Meet the team

Depending on the nature of the issues you are struggling with, I may recommend that you see one of our Team, all of whom I recommend highly. Our multi-disciplinary team have varied experience and vast knowledge in working with children, adolescents, families and adults.

Valerie Caird Psychotherapist

Valerie Caird


I am a Psychotherapist and a registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).


  • Master of Counselling (Distinction), University of Edinburgh
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (Distinction), University of Edinburgh
  • Certificate in Play Therapy skills (Place2Be), Children’s Mental Health Charity
  • Teaching Diploma: Psychology, Child Development & Learning, Anatomy and Technique, Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)

I began my career in the arts, as a teacher and supervisor and have been working therapeutically with children and young people for over thirty years. I gained a broad range of experience in the charitable sector helping children to tell their story through play based therapy, before I started counselling young people, adults and families.

Another aspect of my career has been coaching doctors and nurses in empathic communication and the healing effects of the therapeutic relationship. I have travelled to Europe and to the US delivering presentations and training to hospitals and healthcare systems. Until recently, I was a Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh University on the Counselling and Psychotherapy Program.

At Prime Psychology, I work with children and adolescents using either a play based or talking approach, depending on their age and developmental stage. Alongside this, I routinely work with parents to develop a greater shared understanding of their child and improve relationships and communication in the family. I also work therapeutically with adults who require one to one therapy and couples who wish to improve their relationship or work through difficulties together.

Rhona McAlpine Specialist Occupational Therapist

Rhona McAlpine

BSc (Hons), HCPC

I am a Specialist Occupational Therapist, registered with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (1st Class), Robert Gordon University Aberdeen

I have been practicing within the field of Child and Adolescent Mental Health for the past thirteen years. My interest and passion has always been to support children and young people to lead a happy and purposeful life; promoting a positive sense of self. I pride myself in being client centred, yet family focused in my approach. I currently work part time for NHS CAMHS and part time in private practice.

At Prime Psychology, I work to support children, young people and their families who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including those with Neurodevelopmental conditions (such as Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and those who have experienced developmental trauma and difficulties in their early relationships. My work includes post-diagnostic support for young people and their families. I also help to support children and young people to manage stress and anxiety.

I take a very practical approach to problem solving, considering the child or young person’s motivation, routines, environment and skills. The focus of intervention typically involves activity and/or strategies which introduce and explore emotions, self-regulation, co-regulation, sensory attachment needs and positive relationships. I also work using a play-based approach where appropriate and routinely offer sessions with parents to help them to develop increased understanding of their child and effective ways to communicate and support them.

Molly Noble Psychological Therapy Assistant

Molly Noble

BSc (Hons), MSc

I am an Assistant Psychologist and registered student member of the British Psychological Society.


  • MSc in Psychology of Mental Health, University of Edinburgh
  • BSc (Hons) in Sociology, University of Bath

I have recently completed a Masters course at the University of Edinburgh in the Psychology of Mental Health and I am currently working towards a career in Clinical Psychology. I have experience of supporting children and young people in various roles, including tutoring children with special educational needs and supporting young people to develop independent living skills.

At Prime Psychology, I support the work of the Clinical Team. This includes offering psychological therapy and behavioural observations (including school and home observations), under the supervision of Dr Pennington-Twist. I work with children, adolescents and young adults who are experiencing difficulties such as anxiety, panic, phobias, low mood and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and my work can be community based, where this is helpful therapeutically.

Claudia Coelho Psychotherapist

Dr Claudia Coelho

MA, MSc, PhD, D.Clin.Psychol, HCPC

I am a specialist senior clinical psychologist in adult mental health and a registered member of Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psychol), University of Edinburgh
  • PhD in Psychology, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc in Psychology, University of Edinburgh
  • MA in Psychology, University of Lisbon

I have worked in Psychology for 25 years, both clinically and in academic research and teaching. Along the way, I have developed a broad and deep understanding of psychological thinking and practice, which shapes my clinical work every day. Alongside my private practice, I work in two NHS Adult Mental Health Services where I offer expert assessment and therapy to adults experiencing a range of emotional, relational, behavioural and cognitive difficulties, across a spectrum of complexity and circumstances. I also offer specialist clinical supervision and consultancy to my medical, nursing and psychology colleagues.

At Prime Psychology, I offer individual psychological therapy to adults of any age. I work in an integrative way, tailoring it to each person’s specific needs. I use Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Tf-CBT). My work is greatly informed by Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, and I also draw on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness approaches.

Every psychological therapy is built on a safe, thoughtful and nurturing relationship. A space and time in which each person can develop an understanding of themselves, their difficulties, and, through this, heal, change and grow. This is what I strive to do, and I feel deeply privileged to work with those who come to me for help.

Libba Byrne Psychotherapist

Libba Byrne


I am a Psychotherapist and a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).


  • Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People, University of Middlesex
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Training
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills, University of Edinburgh
  • MA (Hons) Health, Medicine and Society, Oxford Brookes University
  • Mentalization-Based Therapy for Adolescents (MBT-A), Anna Freud Centre

I have been working therapeutically with children, young people and their families for more than ten years. I am passionate about supporting children and young people to overcome difficulties in their mental health and improve their emotional well-being. I have a special interest in using creative approaches and I integrate art, sand tray, play, movement and mindfulness into my talking therapy practice, depending on the individual needs and the age and the stage of development of the child or young person and their family.

I have previously worked in a number of different settings and organisations providing counselling for children who were experiencing a wide range of presenting issues, including changes in relationships and family life, anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem, bereavement, eating difficulties, trauma, drug and alcohol misuse and obsessive-compulsive difficulties.

At Prime Psychology, I offer psychological assessment and intervention to children, young people and their families. I provide a creative and supportive space where children and young people can explore and reflect, enabling and supporting them to overcome and move beyond their emotional and mental health challenges.

Barry Ross Psychotherapist

Barry Ross


I am a Psychotherapist and a registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).


  • MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Aberdeen
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Aberdeen

I began my career in Counselling and Psychotherapy in the charitable sector working therapeutically with young adults struggling with a wide range of emotional difficulties. At the heart of my work is a real passion for helping people and understanding what life is really like for them. I work using a person-centred approach and welcome people in a gentle, warm and accepting way. I believe that each person has their own resources to improve the quality of their life and because of this my approach is of a non-directional nature, allowing the freedom to explore whatever feels right at any time. I strongly believe that it is the therapeutic relationship that heals and as such my work focuses on building a safe and trusting space where people are able to explore their thoughts, feelings and experiences.

At Prime Psychology, I predominantly work with adults and older adolescents who are experiencing a range of difficulties including those related to mood, anxiety, sexuality, gender identity, loss, bereavement, relationship difficulties and self-esteem.

Dr Andrew Parkinson

Dr Andrew Parkinson

Dr Andrew Parkinson, a HCPC registered Specialist Principal Clinical Psychologist and an expert in assessing and working with children, young people and adults with Autism Spectrum Condition and other neurodivergent conditions.

Dr Parkinson has been working in the field of psychology for over 20 years, across the NHS Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), in private practice and as an Expert Witness for the UK Family Courts. Alongside providing his expertise and knowledge to Prime Psychology, Dr Parkinson runs his own successful autism assessment practice in the South of England.

Carley Flemmer

Carley Flemmer

BSc Hons, MA, MSc, DClinPsy, HCPC


  • BA (Hons), Kinesiology & Health Sciences, York University, Canada
  • MSc Occupational Therapy, Queen Margaret University, United Kingdom

With a rich background in Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, including roles in local authorities and NHS CAMHS, I have crafted a deep understanding of the transformative role Occupational Therapy can play in fostering positive mental health outcomes. Specialising in evidence-informed approaches, I bring expertise in sensory integration, emotional regulation, and anxiety management, among others, derived from various training and my other work with the NHS in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services.

At Prime Psychology, I offer tailored Occupational Therapy assessments and interventions to children, young people, and their families, utilising a collaborative, strength-based approach to nurture their potential and support them in understanding their unique strengths and challenges. I am committed to cultivating environments that facilitate happy, purposeful lives, aligning my strategies with each child’s motivation, interests, daily routines, and surroundings. I also remain flexible in my practice, offering therapy sessions across various settings – home, school, or at our clinic – to best accommodate the child’s needs.

Utilising a play-based approach and hands-on problem-solving techniques, I focus on enriching children’s understanding of emotions and fostering sensory attachment needs. I am passionate about working with neurodivergent children, including those with Autism Spectrum Condition

(ASC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and those with developmental trauma. I also provide post-diagnostic support to young people and their parents and caregivers.

Ali Laslett

Ali Laslett



  • Addictive Disorders and Counselling (1st Class) City College Santa Barbara, USA.
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction Psychology and Counselling, London South Bank University, UK.

Having had extensive experience working with substance abuse in both private and public sectors, I recognise that everyone’s journey with addiction and compulsive behaviours is unique. I understand first-hand the profound impact that these issues can have on individuals, their families and loved ones. At Prime Psychology, I offer tailored individual therapy sessions for older adolescents and adults. I use evidence-based models of treatment that support people to develop a deep understanding of themselves and their behaviours and ultimately facilitate lasting positive change.

I help individuals explore their personal relationship with substances such as alcohol, cocaine and marijuana as well as working therapeutically to overcome problematic compulsive sexual behaviours such as visiting sex workers, pornography and using adult chat lines. Addressing addiction and compulsive behaviours holistically by considering psychological, biological, and social factors is proven to provide a more successful approach which leads to better outcomes.

Relapse prevention is a central part of my approach and I therefore work closely with my clients to identify triggers, develop coping strategies, and build resilience to maintain long-term sobriety. My belief is that recovery is not just about abstaining from substances or problematic behaviours but also cultivating healthy coping mechanisms, rebuilding relationships and reclaiming a sense of purpose and fulfilment in life.

Where we agree this is helpful, I extend support and guidance to family members and loved ones affected by these issues, facilitating the restoration of trust, communication, and connection within these relationships.

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