Dr Alexandra Richards DClinPsy BSc(Hons)
Are you feeling low, fearful, anxious or out of control? Are you feeling stuck, wanting to make a change but not quite knowing how? Are you looking for a space to explore your feelings and experiences safely, away from judgement? Psychological therapy may be able to help.
I am a HCPC-registered qualified Clinical Psychologist, with a specialist interest in working with individuals with long-term conditions and disabilities, including neurological conditions.
Changes in our physical health can have a wide-ranging impact on how we feel emotionally, our sense of identity and also our relationships with those closest to us. Our emotional wellbeing, in turn, can also have a significant impact on our bodies, with the potential to exacerbate symptoms, limit our ability to cope and to ask for help.
In my practice I focus on the connection between mind and body, looking to make room for both. Individuals often come to me saying it is important that they see a therapist who can understand their health condition and take this into account whilst not assuming that all of their emotional reactions are related to their health. I have worked with individuals with a wide range of conditions that might be developmental, progressive or have sudden onset, and am aware of the personal impact of living with unpredictable health and changing levels of ability.
In therapy, I work in an integrative manner, drawing on a range of psychological therapies to fit the needs of the person I am working with. I provide psychological (talking) therapy with an evidence base for improving quality of life and symptoms management in individuals with a range of symptoms.
In particular I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic therapy. I strive to make my work accessible and am able to offer telephone and online sessions as well as adapting content to differing communication, cognitive and sensory needs as necessary.
Some areas people have approached me for include:
- Adjusting to life after a diagnosis or change in health and facing the future
- Coping with changes in independence and loss
- Regaining confidence and considering priorities
- Learning to adhere to new treatment regimens and accepting help
- Moving on from difficult experiences
- Managing the impact of pain, fatigue and other distressing symptoms on your life
- Coping with anxieties and fears about your health
- Managing the changes in a relationship when one person becomes unwell, and also managing the demands of caring for a loved one
- Coping with changes in memory and concentration
- Managing changes in body-image and sexuality
- Coping with “invisible disability”, stigma and others’ judgement
- Considering ways of disclosing and explaining health status to others
- Continuing progress in rehabilitation after formal support services have withdrawn
I also work with adults experiencing a range of emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties including depression, anxiety, fear, grief, low self-esteem and impulsivity.
I offer sessions in a flexible manner to suit different needs. Some individuals will benefit from regular weekly therapy, others may want just a few sessions to “check-in” or explore a specific issue. I understand that it can be difficult to arrange sessions around other appointments and demands and there is not an obligation to commit to a long course of therapy.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have worked in physical and mental health for 10 years, in both the NHS and charity sector.
I completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2008 at University of Bristol and completed my doctorate (DClinPsy) in Clinical Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2014.
Following qualification I have been working providing psychological intervention for individuals with a range of health conditions including traumatic brain injury, stroke, HIV, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, spinal cord Injury, IBS, non-epileptic seizures and chronic pain.
I have completed additional workshops and professional development in ACT, Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy, Neurobehavioural Intervention and working therapeutically with individuals with brain injury and working with sexual difficulties.
I am currently working towards accreditation as a Gender and Sexual Diversity Therapist and welcome inquiries from individuals identifying as LGBTQIA. I aim to provide a non-judgemental and non-anthologising approach and welcome contact from individuals of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and relationship structure.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Carer support
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Feeling sad
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship problems
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Medically Unexplained Symptoms/Functional Neurological Symptoms
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Initial telephone/email consultation: Free
First assessment session: £35 for 50 minutes
Further therapy sessions: £65 for 50 minutes
I also take referrals through Aviva, AXA and Vitality Health insurance.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
My Thursday clinic has step-free access, accessible toilet and a lift. I can adapt sessions for clients with cognitive difficulties, sensory or communication impairment.
Monday afternoons 2-7pm Thursdays 9-7pm Some adhoc evening and other day availability, please enquire
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|