Dr Blaithin O’Dea
I am a chartered clinical psychologist registered with HCPC, trained to doctoral level with leading experts in psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. I support people with wide ranging emotional difficulties from those feeling a bit lost in everyday life to those with severe anxiety related to terminal illness. I’m trained in treating depression, anxiety disorders, body image difficulties, and psychosis. I work with young people and adults from age 16 upwards. If you are under 18, I am mindful that you are at a point of transition into adulthood. My approach is to offer you a balance between autonomy and parental/guardian involvement when attending sessions to ensure that you feel you are getting the support and privacy you need.
I have extensive training in cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness based interventions. I draw upon strongly evidenced based strategies to tackle complex problems and help you move forward in life.
If you find yourself down or stressed by demands in your life stemming from work, education, relationships, parenting, emptiness or a lack of meaning, I may be able to help. Together we can work out what situations and responses lead to your emotional pain and find ways to approach things in a more workable way.
I specialise in emotional difficulties associated with physical health problems including long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms. For 7 years I have worked alongside medical consultants at King’s College Hospital to help people living with debilitating symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and nausea. This has given me a deep understanding of the complex relationship between physical and emotional health and I can support people to find ways to live a meaningful life despite these challenges. Perinatal mental health is also a specialist interest of mine and I am experienced in supporting new mothers experiencing emotional distress.
I am trained to support you if your difficulties have led you to self-harm or to think about ending your life. I understand the importance of identifying situations which make these behaviours more likely and working with you and your family to help you cope in a crisis. I am committed to supporting people to stay safe and to see that their lives matter.
My therapeutic approach is to listen without judgement. I will invite you to be gentle and compassionate with yourself. At our first meeting, I will spend time hearing what has brought you to seek help and what your goals are. I will give you a clear and honest opinion on what approach could help, how many sessions I recommend and whether I am the right professional for you to work with. When sessions begin I will work with you to explore how your difficulties developed and why they persist. I can guide you in the development of strategies to respond more effectively to difficult emotions and experiences. I am passionate about helping people work towards a life that they feel is meaningful and in line with their values.
In addition to creating a safe space to talk and be heard, I can offer you the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in session. This can include doing worksheets, guided mindfulness practice, exposure tasks and role-plays.
As well as my work with the Salisbury Practice, I am a guest lecturer for trainee psychologists at King’s College London and have recently joined Southern Health NHS foundation trust to work in Perinatal mental health services. I am also a mother, partner and dog lover and am doing my best to navigate everyday challenges in pursuit of a meaningful life.
“I started seeing Blaithin in March 2020 – this is my third experience of counselling in the last 30 years. I wanted/needed someone to help me to start to like myself and feel any sense of value. I wanted to do this but didn’t feel worthy so wasn’t really worth the effort, I didn’t deserve to be ok. I found B so easy to talk to. I felt safe and not judged. We talked about my passengers and my inner voice always telling me how rubbish I was and knocking my confidence and my belief system. How could I like myself when I was so rubbish and worthless. I found with B’s guidance and calm, empathetic manner I could open up completely and tell her about the (trauma) I just couldn’t bring myself to look at even after 30 years. By talking about this horrible time, it has allowed me to start to rid myself of the guilt and the shame and properly move forward with my life – self compassion is still going to be a work in progress! I would highly recommend B as I found her to be professional, warm, empathetic and a really good guiding support when I was struggling to make sense of how I could ever be ok. I have already recommended her to 3 people”