Dr Linda Bolton, Chartered Clinical Psychologist
I am a highly experienced Chartered Clinical Psychologist and therapist and for over 30 years, I have enjoyed working with adults, children, adolescents and their families, both within my roles in the NHS in Dorset, Somerset and Central London, and for the past 10 years, in my independent practice. I have also recently valued spending several years as a Clinical Tutor at the Exeter University training Clinical Psychologists.
A main feature of my work has been around helping children, young people and adults with emotional distress, relationship and behavioural difficulties, and have found themselves 'stuck'. Therapeutic work can involve working with individuals, parents, siblings, partners and families.
I have expertise in helping those who within their relationships experience anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, sleep and eating difficulties, trauma (including PTSD), low self-esteem and low mood and bereavement difficulties. I have additional specific expertise in the impact of chronic health conditions such as Diabetes, CFS/ME and pain.
As a Clinical Psychologist I have completed broad and rigorous training and am qualified in both assessment and a range of therapeutic psychological approaches, all of which have a strong evidence base. Given my extensive clinical experience I will also draw on my clinical experience of what approach has worked well and been helpful to others. I have particular interests in trauma, including developmental trauma, and in discovering attachment styles and patterns of relating that can continue throughout our lives.
I recognise the great importance of the therapeutic relationship. I believe it is essential to provide you with a space where you feel comfortable, supported and safe to talk openly about any distress and where you feel listened to with compassion and empathy.
How I work
I understand that therapy can be challenging and even nerve-wracking at times, but I will always acknowledge these feelings and work with you at a pace that feels acceptable to you. I bring a non-judgmental attitude to my work and aim to join you in a collaborative way.
I work as an integrative therapist, which means I am trained in and draw on a broad range of psychological treatment approaches including attachment therapy, mindfulness, systemic family therapy, CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), CAT (Cognitive Analytic Therapy), CFT (compassion-focused therapy) and narrative approaches. Treatment will always be tailored to your specific needs and your hopes for change, and will be linked to your day to day life. We will probably look at the areas of your life that can be changed, and may help you to form a new relationship with things we cannot change. I will never ask you to do something that I wouldn't be willing to do myself!
In developing my expertise in working with trauma I have also trained in a powerful and evidence based therapy called Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) with additional specialist Training in working with children in this modality. This evidence-based therapy is particularly beneficial for those suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder and those who have developed anxiety and phobias as a result of trauma.
Through my extensive work experience and as a parent of 3 myself I have gained direct understanding of the issues that affect an individual’s abilities to be an effective parent. I am able to support parents in gaining confidence in their parenting skills, for difficulties such as anxiety, attachment, challenging behaviour, managing sibling relationships, sleep routines and feeding difficulties.
What can you expect?
I currently work from two comfortable therapy rooms in Dorchester - 'The Rooms' in Poundbury and the Dorchester Yoga and Therapy Centre in the centre of the Town. I also offer virtual psychological therapy on various platforms including Skype and Zoom, and telephone therapy.
Making your first contact can be a huge step, as many of us will be doing this for the first time. You may have been living with emotional and/or relationship distress for some while, just about managing, and you may feel like you are the only person or family experiencing these difficulties. You are most definitely not alone.
Following your initial contact, we arrange a first appointment. This initial appointment is an opportunity for you to get to know me and as I believe strongly in the importance of finding the right therapist and approach, for you to think about whether further work is right for you/your family at this time. The work will always begin with an assessment which may last over several sessions. This helps us to gain a shared understanding of the difficulties and to agree on your needs, on what changes you would like to make and on clear goals. Your view of progress towards the latter will be reviewed at different points in therapy.
With children and families I will include key family members and other important people at various stages of the treatment to ensure the best possible outcome for long term gains.
With older adolescents and adults, the work is typically 1:1 but family members may be invited to some sessions. This helps to create a safe and confidential space allowing the development of trust needed to work through the difficulties you may be facing.
Sessions last for approximately one hour.
You may like to know........
I am a parent of 3 children, two now fully grown up, and when I'm not working I love walking with my dog in beautiful places, singing joyfully in a choir, creaking in various yoga postures and sharing laughter with friends and family!
Training, qualifications & experience
I have gained the following academic and clinical qualifications and have kept updated with developments in psychological practice:
B.Sc (Econ), M.Sc., P.G.C.E., D.Clin.Psy., CPsychol
- 2019 - Acceptance and Commitment approaches to chronic pain
- 2019 - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - year long training
- 2019 - Compassion focused therapy training
- 2018 - CFS/ME in Young People UCH London
- 2018 - Cognitive Analytic Therapy - 2 day introduction
- 2018 - Working with complex trauma
- 2018 - Marschak Interaction Method (Assessment) Training
- 2017 - ACT for young people
- 2017 - Narrative Group work
- 2017 - Flashforwards - EMDR work
- 2016 - Dyadic Developmental Practice - attachment training Level 2
- 2016 - Tony Attwood Managing feelings and behaviour in children with Autism
- 2015 - Child Attachment Interview
- 2015 - Mindfulness Training
- 2013 - EMDR to Level 3 and EMDR with children and adolescents (Accredited Practitioner from 2019)
- 2013 - Pain management for children and young people
- 2012 - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- 2012 - Happiness, well being and sleep
- 2012 - CBT Supervision
- 2012 - CBT with children and families
- 2011 - Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
- 2003 - Systemic Family Therapy - completed to Intermediate level
- 1991 - Doctorate In Clinical Psychology from Plymouth University
- 1988 - Masters in Research Methods in Psychology - Reading University
- 1986 - Post-graduate Certificate in Education - Froebel Instititute
- 1982 - BSc(Econ) in Psychology and Social Anthropology Swansea University
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
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
One hour therapy session - £90
Extended assessment session (1.5 hours) - £120
Report - £90 per hour
In addition to the above I have provided detailed assessment reports for children who are living with foster or adoptive parents or carers and I work therapeutically with foster and adoptive parents and children, when the need for this has been identified.
I also provide supervision, consultation and training to other professionals.