• We can work with you to help you find ways of coping better with your health problems. Many of us will experience a period of ill-health in our lives and some of us develop conditions that accompany us for the rest of our lives. This can pose a challenge for even the most capable of us.

    This often involves;

    • optimising the support available to you, including your relationships with health professionals.
    • finding ways of helping you to continue to find fulfilment in life in spite of the many restrictions health problems can place on you.
    • help with making changes or
    • help with making room for things other than health problems
    • help in taking control of your health and body which can have a positive effect on people and their behaviours.

    We have developed our experience through our work in major London hospitals and community health services, including pioneering services that support people at home (including end-of-life care), cardiology, oncology, chest medicine, neurology, dermatology, general surgery and plastic surgery. We have become experienced in using a variety of psychological approaches applied to health problems, including cognitive-behavioural therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

  • We can use psychological treatment to reduce pre-occupation with concerns about appearance so that it interferes less with day to day life.  We can help where there is an obvious difference in appearance (like a burn scar, skin condition, birthmark or amputation) or when there is little or no obvious difference from the norm.

    Surgery or medical treatments are one way of addressing appearance concerns but there strong evidence that psychological treatments in this area can make a real difference.

    We can help with;

    • reducing pre-occupation on concerns about appearance
    • learning to deal with others who may comment, stare or ask questions about a particular aspect of your appearance.
    • enhancing your self-esteem.
    • supporting you with any treatments associated with conditions affecting appearance and manage some of the symptoms such as itching.
    • improving social and intimate relationships that are impacted by appearance concerns

    We have published widely in this area and have all had experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery and dermatology. 

  • We can work with you to help you understand your own response to the traumatic event and the symptoms that are troubling you, like flashbacks and nightmares. Our aim will be to help you resume your life as it was before the trauma including your work and social life.

    Many people can experience a traumatic event, for example road traffic accidents, an assault or traumatic medical treatments. Traumatic events can lead to temporary or permanent changes to our bodies. It is not unusual for a person to be affected by this in a significant way and for this to affect a person’s ability to carry on as before.

    Occasionally traumatic events, particularly when you felt your own or another person’s livelihood was threatened, can mean you develop a set of difficulties known as post-traumatic stress. 

    We have experience in trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), a treatment currently recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). We had direct experience of supporting patients from the London Bombings in 2007 and those receiving treatment at a very large regional hand trauma centre.

  • Being clear of our expectations and goals for surgical treatments and discussing these with the health professionals can help with a better outcome. This is because you are able to find out whether your goals are likely to be achieved with the proposed treatment. Being clear about your decision-making process can also be important to prevent regret and ensure that treatment can have a positive impact, not just physical.

    Many of our surgical, medical, nursing and rehabilitation staff ask us to be involved with patients when particular treatments or surgery are requested or proposed. We are also often involved following treatment when a person struggles with complications or recovery is not progressing as anticipated.

    We have experience in various (surgical) treatments and their impact on psychological well-being. We have expertise in specialist psychological assessment for those seeking cosmetic surgery, risk-reducing surgery (for example mastectomy) or complex surgeries. We often work closely with the treating team to ensure positive outcomes after treatment in both health and emotional well-being.

  • We offer clinical supervision to clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, counsellors and other health professionals. Some of us have had additional training in supervision by the British Psychological Society to adhere to standards set out in their good practice guidelines.

    Clinical supervision is a requirement for practitioners of psychological therapy and involves discussion of cases and caseload, ethical or workplace issues and is also a way of quality assurance and developing the supervisees’ skills and confidence. This can include knowledge and skill in particular models of therapy such as schema-focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and narrative therapy.

  • We have delivered both short and extended training in various formats, including workshops focused on skills and brief lectures. They have been aimed at a wide variety of audiences, from those affected by difficulties and professionals working with those affected by difficulties. We can create a training programme suited to your specific needs.

    Some of our training and workshops have included:

    • Motivational interviewing
    • Solution-focused approach to problems
    • Giving bad news
    • Coping with illness and loss
    • Basic psychological skills
    • Management of the skin patient
  • Psychological therapy for those living with a skin condition can lead to wider improvements in quality of life beyond those offered by medical treatment alone.

    The functional, psychological and social impact of living with a skin condition is equivalent or greater than other ‘more serious’ conditions such as cancer or heart disease. Stress has been described as both a precipitating and exacerbating factor in skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo and more. Stress is also a major determinant of the response to medical treatment. For example, stress reduction techniques in psoriasis have demonstrated improvement in disease severity and reduced time to clearance. 

    We have published widely in this area and hold expertise in the psychological management and provision in the area of psycho-dermatology.