Areas of Expertise
In my clinical practice, I adopt a trauma-informed approach. This means that I understand how lived experiences can have a lasting impact on our neurological, biological, psychological and social development. I understand that not all trauma involves a singular significant event and I understand that each person’s experience is subjective. There is no right or wrong way to react to a traumatic event and different people exposed to the same event may respond in different ways. For some, this may be dissociation, nightmares and flashbacks, but for others it may be depression, anxiety, medically unexplained symptoms, eating disorders or interpersonal difficulties. I am trained in two specific trauma therapies; Trauma-Focused CBT and EMDR which, through open discussion with you, will be integrated in a manner to best suit your needs and at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Working with the mind and body
In addition to my extensive training as a psychologist, I am a qualified yoga teacher. Through this training, I learnt first-hand the importance of working holistically with the mind and body in unity. I took this learning further through additional training in the application of polyvagal theory and somatic experiencing. In therapy, we can explore and enhance your understanding of how our psychological difficulties can manifest physiologically, learn key techniques to regulate the nervous system, and become more in tune with the physical sensations which provide clues to identifying triggers. Once you begin to feel more in tune with and in control of your body, we can progress onto exploring the deeper underlying psychological mechanisms that have been maintaining your difficulty.
Alongside my clinical work, I regularly conduct assessments for Family and Criminal Courts. As such, I have extensive experience in psychological assessments of complex mental health conditions, personality disorders, and high-risk behaviours.
I also regularly carry out neurocognitive assessments, including; IQ profile, learning disability, executive functioning and memory functioning.
My approach to mental health
I firmly believe that everybody’s experience is unique and as such I will work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes. Therapy will always be client-led and collaborative. This means that you will be involved in developing your personalised treatment plan to ensure it is tailored to your needs and preferences.
To ensure therapy that is always tailored to each client’s need I work integratively. This means that I carefully combine elements from different psychological approaches to create a bespoke treatment plan. Treatment approaches that I am trained in and may draw upon include:
For me, a thorough understanding of how we carry much of our distress in our body, often perpetuating our difficulty, is an essential foundation for therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
I use elements of CBT, as I find that many clients like the structured approach. Understanding how our thoughts are linked to our physical sensations can be particularly helpful.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
I may introduce DBT techniques to help alleviate severe symptoms and improve emotional regulation.
Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
I may introduce EMDR to support you to process thoughts and memories that have become stuck and may be underpinning dysfunction through persistent negative affect, negative beliefs and physiological distress.
I aim to make mindfulness techniques more accessible and easier to implement for people who feel chronically stressed. I bring mindfulness into everyday activities that enable you to ground yourself and reduce anxiety throughout the day so that you can reconnect with yourself and the present moment.
This is focused on developing your self-compassion, which can help to improve your self-esteem and personal wellbeing. It allows you to reflect and understand your difficulties without being too harsh or judging yourself. Finally, it encourages you to reconnect with yourself.
As a psychologist I do not prescribe medication. However, I fully support medication as an adjunct to therapy where required and can work alongside your psychiatrist to support you with this.
Training and education
I am a Clinical Psychologist, Chartered by the British Psychological Society and Registered with the Health & Care Professions Council.
I have a BSc in Psychology & Criminology from Staffordshire University (2002), an MSc in Forensic Psychology from the University of Kent (2005) and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Canterbury Christchurch University (2011).
I have worked in the field of mental health since 2001 and as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist since 2011, during which time I’ve worked in the Brighton Children and Adolescent Mental Health team, at the Hellingly Medium Secure Hospital (NHS adult complex mental health), and in a Cygnet adolescent in-patient unit. I also have extensive experience working as an Expert Witness for Family and Criminal Courts, involving detailed psychological assessment of adults and children.
Alongside my clinical work, I have published a book chapter detailing psychological interventions with complex clients, and co-authored research papers relating to the effectiveness of brief mindfulness practice and the challenges of developing recovery-oriented services. I have also presented at conferences across Europe. I’m passionate about keeping up to date with the latest evidence-based research so that I can better help the clients that I see in my clinic. I also regularly attend training sessions and workshops to expand my skill set.
My personal interests
Outside of work I spend time with my family in the Sussex countryside. I enjoy walking in the forest and paddleboarding on the sea. I also enjoy regular yoga practice. I am currently exploring combining two of my passions; yoga and paddleboarding, which is making for some interesting and rather soggy outings!