Dr Caroline Vermes, Director 

 

Hello, I am the Director of Oakwood Psychology Services, and a Chartered HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist.

Oakwood Psychology Services provides counselling and CBT services by contract to public and private corporate customers including the NHS.  We strive to provide personalized, knowledgeable psychological therapies for our clients to help improve emotional and relational health and wellbeing. We also provide well-supported training placements and supervision for trainee psychological therapists. The dedicated Oakwood team comprises caring and committed practitioners, administrators, support staff and trainees. Oakwood is proud to be a BACP Accredited Service.

Education

2018: D.Couns.Psych, Manchester University

2012: LEAD, Manchester Metropolitan University

2010: MA, Counselling Studies, University of Manchester

2000: NJ Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), US Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC)

1994: M.Ed, Counselling Psychology, Rutgers University, New Jersey

1988: BA Art History (Cum Laude), Drew University, New Jersey

Memberships

Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) since 2003.

Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Full Member of the Division of Counselling Psychology of the British Psychological Society

Awards

1997 Lifetime membership of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

2010 MA Dissertation awarded Distinction. This study focussed on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of guided self-help programmes for helping people overcome binge eating and bulimia.

Work background

I qualified in counselling psychology in New Jersey, USA in 1994. In 2000 I earned NJ State Licensure as a Professional Counsellor (LPC) and qualified as a Nationally Certified Counsellor (NCC).

From 1994 –2000 I held staff psychotherapist positions on psychiatric units at St Clare’s Hospital, Boonton, NJ, and the University Medical Center, Princeton, N.J. During this time I also worked as an associate counsellor in a number of private practices, most notably the Center for Optimum Living in Kinnelon, NJ, with Dr Sal Benanti from 1995 to 2002.

In 2002 I moved to Manchester, a city I love deeply, where I still live to this day.

In 2003 I commenced work with Dr Barbara Douglas at the North West Centre for Eating Disorders, based in Stockport. This service was first commissioned as a community eating disorder service by the NHS in 1997. I took on its leadership in 2006. Over the following five years I developed a stepped care approach for eating disorders within the service, including lower intensity guided self-help and group therapy options, as well as tailored family and individual therapy approaches. I also established a successful intensive outpatient treatment option, including a supported meals club. This programme offers a practical approach to helping people with more severe or enduring eating disorders.

In 2006 I developed a selective placement programme for counsellors and counselling psychologists in advanced training.  To date, we have mentored around 50 counsellors studying at universities including Manchester, Salford, Derby, Teesside, Keele, Wolverhampton, Chester, Bolton, and City University, London.  Our trainees do excellent clinical work while building their practice portfolios towards qualification.

In 2011 I was awarded a grant by the Northwest Regional Development Agency to undertake the LEAD SME management programme at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School. I subsequently published a BPS guidance document and a textbook chapter on the practicalities of social entrepreneurship in mental health service delivery.

In 2011-2014 the Oakwood team partnered with Dr Sheena Bedi and ABL Health to train and develop multidisciplinary staff teams, and to deliver group and individual psychological therapies for health-related behaviour change programmes within NHS-commissioned Specialist Weight Management Services (SWMS) in Manchester, Salford, Tameside, Oldham, Bury, Stockport and Blackpool.

I completed my doctoral research in counselling psychology at the University of Manchester in 2018. My study investigated how clients make therapy work through engaging social resources.

Beyond my responsibilities in counselling service leadership, I am also a Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at University of Manchester.

I am a Trustee of Home Café, a charitable social space affiliated with St James and Emmanuel Church in Didsbury, Manchester.

Publications

Vermes, C. (2013). An Introduction to Bidding for Public Sector Contracts for Counselling Psychologists. British Psychological Society.

Vermes, C. (2016). Becoming an Entrepreneur-Practitioner. In Douglas, B., Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Kasket, E. and Galbraith, V. (Eds). The Handbook of Counselling Psychology (4th Edition, 616- 639). London: Sage.

Vermes, C. (2017). The individualism impasse in counselling psychology. Counselling Psychology Review, 32(1), 44-53.

Vermes, C. (2017). Eating disorders. In C. Feltham, T. Hanley and L. A. Winter (Eds). The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy (4th Edition, 421-426). London: Sage.