptoms might change over the course of a child's and young person's development and may be masked by compensatory strategies (particularly by females). However, the diagnostic criteria may be met based on historical information, although the current presentation is suggestive of appropriate daily functioning. An ASD assessment requires a clinical interview, as well as a standardised observational assessment (ADOS-2) and an interview that assesses neurodevelopmental history.
I have expertise in assessing ASD across a wide range of ages and in different settings, from private to NHS, in outpatient clinics, intensive community treatment services and inpatient units. I can also provide psychoeducation on symptoms and support to promote strengths and build resilience, while helping you to understand yourself better and to learn how to cope with your difficulties.
My approach to mental health
As a therapist, I understand it’s difficult to trust someone you don’t know, or you might feel like you can’t see any solutions for your problems. I offer a safe and supportive environment for you and your loved ones to share your concerns without fear or judgement. I believe that treatment isn’t just limited to the time we spend talking in our sessions but that treatment has to be integrated into daily life for it to work. I adapt my approach to each patient’s personality and help them to implement the skills they learn from sessions into other contexts so that therapy creates a lasting impact on their mental health and self-esteem.
During the first consultation, I’ll initially explore the reasons why you’re seeking help and what you’ve tried already, so that I can better understand what approaches have worked for you and what hasn’t been helpful. There won’t be any pressure for you to talk about things in the first consultation if you don’t feel ready, as I want you to feel comfortable with sharing your fears at your own pace. My approach is highly collaborative, so together we’ll make decisions about what problems should be addressed in therapy first and consider different solutions and strategies for how you can overcome your difficulties.
Following the initial consultation, I’ll formulate the best course of action to help you and provide you with different treatment options that can be tailored according to your feedback. I’ll also provide psychoeducation, which involves explaining my clinical opinion and providing you and your loved ones with helpful information about any relevant symptoms or conditions. I follow a person-centred approach, which means the treatment plan will take into account your circumstances, lifestyle, routine and personal strengths.
For children under 18, I normally include family members in therapy where needed. Depending on the circumstances, I will spend more time on individual sessions with the child or with the parents. For young adults, I let my patients choose whether they would prefer individual sessions most of the time or if they would like that loved ones are also included in the appointments.
My approach to medication
As a clinical psychologist, I don’t prescribe medication. However, I fully support medication where required, as it can be helpful in reducing difficult symptoms, particularly when combined with psychotherapy and psychoeducation. I can also work in collaboration with your psychiatrist to support you with this.
Training and education
I’m a registered Clinical Psychologist, accredited with the Health and Care Professionals Council, with more than 8 years of clinical experience working in the UK and Spain. I also have a PhD in Psychology, and completed a Clinical Research Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology at Imperial College London and NHS.
I’m currently working as a Clinical Psychologist at the Maudsley Hospital, London, within the Enhanced Treatment Service team. Previously, I worked as a Clinical Psychologist in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services across several locations within Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, including outpatient services, and also inpatient unit, day program and intensive community treatment services. Alongside my clinical work, I have extensive academic and teaching experience. I’ve presented at multiple international and national conferences and have authored and co-authored more than 20 academic publications.
Regarding my education, I completed my postgraduate Clinical Psychologist Training at Ramon y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain in 2019, where I was awarded the medical area end of residency Extraordinary Award. I completed both my PhD in Psychology (in 2020) and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (in 2014) at the University of Salamanca, Spain, where I received the scholarship in Personality, Assessment & Psychological Treatment and was awarded with the extraordinary Prize of Degree. I also completed a placement with the Brief Therapy Center & Strategic Family Therapy Center at the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto, California. I have additional advanced certifications in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy training, an expert course in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and several specific courses in the area of childhood and adolescence, including ADOS-2, ADI-R, Incredible Years, DBT, MBT or IPT.
My expert qualifications and advanced training in Clinical Psychology, combined with my academic, research and clinical work, has helped me to develop unique clinical skills and acknowledge gaps of knowledge about mental health conditions that deserve further study to improve patients’ lives.
My personal interests
Growing up, I moved from a smaller town in Spain and had to adjust to living in much bigger cities and a foreign country (Madrid and London), as well as a brief experience in Palo Alto, California. Working in different places, new environments and adapting to new cultures helped to widen my understanding of people and become a more flexible person and clinician for my patients and their families.
When I’m not working, I enjoy listening to music, reading thrillers, doing sports like running and dancing, or making travel plans. I also enjoy playing the piano.