I am a Mental health Clinical Nurse Specialist registered with the Nursing and midwifery council/NMC and I am a member of the Royal college of Nursing/RCN. I have over 27 years’ experience in working with people with a wide range of mental health problems. My areas of interest and expertise are eating disorders, addictions, emotional instability and emotionally unstable personality disorder.
I was very lucky to do the ‘gold star’ British Isles training in DBT and have just started a two year DBT course to reach my accreditation. My approach is person centred and I work hard to create a safe and validating environment that encourages clients to engage in a therapeutic process that can be challenging and anxiety provoking at times.
It is a pleasure to work with clients whether it be weekly sessions for a short period (6-8 weeks) to understand and reduce harmful behaviour/s and help increase healthier behaviours, or a longer piece of work to help someone recover from their problem behaviours and improve quality of life. I am flexible and like to develop treatment plans that meet individual needs. Treatment plans may include home visits, family work and joint sessions with other therapists involved.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is an evidence based “acceptance and change” therapy that has evolved from other therapies like CBT and behavioural therapy and was initially developed to help people reduce persistent suicidal/self-harming behaviours and increase skills in tolerating intensely difficult emotions.
‘Dialectical’ means trying to understand how two things that seem opposite could both be true. For example, accepting yourself and changing your behaviour might feel contradictory. But DBT teaches that it’s possible for you to achieve both these goals together.
An assessment would usually take 2 session, I can offer what we call Individual “DBT informed” sessions can help with a whole range of problems that come from intensely difficult emotions. DBT is a treatment that can be effective for a wide range of teenage and adult challenges that present with multiple, serious behavioural concerns – problems like self-harm, eating disorders, substance use, high-risk sexual behaviours, impulsive or oppositional behaviour, and suicidal ideation or actions. DBT is in the NICE guidelines for evidence-based treatment for people with emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD). Research and trials are going on all over the world in delivering various forms of DBT to individuals with a wide range of mental health problems including resistant depression and eating disorders.
Whilst I don’t offer the full “standard DBT program”, information, advice and direction can be given to those who find out more.
Key achievements and skills:
- After qualifying as a registered mental nurse/RMN in 1992, I spent the first decade working in acute mental health gaining valuable experience in all functional mental health problems. I was a charge nurse and then ward manager of a large mixed acute mental health ward for 5 years.
- I developed my interest in working with clients with anorexia nervosa at this time and I set up a support group in an area where there were no specialist services, and this was under the national charity for Eating disorders association/EDA which is now known as “BEAT”
- I then worked at Roehampton Priory for 4 years as a charge nurse, then manager of the adult Eating disorder unit where I learned so much and developed my expertise in eating disorders, group work, and motivational skills
- I was nominated for a national award in 2004 for EDA for my outstanding contribution in helping those affected by Eating Disorders
- Risk assessment and management training for trainers’ certificate and I was the risk assessment/management trainer for Roehampton hospital, teaching fellow colleagues the difficult subject of risk assessment and careful/positive risk taking.
- I moved back into the NHS in 2004, and developed my ED expertise further as a specialist Nurse Practitioner in a community Eating disorder service. I worked with clients with severe anorexia nervosa, and those who engage in self damaging behaviours. I helped develop a psychoeducational group program working with clients at the pre contemplation stage of change.
- I completed the intensive Dialectical behavioural therapy training in 2009 (British Isles DBT training team) and was involved in setting up a DBT service with my colleagues in the NHS.
- I am a trained mentor and have been involved in teaching student nurses in an experiential way using roleplay and imagined scenarios to help them bridge the theory into practice
- I am currently a DBT/Clinical nurse specialist and work part time in a dedicated DBT team in the NHS.
Working days: Monday, Thursday and Fridays
Working hours: 10.00-19.00
Text: 07306 012698
I will not be able to respond out of these hours so if there is an emergency please go to your local A+E department or GP.
What our clients say
“Thank you for all your help over the last 2 years and sticking with me through my ups and downs. I will never forget everything you have done for me.”
“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of the support and help you gave to us and for returning our daughter back to us, thankfully she continues to do well.”
“Anna is a wonderful therapist and has helped my son tremendously! She is compassionate, empathetic and very caring. She is amazing in that she listens and offers valuable suggestions ! Can’t say enough good things about her! A huge blessing to our family.”
“Anna is empathetic, kind and knowledgeable. She has a great ability to listen and then process that information to give intuitive advice or understanding of a situation. I feel that Anna has always tried to deeply understand how to work best with my particular needs and issues and is always well prepared for our sessions. I am so grateful that she is my therapist. I highly recommend her.”
“Anna thank you for helping me through my toughest experience to date. You provided a safe and confidential space that allowed me to talk freely and you interacted with me with genuine warmth and care. I recently faced some really challenging situations and because of your CBT sessions I was able to be calm, set boundaries and be more assertive. I am really pleased that i found you and so thankful to you for listening and helping me through my journey.”
“I thought you would like to hear about how well ‘A’ is doing after your years of commitment to helping him - there’s no doubt in my mind that your expertise was the most significant element that has pulled him through (and certainly kept me going!). You were so fantastic in your advice to me Anna.”
“When we were struggling to find therapy for our daughter who was relatable, available and flexible we found Anna. She has been amazing over lockdown meeting on Skype and now in person. She listens and supports with ideas and techniques that our daughter can put into practice when her low mood overcomes her. She also provides practical support to us as parents which is invaluable.”