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Welcome to the Clinical Leadership Team, which is comprised of leaders united by their shared commitment to improve outcomes for babies, children, young people and families. Our leadership team brings many years of experience and specialist training, to the complex and often challenging circumstances and needs that both our communities and our multi-professional workforce encounter.

We are proud of the clinical leaders who comprise our team who bring exceptional expertise to our offers of therapeutic care, exceptional training and the psychotherapeutic innovations we inspire and lead. Our expertise is broad as we have embraced social care leaders; educational psychology and systems change and innovation expertise.

  1. Andrea King
  2. Dr Abigail Miranda
  3. Anna Kennett
  4. Annabel Kitson
  5. Dr Dickon Bevington
  6. Dr Emma Morris
  7. Katherine Mautner
  8. Dr Laura Talbot
  9. Liz Cracknell
  10. Michela Biseo
  11. Dr Roslyn Law
  12. Dr Sheila Redfern
  13. Skye Blyth-Whitelock
  14. Dr Alice Haynes
  15. Claudia Coussins

Andrea King

Director of Clinical Service

I have worked in public sector for over twenty years, specialising in children’s service multi-professional systems improvement. I started off in the voluntary sector working for central government and was a senior leader in Local Authority for many years spanning both children’s, adults’, mental health and criminal justice services. I worked as a strategic leader to improve multi-professional services by keeping a focus on children and galvanising the talent of passionate professionals. This included leading innovations in the world of children’s mental health service design and safeguarding that have been presented to Select Committee and other national leaders as examples of national best practice.

More recently, I oversaw CYP mental health transformation and improvement in the South East region for NHSE/I and I provided pan-regional national leadership on vulnerable children’s access to timely, good quality mental health support, with a particular focus on Children in Care and Care Leavers. I am passionate about promoting a greater national understanding the impact of inequality, discrimination and social exclusion has on our children and young people.

Dr Abigail Miranda

Head of Early Years and Prevention

(she/her)

I am the Head of Early Years and Prevention (EYP) and lead the EYP department. I am an Educational and Child Psychologist who specialises in the early years, having completed my doctorate at UCL. Before joining the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, I worked in the local authority, managing the Early Years special needs practitioners and providing support at schools, nurseries and children's centres. I sit on the Safeguarding Oversight Group.

Anna Kennett

Care Quality and Business Manager

(she/her)

I am the Care Quality and Business Manager in Clinical Services. I have worked in the charity and healthcare sector for nearing 20 years and have specific experience in health and social care regulation. I am a member of Centre’s clinical governance and safeguarding oversight groups, and I am the Registered Manager for the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of my role, I monitor the systems and processes we have in place to ensure safe, effective, and equitable care for all. I also manage the clinical support team and have business and operational oversight within the Family Trauma team and other clinical projects.

Annabel Kitson

Senior Therapist - Psychotherapy

I am a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (MACP). I have worked in London for over twenty-five years with young adults, teens, children, and families and have a core psychoanalytic training, as well as having been trained in a variety of psychological therapies to work across the age range. I have been the Clinical Lead for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy for the last nine years where I head up the Psychotherapy Team and Service (CPS) at the Anna Freud Centre. As part of my leadership role, I oversee the training, supervision, and conference planning of this team of psychotherapists and trainers. My team also have a core psychoanalytic training and can provide assessments, brief, and long-term therapeutic help for a variety of emotional and psychological problems. As well as helping individuals and families, the Psychotherapy team also provide consultations to professionals, supervision, training, and conferences.

 

Dr Dickon Bevington

Medical Director, Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Caldicott Guardian, Safeguarding Lead, Consultant to AMBIT Programme

MA MBBS MRCPsych PGCert FRSA (he/him)

As Medical Director and Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, I offer medical/psychiatric support (consultations and assessments) to clinicians across the Centre, and oversee the appraisal and revalidation of other medical staff employed at the Centre. I chair the Safeguarding Oversight Group which oversees staff training and the safeguarding systems that are in place across the Centre. As Caldicott Guardian I act as the ‘conscience’ of the organisation in relation to questions about data-sharing, especially as this relates to patients and families. I have co-led the development of the AMBIT programme with Dr Peter Fuggle, which supports teams around the world in working with complex risky client groups and have published a wide range of material on this work as well as reviewing evidence-based practice. In parallel to my work at AFNCCF, I have worked continuously for 30 years in the NHS, focusing on young people with multiple and intersecting needs, who present with high risk and are frequently underserved by mainstream services. I am a father of three. 

Dr Emma Morris

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

(she/her)

I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and I currently hold the position of Senior Clinician in the Family Trauma Team and Clinical Lead for Parental Conflict and Mentalisation Based Treatment for Children at the Centre. In my role I deliver therapy and support others doing the same, and I work with different teams to develop and test out new types of interventions.

I have worked as a clinician for over 20 years in both the NHS and the charity sector. I specialise in work with children, young people and families who are struggling with things like anxiety, depression, relational trauma, parenting and family relationship difficulties. I use different approaches in my work, including mentalization-based therapies, systemic family therapy, multi-family therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. I have over 15 years’ experience as an expert witness to the Family Court.

I have held leadership roles in relation to CAMHS transformation and care pathways within the NHS and service development within the charity sector. I am interested in how we describe and capture change in mental health, and I am committed to improving the accessibility and effectiveness of psychological interventions across different social and cultural groups.

I regularly provide teaching, training and consultation/ supervision across clinical and academic settings on a range of topics including mentalization-based therapy for children and families, multi-family therapy, parental conflict and the assessment of parenting. I have published research in peer reviewed journals and co-authored a book on parental conflict.

Katherine Mautner

Social Worker and Play Therapist

(she/her)

I am a Social Worker and Play Therapist who has been working with children, young people and families with complex needs for 20 years. My work has a strong focus on attachment and trauma and is informed by mentalization-based approaches.

I currently hold the position of Senior Clinician within the Family Trauma Team. As well as developing and leading the Adoption and Special guardianship and Family Trauma Assessment and Treatment projects, I work therapeutically with individual children, parent-child pairs and family groups. I undertake assessments and therapy with families where children are on the edge of care or have been through the care system. I provide individual and group supervision, including to a London CAMHS team and teaches social workers, child mental health professionals and teachers on post graduate courses including those run by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families /University College London. I also deliver a number of professional training courses through the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and am a practitioner, supervisor and trainer for mentalization-based therapy for children (MBT-C).

Dr Laura Talbot

Joint AMBIT Programme Lead

(she/her)

I jointly lead the AMBIT (Adaptive Mentalization Based Integrative Treatment) Programme. AMBIT is a framework that supports teams to improve their capacity to help clients who have multiple needs and who may find professional help hard to trust. AMBIT works with a wide range of teams and services across the health, social care, justice, education and community sectors both nationally and internationally. We disseminate AMBIT via several methods, including training, post-training implementation support, supervision, consultation, evaluation activities and strategic partnerships.

I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2010 and have since specialised in working with young people and their families in community outreach services. I worked as a therapist on the Multi-Systemic Therapy START trial in the UK and have also held clinical lead roles in a range of innovative multi-agency projects. This has included working in an edge of care team for adolescents in Children’s Social Care, in a youth-led multi-agency project for young people who are gang affected and in a local authority multi-agency team to prevent the permanent exclusion of children and young people from mainstream education. I am committed to focusing on how we can apply what we learn from young people, families and frontline workers to the design and adaptation of helping approaches to ensure that they are accessible, inclusive and effective for those who experience multiple forms of marginalisation, oppression and exclusion in our society.

Liz Cracknell

Joint AMBIT Programme Lead

I am the Joint Programme Lead for AMBIT at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. As a Mental Health Nurse and Systemic Practitioner, I have specialised in work with young people with multiple, risky problems, in both outreach and secure settings, utilising the AMBIT approach. I have contributed to a number of key publications and the development of AMBIT and have trained and consulted with hundreds of workers in AMBIT in the UK and internationally.

Michela Biseo

Clinical Deputy Head of the Early Years & Prevention Department

(she/her)

I lead on both therapeutic work in the Perinatal and toddler period, and on training in Parent Infant Mental health and Psychoanalytic Parent infant psychotherapy (PPIP). 

I have been working in the field of Child an Adolescent psychotherapy for over 20 years, after first training as a Psychoanalytic Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. I began working in NHS CAMHS teams and specialist LAC teams, before working within Early Years and Prevention. I am a full member of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP), am registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) as a Parent infant Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, and was also an honorary member of staff in the Tavistock CAMHS Under-fives team (Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust). In addition, I am on the panel of the annual Louise Emanuel Essay Prize (hosted by the Tavistock Clinic Foundation) and am part of a special interest group in the ACP for work with 0-3 age range.  

I train and teach other professionals who share an interest in the specialism of early years work, and offer supervision to those training to be PPIP therapists and working with under-5s. I contribute to infant mental health & child psychotherapy trainings in various organisations, as a supervisor and as a long-standing teacher of infant observation. I have been involved in collaborating with various other teams internationally, supporting them to train and work with parents & infants, using the AFC PPIP model. 

Dr Roslyn Law

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

(she/her)

I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and have been working with children, adolescents and adults for over 25 years. I specialise in work with relationship-based therapies, like Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy and Mentalization based approaches. I also lead on delivering a national programme of training and supervision in IPT for adults experiencing depression and modified versions for adolescents and pre-adolescents. This allows me to work with and learn from therapists working across the UK and internationally.

In my work, I am interested in how the way we feel interacts with and responds to the people around us. I think of therapy as a way of restating the problem in a way that allow for solutions and recruiting the right team to support change. I feel fortunate in being able to find different ways to offer support to families, sometimes working with young people, sometimes with their parents and carers and sometimes all of us together.

I have published two self-help books, based on IPT, to help adults and young people to help themselves to recover from depression and difficult times with the support of the people in their lives.

Dr Sheila Redfern

Head of Family Trauma Department

(she/her) PhD, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

I am the Head of our Family Trauma Department in the Clinical Division at the Anna Freud Centre where I lead a multi-disciplinary team of therapists. I have been at the centre for 8 years and before this I worked for 20 years as an NHS consultant clinical psychologist in CAMHS across London. I specialize in working on developing and delivering interventions for parents and carers and in working therapeutically with children in care, on the edge of care or in adopted families.

My area of interest is in mentalization based approaches for both professionals and families. I established and ran an MBT-A service for self-harming adolescents in CAMHS. I am trained to advanced level in MBT and is a listed practitioner. I am an accredited MBT-A (Adolescent) practitioner and supervisor, an accredited Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) practitioner. I train professionals in mentalization interventions, particularly group-based ones. I have an interest in children and young people who are neurodivergent and am trained in a wide range of assessment tools including Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Autism Diagnostic Interview, Story Stems, Child Attachment Interview (CAI) and the Parent Development Interview (PDI). I innovated the Reflective Parenting and Reflective Fostering model to use with parents and carers individually and in groups where there are difficulties in the relationship. I have extensive experience of court assessments particularly in relation to care proceedings. Areas of expertise: Assessing attachment relationships, distinction between attachment and ASD disorders, Video Interaction Guidance (VIG), MBT-A, Reflective Parenting, Reflective Fostering. 

I have published a book for parents, Reflective Parenting: A guide to understanding what’s going on in your child’s mind. 

Skye Blyth-Whitelock

Deputy Head of Early Years - Systems

(she/her)

I have worked in programme management for over 10 years. I began with a focus on education, psycho-social support and protection against grave rights violations for refugees and internally displaced people in conflict-affected countries in the Middle East, working with UN Women, International Service, ActionAid and War Child. Latterly, I have led on mental health provision in the U.K., within education settings for children and young people with a local Mind, and now in the Early Years department with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, where I oversee our training provision and our systems and processes around contracting, budgeting, service support and delivery. I am also training to become an Integrative Adult Psychotherapist at the Minster Centre.

Dr Alice Haynes

Deputy Head of Early Years - Systems

(she/her)

I am an early years specialist with an interest in families, public health, early intervention and public policy. I specialised in the perinatal period and child neglect at the NSPCC, and was Development Manager for the national A Better Start programme, which aims to promote good early childhood development in economically deprived areas of England. I gained a PhD in social work and psychology at the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the UEA. I represent the Anna Freud Centre on the First 1001 Days Movement Steering Group.

Claudia Coussins

Deputy Head of Early Years - Policy and Practice

My background in the non-profit and statutory sectors is in evidence-based service management and design. My areas of expertise include: working with parents and carers who have experienced trauma; children and families using services that intersect with the Education and Children’s Social Care sectors; and using research and practice to inform national policy.

At the Anna Freud Centre, I lead the National Centre for Family Hubs, Early Years in Mind, and other policy and practice projects rooted in the Early Years. My work focuses on system design and how to make policy and research useful for system leaders and practitioners working with infants, children, young people and families. This includes recognising and challenging the deeply embedded structural inequalities in mental health and other services.

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