I completed my clinical training at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP, now known as the IoPPN). The IoP is a world-renowned centre of psychiatric and psychological research and a school of King’s College London. The clinical training course itself was set up by Hans Eysenck and was the first such course in the UK. The training at the IoP involves three years of intensive teaching, highly supervised therapy and research, which covers a wide range of psychological difficulties and client groups. In addition to this training I took advantage of the opportunity to complete my Intellectual Difficulties training in Dublin, Ireland, which provided a valuable insight into the workings of a different health system.
Following my training, I was offered a job at the PICuP (Psychological Interventions Clinic for outpatients with Psychosis) service of the South London and Maudsley NHS service (SLAM). The PICuP team provides a superb therapeutic service for clients suffering from psychosis (hallucinations and/or paranoia) and mania – and is a wonderful place to work.
My position in PICuP was as lead psychologist in charge of developing PICuP’s services for people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. As part of this, together with Dr Emma O’Donoghue, I initiated the development of a new intervention for bipolar disorder based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), for which pilot work has just been completed. Although my relocation to Ecuador meant that I had to leave my job at PICuP, I continue to work remotely with the team developing the new intervention. As part of my position at PICuP, I was also able to continue with various teaching, training and supervision roles at the IoP.
The next section of my personal and professional life was in Ecuador, a small and beautiful South American country nestled between Colombia and Peru. Known for its incredible biodiversity, coffee, chocolate the Galapagos and bananas among other things, Ecuador is a wonder and a challenge. I spent 5 years in Ecuador doing a wide variety of things including working as a private psychologist, teaching at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito, running training courses, helping fight illegal mines (in a very small capacity) and helping build houses for people who lost their own homes in a powerful earthquake in April 2016. I’ve recently (as of writing this in December 2019) returned to London, and re-joined my old team at the PICuP service, as well as starting work at the National Psychosis Service of the Bethlem hospital.
Prior to my clinical training, I completed a PhD in Neuropsychology and Neuroimaging and a Masters degree in Neuroscience, both also at the Institute of Psychiatry. These provided a comprehensive world-class training in understanding the brain at a biological level and in understanding and conducting research. Having finished my MSc and PhD however, I was left feeling that I wanted to do more to help people directly. My experience of working with and talking to patients in research convinced me to take one more step and train as a therapist, so that I could help bridge the gap between our developing knowledge of how the mind works and actually being able to help people who were suffering from psychological distress.
2012: Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)
King's College London, UK
Thesis: Contextual Processing in Psychosis and Cannabis Use
2008: Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD).
King's College London, UK.
Thesis: Cerebral Function and Connectivity in Twins with Bipolar Disorder
2004: MSc Neuroscience
King's College London, UK
2001: BSc (Hons) Psychology and Politics.
University of Leicester, UK