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Dr Joanna Gibbons

Job title Clinical Psychologist

Area of Expertise

  • Parental Mental Health
  • Trauma and abuse - impact across the lifespan
  • Looked After Children and post-Adoption support
  • Multi–agency partnership working



Dr Joanna Gibbons is the Clinical Lead for the Helping Families Team and she is a Clinical Psychologist. The Helping Families Team is a multi-disciplinary team that deliver the Helping Families Programme. This is a specialist parenting intervention for parents experiencing significant mental health difficulties. The intervention is delivered in the family homes in partnership with the family. The team also deliver tailored specialist parenting groups for those experiencing mental health difficulties.

She has facilitated teaching and training within clinical psychology, psychiatry, social care and mental health on topics including parenting, parental mental health, fostering, adoption and the impact of childhood trauma on attachment and learning. She has presented at national conferences in relation to fostering, adoption and trauma.

Prior to this role, Dr Gibbons was a Programme Lead in the National Implementation Service, in National and Specialist CAMHS. The NIS designed, implemented and evaluated evidence-based interventions for Children in Care, Adoption, Fostering and children on the edge of custody. She led the TEND project (Training to Enhance and Nurture Development) which is a video-coaching intervention for foster carers of children aged 0-4years, aimed at increasing parental reflective functioning. She also co-led the Adopt Programme, a group intervention which aimed to enhance the parenting styles of adoptive parents.

Dr Gibbons has also worked for many years in Children Looked After Mental Health Teams and has a particular interest in the effect trauma and abuse has on neuro-development and attachment. She has always chosen to work in close partnership with social care, health and education colleagues.
She is trained in Mentalisation-Based Therapy (MBT) and Eye-Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) as well as CBT and has a strong interest in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.


Education and Training

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (University College London, UCL). 2006
  • MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology (Anna Freud Centre, UCL). 2001
  • BSc (hons.) Psychology (UCL). 1998
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