Dr Carla Matias
PhD, DClinPsy, CPsychol
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years experience of clinical work with a variety of client groups presenting with a wide range of mental health difficulties, both in the private sector and in the NHS. Over the course of this work, I acquired extensive experience of several evidence-based psychological therapies scientifically proven to produce positive change in common mental health-related problems including difficulties with anxiety, depression, adjusting to traumatic/stressful events, low self-esteem, and relationship breakdown. I also have over 15 years experience of carrying out high quality research in the fields of child and adolescent mental health, parenting, and attachment. My research and clinical interests also include the understanding of mental health difficulties based on continuum views of experience (e.g. paranoid beliefs along a continuum of severity, from nonclinical to clinical levels).
Besides my private practice, I have until recently held a part-time NHS post as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in an inpatient rehabilitation service offering treatment to adults with complex and enduring mental health difficulties.
Registration and professional membership
I am registered as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and I am a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
My approach to psychological therapy is integrative, tailoring the most effective treatments to each client’s specific difficulties or concerns. I also emphasise goals and change-based therapies, which require a trusting and collaborative working partnership both in and outside sessions. To develop this trusting and collaborative stance, I aim to provide clients with a safe space in which they can feel heard and understood in a non-judgmental and empathic way, support them to identify their strengths, and promote their capacity to learn healthy ways of coping with psychological difficulties or distressing situations and achieve personally meaningful goals.
The psychological therapies I most frequently use are: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Schema Focused Therapy (SFT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Other therapeutic models that I draw upon include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).
Regardless of which therapeutic approach is used, my aim is to provide clients with an opportunity to safely explore difficult thoughts, emotions and behaviours; gain insight into usual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving and their impact on one’s life.
Working collaboratively with clients, I also aim to help them develop more effective ways of managing or relieving difficulties which may be causing them significant psychological distress or getting in the way of leading a more fulfilling and balanced life.
Areas of clinical interest
In line with my specialist clinical experience and research background, my main interests include working with:
- Complex mental health difficulties (e.g. psychosis; bipolar disorder)
- Anxiety disorders (e.g. OCD, panic, phobias, health anxiety)
- Low Mood / Depression
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – including single or multiple trauma
- Personality disorders
- Relationship difficulties
- Low self-esteem
- Emotional regulation difficulties
- Anger / Problem behaviours
- Chronic Shame/Guilt/Self-Criticism
- Loss / Adjustment Difficulties
Clinical Psychology Doctorate (DClinPsy), Royal Holloway University London UK
PhD in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, King’s College London UK
MPhil in Criminology, University of Cambridge UK
Psychology Licensing Degree, University of Minho, Portugal
Compassion-Focused Therapy for people who hear voices – Dr Charlie Heriot-Martland
Compassion-Focused Therapy for Trauma – Dr Deborah Lee
CBT for Psychosis (top up course) – University College London
CBT for Bipolar Disorder – Dr Rebecca Kelly & Dr Liam Mason
Working with Cognitive Difficulties in Psychosis – Dr Vaughan Bell
Behavioural Family Intervention (for psychosis) – St Georges NHS Trust
Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) – West London Mental Health Trust
Trauma-informed practice in Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) – Dr Amy Hardy
Working with voices in Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) – Dr Louise Johns
CBT for Voices & Diagnostic Uncertainty – University College London
Maastricht Interview (Voices & Paranoia) – Hearing Voices Network
The TEACCH Approach for Autistic Spectrum Disorders – St Andrew’s Healthcare
Adapted Programs for Offenders with Learning Disability – Learning Disability Secure Care Network
Kingston, J., Lassman, F., Matias, C. & Ellett, L. (2019). ‘Mindfulness and Paranoia: A Cross-Sectional, Longitudinal and Experimental Analysis’. Mindfulness, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-019-01162-2
Moreira, P. A.S., Dias, A., Matias, C., Castro, J., Gaspar, T., & Oliveira, J. (2018). ‘School effects on students’ engagement with school: Academic performance moderates the effect of school support for learning on students’ engagement’. Learning and Individual Differences, (67), 67-77.
Matias, C. (2015) ‘Correlates and Predictors of Nonclinical Paranoia’. Unpublished DClinPsy Thesis, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.
Matias, C., O’Connor, T. G., Futh, A., & Scott, S. (2014). ‘Observational Attachment Theory-based Parenting Measures Predict Children’s Attachment Narratives Independently from Social Learning Theory-based measures’, Attachment & Human Development, 16(1), 77-92.
O’Connor, T. G., Matias, C., Futh, A., Tantam, G. & Scott, S. (2013) ‘Social Learning Theory Parenting Intervention Promotes Attachment-Based Caregiving in Young Children: Randomized Clinical Trial’. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 42(3), 358–370.
Moreira, P., Gonçalves, O.F. & Matias, C. (2011). ‘Clients’ narratives in psychotherapy and therapist’s theoretical orientation: An exploratory analysis of Gloria’s narratives with Rogers, Ellis and Perls’. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, 11(2), 173-190.
Harwin J, Ryan M and Tunnard J, with Pokhrel S, Alrouh B, Matias C and Momenian- Schneider S (May 2011). The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) Evaluation Project Final Report. Brunel University http://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/centres/iccfyr/fdac
Scott, S., O’Connor, T., Futh, A., Matias, C., Doolan, M., & Price, J. (2010) ‘Impact of a parenting program in a high-risk, multi-ethnic community: The PALS trial’. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 51(12), 1331-1341.
Moreira, P., Crusellas, L., Sá, I., Gomes, P., & Matias, C. (2010). ‘Evaluation of a manual-based programme for the promotion of social and emotional skills in elementary school children: Results from a 4-year study in Portugal’. Health Promotion International. doi:10.1093/heapro/daq029 http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/daq029
Futh, A., O’Connor, T., Matias, C., Scott, S., & Green, J. (2008). ‘Attachment narratives and behavioral and emotional symptoms in an ethnically diverse, at risk sample’. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 47(6), 709-18.
Matias, C., Scott, S. & O’Connor, T. G. (2006) Coding of Attachment-Related Parenting (CARP). Unpublished manuscript, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK.
Matias, C. (2006) ‘Direct Observation of Parent-Child Interaction based on Attachment Theory’. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, University of London, UK.
I only offer remote therapy.
I am fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.