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Dr Anna Lavender

Chartered Clinical Psychologist
BA, MSc, DClin Psy, CPsychol

About Me

Evidence-based, empathic, effective treatment

I am a London based Chartered Clinical Psychologist, with over 20 years experience in the NHS at the Maudsely Hospital, South London, treating people with a wide range of difficulties.  My areas of expertise are in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Schema Therapy.  In each of these I am accredited as both a therapist and supervisor. 


I know that each person is different, an individual who has a unique past and experiences, with a diverse range of factors that contribute to their current difficulties.  My aim is to work with every person to develop a shared understanding of the development and maintenance of their problems, and then a treatment plan based on this understanding.  I will bring the most up to date clinical research findings, combined with my extensive clinical experience and a compassionate, empathic and non-judgmental stance, to ensure that treatment is supportive, effective and long-lasting.  My aim for each individual is to help them to develop tools to enable them to leave therapy and flourish in the future.


I have been research active throughout my career, and have published widely, in authored books and chapters, and in peer-reviewed journals.   My most recent book, 'The Therapeutic Relationship in CBT', was published in December 2018.

Beginning in 2012, I was  joint UK lead on a major international clinical trial in Schema Therapy, the results of which were published in 2022.

Please note, I am currently offering only online therapy and supervision.

Meet Amelia
Why Naturopathy

Problems Treated

Low self-esteem
Low confidence
Relationship difficulties
Childhood trauma
Emotional dysregulation
Eating disorders
Body image disturbance
Anxiety disorders, including
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Health anxiety
Panic attacks
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Complex PTSD
Worry and stress
Anger problems
Sleep disorders and insomnia


I can't put a price on how much you've helped me. There's no value for the compassion, space and understanding you showed towards me and modelled for me. You shaped the image of who I want to become

— Sarah

Services Offered

I offer individual therapy using two key approaches, CBT and Schema therapy, either on their own or integrated in a way that is specific to your needs.


I also offer clinical supervision to training and qualified psychologists and other therapists, including those working towards BABCP CBT  or ISST Schema Therapy accreditation.



Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is a talking therapy that has been proven to help treat a wide range of emotional difficulties.


CBT works with the idea that our thoughts, emotions, behaviours and physiology are all connected, so that making changes in one area affects the whole system. 


In CBT, we work together to identify and then help you to make changes to any unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns that may be keeping your difficulties going. 


The focus is on making changes in the here and now, and on teaching you skills for life that will help you not only to get well, but stay well in the future.


Schema Therapy


Schema Therapy can be helpful for changing life-long patterns in relationships, difficulties in regulating emotions, and with healing intense and painful core 'schemas'.  These schemas can lead to unhelpful coping strategies such as substance abuse, self-harm, dissociation, excessive anger, perfectionism and over-control, or extreme submissive behaviour.


It has an increasingly strong evidence base for individuals with personality-level difficulties, depression, eating disorders, and other severe emotional problems.


Schema Therapy is an inherently compassionate therapy, within which the therapeutic relationship is key to change.  In Schema Therapy, we work together closely to understand how your current difficultlies link to your past experiences, and work towards healing the pain of the past to help you to build a healthier and happier self in the present.



I have been supervising training and qualified psychologists for fifteen years, and have supported numerous supervisees through the BABCP and ISST accreditation processes. 


In supervision I aim to provide an open and safe space for learning and reflection, through case discussion, listening to and providing constructive feedback on your work, experiential learning, and the use of formal rating scales as you require.  


In addition to being an ISST accredited individual Schema Therapist and Trainer, I am also an accredited Group Schema Therapist and Trainer, and able to offer GST supervision to individuals or organisations wishing to run a GST programme.


If you would like a reference from one of my current supervisees, do let me know, and I can put you in touch with someone who can tell you about their suprervisory experience with  me.



Frequently Asked Questions



  • I'm not sure if I need to see a psychologist or if you're the right therapist for me - can we have an initial talk so I can get more of an idea about this and ask you some questions?


Yes. Before you book an appointment to see me, I will suggest we have a brief phone conversation so that each of us can get an idea about whether I'm the right therapist for you, and you can ask any questions. This is free of charge, and there is no obligation afterwards to take things forward.


  • What will happen during our initial appointment?


The first time we meet will be for an assessment session.  At this meeting, we'll discuss the difficulties that have brought you to seek help.  You'll be able to tell me about what you're looking for in therapy, and I'll tell you about how I work.  If at the end of the assessment we both feel there is a good fit, we can arrange an initial therapy session.


If I feel I am not the right person to help you, perhaps because an alternative therapeutic approach is likely to be more helpful, I will tell you this.  I will then direct you to a therapist or organisation that I believe will be able to help you.


  • How long does each therapy session take?  How many sessions will I need?


Each therapy session will take 50 minutes, and is usually most effective on a weekly basis.  However, there is flexibility around this, depending on your needs.


With many difficulties, for example depression, most anxiety disorders, and milder eating disorders, 6-20 sessions are llikely to get you feeling and functioning much better.


For lifelong difficulties in relationships, very severe difficulties, and problems based in a traumatic or abusive childhood, therapy can take considerably longer.


When we meet for assessment, I'll tell you about how long a treatment I believe you're likely to need so that you can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead.


  • Can we do therapy online via Zoom/Skype?


Yes, we can.  In fact, in light of the Covid-19 situation, I have moved all of my therapeutic work online for the forseeable future.  I have done a great deal of online therapy, and find that it works very well.




Post-Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (Distinction) 
Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, (2003) 
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology  
Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (2001) 
Msc Experimental Psychology (Psychology Conversion) 
University of Sussex (1997) 
BA (Hons) History – First Class 
University of Sussex (1995) 
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) 
Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and Supervisor 
International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST)  
Accredited Advanced Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer (Individual and Group) 
HCPC Registered  
British Psychological Society Member 
Chartered Clinical Psychologist 


Therapy sessions are charged at £150 per 50 minute session.


Clinical supervision sessions are charged at £100 per hour.


Assessment and other reports are charged individually at rates reflecting time allocation required.


I work with a number of different health insurance companies.  If you would like to fund your treatment via insurance, get in touch and we can talk about how to arrange this.


Contact Me

Do get in touch by using the contact form below, or emailing or phoning me directly.



phone: 07956 947749

Thank you for getting in touch. I'll be in contact with you soon.



Books and Chapters

Moorey, S and Lavender, A (2018).  The Therapeutic Relationship in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.  Sage.


Boecking, B & Lavender A (in press).  Experiential techniques at assessment.  In H Startup & G Heath (Eds).  Creative methods in Schema Therapy. Routledge.


Stott R, Mansell W, Salkovskis, Lavender A & Cartwright-Hatton, S (2010).  Oxford Guide to Metaphors in CBT: Building Cognitive Bridges. Oxford University Press. 


Lavender A & Schmidt U (2006).  Cognitive behavioural case formulation in complex eating disorders.  In N Tarrier (Ed), Case formulation in cognitive behaviour therapy: The treatment of challenging and complex cases. Wiley.

Peer reviewed publications

Effectiveness of Predominantly Group Schema Therapy and Combined Individual and Group Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  Arntz, A, et al, incl. Lavender, A. JAMA Psychiatry

2022 Apr 1;79(4):287-299

Design of an international multicentre RCT on group schema therapy for borderline personality disorder

Wetzelaer, P., Farrell, J., Evers, S. M. A. A., Jacob, G. A., Lee, C. W., Brand, O., van Breukelen, G., Fassbinder, E., Fretwell, H., Harper, R. P., Lavender, A., Lockwood, G., Malogiannis, I. A., Schweiger, U., Startup, H., Stevenson, T., Zarbock, G. & Arntz, A. 18 Nov 2014 In : BMC Psychiatry. 14, p. 319


DeJong, H, Oldershaw, A, Sternheim, L, Samarawickrema, N, Kenyon, M, Broadbent, H, Lavender, A, Startup, H, Treasure, J and Schmidt, U (2013).  Quality of life in anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not-otherwise-specified, Journal of Eating Disorders, 2013, 1:43 


Startup, H, Lavender, A, Oldershaw, A, Stott, R, Tchanturia, K, Treasure J and Schmidt, U (2012).  Worry and Rumination in Anorexia Nervosa. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. First View Article, pp 1-16, Published online: 29 October 2012


Lavender, A, Startup, H, Naumann, U, Samarawickrema, N, DeJong, H, Kenyon, M, van den Eynde, F, Schmidt, U (2012).  Emotional and Social Mind Training: A Randomised Controlled Trial of a New Group-Based Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa.   PLOS Clinical Trials, October 31, 2012


Kenyon M, Samarawickrema N, DeJong H, Van den Eynde F, Startup H, Lavender A, Goodman-Smith E and Schmidt U (2012).  Theory of mind in bulimia nervosa.  International Journal of Eating Disorders.


Van den Eynde F, Samarawickrema N, Kenyon M, DeJong H, Lavender A, Startup H, Schmidt U (2011).  A study of neurocognition in bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified – bulimia type. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.  07 Nov 2011.


Roberts M, Lavender A, and Tchanturia, K. (2011), Measuring self-report obsessionality in anorexia nervosa: Maudsley obsessive–compulsive inventory (MOCI) or obsessive–compulsive inventory-revised (OCI-R)? European Eating Disorders Review, 2010, December 28 (epub ahead of print).


Johnston O, Startup H, Lavender A, Godfrey E & Schmidt U (2010).  Therapeutic writing as an intervention for symptoms of bulimia nervosa: Effects and mechanisms of change. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 43(5), 405-409.


Lavender A, Schubert I, de Silva P & Treasure J (2006).  Obsessive-compulsive beliefs and magical ideation in eating disorders.  British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 331-342.


Lavender A & Watkins E (2004) Rumination and future thinking in Depression.  British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 43, 129-142.

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