About My Family Psychologist
About My Family Psychologist
Welcome to My Family Psychologist, a comprehensive, qualified, and evidence-based psychological service for families and young people. My Family Psychologist was conceived from comprehensive multidisciplinary consultation and born from a timely, critical need for mental health services in a backdrop of increasing need yet increasing exclusion from such services.
Children wait on average two months before receiving any kind of mental health service. Source, Education Policy Institute 2020
My Family Psychologist is a multidisciplinary service which provides a comprehensive mental health service to families, from psychological assessments, testing, and diagnostics to evidence-based talking therapies.
Our team of psychologists, assistant psychologists, psychological therapists, and other mental health professionals have vast experience in working with families and young people.
Our service is tailor made to you, bespoke to you and your situation, and mapping your needs onto our specialist areas of expertise implementing relevant psychometrics, assessment techniques and therapies resulting in a package that is uniquely tailored to you and your family’s psychological needs.
“I felt really comfortable from the first moment I was there. It was like talking to someone I had known for a long time. Someone who fully understands you in ways that just make sense. Highly recommend”
We routinely test and diagnose in common clinical areas such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Intellectual functioning, personality, and post traumatic stress disorder for example, using gold standard assessment tools and well-validated psychometrics.
We place you at the centre of this process, blending our expertise, the correct tools, and your unique insight to result in an accurate and enlightening clinical profile from which to start treatment.
We provide a range of evidence-based psychological therapies for problem areas such as anger, trauma, self-esteem, mood disorders, attachment, stress and adjustment, confidence and performance, social anxiety, relationship difficulties, sexual dysfunction, personality functioning problems, and other mental health difficulties.
We also work with those with learning difficulties and neurodiverse populations creating unique tailor-made meaningful treatments to maximise well being and performance.
“Insightful kind helpful. A good listener. Her advice is so right you think, oh yes! why didn’t I think of that. Calming when you’re in a time of stress”.
Our main therapy of choice is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has the largest evidence base from clinical trials having been scrutinised the most within the academic literature for both adults and children.
Standard, more traditional behaviourism approaches are also still widely practiced and used as standard for many childhood behavioural and mental health problems such as antisocial behaviour problems and are used to good effect.
Newer and refined therapies are now becoming popular, often referred to as the third wave of behaviourism, these therapies integrate mindfulness and acceptance techniques with behavioural activation and cognitive change strategies to create treatments like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). They draw on ancient eastern tenets such as Buddhist and zen principals making them a popular choice for emotional regulation skills.
We also offer solution-focused family therapy, video interaction guidance, Kleinian techniques, Jungian perspectives, behavioural modification, cognitive processing therapy, and applied behaviour analysis.
70% of children who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions.
Source, Mental Health Foundation 2018
Our mission is to provide timely, comprehensive, and evidence-based psychological services to children and their families. Three concepts underpin our practice ethos: growth, optimism, and resilience. These values are the driving principles of the work of our founder and CEO, Luisa Williams.
About My Family Psychologist and Luisa Williams.
“Luisa is a true professional. An excellent service. Very highly recommended. One of the leading practitioners in her field”.
David Bawn, Managing Partner at David Auld & Co and Mayor of Morpeth
Hello and welcome to My Family Psychologist, I’m Luisa CEO and founder, trauma survivor, obsessive, and passionate advocate of human rights. I was born into a family of rape, murder, and domestic violence.
My journey into understanding my family, myself, and others began with working a Research Interviewer for The Office for National Statistics (ONS), working on The British Crime Survey in vibrant 1990s Manchester.
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.
Sometime after this I was invited to become involved in developing the psychological aspects of an enrichment programme for a Sure Start socially disadvantaged youth in the northwest and combined this with my theoretical criminological knowledge with a postgraduate training in psychology and working into prisons.
I trained at various prisons including HMP & YOI Doncaster developing various risk assessment measures, conducting research, and running programmes.
The prison itself was in administration measures at the time and the conditions, such as three men to a cell, cockroaches, and shortages, contributed to my burgeoning sense of moral outrage and strengthened my commitment to human rights.
After completing my training at in Doncaster, I took a sabbatical to India and became involved in a local village project in Uttar Pradesh designed to protect and educate women and children of domestic violence and then to Paris where I was involved in a treatment programme for young men involved gang violence.
From there I moved to the Kolvin Clinic in 2010 to work with children convicted serious sexual offences and developed a treatment programme which was eventually rolled out internationally and continues to run as part of their local ‘La Familia’ treatment strategy in Naples.
Since this time I have continued to develop private practice and train in further therapeutic allegiances including eastern techniques stemming from traditional zen Buddhism and implementing this spiritual awakening coincided with my becoming mother to a remarkable tween girl, who I named Felicity, meaning happiness.
I continue to speak at international events and symposia about my research on an annual basis. During my continued time at The Kolvin Clinic I have worked into local children’s services on a consultant basis, providing guidance for criminal justice teams across the region, setting up a debrief model at Ferndene Chidlren’s Hospital to help staff manage traumatic incidents.
My latest project in this consultancy practice was to set up a sexual assault referral service, a tripartite initiative with Durham Constabulary, Durham University, and Tees Esk and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, a critical service to for child victims of sexual assault.
As time progresses I am becoming more involved in mediation work and enjoying advocating for father’s rights.
At the heart of my practice is an optimism which lies at the base of all our experience, and I translate this into a pragmatic and hopeful philosophical approach to human existence and lean towards the readings of Alain de Botton, Maya Angelou, and Viktor K Frankl, who defines meaning of existence in the wake of the Holocaust.
“I had the pleasure of working with Luisa at the outset of my career in psychology, and her skill, understanding and warmth remains with me to this day. Her knowledge and expertise in the field of risk assessment, and evidence-based intervention for individuals who offend is second to none, in addition to her superbly honed research skills. I would highly recommend Luisa’s services and trust her implicitly.”
Dr Davidson, Clinical Psychologist
I was then sought out by the sister adolescent forensic mental health service in order to create risk related robust assessment and treatment packages and specialised in children and young people.
I am an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at a number of universities, actively involved in research, and sit on numerous Ethics Committees.
Luisa is an Expert Witness; registered with British Psychological Society (BPS) and other relevant bodies, she consults on high profile cases involving complex psychological factors and routinely provides evidence in Mental Health Tribunals and the Family and Crown Courts.
My last two posts were in NHS hospitals; the first developing a critically needed debriefing service for staff at Ferndene Children’s Hospital, and setting up a service for child victims of sexual assault in Durham; a tripartite initiative between Tees, Esk, and Wear NHS Trust, Durham University, and Durham Constabulary.
“Having worked with Luisa in a professional capacity, whilst in a very difficult environment, I can only give superlatives to this grounded and altruistic professional for having the rare ability to deliver targeted interventions with a human face.”
P Bedward, Clinical Nurse Consultant
I continue to adhere by the standards of the BPS and their requirements for ongoing supervision and continuing professional development.
I have Enhanced Status with The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in order to work with children and vulnerable groups and continue to practice in the NHS, and routinely provide consultation and pro bono services to children’s organisations and charities.
I am registered with The British Psychological Society (BPS), as practitioner with The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), and The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as required by law.
I am also a Chartered Scientist and hold the title of EuroPsych, which entitles me to practice throughout the European Union. Finally, in recognition for my overall contribution to psychology I am now an Associate Fellow of the BPS.
“I referred to Luisa for advice last year as a result of deep concern for the well-being of a loved one. Luisa was entirely professional in approach and the advice and direction she provided demonstrated her knowledge of common practice within the Health Service, as well as legal issues around the specific Mental Health condition concerned.
Luisa really helped us to understand why our loved one might be reacting in a particular way and also how to access support for someone reluctant to seek it. It was such a relief to have someone to turn to who had expertise as well as understanding and empathy, and who we knew we could trust to maintain confidentiality.
I would recommend Luisa without reservation and would certainly approach her in the future with any further problems”.
There has been a 50% increase in referrals of under 11s to mental health services.
Source, The Children’s Society 2019
“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