Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr SJ (Ash) Summers is an HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist. Ash completed her undergraduate degree at University College London in 1990. She graduated as a Clinical Psychologist from Teesside University in 2000, being one of the second ever cohort.

Following qualification Ash specialised in working as a Clinical Psychologist with adults and children with learning disabilities. Ash achieved Consultant Clinical Psychologist status in 2008. She has developed highly specialist skills in psychological work with children and adults who have a great deal of complexity; including challenging behaviour, serious mental health problems, trauma and abuse. Her work in the UK involved direct clinical work as well as supervision, training and consultation. She has post qualification training in Leadership, Management, Family Therapy, Systemic Approaches and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. She also has an interest in working with people from minority ethnic communities who have an intellectual disability and has published on this topic. In the UK she supervised and line managed other Psychologists in the discipline, as well as providing on-going placements for Doctoral level Clinical Psychology trainees. She taught regularly on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Course at Teesside University, and pursued active research interests.

From 2011 until 2015 Ash worked in Queensland, Australia, where she managed and led disability services; driving the change agenda around reduction in the use of restrictive practices and improvemen in service provision for this vulnerable group of people. More latterly Ash was part of the programme leadership team for the Master's Programme in Clinical Psychology at CQ University, prior to her return to the UK in July 2015.

Ash was appointed as Programme Director for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in May 2016. Prior to this she was working part time at Teesside University as an Academic Tutor (Recruitment and Marketing).

Throughout her various roles Ash has always focussed on increasing the psychological understanding of clients, using an evidence-based, scientist-practitioner approach. She believes that thorough psychological assessment and formulation is the key to increasing understanding of our clients and providing a focus for intervention She has consistently maintained an active interest in guiding and improving practice, and improving capacity amongst the Psychology workforce to meet the needs of vulnerable people.

Summary of Research Interests

Ash's research interests centre on learning disability in both children and adults; in addition to working with people from minority ethnic communities, assessment of mental capacity; ethical decision making and clinical psychology training.


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