Dr Sophie Bates
Principal Clinical Psychologist
I believe building a strong therapeutic relationship is one of the most important aspects of supporting people on their journey with mental health. I hope to offer a warm, personable and empathic approach to ensure a trusting and open therapeutic space with the people I work with. As a Clinical Psychologist, I use formulation to help people make better sense of their difficulties, and use this shared understanding to identify the most appropriate therapeutic approaches, taking into account personal preference alongside the evidence-based recommended treatments. I am trained in cognitive behaviour therapy and systemic therapy, and feel passionate about using compassion-based approaches to support recovery.
I understand that eating difficulties can often develop as a way of coping with the challenges that life throws at us. I feel passionate about supporting people to develop better and more sustainable ways of coping, whilst looking after their mind and body. I recognise that low mood and/or anxiety can often play a big part both in the development and maintenance of an eating disorder, and I am aware of the importance of exploring and supporting these issues as well.
I hope to help people re-connect with the innate drive to look after ourselves, something which can often get lost in the fast-paced and high-pressured world in which we live. The concept of self-care and self-compassion is close to my heart, and I recognise the value of surrounding ourselves with resources, ideas, and values that promote good mental health.
Background and Training
I received a First Class Honours in Psychology (BSc) and a Distinction in Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc) at University College London. I then went on to complete the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Surrey. My doctoral training focused on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Systemic Family Therapy. I am registered as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Since qualifying I have specialised in working with children, adolescents and young adults with eating disorders. I have several years experience working for the NHS in a Child and Young Person’s Community Eating Disorder Service in London. I am clinically experienced in supporting young people with diagnoses including Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. The models I can employ include Family Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa (the NICE recommended treatment for young people with Anorexia), Family Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa, CBT-E (the NICE recommended treatment for adults with eating disorders), as well as utilising approaches from DBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.
Rosewall, J.K., Beavan, A., Houlihan, C., Bates S., Melhuish, L., Mountford, V., & Lacey, J.H. (2019). Evaluation of Teen BodyWise: A pilot study of a body image group adapted for adolescent inpatients with anorexia nervosa. Eating and Weight Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00658-z
Therapeutic Approaches Offered