Dr Bijal Chheda-Varma

  • Practitioner Psychologist
  • CBT Therapist

My professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships:

Accredited by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Registered Practitioner Psychologist, Member of British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherpies (BABCP), Licenced psychometric and psychological assessor by the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTC – British Psychological Society), Honorary Chair of Special Interest Group for Eating Disorders (BABCP).

  • Chartered Psychologist (BPS)
  • Registered Practitioner Psychologist (HCPC)
  • Licensed for Psychometric Testing (Level A, Level B, ADOS) – Register of Qualifications in Test Use (BPS)
  • PhD in Psychological Assessment
  • MSc Counselling Studies
  • BA (Majors) Psychology (1st Class)
  • Master Practitioner Diploma in Eating Disorders and Obesity
  • Advanced Certificate in Schema Therapy
  • Certificate in Schema Therapy
  • Gestalt Group Facilitation Course
  • Primary Certificate in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (CBT Model)

My professional experience:

I have worked at Nightingale Hospital London since September 2008 as a Psychologist and CBT Therapist engaging in individual treatment and group therapy. I deliver care to inpatients, day patients and outpatients. My specialist areas are delivering psychometric, neuro-psychiatric and psychological assessments, CBT treatment for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, bi-polar affective and eating disorders. I also utilise schema therapy for long term work with hard to treat and complex cases (often beneficial for behavioural syndromes and personality disorders). Through my doctorate level specialisation I offer psychiatric and psychological assessments. In addition to CBT, I often adapt my clinical orientation into an integrative and interpersonal style. I also work with Practitioner Health Programme, an NHS funded treatment for sick doctors and dentists. I offer specialist neuro-psychiatric and psychological assessments and CBT therapy within this programme. I was an academic supervisor for Masters and PhD students between 2011 and 2014. Since late 2015 I deliver training and workshops on the treatment of eating disorders and neurodevelopmental spectrum. From June 2007 until September 2008, I practiced as a Senior Dual Diagnosis Practitioner. This was based at   Bexley Drug and Alcohol Team/Oxleas NHS Trust. I was responsible for treatment and therapy to patients with mental health illness/needs & addictions. I also offered case consultancy to various teams within the mental health & substance misuse sector based on cognitive model & motivational interviewing. Finally, from November 2004 until May 2007 I worked as the Psychologist and Counsellor at Hope House, Action on Addiction, London. I was responsible for delivering a clinical treatment programme within a residential rehabilitation unit for patients with substance misuse and mental health issues.

My personal statement:

As a psychologist, my work is based on intensive but goal oriented and time limited treatment and therapy. My clinical approach, is based on evidence based treatment models. CBT is my pre-dominant therapy style and I use it in both individual and group therapy. I see a wide spectrum of clinical and psychological conditions. I enjoy working with complex conditions such as the neuro-developmental spectrum, mood disorders, eating disorders and obesity. Clinical work with these patient groups offers a platform for research and academic evaluation of treatment. Apart from therapy, I specialise in the process of assessment and diagnosis of conditions. I am involved in the assessment of neuro-developmental conditions such as ADHD, Autism and Aspergers Syndrome at the Nightingale Hospital London and also offer other psychometric or formulation based assessments. In the future, I am keen on continuing to publish evidence from the treatments I practice in order to contribute towards the academic side of psychology. I hold several research interests and keep my fingers dipped in academia and research through doctorate supervision and examination. Overall, clinical work, assessment and diagnosis, academia and research offers a rich professional life.

Additional information about my research, publications and interests:

I have been involved in various print media and broadcast media articles which focus on the rise of prevalence of eating disorders.

Publication: What goes up must come down: Working with bi-polar clients. Therapy Today. (Co-author- Dr Werner Kierski). Volume 21, issue 10, December 2010, pp 20-24.

Research Interests:

  • CBT  and CBT for groups
  • Phenomenological and existential attributes within psychological assessments.
  • Gestalt approach within groups.
  • Group facilitation and group therapy
  • Brief Gestalt therapy
  • Using a combination approach between schema therapy and existential approach
  • Treatment of Bi-polar affective disorder using acceptance and commitment approach