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Paediatric Psychology Department

Psychology session

Our team of psychologists, assistant psychologists, family therapists, cognitive behavioural therapists (CBT) and psychiatrists are here to help patients and their families when they’re struggling to cope with their condition or treatment. We provide psychological support to patients at Sheffield Children’s and their families.

We don’t just see long-term patients – any child or young person who comes to an outpatient clinic or for a hospital stay due to illness or surgery can be referred to our team.

There are many reasons why patients and their families see someone in our team, including:

  • dealing with treatments and procedures
  • helping to manage physical symptoms and pain
  • adjusting to a diagnosis or coping with bad news
  • handling emotions and anxiety
  • support after a trauma related to a medical condition or injury

We work closely with other services and departments to make sure that families are getting the right kind of support, including the Pain Management ServiceChaplaincy Team, Bereavement Team, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and STAR Team.

If you or your child would like to talk to a member of our team, please speak to one of the members of your Sheffield Children’s team about a referral. We are happy to see families together, or can meet with young people, parents or carers, siblings and other family members on their own.

Specialised psychology support for Trust services

Everyone who works in the hospital provides some level of emotional care, but we are able to provide more specialised input to help families with their mental health and wellbeing.

All young people under the care of a consultant at Sheffield Children’s can be referred for psychological support. Many departments and services have their own dedicated clinical psychologist, family therapist, or CBT therapist. We also provide a general psychology service, so that teams without a dedicated clinician can still refer their patients.

Services with their own psychological support include:

How our team can help

We always ensure that our support meets the specific needs of each family or family member. This can include a mix of approaches including:

  • a number of different psychological therapies (such as cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, systemic therapy)
  • creative techniques such as using toys and art materials to help children explore emotional difficulties
  • identify strengths and what is working well, as well as considering challenges
  • we work with and support other members of the medical team to make sure we are all communicating well and will also liaise with external contacts such as a child’s school
  • we carry out neuropsychological assessments, where the health condition impacts cognitive functioning

Our service also extends to other members of Sheffield Children’s staff. We provide consultation to medical departments when psychological advice is needed. We offer training to other professionals in psychological techniques. We often provide supervision sessions to staff groups where staff may need an ongoing space to think about the psychological aspects of their patient work.

Psychology FAQs

What training does the Paediatric Psychology team have?

Clinical psychologists have an undergraduate degree in psychology and a three-year doctoral level training in clinical psychology. Between finishing their undergraduate studies and starting their clinical psychology doctorate they often gain both clinical and research experience. Some may have a master’s degree or research PhD in addition to the above and many have further training in specific ways of working. Clinical psychologists are also trained to administer neuropsychological assessments. Clinical Psychologists use a range of talking and creative therapies to help their patients.

Assistant psychologists support the team with patient work, research, and service development. They have not yet started a clinical psychology doctorate and are still gaining experience in different settings. Similarly, some may have a master’s degree or further specific training. Assistants are supervised by qualified psychologists.

Child and adolescent psychiatrists have an undergraduate degree in medicine and have worked as Foundation Doctors in general hospitals. They then train for three years in psychiatry followed by three years training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. They see children with physical health problems who are troubled by anxiety, depression, or other mental health difficulties. As part of their treatment, they sometimes prescribe medication for children.

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps family members or other important people improve communication and resolve difficult situations. Family therapists usually have a pre-existing profession such as social worker, psychologist, or nurse. They subsequently complete a four-year Masters course in family therapy to become registered with the Association of Family Therapy (AFT) and UKCP.

CBT therapists will have completed a relevant undergraduate degree (for example psychology) and will have completed postgraduate training in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Some may have additional postgraduate qualifications and professional experience. CBT works on the idea that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all linked together, and all have an impact on each other. When people feel anxious and/or low in mood, they can get stuck in a cycle of negative or unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. In CBT, a patient and therapist work together in breaking that cycle and helping to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

Do therapists analyse people and read minds?

Not at all. We listen to the information that families give us and work together to develop an understanding of the problem and ways forward.

How do I explain psychology to my child?
Let your child know that we will spend time talking (and sometimes playing) to help them make sense of the difficulties they are experiencing and think of ways to move forwards. We won’t be doing any medical procedures.


The team are actively involved in clinical research and regularly take part in conferences and write papers to share the results of their research.

Research publications list

Dr Rebecca Jones


  • “Autism in Osteogenesis Imperfecta” NewLife Foundation (2015) (£15,000).M Balasubramanian (PI) (Sheffield Children’s Hospital) E Milne (University of Sheffield) R Jones (SCH).

Conference presentations

  • Jones, R., & Riddington, M. (2017) Osteogenesis Imperfecta: The role for psychology in newly diagnosed infants and their families. Poster Presentation at OiOslo2017, Oslo, Norway.
  • Jones, R., Marr, C., Seasman, A., & Daglish, A.  (2017) The Importance of Play. Poster Presentation at OiOslo2017, Oslo, Norway.
  • Riddington, M.  & Jones, R. (2017) Preventative Care and Treatment in Osteogenesis Imperfecta. What role for Clinical Psychology. Podium Presentation at OiOslo2017, Oslo, Norway.


  • Balasubramanian, M., O’Sullivan, R., Bull, M, Peel, N., Pollitt, R., Jones, R., Milne, E., Smith, K., Bishop, N.J. (Accepted for publication). Novel PLS3 variants in X-linked osteoporosis: exploring bone material properties. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A.
  • Balasubramanian, M., Jones, R., Milne, E., Marshall, C., Arundel, P., Smith, K. & Bishop, N. (2018) Autism and heritable bone fragility: A true association? Bone Reports, 8, 156-162.
  • Balasubramanian, M., O’Sullivan, R., Bull, M, Peel, N., Pollitt, R., Jones, R., Milne, E., Smith, K., Bishop, N.J. (2018). Novel PLS3 variants in X-linked osteoporosis: exploring bone material properties. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A
  • Rosalyn, J., Sarkar, A., Jones, R., Wilkinson, A., Martin, K., Arundel, P., & Balasubramanian, M.(2017) Atypical Osteogenesis Imperfecta caused by a 17q21.33 deletion involving COL1A1. Clinical Dysmorphology, 26, 228-230.
  • Jones, R., Slade, P., Pascalis, O., & Herbert, J.S. (2013) Infant interest in their mother’s face is associated with maternal psychological health. Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 686-693.
  • Jones, R. R., Blades, M., Coleman, M. & Pascalis O. (2013). Learning new faces in typical and atypical populations of children. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 54, 10–13
  • Wilson, R.R., Blades, M., Coleman, M., & Pascalis, O. (2009) Unfamiliar face recognition in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Infant and Child Development, 18, 545-555.
  • Wilson, R.R., Blades, M., & Pascalis, O. (2007). What do children look at in an adult face with which they are personally familiar? British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 25, 375-382.
  • Wilson, R., Pascalis, O., & Blades, M. (2007). Familiar face recognition in children with autism: the differential use of inner and outer face parts. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 314-320.

Dr Charlotte Wright


  • Waller, D’Souza & Wright (2016) Impact of education on clinicians’ attitudes to exposure therapy for eating disorders, Behavior Research and Therapy, 76, 76-80

Conference presentations

  • Wright, C. & Tidswell, K. (2018). Promoting the psychological wellbeing of children, young people and their families at Sheffield Children’s Hospital SARC – What Clinical Psychology offer. Poster presentation at Saint Mary’s Centre 16th Annual Conference, Manchester
  • Wright, C., & Lear, S. (2017). Short Term Psychology Input into a Paediatric Audiology Service – Triumphs and Challenges. Poster presentation at British Academy of Audiology Annual Conference, Bournemouth.
  • Wright, C. (2017). Psychological Interventions with Audiology Patients – A Series of Case Studies. Podium presentation at British Academy of Audiology Annual Conference, Bournemouth.
  • Wright, C. (2019). A case example highlighting the therapeutic benefit of an intrusive ringtone in EMDR. Paediatric Psychology Network Annual Conference, Cambridge.
  • Wright, C. (2019). A case example using Family Based IPT-A to engage a reluctant teen. Paediatric Psychology Network Annual Conference, Cambridge.

Dr Kathryn Holden

  • Holden, K., Wynne, T., Calvert, R., Horn, R.,& Blundell Jones., J. (2016, June). Development of a CBT group intervention for Procedural Anxiety in Paediatrics. Poster presented at the Paediatric Psychology Network Annual Conference: What good looks like, Edinburgh.
  • Holden, K., Kellett, S., Davies, J., & Scott, S. (2016). The experience of working with people that hoard: a Q-sort exploration. The Journal of Mental Health. DOI: 10.3109/09638237.2016.1167851
  • Kellett, S., & Holden, K. (2014). Emotional Attachment to Objects in Hoarding: A Critical Review of the Evidence. In R. O’Frost & G. Steketee (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Hoarding and Acquiring (120-138). USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Holden, K., Warren, K., & Thompson, A. (2012, January). Staff, Volunteer and Service-User Experience of Health and Wellbeing Events and Peer-Support Services for Survivors of Cancer. Poster presented at the British Psycho Oncology Society Annual Conference on Cancer Survivorship and Rehabilitation, Leeds.
  • Holden, K., & Isaac, C.L. (2011). Depression in multiple sclerosis: reactive or endogenous? The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 25, 624-639.
  • Tsoi, D.T., Lee, K.H., Gee. K.A., Holden, K.L., & Woodruff, P.W.R. (2008). Humour experience in schizophrenia: relationship with executive dysfunction and psychosocial impairment. Psychological Medicine, 38, 801-810.
  • Tsoi, D.T., Lee, K.H., Parks, R., Gee. K.A., Holden, K.L., & Woodruff, P.W.R. (2007). Impaired humour recognition associates with frontal executive dysfunction and poor social functioning in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 33, 225

Dr Tracy Dyson

  • Bayley, T.M., Slade, P., & Lashen, H. (2009). Relationships between attachment, appraisal, coping and adjustment in men and women experiencing fertility concerns. Human Reproduction, 24, 2827-2837.
  • Bayley, T.M., Dye L., & Hill, A. (2009). Taste aversions in pregnancy. In S. Reilly & S. Schachtman (Eds), Conditioned Taste Aversion: Behavioural and Neural Processes (p. 497-512). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Bayley, T.M., Dye, L., Jones, S., DeBono, M., & Hill, A.J. (2002). Food cravings and aversions during pregnancy: relationships with nausea and vomiting. Appetite, 38, 45-51.
  • Bayley, T.M., & Dye, L. (2002). Comment on Daniel Fessler: Reproductive Immunosupression and diet. Current Anthropology, 43, 39-41.

Dr Paul Manning


  • Wright N, Agwu JC, Adolfsson P, Timmis A, Drew J, Pemberton J, Kershaw M, Bissell S, Moudiotis C, Regan F, Gardner C, Astle A, Manning P, Soni A, Williams E, Ng. SM (in press).  How to Use Continuous Glucose Monitoring and Flash Glucose Sensors in Type 1 Diabetes.  Archives of Disease in Childhood
  • Manning P , Marfleet R & Pais T (2013).  Intuitive ways of coping with illness: Acute vs chronic thinking.  Clinical Psychology Forum, 243, 24-27.
  • Manning P , Hardy G & Kellett S (2010).  Reversals of Sudden Gains made during cognitive therapy with depressed adults: A preliminary investigation.  Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 38, 491- 495
  • McDonnell AA, Hardman J, Knight L, Manning P & Semple C (2004a).  An investigation into the topography of referrals to a community challenging behaviour service:  Implications for research and training.  Unpublished manuscript.  Referenced in: McDonnell A.A. (2010) Managing aggressive behaviour in care settings:  Understanding and applying low arousal approaches.  Wiley-Blackwell; UK.


  • Emotional Resilience and Mindfulness. Presented at: The Yorkshire & Humber Paediatric Diabetes Network Annual Study Day, Leeds, October  2016.
  • Emotional Resilience and Mindfulness for healthcare professionals, children & young people with diabetes and their families.  Presented at:  BSPED (British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes) Annual Conference, Sheffield, November 2015.
  • Complex diabetes care; looking after ourselves and building resilience.  Presented at: Diabetes UK Annual Conference, York, November 2015.
  • Feel the fear and do it anyway: Using ACT in Paediatrics.  Presented at : ‘Creative and Systemic Approaches to Paediatrics Psychology’ Conference, Great Ormond Street, London, October 2014.

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