Dr Sarah Simmonds Consultant Clinical Psychologist BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, CPsychol, AFBPsS
I know it is confusing trying to pick someone to help you. You want to know they will be able to understand your difficulties, will be genuine and interested, and that they don't just give you text book advice but really get what you need. Therefore, I have put together some information about me to give you a little more idea about who I am and my approach. This may help you to ascertain if I am the right fit for you.
I am passionate about working in the NHS, and alongside working with adults with emotional or psychological difficulties. The client work I do is rewarding and challenging, usually working with complex presentations in which clients have tried various approaches that haven't worked for them. My role involves creating bespoke psychological interventions that are tailored to the person and their specific needs, especially when many of the people I successfully work with have been deemed 'unsuitable' or 'too complex' for other services.
Alongside working with clients, I also support and train mental health professionals as part of my NHS role. This involves working with individual professionals, training whole teams or influencing service development and the way in which mental health services are delivered to clients. This in itself is challenging as the NHS can have a focus on diagnostic and medical ways of understanding mental health as opposed to making sense of the difficulties a person may present based upon what they have been through in their life.
My working roles:
Chartered Clinical Psychologist/ Director of The Leicestershire Psychology Service offering independent psychological services to adults with emotional distress. At present I offer appointments on Thursdays 10am - 9pm and Fridays 9am - 3pm. I specialise in working with adults with difficulties related to shame, self-criticism and trauma.
Consultant Clinical Psychologist responsible for running an NHS Leicestershire clinical psychology service within an adult community mental health team (CMHT) of Trainee Clinical Psychologists, Community Psychiatric Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Consultant Psychiatrists and Health Care Support Workers. The majority of my work within this service is with people with a range of complex emotional difficulties and challenging presentations that require bespoke interventions. I also offer consultation, clinical supervision and training to the CMHT staff to improve the delivery of NHS services to ensure they are more psychologically informed. I work in this role 2 days a week.
I have recently taken on a new role in designing and leading a pathway into adult mental health services in Leicestershire for people with Complex Trauma / CPTSD. It is hoped that this pathway will enable adult mental health services to be more trauma informed, through training and support of staff and delivering of a range of trauma informed interventions.
Past working roles
Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme across Coventry University and the University of Warwick. This role involves teaching and mentoring of trainee clinical psychologists through academic work and clinical psychology placements, co-running training and networking events for qualified clinical psychologists and supervising and evaluating clinical psychology doctoral level research. I work in this role two days a week.
Chartered Clinical Psychologist I have worked as a clinical psychologist at various grades in the NHS since 2003. Whilst my expertise lies in working with adults with emotional difficulties, I have worked across a variety of areas such as weight management, eating disorders, child and adolescent mental health and acquired brain injury hospital settings.
Professional qualifications and quality assurance
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) Following three years of undergraduate training, and three years of NHS experience as an Assistant Psychologist, I undertook a further three year postgraduate doctorate in clinical psychology involving clinical work, academic work and doctoral research.
Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) By law I am professionally regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council which ensures that I meet national standards to ensure your protection. My registration number is PYL24355.
Clinical Psychologist (CPsychol) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) I am a chartered member of the British Psychological Society which is the benchmark of professional recognition for psychologists and reflects the highest standards of psychological knowledge and expertise. It is the gold standard of the BPS, demonstrating a commitment to professional development and high ethical standards of practice, teaching and research.
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS) The title Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society is awarded in recognition of several years' experience and contribution to the field of psychology.
Indemnity Insurance I am fully insured with professional indemnity and liability insurance.
Clinical Supervision As a requirement of my registration to practice as a clinical psychologist and to ensure the best possible quality of care I engage in regular clinical supervision of my practice. This enables me to consider the work that I offer and evaluate how well it is working and whether there is anything I could be doing better.
Ongoing Training and Development The field of clinical psychology and our understanding of the human mind and associated difficulties is ever growing and developing. As such it is important to me that I keep up to date with current ideas and practices to ensure I am offering the best service I possibly can. It is also a requirement of my professional registration to engage in regular professional development and training and I can be audited for this.