Dr Alison Downes

Senior Clinical Psychologist, Lead Clinician for Forensic
BSc Hons, MSc, DClinPsy, Cpsychol

Dr Downes provides assessments and interventions for children, adolescents, adults of working age and older adults. She works with people who have complex needs, such as learning disabilities, mental health difficulties and acquired brain injuries, both within community and inpatient settings. She undertakes assessments and reports for the courts in the areas of family law, personal injury and criminal proceedings, focusing on issues such as psychological functioning, risk, impact of events and prognosis.

Dr Downes provides 1-1 interventions for individuals using mainly cognitive-behaviour models, although other psychological models and theories such as developmental, attachment, Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and psychodynamic principles also inform her practice. She also has experience of teaching mindfulness techniques to both adults and children.

She conducts assessments of neuropsychological functioning and psychological distress using a range of standardized assessments. This includes the assessment of people whose level of cognitive functioning falls within the learning disability range. These assessments have been used to inform day-to-day care planning, and childcare proceedings.

Dr Downes provides consultation, training and supervision to staff groups and professionals from other disciplines, e.g. through facilitating psychological formulation meetings and providing support around care planning, risk assessment and behaviour management.

She has experience of working within NHS low secure and step-down inpatient rehabilitation services for adults with severe and enduring mental health difficulties, often in addition to substance misuse, cognitive deficits, personality disorders and offending histories. The majority are detained under the Mental Health Act and some are subject to Hospital and Restriction Orders.

She has developed competencies in the assessment of risk of violence, by undertaking further training in structured clinical judgment tools for the assessment of general violence and sexual violence, and the Psychopathy Checklist Revised. She has experience of conducting pre-sentencing risk assessments for criminal law proceedings.