Dr James Kustow Consultant psychatrist at Nightingale Hospital

Dr James Kustow

Consultant Psychiatrist , General Psychiatry

My professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships:

  • Member Royal College of Psychiatry (MRCPsych)
  • Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery (BMBS)
  • BMed Sci
  • Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy
  • EMDR – trained (Adv)
  • EFT – trained (Adv)

My professional experience:

I studied medicine in Nottingham and trained in psychiatry with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (Guys and St Thomas’ hospitals) and at St Mary’s Hospital. I am a general adult psychiatrist and have experience working with the full range of mental health problems that are encountered in adulthood. In addition to my private practice, which has been built gradually over 15 years, I continue to work as an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist in London.

One of my main areas of specialist expertise is Adult ADHD. I work in one of the very few London-based NHS specialist Adult ADHD services. I am on the Executive Board of UKAAN (the main professional organisation for Adult ADHD in the UK) and I am UKAAN’s Training Programme Director. The comprehensive training programme UKAAN offers is highly respected in the UK and recognised internationally for its quality. I lecture widely on the topic of Adult ADHD and its management.

I am also Medical Director of ‘The Grove Practice’, an established central London psychotherapy and training organisation. The Grove is currently involved in providing specialist trauma-focussed therapy for those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.

I have, in recent years, worked as a psychiatrist to a London-based university, seeing students with mental health difficulties. I am one of very few psychiatrists also trained as a psychotherapist (integrating a variety of trainings including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Hypnotherapy, EMDR and EFT into my psychiatric practice). I have also done some training in nutrition, a particular area of interest.

I have recently introduced two new, cutting-edge interventions to support my clinical approach:

  • The first is the use of pharmacogenetic testing (specifically the ‘Genecept’ mouth swab test by US company, ‘Genomind’). I have come to recognise the clear benefits of a more targeted and informed approach to medication choice. The results of the test help patients and their clinicians migrate away from medications for which an identified genetic variant would likely lead to poor tolerability or non-response.
  •  The second is the use of leading US medical device, ‘Alpha-Stim’, an FDA approved cranial electrotherapy treatment for Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and Pain management. With an extensive evidence-base, and technology that has been refined and tested over 30 years, Alpha-stim is now available to the UK market, and I have already integrated in to my routine patient care. After a highly successful study in the NHS, Alpha-stim looks set to get NICE approval for the treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

My personal statement:

I am passionate about the work I do. I recognise the huge impact of mental illness and emotional distress, but also the potential for positive change and growth, even through adversity. I work collaboratively with people who seek my support, helping them harness their own skills and strengths to recover, become more resilient and go on to reach their full potential. This is the ethos of ‘positive psychology’ and it underpins my day to day practice.

I place a great deal of value on my relationships with my patients. I feel privileged to be allowed access into their personal lives and I always treat this with respect. I aim to strike a healthy balance between the psychological and the biological, integrating my psychotherapeutic training into my work as a medically trained psychiatrist.

I understand the physical body to be of central importance to mental wellbeing – this explains my longstanding interest in Liaison Psychiatry (the interface between mental and physical health). The body quite clearly harbours unresolved emotions and distress. Engaging it, together with the mind, as part of recovery process, often holds the key to processing and releasing that distress.

Additional information about my research, publications and interests:

I am co-author of a textbook on Adult ADHD, and editor of a book on alcoholism in high functioning individuals. I am (co)author of a number of papers both in Adult ADHD and Liaison psychiatry.

I am currently chairing a team of European experts in the 2018 update of the pharmacotherapy section of the European Consensus Statement on Diagnosis and Treatment of Adult ADHD.

I occasionally do medico-legal work related to Adult ADHD.

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