Quality Psychological Services across East Anglia
Assessment | Therapy | Supervision


Quality Psychological Services across East Anglia
Assessment | Therapy | Supervision


Quality Psychological Services across East Anglia
Assessment | Therapy | Supervision

Dr. Peter Cairns

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Peter worked in the NHS for over 20 years and now has his own independent practice. He has worked as a Clinical Psychologist in a range of mental health services in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. He has extensive experience of conducting assessments with adults, children, and adolescents, as well as providing a range of evidence-based psychological interventions. Peter is trained and experienced in offering clinical supervision to psychologists and other mental health professionals.
A detailed and up-to-date CV is available below.


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    Curriculum Vitae

    Dr. Peter Alexander Cairns
    Chartered Clinical Psychologist
    Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
    Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council

    Relevant experience and skills

    2012 – present                 Independent psychological work.

    1. Independent legal work commissioned by the family courts.

    • Psychological assessment of adults and children;
    • Parenting capacity and capability;
    • Risk assessment;
    • Mental health and personality disorder;
    • Cognitive, learning, and capacity assessment;
    • Assessment and formulation of attachment;
    • Impact of trauma, abuse, and neglect;
    • Contact disputes and private legal proceedings.

    2. Provision of individual psychological assessment, formulation and therapy.

    • Specialist application of a range of therapeutic models and interventions;
    • Working with adolescents and adults with a range of issues, including mood problems, PTSD, complex trauma, and interpersonal difficulties.

    From January 2023         

    Clinical Psychologist,
    Autism assessment and diagnostic service,
    Psychology Clinic of East Anglia, Norwich.

    • Specialist, multi-disciplinary assessment of autistic-spectrum conditions;
    • Psychologically-informed formulation, recommendations, and guidance for individuals and their families.

    2012 – 2022 

    Assessments for Educational Psychology and Specialist Support (EPSS), Norfolk County Council.

    • Psychological assessment of children and young people in education (aged 4 to 19 years);
    • Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessments of children and young people;
    • Assessment of learning and cognition;
    • Assessment of social, communication, and interaction difficulties;
    • Assessment of social, emotional, and mental health;
    • Impact of physical and sensory issues and disabilities.

    April 2006 – March 2019
    Clinical Psychologist, Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, based in Great Yarmouth (Norfolk), Lowestoft (Suffolk), and surrounding areas.

    July 2010 – March 2019   Child, Family & Young Person Mental Health Services.

    Lead psychologist since 2013.

    • Psychological assessment and treatment;
    • Individual, group, and family work;
    • Staff supervision and multi-agency consultation;
    • Strategic clinical leadership;
    • Local and trust-wide training;
    • Research and service evaluation. 

    March 2006 – July 2010   Clinical Psychologist, Adult Mental Health Services.

    • Psychological assessment and treatment across primary and secondary care;
    • Clinical lead for the newly formed ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT);
    • Staff supervision and training.

    April 2004 – March 2006  Clinical Psychologist, Oxleas NHS Trust, London.

    • Assessment and intervention with adults with severe and enduring mental health problems;
    • Inpatient work on an acute psychiatric ward and a low-secure rehabilitation unit.

    Further Education

    1991 – 1994            University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

    B.A. (Hons.) Degree in Psychology                   Grade 2(I)

    1999 – 2000            University of Bristol

    MSc. in Research Methods in Psychology

    2001 – 2004            Salomons / South Thames Clinical Psychology Training Scheme

    Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

    2007 – 2009            North Thames CAT Training Course

    Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

    Recent Training

    November 2018 – January 2019           Cambridge Centre for Attachment

    Meaning of the Child training – A procedure for assessing and understanding parent-child relationships in ‘at-risk’ families (6 days)

    I am accredited as a reliable coder in using this methodology

    December 2019 Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust, London (Crittenden & Landini)

    Attachment, Neurodevelopment, and Psychopathology (3 days)

    January 2020 – February 2020             Anna Freud Centre, London

    Stem Stories Assessment Profile training – A clinical tool for examining young children’s mental representations of attachment and relationships (3 days)

    I am accredited as a reliable coder in using this methodology

    November 2021                                   Anna Freud Centre, London

    Child Triangulation Processes – A new, child-centered framework for understanding resistance to contact (Webinar).

    September 2022                                   British Psychological Society

    Expert Witness Conference 2022 (Webinar)

    March - September 2023              Family Relations Institute

    Adult Attachment Interview training (18 days)

    Research & Publications

    • Cairns, P. & Jarrold, C. (2005). Exploring the correlates of impaired non-word repetition in Down Syndrome. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 23, 401 – 416.
    • McPherson, S., Cairns, P., Carlyle, J., Shapiro, D., Richardson, P. & Taylor, D. (2005). The effectiveness of psychological treatments for refractory depression: A systematic review. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 111, 331 – 340.
    • Hodgekins, J., Clarke, T., Cole, H., Markides, C., Ugochukwu, U., Cairns, P., Lower, R., Fowler, D. & Wilson, J. (2016). Pathways to care of young people accessing a pilot Specialist Youth Mental Health Service in Norfolk, United Kingdom. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, doi: 10.1111/eip.12338.
    • Crockford, H., Cairns, P., Kingerlee, R. & Goodwin, M. (2019). ‘You have to start somewhere’: A service improvement strategy for people with trauma-related dissociation in Norfolk. Clinical Psychology Forum, 314, 10-16.
    • Doctoral thesis – A qualitative project exploring the experience of returning to work for people with severe and enduring mental health problems (2004).
    • Book chapter – Cairns, P. & Howells, L. (2019). Angry Young Men: Using an Interpersonal Formulation of Anger to Help Bring about Change. In: Handbook of male mental health and male psychology: theory and practice. Editors: Dr. John Barry, Dr. Roger Kingerlee, Mr. Martin Seager, Dr. Luke Sullivan.
    • Norfolk Principle Investigator (PI) for the Early Youth Engagement (EYE-2) study based at the University of Sussex, a national Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness of innovative engagement approaches within Early Intervention in Psychosis Services.

    Additional roles

    Between August 2018 and July 2021, I was on the Board of Trustees at the St Barnabas Centre in Norwich. This organization offers low-cost counseling and psychotherapy to people in the local community.

    From 2016 to 2019, I facilitated seminar groups for trainees on the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Programme, at the University of East Anglia.

    Professional registration

    I am a Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council (registration number PYL03312) and the British Psychological Society (membership number 125771).