Dr Michelle Hopkins

Dr. Michelle Hopkins

Clinical Psychologist, Galway

DClinPsy, MSc Applied Psychological Research, BSc Psychology (Hons), MPsSI

 

Psychology career & clinical training

In 2006, Michelle received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Surrey, UK. In 2008, she went on to complete a Masters in Applied Psychological Research at the University of Roehampton in London. Whilst completing this MSc, Michelle worked as an assistant psychologist in a child and adolescent mental health team, and then with older adults in the community. After this, she worked for a year as an assistant psychologist in a multidisciplinary team for adults with intellectual disabilities, mental health difficulties and forensic risk issues. Michelle then went on to work as an assistant psychologist at the Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre in London, providing cognitive assessment and neuropsychological interventions for people with acquired brain injuries (e.g., stroke, trauma, infections).

 

In 2011, Michelle left London in search of a more peaceful way of life away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and moved to the rural countryside of Suffolk, UK. Here she worked as a rehabilitation assistant at the brain injury charity Headway prior to starting the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Michelle completed her clinical training in 2014, specialising in adult mental health across both community and hospital settings, and adult neurorehabilitation at the Oliver Zangwill Centre. She developed skills in the following evidence-based therapeutic approaches: cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), compassion focused therapy (CFT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), neuropsychological rehabilitation, mindfulness, and solution focused therapy.

 

 

Experience as a Clinical Psychologist

Since finishing her doctorate, Michelle has worked in an adult mental health hospital in the South East of England for people with severe, enduring and complex mental health difficulties (e.g, depression, suicidality, trauma, anxiety, emotionally unstable personality disorder, bipolar affective disorder). In this post, she designed and delivered a newly commissioned clinical psychology service for an acute inpatient ward and provided the following: individual one-to-one therapy; CBT-informed group Coping with Emotions and CFT group adapted for use in an acute setting; consultation to the MDT to support holistic care planning, comprehensive risk assessment and discharge planning; facilitated formulation-led complex case discussion groups and reflective practice for the MDT; delivered bespoke training (e.g., depression, anxiety, trauma, voice hearing) to hospital staff; rolled out a training programme on Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and Attachment to the multi-disciplinary team.

 

Michelle also provided clinical supervision for psychology graduates and nursing staff delivering CBT-informed interventions. In terms of additional specialist evidence-based training, Michelle has completed in-depth courses in compassion focused therapy, working with complex trauma, mindfulness-based approaches and Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS). In a recent care quality commission (CQC) review of NHS Trust-wide clinical services, Michelle’s idea of a coping skills key ring with 17 pocket-sized CBT and DBT strategies on, was referred to as an example of good practice, evidence of a well-led service, and commitment to quality improvement and innovation.

 

Having worked in the NHS for 10 years, Michelle moved to Ireland, and started work at Evidence-Based Therapy Centre in May 2017.

 

 

Approach to therapy

Adopting an integrative strengths-focused approach to working with clients, Michelle enables people to make sense of their difficulties by sharing psychological formulation and collaboratively identifying goals for therapy. She hopes that clients will feel empowered to face life’s challenges by learning new ways of coping and developing a sense of meaning and purpose as they progress through therapy. The focus is also to reflect on ideas relating to what may be contributing to feeling distressed, noticing any repeated patterns of behaviour, and ways of thinking that may no longer be helpful. There is also a strong emphasis on working with underlying emotional processes such as anxiety, low mood, self-criticism and shame that may be contributing to low self-esteem.

 

Michelle is interested in the relationship between vulnerability and stress, and why some people are more at risk of developing mental health difficulties than others who may be more resilient, which is known to offer a buffer against adversity. People’s understanding of death and how they make sense of loss is also of special interest.

 

Michelle is keen to work holistically with mind and body, bringing in ideas related to healthy balanced eating, physical exercise to improve wellbeing, the importance of good sleep, and being connected to others.

 

 

Memberships

Michelle is professionally registered in the UK by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). She is also a member of Psychological Society of Ireland (PsSI), British Psychological Society (BPS), Division of Clinical Psychology (BPS) and Division of Neuropsychology (BPS).

 

 

Please note

Michelle is currently awaiting validation from the Psychological Society of Ireland, when she will become a Chartered Clinical Psychologist in Ireland. Until this time, clients will be unable to claim on their insurance for sessions with Michelle.

 

 

Research & Publications

Hopkins, M., Panagiotaki, G., Nobes, G., & Ward, E. (2017). Children’s and adults’ understanding of death: Cognitive, parental and experiential influences. Manuscript submitted to Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Panagiotaki, G., Hopkins, M., Nobes, G., Ward, E., & Griffiths, D. (2018). Children’s and adults’ understanding of death: Cognitive, parental, and experiential influences. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (in press).

Paper presentation for symposium at British Psychological Society (BPS) Developmental Section Annual Conference (2016). Biological thinking in children and young adults: teleology, evolution and death.

Paper presentation at NHS Foundation Trust Psychosis Summer Away Day (2016). Using the compassion focused therapy model in acute care.

Paper presentation at BPS Developmental & Social Section Annual Conference (2015). The development of children’s understanding of death.

 

Appointments and hours of work

Michelle can offer initial assessment appointments and further therapy sessions on the following days between these times:

 

            Monday         1pm – 8pm

            Wednesday   8:30am – 6:30pm

            Thursday        8:30am – 6:30pm

            Friday             9am – 3pm

 

If you would like to book an appointment or have any questions about starting therapy please contact Evidence-Based Therapy Centre on 091 727777 or get in touch via the contact page.