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National services

Our experts

National services

Our experts

National services

Our experts

National services

Our experts

Dr Rita Hassan Parker

Principal Clinical Psychologist


Dr Rita Hassan Parker is a Principal Clinical Psychologist with the Trauma and Dissociation Service specialising in the assessment and treatment of psychological trauma-related conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, complex trauma and dissociative disorders. She offers both group and individual based treatment modalities.

Specialist interest
Working with trauma and attachment processes using body-oriented approaches, working with dissociative processes, child and adolescent development and how this shapes presentations in adulthood, working with self-harm and emotion dysregulation, the process of personal growth in patient work, supervisory processes, meditative practices, and working with and strengthening the marginalised populations of society. She has a strong trust in the organicity of nature and life, and values the process, timing, and pace of any healing journey.

Her psychology training is rooted in an integrative approach, informed by psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive behavioural therapy and community psychology frameworks and she is registered with the Health Professionals Council (HPC). She has followed additional training and is certified in sensorimotor psychotherapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, and has had additional training in lifespan integration therapy, DBT-trauma focused approaches and narrative exposure therapy (NET).

Qualifications and work history
  • BSc (Hons) degree in Physiology from University College London, 1999
  • Postgraduate diploma course (PGDip) in Psychology at the University of Nottingham, 2002
  • Care worker/assistant psychology experience in mental health inpatient and residential settings and in a Sure Start centre
  • Three-year Clinical Psychology Doctorate training (DClinPsy) at Salamons, Canterbury Christ Church University, 2007. This included a placement at the Traumatic Stress Service, St George’s Hospital; a doctoral research thesis on the experience of adolescents held in UK immigration detention centre
  • Qualified clinical psychologist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Adolescent Outreach services, 2008

Following this in 2009 she joined the National and Specialist DBT service for adolescents where she helped to set up the now established service. Various other roles during this time included: working on a social care hostels project with MAC-UK using a community psychology approach; a six-month part-time secondment with the trust’s Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Service.

Through this work her interest in working therapeutically with dissociative processes led her to further train in sensorimotor psychotherapy and do an honorary and part-time seconded post at the Trauma and Dissociation Service prior to securing her current role.

Other roles
Dr Hassan Parker supervises clinical psychologists across a number of services and has conducted teaching and training to a diverse range of audiences on topics including DBT, emotion regulation skills, self-harm assessment and social approaches to psychology and cultural diversity. She has also offered external reflective or process-oriented consultations to professionals.

Publications and conference presentations
Robjant K, Hassan R, Katona C (2009). Mental health implications of detaining asylum seekers: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry 2009; 194(4):306-12

2008 Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference
Hassan, R. (Dec 2008). Listening to adolescent asylum seekers’ experiences of being held in UK immigration detention centres: A Qualitative Exploration