I originally trained as a CBT therapist in Northern Ireland and worked with adults and children who had experienced trauma within the context of paramilitary violence. I also gained experience of working in a CBT approach with young people and their families in criminal justice and 'looked after children' services.
I later trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked within a forensic CAMHS setting for a number of years before obtaining a Clinical Tutor post on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme. Within this role I input into teaching in various psychological models, including CBT and CAT. I also work with colleagues to deliver various sessions on psychological formulation. I have also completed some small scale research which explores attachment, trauma and offending behaviour.
Within my current role as IAPT Programme Director, I work at the university 2-3 days per week and a half day per week within Lancashire Care Foundation Trust (LCFT) with adults in a primary care setting who present with complex needs. As a CBT therapist I am passionate about the use of psychological formulation and I am keen to work together with service-users and trainee CBT therapists to develop collaborative formulations rather than psychiatric diagnoses. I have a particular interest in working with imagery and trauma in a CBT approach.
I trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and CBT has always been the main theoretical model that has informed my work. I worked for twenty years as a clinician and manager within NHS psychological services in the north east of England and the West Midlands before moving into university-based professional educational roles. In 2004 I was appointed as the Clinical Director for Clinical Psychology Doctorate run by the universities of Keele and Staffordshire. Within that role I worked with NHS colleagues to develop and then to deliver the Staffordshire University Post Graduate Diploma in CBT which was commissioned as one of the "first wave" IAPT awards. I have very much welcomed the opportunities that IAPT has provided to increase the availability of psychological therapies.
I began working on the Postgraduate Diploma in CBT at Lancaster University in 2012 and currently work for three to four days per week within that role. I am responsible for the delivery of some of the curriculum and also for providing university-based supervision and have particularly welcomed opportunities to look at ways to help trainees to draw links between theory and practice and to develop effective clinical skills.
Throughout my career I have worked with clients with intellectual disabilities and adults with mental health difficulties and I am interested in how CBT can be adapted to make it accessible to people with intellectual disabilities. I currently work on a part-time basis for a private provider of psychological services and am involved in therapeutic work with individuals who have experienced trauma and the preparation of psychological reports for individuals who are involved in different types of legal proceedings. I have recently undertaken EMDR training and have been very interested in the applications of this approach and the interface with CBT.
"The programme's focus on formulation made it easier for me to work outside of primary care in my role in a complex care team."
"Programme staff are really supportive and I felt supported throughout the (hard!) 12 months."