Dr Sheena Macalister - Clinical Psychologist (CPsychol, DClinPsych, BSc)
I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with 15 years experience of working within the NHS. Whilst I continue to work for the NHS, I also run a private practice in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.
I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and I am a member of the British Psychological Society.
Why access psychological therapy?
There are many different reasons why people choose to access psychological therapy. However, many take the decision because they have encountered a level of personal distress in their lives and they would like to learn how to cope with this more effectively.
At times, the distress experienced may be a direct reaction to a traumatic or difficult life event or series of difficult personal experiences such as illness, bereavement or relationship breakdowns. For others, there may be a specific anxiety-based problem which over time has become a significant barrier in their lives, for example, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or a specific phobia or social anxiety.
Very often, however, it can just generally be difficult to make sense of why life at times may feel like such a struggle, and there may not be a 'label' to explain how you are feeling. You may have also found that it can be difficult to express this to those around you, which, at times, can feel like you are managing on your own.
About my service
I run a psychological therapies service which aims to support young people and adults in managing the distress they are experiencing.
There are two-parts to my work:
Assessment and exploration of concerns: Gathering a detailed understanding of your concerns is important. An assessment appointment provides you with a safe and confidential space to begin to talk openly about your worries and your beliefs about how your problems may have developed. This process is important in highlighting areas for change that can be addressed during therapy, should you choose to proceed with this.
Sometimes, the assessment process in itself can be enough for people to feel they have started to make sense of their difficulties and they may decide that they do not require any additional therapy sessions.
Psychological therapy sessions: Life can throw up many challenges; very often feelings of anxiety, self-doubt and depression are understandable human reactions to difficult events or to periods of uncertainty. Whilst psychological therapy cannot stop difficult life events from occurring, it can help you to develop the skills to more confidently manage any associated distressing thoughts and feelings so that these don’t have to be such barriers in your life. Another essential part of therapy is being able to use these skills to work towards meaningful change; I will work with you to guide you to think about what meaningful change will look like for you.
The psychological approach I use most often in my work is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a mindfulness-based therapy. However, I am also trained in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is another well-established psychological approach for addressing feelings of anxiety and depression.
It is important to recognise that each individual’s beliefs and concerns are unique to them. Equally, therefore, the number of therapy sessions required can vary person-to-person.
Training, qualifications & experience
- BSc(Hons) Psychology
- Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
I have extensive experience of working within the NHS including:
- Working for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), supporting young people experiencing a wide range of emotional difficulties
- Working with adults with chronic health conditions, supporting them in their psychological adjustment to their symptoms, and the impact that their condition has had on their lives
- I continue to work part-time within the NHS at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Childhood bullying
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Psychological adjustment to chronic (persistent) pain
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client