I am a Clinical Psychologist specialising in the evidence-based treatment of sleep difficulties and insomnia. I work online and in-person with young people, adults and older-adults. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, chartered through the British Psychological Society and a member of the British Sleep Society.
I help clients with a range of sleep-related difficulties, often involving persistent struggles where sleep-hygiene, alternative therapies, drug interventions and online self-help programmes have not provided a solution. I have developed expertise in this area over the past ten years, closely following progress in evidence-based practice.
Reinstating and maintaining good sleep is a unique process for each individual. I have a comprehensive assessment process which guides my therapeutic approach to meet the needs of the client. I draw upon Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Insomnia (MBTI), Compassion-Focussed Therapy (CFT) and Interpersonal Therapy.
Clients may have a primary issue of unsatisfactory sleep, or more complex struggles involving additional health and/or mental health issues. I have experience working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Looked After Children Services and a specialist service for young people with ASD, and in inpatient and Community Mental Health settings for adults and older-adults. I have provided training for NHS and independent health-care professionals and have been involved in developing and implementing sleep interventions across services.
I understand well the challenges that clients may have faced in finding appropriate help for sleep distress. I believe in the therapeutic relationship as integral to achieving better sleep for the longer-term, and I provide a compassionate and safe space to work collaboratively towards improved health and well-being.
My further training and experience includes: Advanced CBT-I, Sleep Medicine, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), ACT-based Mindfulness for Living, and Certified Mindfulness Practitioner Training.
I currently work part-time in the NHS, within a physical health setting.
Prior to clinical training at the University of Exeter, I completed an Economic and Social Research Council funded MSc + PhD programme at the University of Southampton, investigating insomnia symptoms in young adults, cognitive performance and emotional well-being. Using neurocognitive tests, the research explored associations between sleep, (mood and anxiety), and functions including attentional control, response inhibition and risky decision-making (e.g. Baker, L.D., Garner, M, & Baldwin, D.S., . Daytime intrusive thoughts and subjective insomnia symptoms. Psychiatry Research, 30, 1038-42).
More recently, my research has involved a systematic review of the current evidence-base for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as an intervention for poor-sleep, and a qualitative study to understand the lived experiences of participants in these 8-week programmes. I currently hold a voluntary position of Research Advisor at Dorset Mindfulness Centre.
I live with my family on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border and enjoy being a part of a lively and supportive community. An important part of my own wellbeing involves spending time outdoors and keeping physically active, even when this feels tough! I find mindfulness and compassion are key to weathering storms and staying present to enjoy what life has to share.
“Louise helped me come to terms and understand a challenging bout of insomnia. Initially desperate and frightened, through gentle and exploratory sessions she helped me work towards the root of the issue. Insomnia can make you feel so utterly helpless and exhausted. I’d tried every sleep aid going, before finally understanding and accepting that the most helpful tool I have was already in me. Louise is very understanding and thorough in her approach, she helped me get to a point that I could not believe was possible when we first met. I’m very grateful to have met her.” (M)
‘The short course of treatment I had with Louise was an absolute revelation. After more than a decade’s chronic insomnia and reliance (or so I thought) on sedatives or other means to ‘make’ myself sleep, I was back to a pretty normal sleep pattern in a matter of months. Louise was kind, personable and articulate, and quickly pointed out the many things that I was doing / thinking that were causing the issues. She gave me a simple, bespoke structure to follow (much of which was at odds with the sleep hygiene rules pushed on to me by some of the doctors I’d seen over the years), and it worked absolute wonders for me. After years of searching, I’d finally found someone genuinely qualified to help me! It’s been at least nine months since my last treatment, and I’m happy to stay my sleep patterns are still good, and show no signs of changing. I couldn’t recommend the treatment more highly; it was worth every single penny.’ (M)
At the beginning of the year, I was finding it difficult to sleep. Most nights I would wake up with my mind churning and it would take me hours to return to sleep. It got to the point that I was finding it hard to do my everyday tasks and withdrawing into myself. In fact I remember feeling mentally paralysed, unable to do even basic tasks. I’m usually an optimistic and happy person so I was rather confused as to what was happening to me. Then I found Louise at The Sleepspot. I had never been with a therapist before and was nervous and apprehensive, but she soon put me at ease and I was able to confide in her my internal thoughts and anxieties. She helped me through this difficult time enabling me to reassess my values and have the confidence to stand by them. She encouraged me to open up to my husband and close friends. At first, I found this extremely hard to talk or even admit that I was struggling, but talking about it was liberating and enabled me to find a way through the dark clouds. She shared techniques and adapted these to my personal requirements. I now feel like a different person, sleeping through every night. I am more self-confident and optimistic, much more like my old self, only this time I am better off, as I also know how to deal with my anxieties and not let them effect my sleep. I certainly value the time Louise had for me and would recommend anyone with sleeping difficulties to find the confidence to speak with her. (F)
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