Heathcotes welcomes Heather to clinical support team

9th Oct 2018 @ 11:32

Heather Amelia Beth Dec

Heathcotes Group is delighted to welcome a new member of our clinical support team with the arrival of Heather Woodman as Assistant Psychologist.

Heather will be working within Heathcotes’ Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) team across two specialist personality disorder services - Moorgreen in Nottingham and Hembrigg Park in Morley - which offers treatment to individuals with Personality Disorder. She is the second Assistant Psychologist to join Heathcotes this year following the appointment of Amelia Ernster in March.

Both Heather and Amelia are working with Heathcotes’ Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Peter Burbidge, and Specialist Occupational Therapist, Cathy Conway, in support of DBT programmes which help service users to understand their feelings and teach them skills to manage their emotions and behaviour. The skills learnt in therapy sessions are reinforced in the day-to-day life of the residential environment with help from Heathcotes support workers who are also trained in the principles of DBT. The programmes are designed with the ultimate goal of a transition into more independent living.

Heather has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Clinical Applications of Psychology which included a three-month placement at Hembrigg Park. She has also spent two years at York House rehabilitation hospital, initially as a Rehabilitation Support Worker and then as an Assistant Psychologist.

Heather commented on her new role at Heathcotes:

“I am so excited to be working within the specialist personality disorder services in Heathcotes, and was really lucky to be able to hit the ground running and attend a two-day DBT Essential Skills training workshop in Manchester. I attended the training with Amelia, as well as being joined by Beth and Dec from the residential team at Hembrigg Park. The training was really interesting and has definitely helped me to develop my awareness of the skills we use in DBT.  I feel so enthusiastic about getting involved in the group therapy and I am really looking forward to continuing to develop my skills as a part of the specialist DBT therapy team, so it’s amazing that I have been able to start my own DBT journey with Heathcotes.”

Amelia also has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Clinical Applications of Psychology including an empirical dissertation based on protective personality traits and post-traumatic growth which involved participants from Moorgreen. During her studies, she also spent three years working as a Samaritan's listener, team leader and caller support.

Amelia has already brought some excellent ideas to the team since joining in March. She set up a weekly Arts and Crafts group giving service users the chance to get creative in making pom-poms, painting and decorating canvases, designing cards and decorations for the house alongside lots of other crafty ideas. Service users continue to engage really well in this group and they are always looking for new ideas to try out. Amelia has also co-facilitated the delivery of DBT therapy to service users as well as generalising the skills learnt in the home. This includes compiling a “Mindfulness Jar” which helps service users to incorporate mindfulness activities into their daily routine, including guided imagery facilitated by support staff.

Dr Peter Burbidge said:

“Cathy and I are excited to welcome Heather to Heathcotes. It feels like we already know Heather and Amelia well, having been involved in their study placements. I am confident that they will be fantastic additions to our clinical team as they both have a great deal of relevant experience and excellent academic credentials. To complement these, they have both now completed a two-day DBT Skills workshop in Manchester, soo Heather and Amelia are both now ideally equipped to assist in our specialist services where we combine therapeutic interventions with care support in a purpose-built residential setting.

“With these welcome additions to our clinical team, I envisage that the benefit will spread beyond our Specialist Therapy Services. We will now have the capacity to offer consultation, supervision, training and psychological interventions into placements that require it across the wider Heathcotes Group”

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