What is a Clinical Psychologist?
Clinical Psychologists receive substantive training enabling them to work with people experiencing a wide range of difficulties, at all ages. Clinical Psychologists are taught to draw upon treatment approaches with clear theoretical underpinnings and the research evidence base. Common difficulties that people seek support from Clinical Psychologists are: depression, anxiety (including: panic attacks, phobias, health anxiety, generalised anxiety, OCD), inter-personal difficulties, self-harm, personality disorders, “stress”, chronic feelings of worthlessness or emptiness, pain management, trauma or PTSD. It is standard practice to offer a comprehensive assessment which can be followed by a short or long-term course of therapy.
What happens if you decide you would like to find out more?
I am Fiona Ram, Clinical Psychologist, working as a visiting practitioner at The Broad Street Practice. If you want to find out more, in the first instance I offer a free 15 minute telephone conversation. This helps us to decide whether you would benefit from a further face-to-face assessment. If so, we can arrange a time to meet for an initial face-to-face assessment, during which we will discuss your current difficulties, goals and background. At the end of the initial assessment we will decide together whether therapy is for you, and if so, which therapy is suitable. These decisions will be guided by the NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines, current evidence and your preferences.
What therapies are available?
I am qualified to work with people (and families) of any age. I currently work in the NHS in a community Perinatal Mental Health team, previously I have worked with children and teenagers in care, secure hospitals and adults with significant mental health difficulties. Depending on the nature of the difficulties discussed during your initial assessment I am able to offer several different therapies: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), and Schema Therapy. Please scroll to the foot of this page for further information. Therapies are individualised to you and your difficulties. I am confident in integrating elements of therapies to suit your needs, this may involve taking time to think about your difficulty in a different way or learning new skills to help you to cope with your difficulties (e.g. mindfulness).
What other services are available?
Supervision: I am able to offer clinical supervision to other Clinical Psychologists and professionals working therapeutically with children and adults. Please contact me directly to discuss this further.
Consultation: I am able to offer individual and group consultation sessions to professionals regarding those whom they are caring for and/or team functioning. For example, staff working within schools, social care, children’s homes etc.
Training: I am an experienced educator and am able to develop and deliver bespoke training to organisations. For example, “understanding and working with those with a diagnosis of personality disorder” or “parental mental health”. Please contact me to discuss your individual request.
OUR CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Dr Fiona Ram BSc DClinPsy
I have worked in the NHS for over 15 years, working in a range of settings with a wide range of individuals, teams and families. I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh and my BSc in Psychology at The University of Bristol. Alongside my work at the Bridge Street Practice I work in an NHS Perinatal Mental Health Team. I am passionate about supporting parental wellbeing during pregnancy and the early years of parenthood. I have been lucky enough to be able to train as a Schema Therapist and this model underpins much of my thinking, that is thinking about how our experiences growing up and how we learnt dealt with these shape our thoughts, feelings and behaviours as adults.
I understand how daunting it can feel to consider talking to someone about things which have been in your mind and I endeavour to offer a safe, confidential and thoughtful space to do this. Sometimes it can feel hard to find hope things can feel different and I am happy to hold that hope for you, until this feels true for you.
I am registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) Registration number PYL 31285. I am eligible for membership as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS). I am an accredited Schema Therapist with the ISST. I have an enhanced DBS check.
Unfortunately, I am unable to work with those eligible to receive support from CPFT Perinatal Team, or those families who are currently receiving support from Children’s Social Care.
You can contact me by email: Fiona_ram@hotmail.com or telephone: 07841 507124. I work at The Broad Street Practice as a visiting practitioner. This means I don’t have fixed consulting hours but organise appointments on an ad-hoc basis at times that suit both my clients and myself, and when the consulting room at the Practice is available.
- Initial assessment (1 hour) -£100
- Therapy sessions (50 minutes) -£90
- Any agreed liaison/letter writing (per 30 minutes) -£25
- Payment can be made by BACS, cash or via private health insurance.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT has been shown to support people recover from many common difficulties such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and eating difficulties. It is suitable for adult and children. The aim of CBT is to develop an understanding of the vicious cycles one can get trapped in, working out how our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours can keep our difficulty going. During therapy one would spend time thinking about the cycles and learning ways of changing these patterns. This can include spending time examining our thinking patterns, as well as learning new coping skills.
This NHS website provides a good summary of the pros and cons of CBT: www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-CBT/
Schema therapy is based on the premise that when our emotional needs are not consistently met as a child schema’s develop, which can lead to coping styles. The coping styles learnt by the child to adapt to a challenging experience become unhealthy life patterns.
We all have schema’s, regardless of how traumatic or not our childhood was, the impact of these can depend upon our coping styles. For instance one may have a failure schema, developed from experiences where only ‘the best’ was acceptable, one may have learnt to cope with this by striving and delivering ‘the best’, or by never trying to achieve ‘the best’ – both ways of coping are not sustainable, nor are likely to contribute to ones sense of wellbeing.
The aim of Schema therapy is to reduce the use of unhealthy coping strategies (e.g. constantly striving), heal schemas and vulnerabilities, and build healthy schemas and modes.
Schema therapy is a longer term therapy.
This website has helpful information about Schema Therapy: www.schematherapysociety.org
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a relatively new treatment for psychological distress, suitable for adults and children. It was originally developed to treat PTSD but is now used to treat a wide range of difficulties such as phobias, OCD and depression; the theory being that most, if not all, psychological distress is routed in difficult past experiences. It involves one following the therapists hand from side to side, moving one’s eyes from side to side, whilst thinking about a distressing memory. It is thought that when a person experiences a traumatic event the brain may feel overwhelmed and become unable to process it. This means the memory remains in the forefront of one’s mind, perhaps triggered by things in our day-to-day life (smells, sights, feelings), this can cause distress. The EMDR process allows the brain to process the memory and store it with less associated distress.
This website provides helpful information about EMDR, including people’s stories of having had EMDR: www.emdrassociation.org.uk