Meet the Therapists: Dr Louisa McClean, Child Clinical Psychologist

Louisa McClean describes her work as a Clinical Psychologist and why she finds it a privilege to work with children and young people helping them communicate what they feel and make sense of it.

About Louisa

Dr Louisa McClean (BSc, DClinPsy) is an HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years experience of working with children and families in distress. She works systemically using various therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Louisa can provide therapy for a range of emotional and behavioural issues, including coping with health conditions and neurodevelopmental disorders. She also provides supervision, consultation and training to schools and other organisations.

To book call Louisa: 07587 676542
or email:

Can you explain what a Clinical Psychologist is?

Clinical Psychologists are trained to use several different models of therapy and to support people with a range of difficulties and life challenges. We can combine techniques into an ‘integrative approach’. For example, with children and young people it might be appropriate to use some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques but also to use some family or parenting work.

Why did you decide to specialise in children and families?

I come from a big family and always knew I wanted to work with children and young people. I like the honesty, opportunity to be creative and easy joy that comes from working with children. I even like teenagers! They often get a bad rap, but I understand the pressures and challenges that are specific to this age group. It is a privilege to work alongside young people as they work out who they are and what matters to them.

What training have you completed?

The title ‘Clinical Psychologist’ is protected by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and requires specific training on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate. My undergraduate degree was 4 years, including a year of work experience. After graduating, I spent a further 4 years working with children, young people and families in local services and hospitals. The Clinical Psychology Doctorate is another 3-year course and is a mix of teaching, thesis and placements working with all ages of clients, within the NHS.

Your work is highly skilled and sensitive. What skills do you need for your professional role?

Well, this job is all about helping people to communicate what they feel, to make sense of it and to skill them to make changes. We need to have excellent interpersonal skills including active listening, communicating and critical thinking. It is also important that a Psychologist can reflect on their own thoughts, emotions and patterns of behaviour.

What therapies do you use to help children and their families in distress?

It is essential when working with children to work ‘systemically’, this means thinking about how the child or young person exists within their family, community, school and wider systems.  I use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and increasingly with teens, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), where they are encouraged to think about their values and how to live by them.

Do you usually see clients over a long period of time or is it more intensive therapy?

It can really vary. All clients start with an initial assessment lasting 90 minutes and sometimes that will be enough to help a family make sense of what is going on for their child. More often than not though clients will have regular sessions, fortnightly or monthly and some like to come for up to a year.

Do you have a way to unwind after work?

In all honesty, when l am not working, I am busy being mum to three sporty boys and I am often found pitch side. I listen to music or a podcast on my commute home and when I need complete restoration, I go to a spa with the favourite women in my life.

And what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I run several times a week and like yoga too. I love to read, bake and plan holidays but mostly I like spending time with my family and friends.

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