Dr Alex Horne, Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Alex Horne

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

My professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships:

  • MBChB
  • FRCPsych
  • GMC registered and accredited as a consultant

My professional experience:

I was a consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry in the NHS for over 25 years in NELFT. I was medical director in NELFT for 6 years will 2014.

The problems young people experience fall into three categories.

Firstly they may develop a mental health condition, with symptoms, for example, depression, anxiety and OCD are common conditions.

Secondly they may have one of the neuro-developmental disorders, ADHD or ASD for example.

Thirdly they may have got into a significant struggle with managing how they feel. This problem is not a condition or a disorder but how they understand and process their feelings, which when it goes wrong leaves a young person feeling overwhelmed, isolated, even out of touch with their feelings, which can lead to cutting or other maladaptive behaviours. These three problems can present separately or together.

My approach is to take a developmental perspective, to explore the young persons history and life experiences, and from there assess for symptoms to identify if a condition is present, to look for neuro-developmental struggles and their associated behaviours and to explore emotional struggles. Once it is clear what the problem is it is possible to agree a treatment plan

My personal statement:

My approach in every case is, firstly, to understand what the current concerns/worries are as fully as possible and from there explore and uncover the underlying problem(s). Distress for a parent/child/young person can result from a number of factors, so it is important to explore areas where problems can start: a child’s development, family relations, life at school/college, friendships and life experiences. It is also important to look for signs of mental health problems such as depression which can go unrecognised, in the child or parent, and cause distress.

I would engage you in an open discussion to explore these and any other areas of concern to you.

Conditions I treat:

Mental health conditions

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Eating Disorder

Neuro-Developmental Disorders

  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • Sensory Sensitivities, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia (Developmental Discordination Disorder) and Speech and Language problems may co-exist and need additional psychological input to fully assess

Emotional Regulation Issues

Being emotionally overwhelmed, out of touch with feelings, which can lead to social isolation, social anxiety, superficial self harming behaviours and other maladaptive I coping behaviours.

My treatment approaches:

Treatment falls under two broad approaches.

  • Firstly medication to treat symptoms, for example anti-depressants for depression/anxiety or stimulant medication for ADHD.
  • Secondly therapy, for symptoms, and for emotional relational issues.

I prescribe medication where appropriate and monitor its use.

I offer psychotherapy for adolescents.

I refer to psychology colleagues for CBT and psychotherapy, and refer to family therapy colleagues for family work.

Additional information about my research, publications and interests:

My main aim is to help a child/young person to continue, or resume, a healthy development so they can achieve at school/college and socially.


Outpatient work only (as there is no current inpatient/day patient care available at Nightingale Hospital)
Works three days a week and does not offer an emergency service


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“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”