I offer support to parents who are finding the early years of parenting particularly challenging or stressful, for whatever reason. Past or current parental mental health difficulties, couple relationship issues, fertility treatment, complications during the pregnancy or birth and prematurity and/or illness around the time of birth or in early childhood can all throw up challenges to finding your way into the positive relationship with your baby/young child you hoped for at the outset.
My years as a Child Psychiatrist in both specialist and general teams, alongside my own parenting journey, highlighted for me the importance of providing the right support early on for parents and carers. Caring for a baby or young child can be intense and demanding, especially when there are additional health issues, and when extended family or community support isn’t available. Parents can be plagued by ideas that they are ‘getting it wrong’. Others may feel they are ‘going through the motions’ in their parenting without the moments of joy and connection that help counterbalance the challenges.
My approach is holistic and tailored to the needs of each individual family, recognising that some parents may need only a very brief intervention to get them back on track while others may benefit from support over a longer time period. One of the interventions I have found to be particularly helpful in supporting parent-baby/parent-child relationships is Video Interaction Guidance (VIG). VIG is a strengths based, short to medium term therapy which uses video feedback to promote strong, secure relationships.
I am happy to work with both parents, together or separately, including where parents are struggling to reconcile their different ideas on bringing up their baby/young child. I can work with parents and their babies and young children up to their 4th birthday. I may be able to provide VIG in the home environment for those based in London.
I am a member of the Independent Doctors Federation (IDF) who are responsible for my appraisals and revalidation. I am a member of the Association for Infant Mental Health (AIMH UK). I am committed to a broad programme of continuing professional development and reflective practice.
Parent-infant mental health
MBChB, BSc, MRCPsych, Accredited Practitioner in Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)
Following graduation from Edinburgh University Medical School, I moved to London and completed my general psychiatry training on the Royal Free Hospitals scheme. My higher Specialist Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training was at the Tavistock Clinic, London. I was clinical lead for an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health team in Barnet and, more recently, have worked in specialist services including the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC), Coram Campus, London, and the Paediatric Liaison Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Barnet General Hospital including providing support to parents and staff of Starlight Neonatal Ward.