Penny Campling

Penny Campling

I am a medical psychotherapist, qualified as a doctor and psychiatrist as well as a psychotherapist. I’m registered with the Royal College of Psychiatrists as well as the UKCP. Until 2011, I was working in the NHS running a unit for people with severe emotional and behavioural problems. I have written a number of academic papers and books over the years, most recently on the culture of healthcare and the conditions that nurture kindness and compassion.


Many years in the NHS have given me a great deal of experience working with people who feel very unsafe in themselves – people who have made suicide attempts in the past or developed self-destructive patterns of coping with feelings. I am aware that therapy works best when the patient feels safe enough to trust the therapist, not just with their story but with difficult thoughts and feelings as they arise. Such a relationship can take time to develop and requires a particular skill and sensitivity on the part of the therapist.

Working as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, I try to tailor my approach to the individual I’m with and I’m comfortable with being pragmatic and practical, particularly around issues such as self- harm, eating disorders, alcohol/drug use and medically unexplained symptoms.

Most psychotherapists these days have an understanding that emotional problems can have biological and social components, as well as psychological; indeed, many people present with a mixture of psychological and physical symptoms. Having worked as a doctor, I am particularly well placed to think about the complex interaction between the psychological and physical – for example, discussing the pros and cons of medication, the psychological effects of a physical condition or whether a physical symptom warrants further medical investigation.

In addition to psychoanalytically informed work with individuals, I have a lot of experience of working with groups and some experience of cognitive-behavioural and family therapies. I’m happy to discuss working within these approaches.

For enquiries or to arrange an initial consultation call 07753 231656 or email your enquiry to