Maria Garcia Lead Addictions Therapist at Nightingale Hospital

María García

Lead Addictions Therapist, Psychotherapist

Professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships:

• Bachelor of Science, Psychology (BSc)
• Master of Science, Clinical Psychology (MSc)
• Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling (PGDip) – BACP Accredited

• Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity – NCFED, BPS approved training
• Psychology of Addiction CPD – University of Oxford
• Motivational Interviewing CPD – University of Bath
• Couples Therapy CPD – The Tavistock Centre
• CBT Core Clinical Competencies CPD – C. Padesky, PhD

• MBPsS – Graduate Member of the BPS (British Psychological Association)
• MBACP – Member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy)


Professional statement:

I trained as a psychologist in Spain and further specialised in the UK in clinical psychology, addictions and eating disorders.

I have experience working in a variety of settings including various charitable organisations, schools, the NHS (IAPT services) and the private sector, where I have worked primarily in specialist addiction units. During my time in private mental healthcare I have experienced the many different facets of inpatient care including case management, psycho-educational workshop facilitation, continuing care planning, family group facilitation, in addition to regular group and individual therapy sessions. Moreover, I have extensive experience providing support to couples and family members in the context of addiction.

As lead therapist for the Addictions Unit at Nightingale Hospital I am responsible for the day-to-day running and development of the unit and I am highly invested in ensuring quality care to our patients. I also facilitate weekly therapy groups for inpatients in both the Addictions Unit and the Eating Disorders Unit, in addition to providing one-to-one therapy sessions to inpatients and outpatients from both services.

Personal statement:

Throughout my time in the clinical field I have learned the importance of allowing clients to grow in their own time, while holding the space for their process to take place. My aim is to support my clients in achieving their best possible outcome, encouraging them to develop themselves and their relationship with others. Accordingly, I strive to utilise my knowledge and experience to facilitate this in a productive and effective way.

I follow an integrative approach, incorporating the existential-humanistic approach with the psycho dynamic and cognitive behavioural models of therapy, all underpinned by a strong relational approach, placing an emphasis on the importance of the therapeutic relationship and the need to build the trust necessary for growth.
Moreover, and particularly in my work with addictions and eating disorders, I implement motivational interviewing techniques and have a flexible approach to treatment and recovery.

Finally, my training as a psychologist allows me to draw on a wide range of psychological theories in conjunction with the therapeutic approach, which is of particular interest when working with dual diagnosis (i.e., people who experience a mental health condition and a substance abuse problem simultaneously).

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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”