Dr Emma, Director and Principal Clinical Psychologist
When I was 17 I was inspired by the idea of becoming a Clinical Psychologist. Fast forward over 2 decades and it still feels such a gift and a joy to be able work every day as a Clinical Psychologist and to offer a private practice that provides support to adults and young people experiencing the stressors or challenges life sends our way.
Clinical Psychologists have initially trained often for 7-10 years, completing an undergraduate Psychology degree, and then a Clinical Psychology doctorate degree (PsychD), often with additional qualifications or work experience along the way. Post qualification also brings further training and additional skills development in specific areas of client work or therapy. CPD (Continuing professional development e.g. ongoing training and learning) alongside clinical supervision, is an important and essential life long practice for Clinical Psychologists.
(N.B. Clinical Psychologists are different professions to Psychiatrists or Counsellors. In addition anyone with an undergraduate degree could describe themselves as a "psychologist" but this is not a professional qualification, it is typically from an undergraduate degree - if you choose to work with any professional, do check their professional (therapy) qualifications).
In practice, Clinical Psychologists are trained to offer assessment and therapy or psychological interventions, and to engage in evaluation, training or research. This work may be related to: (not an inclusive list) stressors and mental health, neuropsychology, neurodivergence, learning disability, physical disability and difference, health, sexual health, identity, relationships and systems. Clinical Psychologists may vary in their area of expertise, specialism or therapy approaches, depending on their training and experience.
When I set up Empower Psychology, the aim was to offer a safe, empowering, compassionate, practical, supportive and non judgemental space, for anyone looking to seek therapy, or needing a therapeutic space to help understand themselves and their lives and to enhance their ability to live a meaningful life. It is important to me that everyone who seeks this support can access this space whether you feel you are experiencing specific mental health challenges or simply feel this is a stressful, emotional or challenging time that you would benefit from the space to explore. I believe all of us can benefit from having a therapeutic space at times in our lives, and I wholeheartedly include myself, and any therapist, or Clinical Psychologist, in this.
The ethos of my work and the Empower Psychology practice is to be compassionate and practical, non judgemental and informative, supportive and gentle; to allow all the time that is needed to find a way forward, and to look at concrete specific steps we can take in the here and now. It is also important that we hold in mind what it is to be human; to know that we can have amazing times, and we can also all struggle, and feel overwhelmed, and make mistakes, and learn and grow. That the world we live in can be fast paced and challenging and is not always designed to help our mental health flourish. And that, because of all these things, we all need support at times and that is okay.
I believe in a holistic approach to our wellbeing that: explores the connections of our body and mind; that helps us understand and tackle our past experiences, traumas, stresses, and our current challenges; that helps us deal with the negative, critical, or anxious thoughts in our heads, the physical symptoms in our bodies, and the unhelpful behaviour patterns which tend to pull us back not forward. At Empower Psychology we will always offer support and encouragement to explore meaningful ways of living that work for you.
Clinical Psychology is an active evidence based therapy that supports change through a range of processes. Therapy sessions, therefore, will involve exploring what is going on for you currently, making sense of the experiences that have impacted you along the way, understanding where you are now, where you would like to get to and exploring how we can support you to get there. Sessions may involve having space to talk, to be heard, to process the past or current situation, to develop strategies to manage in the present, and to develop new skills, behaviours and plans for change to find a way forward for the future.
As Clinical Psychologists we are trained to work with a wide range of mental health presentations (for example: anxiety, depression, panic, OCD, phobias, trauma, stress, burnout, eating difficulties, body image issues, identity issues, health challenges) drawing on a range of therapy approaches (e.g. CBT, ACT, EMDR, CFT). Each Clinical Psychologist also brings their own specific clinical experiences and skills to their work.
Over the past year I have been creating a wonderful Clinical Psychology team here. Dr Sarah and Dr Oona joined me initially last year, followed by Dr Danielle, Dr Emma S and Dr Hannah. My wonderful PA and administrator Jo has also been with me supporting behind the scenes! I am very proud of our little team, who all work with the same compassionate, supportive and skilled approaches, each bringing their own skills, experience and expertise. Do see the team section of this website for more on what each of our lovely team members bring. It has also been exciting to offer more than therapy these past few years, through writing, book publications, podcasting and training others.
Over recent years, alongside my wider therapy work, I have specialised in working with: trauma, traumatic grief, loss; overeating and body image difficulties; perinatal support, motherhood and fertility challenges; navigating divorce and separation; and the wider life challenges of being in midlife.
Within the team, alongside the wider therapy work the team all offer, Dr Sarah is particularly specialised in supporting other therapy and health professionals, and trainees within the health and psychological therapy field, as well as supporting those who are experiencing faith deconstruction or changes in life, work or relationship circumstances. Dr Oona works brilliantly with a range of mental health presentations, alongside the challenges of motherhood and perinatal difficulties, working with athletes, identity issues and those experiencing dysregulated challenges. Dr Danielle, is particularly experienced in working compassionately with younger people and families; Dr Emma S brings her wealth of therapy experience, including CBT and trauma focused work to a range of mental health presentations, and specifically perinatal interventions ; Dr Hannah provides dedicated psychological and coaching support to those experiencing burnout, stress, and life challenges. Dr Hannah is also very skilled at offering facial surgery assessments and mental health assessments.
My aim is that the experience at Empower Psychology with myself and the Clinical Psychology team is supportive and understanding, flexible and insightful, compassionate and practical. We aim to ensure you are supported by the team member who best suits your needs and that we can offer this as consistently and promptly as we can. Therapy can be tough at times, and it can also be empowering, educational and enlightening. We want to support you through this journey towards living a lighter, brighter, meaningful life. From all my years of experience, I truly believe that change is possible and that whilst navigating life can be hard (truly hard at times), with the right support we can find ways to thrive and shine.
Dr Emma, Empower Psychology Director and Principal Clinical Psychologist