Dr Anthony Wharton Verified Professional Verified Professional
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Clinical Psychologist. Psychodynamic therapist (trauma)

About me

I am a HCPC registered clinical psychologist specialising in adult mental health. I provide a range of evidence based psychotherapies to alleviate psychological distress in Devon, my main approach being Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). I have extensive experience of working with emotional distress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, feeling sad, low self esteem, PTSD and complex trauma in the NHS.


My approach to psychotherapy is ambitious in not only wanting to reduce your distressing symptoms, but to improve your relationships and quality of life. I work in a respectful, compassionate manner where a healthy collaborative alliance between client and therapist is fundamental to the therapy.  The type of psychodynamic therapy that I use, ISTDP, is attachment based. This therapy can be effective in addressing a wide range of symptoms including depression, anxiety, emotional wounds from childhood, adolescence and adulthood, as well as a number of challenging life problems.

My Specialisms:

COMPLEXITY: Working with complex problems or people who may be stuck; especially in relation to unresolved developmental experiences of childhood abuse leading to significant difficulties in later life, or to be at the root of psychiatric symptoms or diagnoses.

TRAUMA: Specialism in trauma focussed work; attachment trauma, complex trauma and repressed trauma in the body. Working with the mind and the body; disassociation, disconnection, depersonalisation, unconscious anxiety.

EMOTIONS: Addressing internal blockages to emotions and facilitating healthy regulation of emotion. Regulating anxiety. Fear reduction, resourcing self soothing system in response to threat. Distress tolerance. Safe exploration and processing of anger.

SOMATISATION: Some psychosomatic, auto immune and medically unexplained conditions e.g. chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS, physical tension/pain, tension headaches, insomnia, when connected to chronic stress and anxiety, underpinned by experiences of historical abuse, repressed trauma and repressed emotions.

RELATIONSHIP AND LIFE ISSUES: Difficulties people experience in relation to self, others, and the world; stress, fear, panic attacks, anxiety, anger, shame, rage, guilt, sadness, grief, loss, loneliness, despair, mistrust, isolation, abandonment, rejection, hopelessness, helplessness, entrapment, low self-esteem, self-criticism, impulsivity, over reacting, acting out, striving, perfectionism, poor self-care, self-neglect, self harm.

My Mission:

I'm ambitious about helping people to reduce their symptoms of distress, improve their quality of life and relationships to themselves, to others and to the world.  I aim to help people to get the best from therapy, so that people can gain relief as quickly as possible and benefit from therapy to make life long changes for the better.

What to expect:

Before we begin, I usually invite you to a free initial telephone consultation for approximately 30 minutes. I will invite you to tell me about what difficulties you experience and for us to think together about how I might be able to help you. From there, if we think we could work together, we can decide whether it would be appropriate for you to take part in an assessment or a trial therapy. The purpose of this would be to develop a shared psychological formulation about your difficulties and develop a tailored treatment plan to address them. Please see the fees section further below, for more information about what to expect.

What next:

If you are interested in starting psychotherapy with me for a difficulty that you may have, or want to find out more, please get in touch. I offer a free initial telephone consultation. If you would like more information about me and the type of psychodynamic psychotherapy that I specialise in, ISTDP, please visit my website: www.istdpsouthwest.com

Training, qualifications & experience

I have worked in the NHS for over 15 years. I began working in learning disabilities services providing positive behavioural support and systemic interventions to users of services whom were said to have 'challenging behaviour'. I then trained as a clinical psychologist, tailoring my training placement experiences towards adult mental health.

For the last five years I have been working as a clinical psychologist in a rural community mental health team in Devon. In this role, I specialise in providing assessment and psychotherapy to adults with adults with complex mental health difficulties. This ranges from people with anxiety-based disorders, depression and PTSD, to people who have experienced multiple (complex) traumas including most forms of abuse. I also work part time in a family therapy service in the NHS, providing systemic therapy to couples and families who have relational difficulties.

My Qualifications are as follows:

  • BSc Honours Psychology. University of Plymouth, 2004

  • Msc Applied Psychology of Learning disabilities. University of Portsmouth, 2010 (Distinction)

  • AFT Foundation level: Family and Systemic therapy, University of Plymouth, 2012

  • AFT Intermediate level: Family Therapy and Systemic Practitioner (Systemic Practitioner award). University of Plymouth 2015

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DclinPsy). University of Plymouth, 2015

  • Intensive Short-Term Dynamic therapy. ISTDP-UK (in Core Training 2017-2020). (IEDTA)

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.


Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.

They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.

Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Attachment trauma i.e. repeatedly broken or disrupted bonds in childhood or adolescence between infant, parent(s), or caregivers. Embodied Trauma: Psychosomatic or medically unexplained symptoms e.g. tension headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, acid reflux, IBS, when symptomatic of chronic unregulated anxiety and repressed emotions, or trauma located in the body.


Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

I offer 50, 60 and 90 minutes sessions - please enquire for fees.

Initial Telephone or Online Consultation (Free)

I usually invite you to a brief telephone call initially to hear from you about what you would like some help with. This will enable us to see if we think we could work together and whether it would be appropriate to arrange an assessment to find out more.

Assessment and Formulation

The assessment can take a bit longer (one to two hours) to help us understand how your difficulties began and identify factors that might trigger or keep your difficulties going, as well as learning about what strengths you have that can help you to stay well and recover. From this we can design a treatment plan that is individually tailored to address your needs and difficulties identified.

Trial therapy

I can offer a two to three hour trial therapy to give you an experience of what psychotherapy might be like. This can sometimes function as part assessment and part giving you an experience of therapy and for us to see how you respond to interventions. It is possible in some cases for positive changes to be gained from the trial therapy alone. Please enquire about this for more information.

Therapy sessions

From either assessment or trial therapy; we can agree on how best to move forward in terms of future sessions. Sessions can be provided in short or longer term, or can be booked on a session by session basis as long as they are helpful. I am flexible in offering either weekly or fortnightly sessions, or top up as and when. Sessions currently take place in the evening midweek and during the day, every Friday.

Online therapy

Online therapy can enable people to access therapy who have mobility issues, cannot travel or live locally to Devon. At the present time, online therapy is the only safe provision of therapy on offer due to COVID-19. However I will continue to provide online therapy in the future as well as face to face.

Please get in touch to find out more.

When I work

Currently taking on new referrals providing online therapy sessions using Zoom. Midweek evening and Friday daytime slots available.

Further information

Please look at my website for further information www.istdpsouthwest.com

Plymouth, Devon, PL4

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Older adults


In person

I can provide private supervision, consultation and reflective practice to professionals working within the NHS or in private sectors including mental health and learning disability services.

View supervision profile