I obtained my MA (Hons) degree in Psychology in 2000, receiving a 1st class honours. In 2007 I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Both degrees were undertaken at the University of Glasgow. My clinical experience working in mental health totals eighteen years. This includes working within NHS Community Mental Health Teams for twelve years where I delivered individual and group interventions, and was involved in service development, training, consultation and supervision. I have recently left to concentrate on developing the St Andrews Practice service.
I am trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and Schema Therapy (ST), Mindfulness, and Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am fascinated by the interplay between the physical and psychological aspects of trauma and anxiety. As a fully trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner I am particularly focused on growing my expertise in this innovative therapy, and seeing results across a range of trauma and anxiety presentations in my clients.
I have extensive experience and interest in working with neurodiversity, with individuals seeking an adulthood diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I have witnessed the distress of individuals who have progressed through their lives with a narrative that they are somehow ‘different’, without sufficient explanation for why. Assessment often provides answers and relief in some way (if not a diagnosis of ASD, a story or ‘psychological formulation’ of why difficulties have arisen). I am neurodiversity-affirmative, cognisant of the strengths and challenges that having a diagnosis can bring for individuals and their loved ones. In the last few years since establishing The St Andrews Practice I have continued to grow my clinical experience in utilizing evidence based psychological therapies, adapted as appropriate, with neurodivergent individuals .
As a Clinical Psychologist, my practice is driven by a number of philosophies. Therapy works best when approached in a collaborative, explorative way. I will listen and work with you to formulate your unique story (‘formulation’) and together tailor a treatment plan. Whatever therapeutic approach undertaken, I am invested in developing a warm, empathic and validating therapeutic relationship. Therapy can be hard work, and can involve confronting difficult emotions, thoughts, behaviours and memories. It can involve increasing insight, and it can involve challenge. My philosophy is that effective therapy goes beyond a set of tools and techniques, it is about creating a safe space, finding a language which works for the client, and flexibility to integrate different therapeutic approaches.