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

PG Dip, MSc, MBACP

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

Qualifications:

  • 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).

Qualifications

  • 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.

Qualifications:

  • 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).

Qualifications:

  • 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

PG Dip, MA, MBACP

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

Qualifications:

  • 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

PG Dip, MSc, MBACP

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

Qualifications:

  • 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 Gemma Brown

Dr Gemma Brown

BSc (Hons), MSc, D.Clin.Psychol, HCPC

I AM A SENIOR CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST IN CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH AND A REGISTERED MEMBER OF THE HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL (HCPC).

Qualifications:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology, University of Edinburgh
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Psychology), University of Edinburgh

I have worked within the NHS for over nine years and have trained across the life span, primarily working with children, young people and families. Alongside my work at Prime Psychology, I work within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in the NHS. I offer evidence-based interventions for a range of emotional and mental health difficulties within both individual and group formats.

Within my work I believe it is important to develop a shared understanding of what has brought you along within a warm, compassionate therapeutic relationship. I aim to create a safe, non-judgmental space where we can develop a tailored approach to facilitating change and recovery.

I work using different therapeutic models including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT). I integrate these with systemic and attachment theory as well as other approaches including compassion focused therapy. I have a particular interest in neuropsychology.

Within my NHS role, I work with organisations outside of the NHS (e.g. schools and youth work) to support non mental health professionals in offering low intensity, evidence-based interventions through training, supervision and coaching. I enjoy collaborating across these organisations in the development of services that seek to enhance community supports.

Hanna Munro Senior Clinical Psychologist

Hanna Munro

MSc, BSc, CASI, MRCOT

I AM A SENIOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AND SENSORY INTEGRATION SPECIALIST. I AM REGISTERED WITH THE HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL (HCPC).

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (1st Class), University of Salford
  • MSc Dementia Studies, University of Stirling
  • Postgraduate training in Ayres Sensory Integration, CLASI
  • Postgraduate foundation training in Sensory Attachment Intervention

I have worked as an Occupational Therapist for 15 years. I began my career working with older adults and lecturing at University. However, when my son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), I realised that many of the sensory approaches I was using in the field of dementia were highly relevant to autism. I was driven to learn as much as I could to help him and this led to my decision to change specialism. I went on to undertake further postgraduate training in Sensory Integration (SI) and I now specialise in working with children and adults with neurodiverse conditions (such as ASC, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD / Dyspraxia). I have extensive experience of working with children in both special and mainstream schools. I am also skilled in assessing and working with adults with neurodiversity. My work with a person is not dependent on a diagnosis. Some people I work with have been given a diagnosis, others are awaiting assessment and others have difficulties which would not meet a particular threshold for diagnosis, yet nonetheless cause them difficulties in their day-to-day life.

Alongside my specialist training, I understand personally the challenges in parenting a child with neurodiversity. For example, when my son was younger we struggled to know how to communicate effectively with him, to engage him in play or to make sense of some of his behaviours and complex sensory needs. On our journey with him, I saw that the best professionals were the ones who not only developed a relationship with him but who also taught us as parents how to better understand him, interact and play with him and parent him with his unique needs. This personal experience has made me passionate about working collaboratively with parents to translate my assessment findings into a shared understanding which meaningfully improves their family’s daily life – strengthening relationships, communication and family functioning.

As an Occupational Therapist, I am able to draw on a range of approaches in addition to neuroscience and sensory integration. At Prime Psychology, my work includes sensory and motor skills assessment, provision of individualised sensory profiles, therapy programmes based on a sensory integration approach in addition to sensory processing education for parents/carers and schools, where appropriate. I use playful approaches to build relationships with children but crucially I also coach parents/carers so that they become an integral part of the therapeutic process. I also assess and work with adults of all ages who wish to better understand their neurodiversity and/or may be experiencing challenges as a result of it.

Dr Sarah Madigan Psychological Therapy Assistant

Dr Sarah Madigan

BSc (Hons), D.Clin.Psychol. HCPC

Currently unavailable for new patients

I am a Senior Clinical Psychologist specialising in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Qualifications:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych.), University of Edinburgh
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Stirling

I have worked in the field of Clinical Psychology for over thirteen years. For several years, I worked within Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) within the NHS. Prior to my Clinical Psychology training, I provided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to adults within a counselling service. I therefore have a significant amount of experience in working with young people, families and adults, providing evidence based therapies.

Through the therapeutic relationship, the people I work with can find a safe space, free of judgement, where healing and growth can happen. I have a strong belief that humans can heal from painful experiences and that therapy can help people to make positive changes within their relationships (including their relationship with the self) and family system to vastly improve emotional wellbeing.

At Prime Psychology, I work with children and adolescents to help them overcome a broad range of emotional and mental health difficulties. I am experienced in using both talking therapies and play based approaches. I routinely work with parents and families to improve understanding, communication and relationships. I also provide individual therapy to adults, offering a range of therapeutic approaches to help them overcome the difficulties they are experiencing.

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