About My Family Psychologist
About My Family Psychologist
My Family Psychologist represents a drawing together of my considerable experience as psychologist working with young people and their families.
My journey into becoming a psychologist began early with a natural curiosity about others, myself, and my family. I wanted to understand motives and drivers for behaviour in order to bring effective change for those of us who struggle with mental health.
Alongside my studies in vibrant 1990s Manchester, I worked as Research Interviewer for the government department for The Office for National Statistics (ONS). I gathered various data on large projects, such as The British Crime Survey and The Mental Health Survey for Children and Young People.
I then worked for Victim Support and trained as counsellor to victims of serious sexual assault and published my first article for The Probation Service Journal. Following this I was invited to become involved in developing the psychological aspects of an enrichment programme for a Sure Start Programme for socially disadvantaged young people.
I trained at various prisons including HMP Liverpool and HMP & YOI Doncaster, developing various risk assessment measures, conducting research, and running programmes. Uoon completing my training, I took a sabbatical to India and became involved in a regional project designed to protect and educate women and children of domestic violence. From there, I spent time in Paris where I was involved in a treatment programme for young men involved gang violence.
Back in the UK, I practiced as a psychologist at St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle for eight years. During this time, I developed, ran, and published treatment programmes. I worked into the Sexual Behaviour Unit, a joint local initiative, assessing and treating those deemed a sexual risk to adults and children. I created a highly successful psychoeducation programme for psychosis, which still runs to date;
From the Bamburgh Clinic I was headhunted by The Kolvin Clinic, to create robust risk assessment packages for the service and the organisations they work into. I specialised in the assessment and treatment of children and young people who posed a serious risk of harm to others. There, I developed, ran, and published a successful programme for sexually harmful young people, Sexually Harmful Progressive Education (SHAPE);
I received a lectureship at Teesside University to update their psychology teaching packages, lecture, research, and continue my publications;
I continue to hold a post of Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at a number of universities, continuing research and sitting on Ethics Committees.
I am an Expert Witness to the Family and Crown Court, Parole Boards, and Mental Health Tribunals; registered with British Psychological Society (BPS) and other relevant bodies. I consult on high profile cases involving complex psychological factors and also work with the media, including the BBC;
I am cited in books;
Following my lectureship, I worked into various children’s services on a consultancy basis, providing guidance and supervision which I continue to do. I assess and treat children as part of the Mediation process and provide advice to the Family Courts. I contributed to the development of a successful and supportive critical incident debrief programme for staff at Ferndene Children’s Hospital. My latest project in this consultancy was to set up a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Durham for child victims of sexual assault and children who were at risk of exhibiting sexual harm to others.
Drawing on all my experience, in response to a crisis in child mental health, yet a reduction in accessible services, I set up My Family Psychologist in 2019.
I continue to adhere by the standards of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). I have Enhanced Status with The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in order to work with children and vulnerable groups.
I continue to practice in the NHS, and provide consultation and pro bono services to children’s organisations and charities. I supervise assistant, trainee, and qualified psychologists, and other mental health professionals. I am registered with the HCPC as required by law. I hold the title of EuroPsych, which entitles me to practice throughout the European Union and I am a Psychologist specialising in Psychotherapy (RoPSiP). Finally, in recognition for my overall contribution to psychology I am now an Associate Fellow of the BPS.
About My Family Psychologist and Luisa Williams.
“Very professional attitude, after some experience with previous psychologists, I can say that I feel taken care of professionally. Definitely recommend!”
“I had a 40min phone call completely for free in which Luisa opened with “Tell me about it”, she lets you just explain, then asks questions to your thoughts you wouldn’t have considered and makes you reflect on them. I might not need any paid therapy after my chat and I’m not joking.”
“Luisa has helped me a great deal with issues with access to my son after a relationship breakup. I can highly recommend her and her advice and ability to resolve matters has been greatly appreciated.”
“An acute understanding of issues facing prisoners – I work as a defence advocate and have found the advice and comments of exceptional use.”
Daniel Jerome, Barrister
“Luisa has been an incredible source of help to me over the years, particularly in making sense of my childhood abuse and how that has previously informed and influenced my decision-making processes. More recently, Luisa has been key in helping me to grieve for my eldest son, rationalising, and normalising how I am feeling and reminding me of the fluidity of loss. After many years without any faith in professionals, I trust this lady implicitly with myself and would recommend her services wholeheartedly”
Annie – survivingsafeguarding.co.uk
“I have known and worked with Luisa in a professional capacity for 15 years. I can attest to her skills in assessment and formulation, her ability to balance an empathic non-judgemental approach with management of risk, and her keen interest in keeping up to date with developments in evidence-based interventions and research.”
J Harrison, Senior Psychological Therapist
“Luisa’s reports are not only informative, but beneficial to future support in custody and in the community. It has been great to see that the rapport she builds during assessments encourages the progress of those less fortunate. She is not only very easy to work with but very easy to talk to. Great reports, very educating for all!”
Shirley Noble, Prison Lawyer, Alderson Law Solicitors
A note of mental health professionals and titles
Mental health services can be a minefield of information with many differing professionals offering different skills. In psychology, the term Clinical Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, and Counselling Psychologist are protected titles. These professional titles can attract the title ‘Chartered’ by the British Psychological Society and are required to be registered with the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC). Please check the credentials of the health professional you are working with. Its easy to check whether they are registered by going to: www.hpcp-uk.org