As a Clinical Psychologist I am trained to work with individuals across the age span. However, since qualifying 16 years ago, I have specialised in working with children and young people. I am particularly interested in how a child's environment and experiences can shape the developing brain and in turn how this then leads the child to interact with his/her environment. As a result I have received further training in approaches to help support parents and carers to develop strategies for understanding and managing childrens behaviour when they present in a complex and challenging way. (eg. Webster-Stratton approach). I have spent many years running regular Webster-Stratton parent support groups, along with training and supervising other professionals within this approach. Alongside this I am also trained in the Webster-Stratton Childrens Dinosaur group.
I am trained in the "Solihull Approach" and have trained the majority of Health Visitors, School Nurses and Learning Disability Nurses across south Cumbria in this approach. This was to enable support for families from the early days of a childs life to try to prevent difficulties arising and to provide early identification of problems that could then be referred on to the appropriate service. I am passionate about providing preventive measures and promoting positive mental health for children and their families within the childs home or residential placement, schools and within the wider society. For the past 18 months I have been working on the government's "Troubled Families" Initiative which is yielding positive results for families.
My experience working within CAMHS teams has meant that I have worked with a varied range of mental health and psychological difficulties (see "Who Can We Help"). In addition I have pursued further training and specialised in working with children experiencing anxiety disorders. In one previous post I amalgamated aspects from various approaches to treating anxiety to develop a group approach for children, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This was proven to be incredibly effective in reducing children's levels of anxity - interestingly it also served to reduce their parents anxiety without directly addressing this.
A further interest and speciality is in Children's chronic ill-health. I have experience, knowledge and conducted research into a range of childrens chronic health problems. For example, diabetes, epilepsy, childhood cancer. I have also contributed to the training of junior doctors, G.P.s and Paediatricians (The Child in Mind Project).
I use a range of Psychological theories and techniques to inform my understanding of an individuals presentation and to treating this. These include Attachment, Behavioural, Cognitive Behavioural, Systemic, Psychodynamic, Solution Focussed and family therapy based approaches.
I believe that I have a very down to earth approach and I am non-judgemental.
When trying to understand why a problem has arisen I will ask a lot of questions to think holistically about the child within their context and draw upon my knowledge and experience to develop a shared formulation and treatment plan. Some people find that the understanding and recommendations are enough to help them make a difference. For others a short term period of treatment is required (eg. six one hour sessions). Whilst others may require longer term support. I always offer a free initial telephone consultation to determine if I feel I can help. If this is not the appropraite service for you then I will always try to help you find a service that is.
Please contact me for an initial free consultation.