My background is in behavioural science and psychotherapy research, working on research projects in NHS teaching hospitals in London. My clinical training is in relationship and systemic therapy.
I founded the Oakdale Centre with a group of colleagues in 1998 with a commitment to working within strict professional guidelines ensuring that the people who came to us were able to access the appropriate kind of psychotherapy for the difficulties they were facing. As a management team, we believe strongly in providing a flexible and responsive service where we are determined to provide the best possible service we can to all of our clients and on behalf of our commissioners.
The Oakdale Centre has changed over the years but it remains important to me and my colleagues that we are all part of a team of highly skilled professionals with a desire to be of service to those experiencing emotional difficulties in their lives.
I’m proud of what we have achieved over the years, including the provision of large scale Primary Care Mental Health Services commissioned by the NHS.
Over the last few years we have developed a child and family therapy department with an outstanding reputation. We provide therapeutic services for families and children experiencing difficulties, including those who have an adopted or fostered child or children. We also provide psychological therapies, counselling and mindfulness in schools.
After first working with Oakdale in 2008 I was delighted to rejoin as a Director in 2019 – particularly so because of the organisations guiding values and fundamental commitment to doing the very best job possible for the people we serve.
In between I have worked as Business Development Director, and then Operations Director, with Insight Healthcare; the UK’s largest non NHS provider of primary care psychological therapies. For more than ten years I worked at the forefront of the Department of Health’s flagship ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) programme, having led the expansion of IAPT into 36 regions around the UK. I have written about mental health and psychological therapies, as well as broader health and social issues, for the Independent newspaper, and contributed to national forums shaping mental health policy in the UK.
Alongside my work with Oakdale I am a Trustee of the registered charity North Yorkshire Sport; a role that compliments Oakdale’s mission in terms of the relationship between active, healthy lifestyles and good mental health.
Prior to this I trained as an economist and worked in the public sector with the Ministry of Defence.
I first joined the Oakdale Centre as a private practitioner in early 2019 and have been delighted to join the team as Clinical Director. My key role as Clinical Director is to support the clinical work of the practitioners, ensuring high-quality assessments and evidence-based interventions are provided. I am also the designated Safeguarding Lead and therefore the point of contact for all ethical and safeguarding dilemmas.
Professionally, I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Systemic Practitioner and EMDR Therapist. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Before joining the Oakdale Centre team, I worked as a senior member of staff within Leeds CAMHS where I led on an autism spectrum disorder assessment clinic. I was fortunate to be trained in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) at Great Ormond Street Hospital and have acquired vast experience supporting young people presenting with behavioural difficulties and/or neurodevelopmental conditions and their families/networks. Prior to my work in Leeds, I was Clinical Lead within two newly developed services in London and South Gloucestershire which aimed at preventing home and/or school placement breakdown for young people with additional needs presenting with challenging behaviour.
I also have a post-graduate certificate in family therapy and systemic practice, professional training in numerous parenting programmes (Triple P, Family Links), completed level 1 and level 2 in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) and completed training in Positive Practices in Behaviour Support by the Institute of Applied Behaviour Analysis (IABA).
I am a BACP registered Psychotherapist and Counsellor and I was fortunate to join the team at Oakdale in 2017.
I began as a Case Manager which involved a number of responsibilities including: telephone assessments and triage, liaison and feedback with referrers and practitioners, administration support for our Adoption Support Service, BUSS, CPD courses and workshops as well as support with organisation development and marketing.
More recently I was delighted to become part of the leadership team and take on the role of Director of Client Services. Oakdale is committed to understanding and appreciating the needs of our clients and providing a quality service; my role is to support and develop our client services and relations and I am proud to work within a caring, responsive and highly skilled team. I am also one of the safeguarding officers and therefore am committed to ensuring that safety is paramount for the individuals and families who access Oakdale.
I also offer counselling and psychotherapy to adults and young people at the Oakdale Centre. I have worked in a variety of settings (voluntary and community organisations, educational settings and the NHS) with clients from diverse backgrounds experiencing a broad range of emotional and mental health difficulties. If you would like to read more about my clinical practice, please click here.
I first joined the Oakdale Centre in 2010 and was delighted to be invited to rejoin the team as Operations Director in 2017. I have been responsible for building and implementing a new database designed for the services we provide and also have responsibility for all systems infrastructure services, finance and HR. I am proud of the work we do at the Oakdale Centre and see my role as being that of supporting the clinical services provided by the organisation.
Before joining the Oakdale Centre team, I worked with young people in both schools and the community. I gained over 7 years experience working in Mainstream and Special Provision Education where I have supported young people with a range of learning disabilities and complex needs.
More recently I was part of a county-wide project that delivered person centred support to young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation. Within the project I provided specialist CSE support, developed and delivered training, produced bespoke intervention packages and worked closely with both statutory and third sector providers to empower and safeguard young people across North Yorkshire.
I was delighted to be invited to be the chairman and the finance director of the Oakdale Centre CIC when it was formed. My background is in finance and management and I’m enjoying the challenge of providing support and guidance to the management team as the CIC grows and develops.
At a personal level, I am particularly committed to the centre’s work with children and families because of the value that can be provided in terms of preventing psychological and emotional difficulties deteriorating and the opportunity we can provide in helping children to have a better life.
I have worked with the Oakdale team for almost twenty years as a private practitioner, clinical supervisor, organisational mentor, the clinical lead of the EAP team and, in 2014, I was delighted to take on the role as clinical director which I held until 2019.
Since resigning from my role as clinical director and safeguarding lead I have remained on the board and will continue to bring my clinical experience and perspective to those meetings.
At Oakdale we are committed to providing the best service we can to help and support all those who contact us for help and I am proud to be part of the team.
As the Centre Co-ordinator, I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the Oakdale Centre which includes acting as the first point of enquiry for services, co-ordinating and managing client bookings, and providing a wide range of general administrative support to both clinical and operational staff.
I am the weekday evening and Saturday daytime receptionist at the Oakdale Centre. My role is to handle any requests both clients and practitioners may have and to complete the admin work required. I have a degree in Health and Social Care and I am also enjoying doing an Introduction to Counselling course. The Oakdale Centre is such a pleasant place to work consisting of a friendly team willing to do everything they can for their clients, staff and practitioners.
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49 Valley Drive
Our Head Office is located in a Victorian building in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, overlooking the Valley Gardens. We are a short taxi ride from the main train and bus stations (less than 5 minutes) or a 10 to 15 minute walk.
If you are coming by car, there is free disc parking outside the building (for up to 3 hours) and discs are available from Reception when you arrive. Alternatively there is unlimited free parking 7 or 8 minutes walk from the building.
If you are a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychological therapist in the North of England and would like to become an Oakdale Centre Associate or rent one of our rooms, please contact us on 01423 503080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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