Penelope Cream, MA, DipPsych, MSc, DClinPsy, CPsychol, AFBPsS

Penelope holds dual qualifications as both a Clinical and a Health Psychologist. She has worked in the fields of the psychology of complex medical conditions, long-term health problems and health-care delivery and hospital experiences in many of London’s large teaching hospitals since 2001. Penelope has worked across the age span and in mental as well as physical health, with people of all backgrounds, and from many different cultures and ethnicities. Her interests lie in supporting people with physical health conditions and the clinical teams that care for them. Often the people she sees have multiple medical as well as psychological conditions and are balancing many different adjustments and challenges.

Penelope has taught in hospitals, clinics and medical schools, supervised psychologists at different stages of training and experience and has held a supervisory role for medical students and junior doctors undertaking research. She has been an invited speaker at conferences and a contributor to research papers, textbooks and hospital policy planning. Penelope has worked in and managed psychology services across many different medical specialties, including pain management, general medicine and endocrinology, and was for several years the clinical psychologist for complex diabetes and pancreatic islet transplantation at The Royal Free Hospital. In 2011 she set up the psychology service for sickle cell and thalassaemia at St George’s Hospital and was part of a national team establishing policy and psychology standards for haemoglobinopathies treatment across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Penelope has a particular interest in multi-disciplinary team working and in helping patients and clinical staff to find the most effective and compassionate ways of communicating. She enjoys assessing clinical needs in different specialties and helping teams to develop psychological skills and services to enhance patients’ wellbeing and management of their conditions.

Areas of Expertise

Chronic pain, hypermobility, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology including PCOS and
diabetes, dermatology, depression, anxiety, stress, chronic fatigue, phobias related to hospital treatment, self-esteem, traumatic stress, health anxiety, adjustment to
medical diagnoses, hospital procedures and admissions, and experiences of intensive care unit treatment.

Physical Health

Penelope has many years’ experience of working in both outpatient and inpatient settings, supporting people with long-term conditions as well as admissions to acute
and critical care. She is accustomed to working with people who have multiple conditions and concerns, who are managing the impact of their health on their work,
psychological well-being, everyday life and relationships. She has worked in many medical specialties, including pain management, intensive care, diabetes, endocrinology and gynaecological endocrinology, gastroenterology, general medicine, sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, HIV, infectious diseases and dermatology.

Emotional and Mental Health

Penelope pays particular attention to the emotional impact of health conditions on the person who experiences them. This can include changes to mood – such as depression, stress or anxiety – or the impact on day-to-day life and work, and managing adjustment to change and the effects of medication. It is not unusual for self-esteem, social life, work capabilities and relationships to be affected and Penelope offers the opportunity for people to reflect on these aspects and to find ways to manage and adjust to them. She uses various evidence-based psychological therapies, including CBT, systemic and narrative therapies and trauma-informed approaches, as well as ACT and motivational interviewing.

Penelope is a Chartered Psychologist and a member of the British Psychological Society and its Divisions of Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology. She is also a member of the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK and is registered with the Health Care Professions Council.