Dr Gonzalo Salazar de Pablo

Child & Adult Psychiatrist

I’m Dr Gonzalo Salazar de Pablo, an experienced Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Academic Mental Health Researcher, working with children, adolescents and young adults.
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ADHD
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Anxiety
OCD
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Introduction

I’m passionate about promoting good mental health in young people. Identifying and addressing difficulties is critical during early-life stages, so that children can feel confident in their ability to overcome challenges and cope with stress. I believe that building resilience and establishing a sense of identity provides children with a solid foundation for wellbeing throughout life.

During treatment, I focus on areas of wellbeing that are crucial for self-development, such as positive self-perception, values, goal setting and problem-solving. I’ve seen many of my patients successfully face difficulties that they never thought they could overcome by applying the skills and strategies learnt during treatment. I believe that using a personalised and holistic approach is the most effective way to help young people to improve their self-esteem, resilience to stress, academic performance and quality of life.

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in.

Desmond Tutu

Areas of Expertise

Anxiety disorders

Feelings of anxiety are very common in young people and are often a consequence of having to deal with difficult or stressful situations. If left untreated, anxiety can interfere with school performance, friendships and home life. Learning how to cope with anxiety is an important part of growing up, which is why I believe it’s essential to understand the origin of any problems or difficulties so that I can help my patients develop strategies that help them to better cope with anxiety in the future. Treatment focuses on helping each young person to build on their strengths and develop their sense of identity, which leads to increased self-esteem, confidence and emotional intelligence.

For many young people, anxiety symptoms may also manifest as:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): children and adolescents with OCD get stuck in a stressful cycle of unwanted and upsetting thoughts that are driven by underlying fear and anxiety, which can lead to them performing recurring or time-consuming rituals.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): leads to extreme or distorted negative perceptions of oneself, which often relates to appearance or body shape. Although it is an under-recognised condition in males, it can affect all young people regardless of gender. Social media use can sometimes be a contributing factor.

Depression

Depression in children and adolescents may not always lead to dramatic or obvious changes in their mood. Rather, depression can sometimes show up as behavioural problems like acting out, getting into arguments at home or school, or a sudden loss of interest in hobbies and activities. These behavioural problems can actually be a sign that a child needs help but doesn’t know how to ask for help or feels misunderstood.

When diagnosing depression, I work collaboratively with young people and their families to understand how any observed symptoms are a reflection of circumstances or external difficulties. Understanding the social, school and family environment is particularly important to identify how triggers of stress may lead to changes in behaviour or mood. I’m a firm believer that seeking treatment early on will help your child to better face future challenges and achieve their full potential.

Neurodevelopmental – ADHD & ASD

I have vast experience helping young people with neurodevelopmental conditions, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). After a comprehensive assessment focusing on the child’s personal strengths and difficulties, I will recommend a holistic treatment plan which includes psychoeducation, psychological therapy and sessions with family members. If I believe medication would be helpful, then we can explore the different options and discuss any risks and benefits before making a collaborative decision. Once children receive the right treatment and support, they show dramatic improvements in their communication skills, mood stability, anxiety levels and impulsive behaviour. Many children also begin to find it easier to complete homework and chores on time.

My approach to mental health

I understand that you, or your child, may feel apprehensive or nervous about talking to a Psychiatrist. While it can be scary to take the first step in seeking help, I want to reassure you that I will listen to all of your concerns and you will not be judged.

We all go through difficult periods when we can benefit from some help and support. This will be a safe space and I will give you as much time as you need. There won’t be any pressure to discuss anxieties, fears or personal issues until you feel ready. I value and respect both the perspectives and opinions of children, as well as their parents, as this helps me to build a complete picture of any difficulties and how the best strategies to address them.

When assessing and diagnosing conditions, I follow National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines and tailor evidence-based interventions according to the needs of each child. Rather than focusing on one strategy, I favour using multiple complementary approaches that give the best chance of long-term improvement. Some of the approaches I use include:

  • Psychoeducation: information about the condition and parenting strategies help families to work together constructively and manage symptoms more effectively.
  • Psychotherapy: psychological talking therapies integrated into psychiatric care.
  • Psychosocial: interpersonal and social skills, with a focus on improving communication (both online and offline). The quality of relationships with family and peers are crucial and a central part of treatment for young people.
  • Performance: learning strategies that improve performance and confidence at school, university and for future development.
  • Lifestyle interventions: evidence-based recommendations around healthy eating and nutrition, education on how to improve sleep, or increasing physical activity through sport or exercise.
  • Behavioural interventions: explore hobbies and activities, such as art or music classes, which encourage self-expression and provide new ways for children to connect with themselves and peers.

My approach to medication

I believe that any decisions regarding whether a young person should take medication needs to be carefully considered, and whether it’s appropriate for their age and symptoms. If medication would be helpful, we will discuss all possible benefits and side effects so that you can make a fully informed decision with the most up-to-date information. I will always provide alternative treatment options to medication and discuss their efficacy and safety in comparison. Where possible, both the parents and child will be involved in the decision process regarding medication.

Training and education

I’m a Consultant Psychiatrist, registered with the General Medical Council (GMC, UK) and I hold a PhD in Psychiatric Research. I’m currently working as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, as well as seeing patients in private practice at the London Psychiatry Clinic. Alongside my clinical work, I currently hold positions as a Lecturer, Supervisor and Clinical Mental Health Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.

Since 2014, I gained extensive clinical experience working at a wide variety of specialist child and adolescent psychiatric services and hospitals in London, Madrid and New York. I completed my medical training at University of Navarra and my specialist psychiatry training at Gregorio Marañon General University Hospital in Madrid, Spain. I have also completed international internships in Medicine and Clinical Research at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, New York (USA), and Zucker Hillside Hospital, New York (USA).

In addition to my specialist psychiatry training, I hold 6 additional Masters-level qualifications in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Integrative Psychotherapy, Legal and Forensic Psychiatry, Psychiatric Treatments for Children and Adolescents, Research in Mental Health and Quality and Patient Safety. I’m also certified to administer clinical scales relating to Bipolar Affect Disorder and At-Risk Mental States.

I’m passionate about mental health research and have published over 35 academic papers in prestigious psychiatry journals and presented at over 20 certified mental health symposiums and conferences. As a result of my clinical research, I received the Emerging Researcher Prize by the Spanish Society Biological Psychiatry (2020), and was awarded four separate scholarship grants and research prizes by the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation (2017-2021).

Please see my Google Scholar to view my academic publications and presentations.

My personal interests

The thing I enjoy the most is traveling and getting to know different places and cultures.

I also like reading, going to the cinema and to the theatre.

Patient Stories

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Contact Us

You can contact our practice management team by:

Phone: 020 34 888 555

Text or WhatsApp: +44 7425 919570

Email: enquiries@londonpsychiatry.clinic

Fax: 020 3475 1321

We are open:

Monday to Friday (8am - 10pm)

Our location:

55 Harley Street London W1G 8QR

We can arrange a brief courtesy call directly with one of our psychiatrists so you can judge for yourself if you feel comfortable talking to them.

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