Dr Caroline Foster, CPsychol AFBPsS
I am a Principal Clinical Psychologist (Lead Psychologist) with over 15 years’ experience of working in NHS mental health services. I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2004 and specialise in working with people who are 16 years of age and over. I work with people with a wide range of difficulties from mild situation specific difficulties to those with severe and enduring mental health problems. I have a particular interest in treating low self-esteem, anxiety disorders (e.g., social anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder) and disorders of over control such as perfectionism and obsessive compulsions. I am equally equipped to treat those struggling with emotional instability and impulsive behaviours.
You will find that I offer a caring and empathic approach to treatment. I work with the understanding that there is a logical and compassionate explanation to the difficulties people find themselves experiencing. I will work with you to develop a shared understanding of your problems and this collaborative understanding will in turn be used to guide your treatment. I believe in working with each person’s strengths, values and differences to support you to achieve your personal goals and overall improved emotional wellbeing.
I am passionate about delivering the highest quality of care and have expertise in delivering a range of evidence based treatment approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
What I Treat
I have experience in treating a wide variety of difficulties and in my private clinic I can provide therapy for:
- Generalised anxiety and chronic worry
- Social anxiety and shyness
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Trauma including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Low self-esteem
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Personality disorders / difficulties
- Relationship difficulties
- Distressing childhood experiences
- Health anxiety and medically unexplained symptoms
- Loss and bereavement
I also provide supervision to other Psychologists and CBT Therapists.
To facilitate good treatment outcomes I follow best practice guidelines, where available, as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). I can also support those seeking more generic counselling or humanistic psychotherapy. The main treatment approaches I use to inform my practice are:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT has a ‘here and now’ focus and helps people to understand how their thoughts, emotions and behaviours interact to maintain their difficulties. It often involves bringing back into awareness problematic thoughts and memories which influence how you feel and which have perhaps been maintaining problematic behaviours. Once an understanding of the relevant maintenance cycles has been mapped out CBT then provides tools to help you to develop more adaptive ways of thinking. This approach also enables you to feel more confident in working with your emotions, supports you to develop more helpful behaviours and equips you with more effective coping strategies.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a ‘third wave’ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy initially developed for those struggling with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. It is also more generally useful in helping people who suffer from intense distress and impulsive self-harming behaviours. In addition to skills for managing emotions and tolerating distress, DBT includes skills training which can help you to communicate more effectively with others. It also includes the development of mindfulness skills which aim to improve self-awareness and your confidence in your ability to manage your thoughts and feelings.
Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT)
RO-DBT is a treatment for those who have overdeveloped the capacity for self-control. We live in a world where the capacity to demonstrate self-constraint and to delay gratification in order to achieve our goals is often highly valued. However, excessive self-constraint is associated with social isolation, poor work-life balance and severe mental health problems such as chronic depression. RO-DBT may also have application for you if you struggle with rigidity, compulsive planning, perfectionism, or have a tendency to suppress your emotions. RO-DBT will appeal to your strengths but also helps you to develop more flexible responding and improved social relationships; it also aims to restore a little of the levity to life!
Schema Therapy / Schema-Focused Cognitive Therapy
Schema Therapy is an integrative treatment model which combines elements of cognitive-behavioural, experiential, psychoanalytic and interpersonal therapies. It also draws upon attachment theory and involves the exploration of your childhood experiences. Schema Therapy seeks to address longstanding self-defeating thinking and behaviours. It can be useful for those with chronic difficulties, those who have suffered distressing childhood experiences or those who have not been responsive to other therapies.
I also at times work integratively with the treatment approaches outlined where this is clinically indicated; this can be particularly useful in working with more complex problems.
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsychD)
University of Surrey
BSc (Hons) Psychology
University of Durham
I have undertaken extensive post-qualification Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Continuing Professional Development.
I am also a fully trained and experienced Dialectical Behaviour Therapist. I have undertaken the National Intensive Training in both standard Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Radically-Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
Professional Accreditation and Affiliation
I am registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and my registration number is PYL15433. Only those registered with the HCPC are permitted to use the title Clinical Psychologist. This ensures that those registered meet the required standards of training, maintain a good level of Continuing Professional Development and uphold high standards of professionalism.
I am additionally a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) of the British Psychological Society (Membership Number: 096245) and a Registered Supervisor (BPS Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors).
I am available at the Eastgate Gardens practice in Guildford on Thursdays and Saturdays and on other days by appointment.
Assessment Session (up to 60 minutes): £105
Extended Assessment (up to 90 minutes): £150
Individual Therapy (up to 60 minutes): £105
On requesting an appointment via our online booking system, the practitioner may well call you to confirm details before you meet. This initial telephone discussion of up to 10 minutes is free of charge, and is designed to confirm that it is indeed appropriate to proceed to a full consultation and is not designed to replace a consultation.
Written reports are available upon request (please contact me to discuss the fees for this service).
Payment for assessment sessions is due on completion of the assessment by cash or cheque. For subsequent sessions I accept payment by cash, cheque or bank transfer prior to the session.
If you need to cancel or to reschedule an appointment early notice is appreciated. If an appointment is missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours prior notice the full session fee will be charged.
For those interested in DBT / RO-DBT
Please note that due to time constraints I am not currently offering full programme DBT or RO-DBT in my private clinic. Full programme DBT / RO-DBT consists of a number of different treatment modes including group skills training. In my private clinic I can currently offer DBT / RO-DBT informed therapy on an individual basis only.