About Dr Liz Kirkland
I worked as a Clinical Psychologist and in the NHS from 1991 till 2013, attaining consultant level in 2002 and then in private practice until 2017. I have a wealth of experience helping children, young people, and their families with psychological, emotional, behavioural, developmental and relationship problems. Although child and family work was my main specialty I have also worked in the field of Adult Mental Health. Having taken early retirement to live in France and having used this time as one of retreat and reflection, I am now once more offering consultations, this time online and by phone.
Credentials and qualifications
BSc (Hons) Psychology University of Lancaster 1991
Clin Psy D University of Manchester 1995
Certificate in Systemic Practice (therapeutic work with families and groups) University of Birmingham 1997
I hold a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and I have over 25 years of experience working within the NHS and independent practice working as a Clinical Psychologist in the North West of England.
In 2017 I took the decision to retire and to relinquish my professional registrations with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) with whom I was registered successfully throughout my career.
I am now practice as an Independent Psychologist and therefore I do not currently hold these registrations. I nevertheless adhere to the Professional and Ethical Practice Guidelines set out by the British Psychological Society Code of Ethics and Conduct and the British Psychological Society Practice Guidelines lf you prefer to engage the help of a clinical/practitioner psychologist who is so registered then please consult the BPS and HCPC websites for lists of registered members of that profession.
What I can help you with
Psychological, emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties
As a psychologist I do not reduce difficulties into generic diagnoses because, although they can provide us with a helpful shorthand, everybody is different. Problems may look the same from the outside but we need to understand the fine detail to move forward. However when feelings overwhelm, when thoughts over-run, when our strategies for survival are no longer working for us, this is when we often decide to look for help. This applies to individual adult work, and to child, family and relationship work equally.
The problems that people bring
Low mood, sadness and distress.
Anxiety including habits problems, phobias and panic.
Relationship issues and wanting to get back on track.
adjustment to life events and changes
Children, young people and families
I provide psychological and parenting advice for parents of children and young people up to the age of 16. I am unable to offer individual sessions with very young children but I am able to see children with their parents in online sessions. I often work with children and young people alongside their parents where appropriate as I find this is often the most effective practice.
The service I provide includes the assessment of and advice for the following conditions and presentations:
Problems common in early childhood
Behavioural problems, anger and aggression
Sleep difficulties and parasomnias (night terrors, sleep walking) adolescence
Problems in later childhood and early adulthood
Anxiety difficulties such as panic, phobia, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), separation anxiety, school phobia/school refusal, existential fears
Mood problems, sadness and loss, depression
Adjustment problems to major life changes (for example; bereavement and loss, parental separation, divorce and family changes)
Adjustment problems to chronic medical conditions (for example; epilepsy, asthma, dermatological conditions)
Somatic difficulties ( for example; unexplained headaches, stomach aches, psychogenic non epileptic seizures)
Eating problems, food fears and phobias, restricted diet, eating disorders
Self-harm and addictive behaviour
Developmental problems such as autistic spectrum condition and ADHD
Relationship problems, morbid jealousy, fear of abandonment, possessiveness and difficulty trusting others
Assessment, formulation, intervention and review all in context.
The basis of the service I provide is a thorough assessment and the development of a psychological formulation. This is often enough to create change and usually takes between one and three sessions over a period of a month.
All appointments are either by phone, Zoom or WhatsApp. I am finding that this enables comfort, and confidence and appears to fast track our developing an honest and meaningful therapeutic relationship and interaction; to my surprise my clients are finding this as effective as attending clinic, indeed, for some, perhaps less stressful. However, if we think that you would be best helped within a face to face clinic setting or home visit, then we will discuss this. Ensuring that you have a private space free from interruptions is important for you to be able to get the best out of our time together.
How this works
Help and change
Working together with you, the aim is to reach a shared understanding of the root causes of your difficulties, and the current context which may be preventing change and maintaining the problems. This, alongside gathering information about your strengths and ways forward provides the basis for change and personal growth for you.
Often this assessment and formulation process is all that is needed to set you off on your own voyage; newly equipped. If you need further help then any interventions that are undertaken are based on our shared formulation within your unique social context, family, work and social relationships. Of course, perhaps now more than ever before, current cultural context and events must also be taken into account when understanding difficulties. My therapeutic approach is integrative, drawing on behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic/relationship therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy and practice. I have a lifelong interest in philosophy and its practical applications in alleviating distress and enabling a fulfilling and authentic life; the two main areas to this end are especially Existential Psychotherapy and Mindfulness/awareness and I continue to study and deepen my knowledge in these specific areas.
If on-going work/sessions are required then this can be with me, or I can advise on the most relevant service during the Consultation and Advice/Formulation stage.