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Dr Sara Bentwood

DClinPsych, BSc Hons
Clinical Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychologist

Professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships
Registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS, CPsychol)

My professional experience

I am a Clinical Child Psychologist with over 15 years NHS experience providing highly specialist psychological assessment, formulation and interventions to children and adolescents, as well as to other family members including siblings and parents/carers. I have a great deal of experience working with psychological difficulties such as anxiety including OCD, panic attacks, phobias and social anxiety; depression, low self-esteem and poor body image; behaviour difficulties and anger management, as well as addressing issues related to school such as bullying. I am also experienced in addressing family difficulties as well as problems with feeding and sleep.

I am particularly interested in working with children and adolescents with a variety of medical conditions, both chronic and life-threatening. This work is aimed at addressing psychological issues related to having a chronic medical condition, such as adjustment to diagnosis, adherence to treatment, behavioural difficulties, needle phobias, and emotional difficulties, including depression, anxiety and anger management. In addition, I have clinical expertise in supporting children with physical manifestations of psychological distress.

I am trained in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness and compassion focussed therapy.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist at The University of Surrey in 2003 and have since worked in paediatrics at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, The Whittington Hospital, The Royal Brompton Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children.

I have worked with many different cultures and communities in the UK. These experiences have enhanced my understanding of the spiritual and cultural influences in mental and physical health.

Personal Approach

I believe that the therapeutic relationship is fundamental to the work that I do. I therefore provide a warm, friendly and safe space where children, adolescents, and/or their families can talk openly and honestly and without fear of judgment. I carry out thorough assessments which guide the formulation of the difficulties and direct the intervention. All psychological interventions carried out are evidence-based, individualised and adjusted to meet the developmental stage of the child or adolescent. I work collaboratively with the child or adolescent and their families enabling them to reach their personal goals.

I work flexibly depending on the presenting difficulties and am happy to carry out assessments with the child or adolescent on their own or with their parents or carers. I am also happy to meet with the parents without their child to enable them to speak freely and in confidence. If it is appropriate and with consent I will liaise with the school and other professionals involved with the child or adolescent.