Psychological therapy for children,
teenagers and families
Dr Wendy O'Neill
Hi, I am Wendy and I am a Clinical Psychologist working in the NHS with young people and their families.
Can you tell me a bit about your background?
I became interested in a career in psychology growing up in a rural area as I witnessed the impact of social isolation, poverty, and high rates of unemployment on psychological distress and well-being. With over ten years experience working in the mental health field, I have worked in a number of different contexts such as the community, inpatient, and private mental health settings. I have worked with young people, families, adults of all ages, different cultural backgrounds and abilities. I have completed an MSc in Forensic Clinical Psychology and more recently I completed my doctoral training at the University of Hertfordshire. I currently hold two positions within the NHS working with young people and their families and children and families who are in the care system.
What would it be like to meet you?
I believe that developing a positive working relationship is essential within the therapeutic space and I would hope to create a safe and supportive environment when we meet, to support this. I believe the therapeutic relationship is one of the key factors in helping a client make the changes that are important to them. I hope to achieve this through warmth and kindness, and adopting a curious and open approach where the client feels listened and heard.
When we first meet, we will spend time together exploring what you hope the sessions will help you with and set intentions on how we may work together. Keeping your hopes for the sessions in mind at all times, we will think together about your experiences on a personal level while also exploring the important relationships in your life and considering the wider social and cultural environment. Through talking, we can develop an understanding of what may have contributed to the current challenges and explore possibilities that may enable positive change by drawing on your skills and strengths and those in your supportive network.
What therapies do you use and what kind of difficulties do you help people with?
I am an integrative practitioner which means that I use a number of different approaches when working with individuals and families. I believe this flexible approach can meet the needs of individuals across a wide age range and background. I am experienced in supporting young people, adults, couples, and families who have presented with a range of difficulties such as low mood, anxiety, neurodevelopmental difficulties, behaviour that challenges, stress, anger, relationship difficulties, adverse childhood experiences, life transitions, family and couple conflict. The therapeutic models that I am trained in include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Systemic Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness.
What do you enjoy outside of psychology?
Being surrounded by the beautiful countryside is one of my biggest enjoyments in life. I also enjoy biking, running, and exploring new places and other countries. When I am not doing this, I love the theatre, music, and spending time with the important people in my life.