Dr Rita Intili is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and the newly appointed Clinical Lead for Keeping Well BLMK. Rita brings a wealth of experience to the service.

Rita has worked in the NHS for over 25 years across a variety of settings, including hospital, community and GP surgeries. She has extensive experience in assessing and treating adults with wide-ranging psychological difficulties of varying complexity, such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, OCD, depression, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia and trauma. She specialises in working with individuals who experience interpersonal difficulties and enduring and intense emotional dysregulation.

Rita has supervised Clinical Psychologists, Counselling Psychologists and Trainee Clinical Psychologists. She has been a Liaison Tutor and is involved in the selection of Clinical Psychology Trainees for the University College London Doctorate course. She has also been an external examiner for the Professional Clinical Psychology Doctorate course at the University of East London.

In her clinical work, Rita draws upon evidence-based interventions using a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). Over the years, she has become increasingly more interested in developing and applying CFT in her practise in response to the growing evidence indicating the benefits of cultivating compassion for psychological health and wellbeing.

Having been a front-line worker for many years, Rita understands the pressures of working in the health and care sector: “I know how demanding, unpredictable and reactive key worker roles can be – you can be constantly working under pressure and need to think on your feet” she says. “For a long time I have been aware of the need for developing a culture that recognises support for key workers is essential, and where staff feel safe to reach out for help. Through my work with Keeping Well BLMK I want to help foster this culture.”

Rita emphasises that provision of easy access to support is vital, stating: “A lot of staff wouldn’t know how to access help in the system, and through Keeping Well I want to offer a service where getting help is straightforward, easy and staff feel safe to do so. For example, staff can self-refer to Keeping Well and do not need to be referred by a manager, simplifying the process and making it more confidential.”

Rita is committed to facilitating staff support: “The need for supporting keyworkers is what motivated me to join Keeping Well BLMK. Support is crucial to guard against burnout and to enable staff to continue to do their jobs. We need to change the culture and messaging, because we all need help from time to time and this does not detract our competence. The necessity for supporting keyworkers has become even more pertinent in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused unprecedented levels of stress. I want to help and support more of my colleagues because I know how tough the work can be, and Keeping Well BLMK is here to provide that support.”

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