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Dr Michelle Sowden

Consultant Clinical Psychologist
PsychD, MSc, BSc

"Clare Park offers a comfortable and relaxing space for psychology consultations. It is easy to park at the Hospital and the staff are warm and welcoming and always on hand to provide assistance if needed."

Practising at

Spire Clare Park Hospital

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Treatment information

Some of the principal treatments carried out by Dr Michelle Sowden at Spire include:

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Professional profile

After qualifying as a Clinical Psychologist in 1993 I gained experience in community mental health day hospital and acute services with Heathlands Mental Health Trust, before moving to Frimley Park Hospital in 1995, to take up a post specialising in the psychological care of patients with physical health problems. Since then I have set up and developed a clinical psychology service across the hospital, developing experience across a wide range of specialities.

I have taken a keen interest in promoting and enhancing psychological wellbeing especially for people experiencing critical or life changing illness. I strongly believe that good psychological care should be embedded in patient care at all levels of the service. To this end I have been actively working with the local Critical Care and Cancer Networks and have delivered extensive training for physical health care staff across a range of specialities.

I also contribute to training clinical psychologists on the doctorate course at the University of Surrey and have taught on the MSc in Palliative Care there. I am a co-author of CBT for Chronic Illness and Palliative Care: A Workbook and Toolkit, which was published by Wiley in 2008 and is used as a textbook by a range of training providers. I have also published research papers in the field of chronic pain.

My therapeutic work is always based on a thorough assessment of your needs and discussion about what you would like to work on. I can offer a range of therapies including cognitive behaviour therapy, mindfulness and EMDR (for trauma). I am able to offer help individually or with relationship issues.

Treatments carried out by me: Enhancing health and wellbeing using a psychological approach drawing on Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). My work involves helping people cope with the emotional, practical and social challenges of experiencing serious, critical and/or life changing illness including chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, cardiac, respiratory, gastroenterological and neurological problems. I also work with people experiencing emotional difficulties in the ante or post-natal period.

This may include • Managing long term illness. For instance, coming to terms with a difficult diagnosis and finding ways of coping better with symptoms and physical limitations. • Coping with anxiety, depression or post- traumatic stress arising in relation to physical illness or injury. • Coping with psychological distress during pregnancy, childbirth and the perinatal period including fear of childbirth, psychological trauma from more complex deliveries and ante- or post-natal anxiety or depression. • Coping with unpleasant symptoms such as long term/chronic pain and fatigue. • Coping with symptoms that may cause embarrassment such as unpredictable bowel motions or wind, and visible changes in appearance. • Overcoming health related phobias, including needle phobias, fear of scanners, anaesthesia, surgery, dental work, worries about health and panic attacks, for instance, associated with allergies. • Support with making difficult health related decisions such as in relation to hysterectomy and prophylactic surgery. • Managing more general stress, anxiety and low mood.


Private contact details

Telephone Self-funding: 01252 895 490
Private secretary telephone 01252 710 549
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Qualification and professional memberships

Professional memberships

Registered Clinical Psychologist (Health and Care Professional Council)
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society / Chartered Psychologist

Professional leadership

Lead Consultant Psychologist for the Clinical Psychology Service at Frimley Park Hospital

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Current NHS posts

Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Department of Psychological Medicine at Frimley Park Hospital

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