Dr Kelly Abraham-Smith
How I work
I am an experienced HCPC-registered Clinical Psychologist based in St Albans. I understand that seeking psychological support can be a big step for people and that is why I place emphasis on creating a compassionate, confidential and relaxed environment in which I can support people to gain greater understanding of their difficulties and to establish new ways of coping to move forward with their lives.
I take a person-centred approach, working flexibly and collaboratively with clients to fit the therapy to the client, not the client to the therapy. I work in an integrative way, meaning I am able to draw on a range of psychological models to guide our work, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), compassion-focused therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, narrative therapy, systemic / family therapy, and psychodynamic therapy, amongst others.
I can offer both face-to-face sessions (in a clinic room in the centre of St Albans) and remote sessions (using platforms, e.g. MS Teams, Facetime etc).
My most recent post in the NHS was as the Lead Psychologist in a Women’s Health Psychology Service. Within this role I support women, as well as their partners and families, with psychological difficulties in the perinatal period (e.g. antenatal anxiety/depression and birth trauma) and the psychological impact of physical health issues, such as fertility issues and gynaecological conditions.
I have previously worked in qualified and senior posts at:
- Great Ormond Street Hospital with children and their families.
- The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore specialising in working with people with chronic pain and other long-term health conditions.
However, I have years of experience working with people across the age spectrum and from a variety of cultural backgrounds, addressing difficulties which can be long-standing or have recently developed. These may include:
- Perinatal maternal / paternal well-being
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Anger management
- Stress management
- Low self-esteem / self-compassion
- Couples / family work
- Loss / bereavement
- Chronic pain
- Adjustment to / living with other long-term health conditions
- Brain injury
Whilst my specialist expertise include the above conditions, this list is not comprehensive.
Training and qualifications
- Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – University of Hertfordshire, 2015
- BSc (Hons) Psychology – University of Nottingham 2003
- Chair Work, Compassion Focused Therapy Chairwork, 2023
- CFT for Complex Cases, The Compassionate Mind Foundation, 2020
- Battlefield Birth?: Working Therapeutically with Birth Trauma, Tokophobia, and Perinatal PTSD, WPF Therapy, 2019
- Perinatal Training: Working with acutely unwell women during the perinatal period, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, 2018
- CBT for Couples, SDS Seminars, 2017
- Using Trauma-Focused CBT to work with PTSD, The BPS Professional Development Centre, 2016
- Essential Supervision Skills, SDS Seminars, 2016
- Living with the Enemy: Helping People Live Fulfilling Lives Despite Serious Health Problems, Dr Ray Wilson, 2016
Registered Practitioner Psychologist, Health and Care Professions Council: PYL33215