At McKeown Psychology Associates counselling and psychotherapy for adults and children is provided by qualified Clinical and Counselling Psychologists and Counsellors. Our Psychologists and Counsellors work with clients with the aim of helping them to improve their sense of well-being, alleviate their distress, resolve their crises and increase their ability to solve problems and make decisions for themselves. We usually work directly with clients, either individually, in couples and families, or in groups. We carry out a careful assessment of client's needs and provide therapies based on psychological theories and research.
There are many situations in life that can cause emotional stress- relationship difficulties, raising children, caring for young children and ageing parents, a death in the family, coping with illness or disability, pressure at work, fear of redundancy, money worries, managing dual careers etc. We offer help to people who suffer from a wide range of these difficulties, which can manifest themselves in ways such as:
For many people it can be very hard to see what has triggered their feelings of distress and unhappiness. It could be that there is a general feeling of dissatisfaction with life, which is hard to pin down. Talking to a Psychologist or Counsellor may help focus this further so that a course of action becomes clearer.
Some people's problems may be related to sudden stresses like bereavement or another traumatic life change. In other situations, problems may be linked to longer standing difficulties, such as painful childhood experiences.
We offer people a chance to talk openly about themselves and we try to help people bring about changes in their lives by: understanding yourself better
We aim to get an understanding of your difficulties and feelings by talking to you about your life and listening to your concerns. Talking freely and openly together enables us to find possible ways of helping you. We will discuss our ideas with you and together we will make decisions on the best course of action.
We are trained and experienced in carrying out a range of well tried therapy methods, depending on your needs. We will explain our recommended approach to you and we will be pleased to answer any queries. We will sometimes give advice or make recommendations about what to do about your difficulties. This might include a recommendation to seek a different form of help if we are not the right source of help for you.
You can expect to be treated with courtesy, confidentiality and respect at all times.
Therapy works by helping you objectively look at behaviours, feelings and thoughts in situations, which you find problematic. It helps you to learn more effective ways in dealing with those situations. Therapy is a collaborative process, and it therefore differs from 'advice giving' in that the emphasis is on enabling the client to develop and draw on their own skills and strengths in order to move forward. The Psychologist or Counsellor's role is largely to observe and reflect where the client may be falling into unhelpful or destructive patterns of thought, belief or behaviour, and to gradually introduce alternative, more constructive patterns. You and your therapist will identify your goals - what you want to have happen, and agree on how you'll know when you're making progress. Your therapist will talk to you about the length of time it may take to help you see changes. In longer term work, the therapist will regularly 'review' progress with the client so that an appropriate ending to therapy can be agreed.
For some people it is often important to have specialist help from a multi-disciplinary Mental Health Team, which includes Doctors (Psychiatrists), Nursing staff (Psychiatric Nurses) and Social Workers. We do not provide this type of service at MPA and would recommend that you see your GP, who can refer you to this type of service, either privately or within the NHS. Examples of where this may be the most helpful course of action include:
Our reception staff are very experienced. and they will need some details of the problem/problems you are hoping to address in order to offer you an initial appointment with the Psychologist or Counsellor they think will be the most suitable. The first appointment is your opportunity to ask your therapist any questions you have. You can expect your Psychologist or Counsellor to answer any questions you have about his/her qualifications, experience, specialisation or therapeutic model openly and honestly. They will do their best to answer any queries you may have.
If you feel after this appointment that this is not the Psychologist or Counsellor for you, or they feel another colleague may be more suitable, once the fee for this initial session is settled you are under no further obligation, and you may ask us to arrange another appointment with a different therapist if you wish. Alternatively, your therapist may suggest to you another colleague to see.
In the end, you, the client, are the best judge as to whether you feel the Psychologist or Counsellor is going to be someone you can trust, talk openly with, and with whom you believe you will be able to achieve constructive change. It is important that you feel comfortable with them since your treatment will involve working together as a team. A good rapport with your therapist is critical. Choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and at ease.
All Clinical Psychologists working at McKeown Psychology Associates are Chartered.
To become a Chartered Clinical psychologist you need a first degree in Psychology. The clinical psychology training itself then takes an additional three years and must be undertaken through a British Psychological Society-accredited training course. To become a counselling psychologist you need a first degree in psychology and then have to take the British Psychological Society's Diploma in Counselling Psychology or, alternatively, take a Society-accredited postgraduate training course. All associates have an associate body who have a code of practice and ethics which the associate will follow.
'Chartered Psychologist', is a title, which is given to members of the British Psychological Society when they are placed on a Register of Chartered Psychologists only when the Psychologist has passed strict entry requirements. The British Psychological Society (B-P-S) is the scientific and professional body for psychologists, incorporated by the Royal Charter. it maintains a professional code of conduct for all members. Currently, anyone can call themselves a psychologist, but only those on the Register may use the title 'Chartered' or the abbreviation C.Psychol.
All MPA counsellors are Accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Registered with the United Kingdom Register of Counsellors (UKRC). This means that all counsellors will be trained to a minimum standard of Diploma level (normally two years' postgraduate study), and will also have successfully undergone the BACP's Professional Competence examination, which involves continuing professional development, ongoing training, and a minimum of 450 hours of supervised clinical practice.
If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment, please contact us.
Dr Joshua Carritt-Baker CPsychol - Child and Adult Clinical Psychologist, Forensic Practitioner
Dr Baker has worked for the NHS since 1996 and in private practice as a Clinical Psychologist since 2003. He works in an integrative way, drawing on cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic principles to provide therapy for individuals and couples. He has a particular interest in anxiety problems (phobia, panic, OCD, agoraphobia, social phobia,relationship, couple and interpersonal difficulties, psychosis and depersonalisation/derealisation, chronic fatigue/ME, and sports psychology.He also acts as an expert witness in legal cases.
Dr Stephen Briers, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Over a decade of varied professional experience in assessment and treatment has equipped Stephen to work with the psychological needs of clients across the age range. His work as author, presenter and onscreen psychologist for several BBC and Channel 4 series has established a public profile that continues to create a high demand for Stephen’s clinical services.
Before completing his clinical doctorate, Stephen worked at a child development unit at Cambridge University where he was involved in research into the impact of postnatal depression. On qualifying he was employed by the NHS in HIV and Psychosexual Health, working with clients presenting with a diverse range of mental health needs. During this time he developed a particular interest in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As one of the Lead Associates at MPA he carries responsibility for coordinating the clinical activity of the organization.
He is chartered by the British Psychological Society and is registered with the Health Professions Council.
Stephen employs a range of techniques for assessing psychological factors impacting upon mood, cognition, personality, behaviour, and global functioning. He regularly administers psychometric tests in the course of his clinical and legal work and is mindful of the value of such instruments as a source of reliable evidence in testing out hypotheses and establishing outcomes.
Alongside his other commitments, Stephen continues to maintain and develop his clinical practice. He enlists various approaches and theoretical perspectives, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (about which he has written a best-selling book), systemic, psychodynamic and solution-focused techniques. He is a qualified practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – a widely validated treatment for trauma. His approach is genuinely integrative and Stephen always seeks to tailor treatment to the specific needs and expectations of his clients. He offers clinical interventions to children, teenagers and adults, as well as working with couples. A brief sample of the issues he works with include:
Since 2004 Dr Briers has regularly been jointly instructed as an independent expert witness for the Child and Family Courts. His varied background equips him to provide comprehensive assessments of families. He is qualified to evaluate both the needs of children and the mental health issues and parenting capacity of the adults in their lives. He has contributed to Child Care Proceedings conducted in both East and West Sussex. He has also provided evidence in a limited number of forensic and personal injury cases.
In his legal work Dr Briers combines formal psychometric assessments with clinical observation and appraisal, always seeking to provide robust evidence and clear arguments for any opinions offered. He is very conscious of the responsibilities of the expert witness, the specific agendas of the courts, and the imperative to provide a reliable, highly professional standard of reporting within agreed timescales. In making recommendations Dr Briers is mindful that experts need to identify relevant services and also stipulate criteria and thresholds against which an individual’s therapeutic progress can be effectively measured.
Dr Briers has enjoyed extremely positive feedback from solicitors, barristers and judges regarding the quality of his assessments. He seeks to keep his skills and knowledge updated and relevant, for example recently undertaking Story Stem training at the Anna Freud Centre to enhance his assessment of attachment.
Training and consultation continues to be an active part of Stephen’s portfolio. His media profile has created various public speaking opportunities, including most recently a role as a keynote speaker at the national CPHVA conference held at the Brighton Centre in 2011. He is also involved in teaching on the Child Protection course run jointly by Sussex University and the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust. His previous work as a lecturer for the Open University, his media role, and his writing career mean that he is very used to translating complex psychological ideas into an accessible and engaging form for both lay and professional audiences alike. Stephen has also been involved in the supervision of health professionals including nursing teams, health visitors, and other clinical psychologists.
Dr Peter Jakob, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
As a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS, Dr Peter Jakob is Lead for Complex Cases in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in East Sussex. With a background in social work, Peter is also a Systemic Family Therapist. He has over 28 years of post-qualifying experience working with children, young people, adults and families. In addition to his NHS role and involvement in MPA, Peter runs Partnership Projects, an organisation that provides a range of innovative consultancy, training and therapeutic services relevant to complex systems such as educational and social care settings.
Peter is at the vanguard of introducing Non Violent Resistance (NVR) techniques to this country. NVR is an innovative systemic approach to managing entrenched behaviour problems within families and institutions. Peter has found that where trust has broken down due to behaviour problems, aggression or violence, NVR offers resistance to abuse and at the same time reconciliation, enabling helpless adults regain their authority.
Peter also organises and speaks at international conferences focused on promoting NVR and other aspects of psychological therapy.
He is chartered by the British Psychological Society and registered by the Health Professions Council.
Peter specialises is the assessment of parents’ ability to change within the child’s time-scale where there are child protection concerns, especially within families where there are many different stress factors. He further specialises in risk assessment of sexually harmful behaviour in young people and adults.
When working therapeutically with clients, Dr Jakob draws upon a comprehensive ‘toolbox’ of methods including Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Trauma interventions, Non-Violent Resistance Therapy and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. Recently, he has begun using DDP (‘Dan Hughes therapy’) in working with looked after children and foster carers.
Peter’s philosophy has always been to work collaboratively with his clients, helping them recognise and use their own strengths, resources and knowledge. By helping clients to uncover unexpected possibilities, Peter has always found that instilling hope and confidence can catalyse rapid and profound change. He maintains the importance of avoiding blame in therapy and respecting clients as experts about their own lives.
The approaches he uses not only help clients achieve a fresh perspective on their lives and relationships, but also develop practical strategies to bring about change in the here and now.
In addition to offering general clinical psychology services, Peter specialises in:
Training and Consultancy
Peter provides training nationally and internationally in Non Violent Resistance Therapy, and in therapeutic approaches to multi-stressed families that are suitable for work in multi-agency contexts. He offers consultancy focused on the needs of NHS and local authority organisations that are responsible for the care of vulnerable service users, with a special emphasis on issues pertaining to abuse, violence, and child protection.
Marie Larkin, Accredited Counsellor
Marie is a BACP Accredited Counsellor with over 14 years experience in the mental health and emotional wellbeing sector. Marie’s career began in Recruitment, Marketing and Management in the private and voluntary sectors. She trained as a counsellor at Birkbeck College, London and the University of Sussex. Since qualifying, she has worked in a number of different settings including the NHS and Employee Assistance programmes as well as expanding her own private practice.
Marie has a growing interest in the field of Mindfulness and Interpersonal Neurobiology and regularly attends Continuing Professional Development events in this area.
Marie has developed an integrative working model, which is tailored to individual client problems. She has trained in, and draws upon:
At the heart of Marie’s philosophy is the belief that life is an inevitably fluid and changing process. This requires us to develop the ability to be flexible and to develop as wide a “window of tolerance” as possible. However, our experiences, both past or present, our basic temperament skills and preferences all influence the extent to which we can find or lose our balance and become pulled into chaos or rigidity.
Marie works with clients to help them to understand themselves better, develop a greater sense of balance in their lives and within themselves, and to find ways of accepting what can’t be changed and work helpfully with what can.
Marie has always had an interest in creative writing and is currently studying for an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She has a special interest in the use of writing as an aid to the expression of painful, repressed or frightening feelings or experiences and as a technique for stress management. She also sees writing as a way of capturing good feelings and memories and of connecting with aspects or people in our lives that can feel lost. She believes the act of putting pen to paper and getting things “out of our head and onto the page” can provide a container outside of ourselves to capture stories and experiences to share, review or simply hold for us.
Above all, Marie’s approach is based on a belief in the importance of a safe place and relationship in which to share our stories, our hopes and our fears and to be met with non-judgemental interest, compassion and respect.
She has extensive experience helping clients with:
Training and other activities
In addition to counselling, between 1999-2007 Marie worked with businesses across all sectors, to resolve health and disability related problems in the workplace. This included design and delivery of a Return to Work mentoring service for an EAP provider and one-to-one support to clients with emotional and/or physical disabilities affecting their employment. She designed and delivered Stress Management Programmes and Work Based Therapeutic Groups for the Department for Work and Pensions.
Alison Lesley, Psychotherapist
Alison Lesley is an experienced psychotherapist who works clinically with adults, couples, children and their families. She completed a four-year training at the Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies and graduated with an MA in 1999. Prior to this she was employed as a Mental Health Therapist within the NHS for more than 20 years in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. During that time and since she has also worked with The Priory Group, Family Placement services and Employees Assistance programmes.
Alison’s clinical work with adults and young people includes relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sexual abuse, attachment and systemic problems. She has pursued additional trainings in Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the Maudsley Institute of Psychiatry.
Alison offers an integrative approach based on the philosophy that each person is unique and therefore requires an intervention appropriate to their individual needs. She adopts an interactive, non-directive stance and is prepared to answer questions as well as ask them. She is always happy to be challenged. Her aim is to enable clients to gain insight, learn to know and understand themselves and make sense of their past experiences and relationships. She believes that in this process the client becomes able to make changes to the way they relate to themselves and others. She starts from a position of ‘not knowing’ and joins with the client in exploring what emerges. Alison describes this as a shared process which, although painful at times, can ultimately lead to a new and more peaceful way of being in the world.
She is a member of the Forum of Independent Psychotherapists and is an accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.
Dr Joanna Livingstone, (BSc: DClinPsych), Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Dr Livingstone works half time between private practice and the NHS. She works with adults and children providing a mainly cognitive behavioural therapeutic (CBT) approach as well as systemic principles to a range of emotional and behavioural problems. Tailoring specialist CBT programmes at home or school for children and adolescents with specific learning and/or behavioural problems is often an integral part of this approach. Emotional problems treated include anxiety, depression, panic, phobias, relationship issues, and obsessions.
Frankie McLean BSc (Bristol University), MSc (University College London, 1995) – Principal Associate MPA Ltd
Mrs McLean worked for the NHS between 1995 and 2003 and has worked in private practice since 2003. Her specialist field is children and families with a particular interest in families in crisis; childhood trauma and neglect. She has 14 years experience of undertaking expert assessments for the Court in care proceedings, private law proceedings, compensation claims and pre-proceedings assessments. She is also involved in the supervision and training of other clinical psychologists who are beginning to undertake such assessments.
Richard Maddicks BSc (Hons), Doc.Clin.Psychol: Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Consultant Neuropsychologist
Dr Richard Maddicks obtained his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Salomons Centre in October 1996 and has 8 years specialist experience in adult neuropsychology. He has been chartered by the BPS since qualification and completed the Institute of Psychiatry diploma in Neuropsychology in 1999. His experience in adult neuropsychology includes both assessment and treatment/rehabilitation of a broad range of neurological conditions e.g. traumatic brain injury, stroke, anoxic brain injury etc. and he has published research in the treatment of neglect following stroke. He has experience of medico-legal reporting and has appeared in court as an expert witness.
John Revell, BA (Hons), MBA, Dip Clin Psychol, Dip Couns: Chartered Clinical Psychologist
After completing his degree in Psychology at Sussex University, John completed his professional training as a Clinical Psychologist in 1987. He also has a counselling qualification. He has experience of working as a Clinical Psychologist at Consultant level in the NHS. Having more recently obtained a Masters in Business Administration at Brighton University, John has a special interest in organisational consultancy and training. He has experience of medico-legal reporting and has appeared in court as an expert witness.
Dr Ellie Riley (D. Clin. Psy), Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Dr Riley has 11 years experience in the field of emotional health and health psychology. Her work is rooted in Cognitive-Behavioural methods and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy. She offers an integrative approach which aims to provide individually-tailored therapy to suit each client. Her areas of specialism include bulimia, PTSD, relationship issues, medical conditions (IBS, headaches, pain etc.) stress/burnout, sleep problems and childhood trauma.
Loretta Riordan, Senior Accredited Counsellor
Loretta Riordan worked in journalism before re-training as a counsellor at the University of Brighton, where she was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in 1993. She worked in the NHS for fifteen years between 1993 and 2008, holding Senior Counsellor posts in both Primary and Secondary care settings at Brighton, Hastings, Eastbourne, Newhaven and for the Bethlem & Maudsley NHS Trust. Loretta has worked extensively with adults and couples, as well as having facilitated groups for the Eastbourne Survivors’ Project (which provides therapeutic support for adult female survivors of sexual abuse). She was School Counsellor to Eastbourne College from 1997-2001, and has worked extensively for a variety of Employee Assistance Providers, offering brief therapy to adult users.
Loretta was awarded BACP accreditation in 1997 and gained Senior Accredited status in 2006, having completed over 10,000 hours of supervised clinical practice.
Loretta’s practice has evolved over twenty years, and incorporates a variety of approaches and therapeutic techniques. She has completed additional training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Brief Psychodynamic Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Ultimately, however, Loretta views therapy as a collaborative, interactive process in which the quality of the therapeutic relationship is paramount. She believes that although embarking on a course of therapy can seem a challenging or even intimidating process for new clients, a good therapeutic alliance provides a space where difficult ideas and subjects can be explored in freedom and safety. Loretta has particular interest and experience in working with:
Loretta has also worked extensively with clients from the entertainment and creative field, around issues such as stage fright, performance anxiety, and creative ‘block’.
Training and Consultancy
Loretta has provided clinical supervision to trainee counsellors, and worked with trainee GPs on incorporating Counselling skills and approaches into the Medical Model. She has also worked in a consultancy role for the BBC, running seminars on ‘The Psychology of Comedy’ for young writers on the BBC Comedy College programme. Loretta is herself a published and prize-winning short story writer.
Dr Tara O’Neill, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Over twenty years NHS experience of working with adults, families, adolescents and children has equipped Dr O’Neill to work flexibly with people experiencing psychological issues in a competent, flexible way.
Tara has a national profile as an expert in working with adults with complex mental health issues, particularly those associated with mental health, personality difficulties and substance misuse. She is regularly invited to present on the subject at national and international conferences and has been involved in strategic projects at a national level to improve services to people individuals with complex mental health issues.
On qualifying as a Clinical Psychologist Tara, was employed by the NHS in a mental health team and whilst there developed a programme to work with young people with mental health and substance misuse problems. She went on to work at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, a national policy and practice development ‘think-tank’ for two years to help other NHS services develop their responses to clients with combined mental health and substance misuse issues. After two years in the post she returned to the NHS as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist to lead the development of “Dual Diagnosis’ (mental health and substance misuse) services working with clients presenting with a diverse range of psychological needs. During this time she worked across the range of mental health services and also spent time working into substance misuse and homelessness services. The post had a significant training and supervision remit, which provided an opportunity for Tara to work with a wide range of staff groups. Despite this work being focused predominantly in adult mental health services Tara has retained a strong interest in ‘early intervention’ working with children and young people. In 2011 Tara left the NHS to focus on working in independent practice. In addition to the work she carries out with MPA she also runs her own independent practice, Psygroup which has both a therapy and training/ development and supervision arms.
Dr O’Neill is chartered by the Health Professions Council and is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society and the Division of Clinical Psychology .
Tara employs a range of techniques for assessing psychological factors impacting upon mood, cognition, personality, behaviour, and global functioning. In addition to employing high level interviewing skills, she regularly administers psychometric tests in the course of her clinical and legal work and is mindful of the value of such instruments as a source of reliable evidence in testing out hypotheses and establishing outcomes.
Since making the move from the NHS in late 2011, Dr O’Neill has established a thriving therapy practice at MPA. She describes her therapeutic orientation as ‘integrative’, drawing ideas from theoretical perspectives including cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic theories, systemic models and attachment theory all within a solution focused framework.
In using an integrative approach Tara aims to tailor treatment to the specific needs and expectations of his clients. Tara offers clinical interventions to children, teenagers and adults, as well as working with couples. A brief, but not exhaustive, list of the issues she works with are detailed below:
Dr O’Neill is available to take instruction as an independent expert witness for the Child and Family Courts and Criminal Courts. Her varied clinical and consulting background equips him to provide comprehensive assessments of individuals and families and her time spent speaking at conferences provides has given her the skills to communicate her ideas to an audience, which is directly applicable to giving evidence in court proceedings. She is qualified to evaluate both the needs of children and the mental health issues and parenting capacity of the adults in their lives.
In her legal work Dr O’Neill combines formal psychometric assessments with clinical observation and appraisal, always seeking to provide robust evidence and clear arguments for any opinions offered. She is very conscious of the responsibilities of the expert witness, the specific agendas of the courts, and the imperative to provide a reliable, highly professional standard of reporting within agreed timescales. She has undertaken training with Bond Solon in order to ensure high quality report and presentation in cases in which she is instructed.
Tara keeps her skills and knowledge updated and relevant, for example she has recently undertaken training with Bond Solon on expectations of Expert Witnesses and has also recently completed Prof Patricia Crittendens Course on the DMM (Dynamic Maturational Model) to enhance her understanding of assessment of attachment and psychopathology.
Tara runs a successful training and practice development practice outside of her work with MPA, which focuses on enabling services to engage with people with complex needs. She is involved in helping services work using psychological models and is very interested in the new ideas associated with Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE’s).
She enjoys an excellent reputation as a trainer at a national level and has been involved in the roll out of national training programmes in partnership with the Department of Health, CSIP and other national bodies.
Tara has also been involved in the supervision of health professionals including nursing teams, health visitors, staff from non-statutory sector services and other clinical psychologists.
Dr Michael Hymans, Chartered Educational Psychologist
Michael has 26 years experience as a Psychologist, latterly as Principal Educational Psychologist in a local authority Children’s Services Department. Michael has also taught in schools and pupil referral units whose intake often included children with attachment disorders, social, emotional and behavioral disorders and children on the child protection register.
Michael has expertise in all aspects of child development: cognitive, linguistic, sensory, physical, social, behavioral and emotional and I am able to identify children and young people whose development is either delayed or disordered and to consider why this might be and advise about needs. Whilst the focus of his work is invariably the child or young person, he has undertaken cognitive assessments of adults and assessments of adults in their roles as parents/carers.
Michael has facilitated a fathers group of children with special educational needs for 13 years. He chairs a voluntary sector nursery admissions panel and is a governor, with specialist responsibility for ‘safeguarding’ and an additionally resourced autistic provision at a secondary school.
Michael continues to practice as an Educational and Child Psychologist and works in a private capacity in three different local authority schools, that is mainstream primary and secondary schools and a special school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Michael employs a range of techniques for assessing psychological factors impacting upon mood, cognition, personality, behaviour, and global functioning. He regularly administers psychometric tests in the course of his educational, clinical and legal work and is mindful of the value of such instruments as a source of reliable evidence in testing out hypotheses and establishing outcomes.
Alongside his other commitments, Michael continues to maintain and develop his clinical practice. He enlists various approaches and theoretical perspectives, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Personal Construct & Narrative Therapy, Systemic Solution-Focused Techniques. His approach is genuinely integrative and Michael always seeks to tailor treatment to the specific needs and expectations of his clients. He offers clinical interventions to children and young people teenagers.
Since 2000 Dr Hymans has regularly been jointly instructed as an independent expert witness for the Child and Family Courts. His varied background equips him to provide comprehensive assessments of children and their families. He is qualified to evaluate both the needs of children and the parenting capacity of the adults in their lives. He has contributed to Child Care Proceedings conducted in London and the Home Counties.
In his legal work Dr Hymans combines formal psychometric assessments with clinical observation and appraisal, always seeking to provide robust evidence and clear arguments for any opinions offered. He is very conscious of the responsibilities of the expert witness, the specific agendas of the courts, and the imperative to provide a reliable, highly professional standard of reporting within agreed timescales. In making recommendations Dr Hymans is mindful that experts need to identify relevant services and also stipulate criteria and thresholds against which an individual’s therapeutic progress can be effectively measured.
Dr Hymans has enjoyed extremely positive feedback from solicitors regarding the quality of his assessments. He seeks to keep his skills and knowledge updated and relevant.
Dr Rick Fraser MBBS MSc MRCPsych FRANZCP
GMC No. 3312829
Rick Fraser is a Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Adolescent and Youth Psychiatry. He currently works in the NHS as Lead Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service in Sussex. He trained in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hopsital in London and later General Adult Psychiatry in Australia allowing him to work confidently across a broad developmental range. As a Consultant Psychiatrist he initially worked in Melbourne at Orygen Youth Health and EPPIC (Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre) where he ultimately worked as Medical Director for the Youth Service. Since returning to the UK three years ago Rick has worked in Sussex for the NHS.
Rick’s special clinical and research interests include Autism Spectrum Conditions, First Episode Psychosis and Youth Psychiatry. He has published a number of journal articles, book chapters and web based learning modules on these subjects. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Rick is able to offer an Autism assessment package for older children, adolescents and young adults. He uses the Autism Diagnostic Interview and clinical interview/observation as the mainstay of the assessment process. If needed psychological/other assessments can be arranged as appropriate.
In addition, Rick is able to see adolescents and young adults for psychiatric assessment who may be experiencing a variety of mental health problems including Depressive/Bipolar Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Psychotic Disorders. Medication may be prescribed for treatment of these disorders and therefore follow up is arranged as appropriate.
Rick has also acted as expert witness and provided reports for Court. He is a member of the General Medical Council where he is included on the Specialist Register, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
Dr Victoria Thornton, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Victoria Thornton is a Clinical Psychologist, registered with the Health Professions Council, chartered with the British Psychological Society and a member of the Division of Clinical Psychology. On completion of her doctoral training in 2005, Victoria worked in the NHS in child and adolescent mental health, in child protection and in paediatric health. Since 2009 she has also worked in private practice providing therapy to children and families and undertaking assessments as an expert witness for the Court.
Victoria has a special interest in childhood trauma and attachment. She is trained in the use of non-verbal methods of assessment with young or traumatised children. She has undertaken research using these methods, with children who have experienced domestic violence.
Victoria uses a wide range of assessment techniques including projective assessments, clinical interviews, questionnaire measures, observations, consultations with professionals and psychometric assessments. Measures are carefully selected to suit the needs of the case and the issues to be addressed. Victoria provides feedback in both written and verbal forms as required.
Throughout her career Victoria has maintained her commitment to providing therapy to children, young people and their families. She draws on a range of approaches and models including attachment theory, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic theories and solution-focused therapy.