It can feel a bit daunting to contact a psychologist for the first time but, like we all have ups and downs in our physical health and need to see our GP from time to time, the same goes for our mental health. You may have struggled for a long time and been unable to access the right support, or your difficulties may have only started recently. You may be thinking that your problem seems minor or silly, or conversely far too great for anyone to be able to help. Whatever it is that’s bothering you, please contact me and we can informally discuss whether my approach might be the right one for you at no cost. If you choose to meet me for an initial assessment, there is no obligation to continue seeing me if you don’t think we’re the right fit. In such a case, I’ll be happy to refer you to an appropriate colleague.
I see adults and children for a wide range of psychological and neurodevelopmental difficulties. The list below covers some of these but is by no means exhaustive. If none of these descriptions seem to fit you, don’t worry, please contact me anyway to see if I can help.
- Low mood and depression
- Self-harm and suicidal thoughts
- Post-traumatic stress (this may be in response to experiencing, witnessing or repeatedly hearing about any traumatic event including but not limited to childhood abuse and neglect, domestic violence, sexual or physical assault, traumatic birth, road traffic accidents, natural disaster, war, imprisonment, torture, and perpetrating a crime)
- Grief, bereavement, shame and difficult transitions
- Difficulties in social situations
- Difficulties forming and maintaining relationships and friendships
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive compulsive difficulties
- Low self-esteem and low self-confidence
- Unwanted habits, such as hair pulling and skin picking
- Personality disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder
- Behavioural difficulties
- Stress management
- Bipolar mood difficulties
- Psychosis and schizophrenia
- Low motivation to make changes and access support for an eating disorder or substance misuse
I have a special interest in complex trauma and PTSD, and have worked extensively with veterans; victims of abuse, crime and natural disaster; perpetrators of crime; and refugees and asylum seekers. I’m also able to work with people with learning needs and people whose first language isn’t English. Should you require an interpreter in another language or British Sign Language, this is possible at an additional cost to cover the interpreter’s fees. Please contact me to discuss details.
I offer a safe, confidential space, free from judgement in which to discuss the things that are bothering you and work together towards your desired outcome using evidence-based techniques. Your goals may be short or long term, and there is no minimum or maximum number of sessions. We will agree what seems feasible in order to meet your goals, and review this periodically to check that we’re making progress and our chosen approach doesn’t need tweaking.
Please note that I do not run an emergency service and cannot attend to people in immediate crisis, those who are actively psychotic, or those whose physical health is seriously compromised as a result of active substance misuse, eating disorder or physical health condition. If this applies to you, private practice is not the most appropriate source of support at this time as you are likely to benefit from the input of a wider multidisciplinary team. If you would like to think about your motivation and perceived ability to access this kind of multidisciplinary support, please contact me to discuss whether I might be able to help you get started on your journey to making changes. If you consider yourself to be in immediate danger, please call 999 or go to your nearest A&E.
I offer an assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that can be used alongside reports from other professionals to inform a diagnosis, with teachers to ensure appropriate support at school, and with parents to think about how to identify and manage a child’s strengths and needs. A full assessment includes a parent meeting, usually over two or more sessions, a child meeting, also over two or more sessions, a school observation, and a feedback meeting. I am also happy to liaise with the child’s school and, for an additional fee, will provide a full written report. Please note, I cannot currently offer autism spectrum disorder assessments to adults aged 18 or over.
Consultation & Training
I offer bespoke training on a range of mental health issues to schools, health professionals, corporate clients, charitable organisations, and emergency services. This might include how to recognise the signs of common mental health difficulties, helpful techniques that you can try yourself, such as stress and anxiety management and mindfulness-based exercises, and what to do if you’re worried about friends, family, colleagues or pupils. Training for schools can be tailored for pupils of any age group or for staff. Please contact me to discuss your needs well in advance as this will need to be prepared in accordance with your requirements.
I also offer consultation on specific issues or individuals to health and social care professionals and teachers. Please be mindful to seek consent from an individual (or their legal guardian) prior to contacting me and, should they wish, discussions can be kept anonymous so as to protect their confidentiality.
I offer both group and individual clinical supervision and reflective practice to NHS staff teams, teachers working with special educational needs, social workers, and to psychologists, counsellors and therapists. I am able to travel for group work, but I meet individuals during my clinic in Cockermouth. Phone and skype supervision may also be possible. Please contact me to discuss your needs.
Medico-Legal & Expert Witness
I provide expert assessments and reports for a range of psychological issues for criminal and family proceedings, including capacity assessments. I also provide court recommended treatment. I have specialist knowledge of post-traumatic stress disorder relating to both victims and perpetrators of crime, both adults and children, as well as extensive experience assessing the needs of children and making recommendations for the provision of care either with family or within the looked after system. The instructing solicitor can contact me to discuss specific needs and fees, and I also take enquiries from social workers and legal guardians.
Media & App Development
I offer consultation on issues of mental health to production companies, broadcasters and app developers, and am able to provide an expert opinion on camera and radio. I have previously consulted on a number of documentaries and in the development of apps for children with autism spectrum disorder and adults wanting to use apps in therapy. Please contact me to discuss your specific requirements.