I have over 20 years of experience as an applied psychologist and I've been a licenced Practitioner Health Psychologist since 2005. I'm registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the United Kingdom. The HCPC are regulators who protect the public by ensuring their registered professionals meet the standards of their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. My HCPC license number is PYL21971.
I'm a Chartered Health Psychologist (CPsychol), an Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) of the British Psychological Society, a professional member of the American Psychological Association's Division 38 (Health Psychology) and a professional member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. I'm also a Certified Advanced Grief Counseling Specialist (CAGCS). I'm committed to ongoing continuous professional development to maintain, update and develop my skills and knowledge.
I obtained my postgraduate training (MSc, PhD, CPsychol) from the Division of Medicine at UCL in London, UK. I have previously held positions at several departments within UCL/UCL Medical School: the Centre for Behavioural and Social Sciences in Medicine, Division of Medicine; the Department of Mental Health Sciences/Marie Curie Palliative Care Unit; the Department of Primary Care and Population Health, and; Cancer Research UK's Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. I have also had honorary contracts with the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
I have conducted extensive health care research over the years and I have presented my work at numerous national and international conferences. For a list of my publications and book chapters, please click here. I have lectured post graduate students of both health psychology and psychiatry and provided training to General Practitioners.
My clinical work has generally centred around the area of illness adjustment; the management of long-term conditions, managing ongoing or chronic pain, dealing with medical trauma or trauma in general, and its effect on health related quality of life. Some of my clinical work has also focused on the link between childhood adversity and adult chronic illness and the effect of narcissistic abuse on physical and psychological well being. In addition, my work has focused on supporting caregivers and improving health care within primary care, secondary care and palliative care (including doctor-patient communication). There has been a strong emphasis on the existential and spiritual aspects of people's lives throughout.
I also have personal experience with chronic illness. I live with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) and pain is no stranger to me. I know firsthand how hard it can be to juggle life, work and ill health while navigating the health care system; being left frustrated, exhausted and sometimes angry at the lack of support and understanding. I appreciate the impact illness can have on your identity and how isolating it can be. How disappointing it sometimes is that life didn’t end up how you thought it would, how hard it can be to live with uncertainty, and how necessary it is to readjust expectations and find meaning in a new situation to lead a more fulfilling life. It is possible!
I'm widowed and I have spent the majority of my life in London, United Kingdom. I currently reside in Oklahoma City, USA with my lovely but rather eccentric rescue Pit bull dog Pippi!