Dr Samantha Walker

Principal Clinical Psychologist, Joint Lead for Socrates Multi-Disciplinary Assessment and Review Team (SMART)
BSc Hons, DClinPsy, CPsychol

Dr Samantha Walker holds a varied role within Socrates Psychological Services which can be broadly categorised as working with “complex presentation”.

Children and Families

Within her most recent work, Dr Walker has continued her research into attachment theory and has published research literature within this area. She has completed further training on PACE, attachment in schools (Kim Golding) and in 2017 gained level two in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dr Walker can provide DDP informed therapy with families and has experience of delivering therapy with children and their carers / families who have experienced attachment disruption.

She currently provides training and supervision to residential staff teams and schools around attachment and developmental trauma, leaning heavily on attachment theory and the PACE approach within these settings.

A specialist area of interest for Dr Walker is perinatal psychology and influences that aid attachment and bonding between carer and infant.

SMART

Dr Walker is joint lead clinician within our SMART team. She has experience of working with adults and children and much of her past work has been with individuals with autism, intellectual disability and those with brain injury. She is trained in the use of the ADOS, ADIR and DISCO autism assessments and has previously held positions in adult autism diagnostic teams as well as completing childhood assessments.

Dr Walker has also developed specialist knowledge in the area of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) and the diagnosis of autism in females as well as skills within differential diagnosis where developmental trauma/attachment is a consideration.

In her previous NHS role, Dr Walker worked primarily with learning disabled offenders, those exhibiting challenging behaviour and those who are at risk of offending, offering specific assessment of risk (e.g. sexual, violence, arson) and treatment around factors that can lead into offending such as childhood abuse and neglect.

Therapy offered

Therapeutically, Dr Walker employs a cognitive behavioural approach which is employed on a one to one basis in therapy, but also has experience of working behaviourally and systemically with teams and families who support individuals presenting in distress. Dr Walker has completed further extensive training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and also Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with elements of mindfulness.

Legal Work

Dr Walker undertakes joint instructions in criminal law proceedings regarding individuals with possible learning disabilities, such as where mental capacity is implicated, as well as child care proceedings where learning disability or complex family dynamics such as the influence of childhood trauma on parental presentation may be a concern. She also provides assessment for adults and older adolescents in personal injury proceedings.