Dr Iona Naismith

I’m a clinical psychologist with over 10 years experience providing therapy to adults, teenagers and couples.

I offer therapy that is led by your needs and grounded in the latest science, to create lasting and meaningful change in your life.

THERAPY - Caring for you

I offer therapy for adults, couples and teenagers for a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety disorders, relationship or interpersonal difficulties, low self-esteem, stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders.

My key principles are:

  • Therapy should be guided by the best evidence about what helps
  • Therapy only works when clients feel truly listened to and respected
  • The therapist and client(s) should work together as a team, making changes that fit the client's goals and values.

In therapy sessions, we’ll work together to understand current problems and find useful tools you can use long-term to solve them. The therapy will be personalized to your goals.

I am passionate about promoting therapy as a valuable part of self-care and viewing mental health difficulties as normal reactions to difficult life events. Through experience, I have seen that the techniques learnt in therapy can bring life-altering benefits.

When working with individuals, I draw on science-backed approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness. Together, these provide a huge range of strategies to help people understand why they are feeling stuck or overwhelmed, what caused these difficulties or made them vulnerable, and how to slowly but surely build new ways of thinking and ways of relating to themselves and others.

When working with couples, I draw on integrative couple therapy, which combines behavioral change with acceptance of differences, and emotion-focused therapy, which explores the emotional needs of each partner and how our fears or worries can unintentionally get in the way of relationship satisfaction.

I am registered with the following health insurers: Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Cigna and Vitality. I also accept self-pay clients.


I completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Oxford (in 2011) as well as a doctorate in clinical psychology at University College London (in 2016), which is one of the most rigorous qualifications in therapy. I have worked in various private & public hospitals and an award-winning therapy service in North London.

​I balance my private practice with research and teaching postgraduate therapy students, which keeps me up to date with the latest evidence regarding what works. I have presented at international psychology conferences including in the UK, the US, Germany and Colombia. I am accredited as a Clinical Psychologist with the HCPC. I also hold an Enhanced DBS certificate.


I have been fortunate enough to work directly with hundreds of clients since I started clinical practice more than 12 years ago. Supervising and teaching other therapists also helps me to deepen my knowledge and skills.

In my first clinical post I spent 18 months in a specialist NHS clinic in London that offered residential stays to help people overcome severe anxiety, including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias and other anxiety conditions. This was a really impactful experience for me that gave me confidence and hope that with the right help, people could overcome even the most longstanding difficulties.

During my doctorate training, I worked in a number of posts, including one year in an award-winning service for adults offering short-term therapy like CBT, and another year across two specialist clinics supporting adolescents with emotional or behavioural difficulties and their families.

I subsequently made quite a big change and took up a post as a Professor of Psychology in Colombia, where I combined clinical work with teaching, supervising and researching best-practice. I collaborated on various projects that included delivering therapy for trauma survivors, working out how to maximize the impact of compassion-focused therapy, and developing wellbeing interventions for corporations.

For the past three years I have been working solely in independent practice, supporting adults, couples and teenagers to work out what is important to them and help bring them closer to their desired life. I am passionate about helping people to learn to relate to themselves and the world in a different way, to make life less overwhelming and take steps towards tranquility, joy and meaningfulness.

Please click the button below to get in touch and see how I can be of help to you. You can also find more information about CFT, DBT, and CBT here.

One thing to be clear on when you’re choosing a psychologist, is that therapists are humans too. This means no one therapist will feel ‘right’ for everyone. I want you to know that that even if we aren’t a helpful match, there will be a therapist out there for you, so please hold hope that you can be supported in the way you need.



Naismith, I.,  Jimenez Leal, W., Pople, A., Holmes, E. (2023). Validation of the Hispanic American version of the Plymouth Sensory Imagery Questionnaire (Psi-Q): A Culturally Adapted Measure of Multisensory Mental Imagery. Revista Colombiana de Psicología.

Muñoz-Martinez, A., Gomez Maquet, Y., Gonzalez, D. & Naismith, I. (2023). Implementation of a Brief Online Skills Group of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Emotional Dysregulation in Latinx: A Withdrawal Experimental Single-Case Design. Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 51(4):286-301. doi: 10.1017/S1352465823000085.

Muñoz-Martinez, A. & Naismith, I. (2022). Social Connectedness, Emotional Regulation, and Health Behaviors as Correlates of Distress during Lockdown for COVID-19: A Diary Study. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. 

Naismith, I., Otto Scheiber, C.S., Gonzalez Rodriguez, D. & Petrocchi, N. (2022).  Self-compassion is more soothing than a walk in the forest: Physiological response to self-compassion versus relaxation in a clinical population. Plos ONE.

Naismith, I., Ripoll-Nuñez, K., & Baquero Henao, G. (2022). Depression, anxiety, and PTSD following intimate partner violence: the role of self-criticism, guilt, and gender beliefs. Violence against women.

Zarate-Guerrero, S. Duran-Molina, J. & Naismith, I. (2022). How a Transdiagnostic Approach can Improve the Treatment of Emotional Disorders: Insights from Clinical Psychology and Neuroimaging. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy

Ripoll-Nuñez, K., Naismith, I., & Pardo, V.M. (2022). Strengthening myself occurs by caring for myself":  Self-perceptions and experiences of group compassion-based therapy for female survivors of intimate partner and gender-based violence. Partner Abuse. ISSN: 1946-6560

Naismith, I., Ripoll-Nuñez, K. & Pardo, V.M. (2020). Group Compassion-Based Therapy for female survivors of intimate partner violence and gender-based violence: A pilot study. Journal of family violence, 36(2), 175-182.  DOI: 10.1007/s10896-019-00127-2.

Naismith, I., Kerr, S., Mwale, A., Feigenbaum, J. (2019). A thematic analysis of compassion-focused imagery for people with personality disorder: inhibitors, facilitators and clinical recommendations. Clinical Psychologist, 23 (3),   DOI: 10.1111/cp.12180

Naismith, I., Zarate Guerrero, S. & Feigenbaum, J. (2019). Abuse, invalidation and lack of early warmth show distinct relationships with self-criticism, self-compassion and fear of self-compassion in personality disorder. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 26(3):350-361 doi: 10.1002/cpp.2357 

Naismith I, Duran Ferro, C., Ingram G. P. D., Jimenez-Leal W. (2019). Compassion-focused imagery reduces shame and is moderated by shame, self-reassurance and multisensory imagery vividness.  Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 22 (1): 113-122. doi: 10.4081/ripppo.2019.329

Castro-Camacho, L., Moreno, J. & Naismith, I. (2019). Contextual Adaptation of the Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Victims of the Armed Conflict in Colombia: A Case Study. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 26 (2), 366-380. Doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2018.09.002

Naismith, I., Mwale, A., Feigenbaum, J. (2018). Inhibitors and facilitators of Compassion-Focused Imagery in Personality Disorder. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 25(2):283-291. doi: 10.1002/cpp.2161.

Buckman, J.E.J., Naismith, I., Saunders, R., Morrison, T., Linke, S., Leibowitz, J., & Pilling, S. (2018). The impact of alcohol use on dropout and psychological treatment outcomes in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services: an audit. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 46(5):513-527. doi: 10.1017/S1352465817000819.

Veale, D., Naismith, I., Miles, S., Gledhill, L. J., Stewart, G., & Hodsoll, J.  (2016). Outcomes for residential or inpatient intensive treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders, 8: 38-49.

Veale, D, Miles, S, Naismith, I, Gilbert, P. (2016). Development of a Compassion Focused and Contextual Behavioural Environment and validation of the Therapeutic Environment Scales (TESS).  BJPsych Bulletin, 40: 12-19.

Veale, D., Naismith, I., Miles, S. Childs, G., Ball, J., Muccio, F. and Darnley, S. (2015). Outcome of intensive cognitive behaviour therapy in a residential setting for people with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: a large open case series. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 30: 1-16.

Veale, D., Gilbert, P., Wheatley, J. & Naismith, I. (2014). A New Therapeutic Community: Development of a Compassion-Focussed and Contextual Behavioural Environment. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 22(4): 285 -303. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1897

Veale, D, Naismith, I, Eshkevari, E, Ellison, N, Costa, A, Robinson, D, Kavouni, A. Cardozo, L. (2014). Psychosexual outcome after labiaplasty: a prospective study. International Urogynecology Journal, 25: 831-839

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