Meet the team

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Dr Helen Care

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford and qualified as a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Southampton 15 years ago. I have worked in a variety of NHS settings, primarily with children, young people and their families. I am passionate about providing good quality, evidence-based care.  

I, like the rest of the team, have a wealth of experience in different ways of delivering therapy. I work with different models including CBT, EMDR and Narrative Therapy. 

I am interested in working with young people and their families’ strengths and skills. I love helping young people tell the stories about themselves and their lives that they want to be told. I work with young people through individually tailored sessions to identify what is standing in their way, what their goals are and help them build on their strengths and problem solving skills to make positive changes in their lives.

Dr Helen Care, DClinPsych Soton, BA Oxon

Health and Care Professions Council registration PYL03398

British Psychological Society member

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Jill Blackburn-Hooker

Specialist Teacher

Hello! I am Jill Blackburn-Hooker. I graduated from the University of the West of England (UWE) with Initial Teacher Education and English 18 years ago. I have been working with families and primary aged children ever since. 

I have worked as a classroom teacher, an intervention support teacher, an Ofsted registered childminder and an advisory teacher for the Special Educational Needs Support Services based at Oxford County Council. As well as working in partnership with A Confident Start, I am currently a student at Banbury Counselling Academy and I volunteer as an Independent Parent Supporter at SENDIASS Oxford.

Along with my wealth of teaching experience, I am also a parent of a child with complex additional needs. This gives me the unique insight of understanding the intricacies and challenges from both a teaching and a parenting perspective.

It is a real honour to be able to help families to get the right support in place for their child.

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Dr Helen Griffiths

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and have worked with children and their families for over 15 years in a range of settings. I trained at the University of Oxford and continue to be very active across many aspects of professional development.    

I believe that children and families are all unique, with many strengths. Understanding the development of difficulty and supporting the child and their family to combine their own resources with an evidence-based approach helps me support families to work towards their goals. 

I use a variety of therapeutic models, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy and draw on attachment and systemic theory. I will work with you to formulate a treatment plan that meets your needs and will offer advice on a suggested number of sessions and their frequency, to work towards the goals identified by your family.

Dr Helen Griffiths, DClinPsych

Health and Care Professions Council registration PYL25681

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Amber Hall

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I completed my undergraduate studies at Plymouth University and trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Leicester over 20 years ago. Much of my career has been in the NHS where I have specialised in work with children, young people and their families. I find my work incredibly rewarding. 

I use a range of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). As everyone is unique, I think it’s important to be flexible in my approach, tailoring it to find what works best for each child and family.  

I believe that one of the most powerful parts of therapeutic work is the engagement and connection between the therapist, child and their family. I think it’s important to take time to establish that connection by creating a safe, friendly and compassionate space for young people and their families to discuss their concerns. From this strong foundation, we can then work together to make sense of those concerns and find ways to improve things. 

Amber Hall, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, BSc (Joint Honours), MSc (Clin Psych), C. Psychol, AFBPsS

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration number PYL15164

British Psychological Society (BPS) member


Claire Harmer

Specialist Teacher

Claire is our resident artist and illustrator  - when she has a spare moment around being a secondary art teacher.

She has extensive experience of supporting students who are not attending school full time. She has supported students with challenging situations including anxiety, medical conditions, autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD. 

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Dr Vicky Lewis

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I am a clinical psychologist who is passionate about supporting children, young people and families to reduce distress and improve wellbeing. I completed my psychology degree at the University of Essex and trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Birmingham. I've worked in various NHS and local authority settings for over 15 years. 

I am a compassionate, empathic psychologist who uses a variety of different evidence based therapeutic approaches to help with a range of problems. 

I believe that one of the most important things in therapy is to create an environment whereby people feel safe and comfortable to talk without judgement. I work creatively to engage children and young people and my approach is warm, patient and supportive.

Dr Vicky Lewis, DClinPsych

HCPC Registration PYL32379


Zethu Makatini

Systemic Family Therapist

I have over 20 years of experience working within the NHS to support young people and families with all aspects of mental health. During that time I have worked with CAMHS services on the whole range of emotional and psychological challenges that young people face. I have also supported many young people with neurodiversity and special needs including ASD (Autism) and ADHD.

My approach is to be very inclusive and involve everyone in the family. I work closely with parents as well as the young person to identify sticking points and to find pragmatic solutions to difficulties. 

I completed my first degree in Psychology at Bristol University. I went on to train in Systemic Therapy in the well-known (KCC) Kensington Consultation Centre. 

I have a particular passion for supporting young people to cope with someone else in the family having health issues. I run my own charity providing education and advice for families where someone has dementia.

Zethu Makatini

UK Council for Psychotherapy registration 00980576


Dr Joanna Steadman Yilmaz

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2006 after training at the University of Southampton. I have worked for the NHS ever since in a variety Primary and Secondary Care Mental Health services. 

My special interest is working with trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and I am a qualified EMDR Practitioner.  EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, which is a very effective approach for helping young people and adults to process distressing memories and move on from traumatic experiences. 

Seeing a young person put their difficult experiences behind them and move forward towards their goals is extremely rewarding.  Therapy for trauma may also include building resources and learning coping skills to help the patient manage their emotions.

In addition to EMDR, I draw on a range of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compassion-Focused Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and I am accredited with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). My other area of expertise is in maternal mental health, particularly postnatal depression. 

Dr Joanna Steadman Yilmaz, DClinPsych

Health and Care Professions Council registration PYL20157

Accredited with BABCP


Rachel Tustian

Practice Manager

Hello! I am the person who usually answers the phone and books the appointments. I am here to answer any queries you have.

I came to this role after seeing the positive impact that this therapy had on my oldest daughter. I was really impressed with the way it helped her at school and socially. Since then, my son has also benefitted from EMDR after a traumatic incident with a car.

I originally trained in business as a Learning and Development HR Advisor so I'm very comfortable producing learning materials or supporting workshops. My first degree and masters are in English and I like to think they are still useful for all the blog posts and resources that the psychologists publish. 

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Dr Ellen Westwood

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

I have worked in NHS mental health/well-being services for 9+ years; the majority of my experience has been in services that support children and adolescents, and their families/support networks. Over this time I have offered support to many young people with a wide range of struggles, e.g. low mood, anxiety, low self-esteem, adjustment following difficult life experiences etc. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know young people by providing a safe, empathic and collaborative space to talk through any challenges they are facing, whilst also exploring and building upon their existing strengths and helpful ways of coping. 

I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Birmingham, during which I completed training on a variety of therapeutic models such as Solution Focussed Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - including third wave CBT approaches: Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness - and Systemic Therapy. I incorporate all of my knowledge from these different models in my therapeutic work, utilising approaches that I feel will best fit a person's needs whilst regularly reviewing the therapeutic support provided to make sure it is a good fit for them. 

Dr Ellen Westwood, DClinPsych

Health and Care Professions Council registration PYL34889