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, experiences of hospital treatment and health-care delivery 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 and has supervised clinical psychologists and medical students and junior doctors undertaking research. She has worked in and managed psychology services across many different medical specialties, including intensive care, pain management, general medicine and endocrinology.
For several years she was 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 is the Lead for the Association of Clinical Psychologists’ COVID-19 members’ support scheme and is involved in the organisation of its scheme to support senior frontline doctors and managers.
Areas of Expertise
Chronic pain, hypermobility, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, HIV, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology including PCOS and diabetes, general medicine, 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, including intensive care.
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.
Emotional and Mental Health
Penelope pays particular attention to the emotional impact of health conditions on the person who experiences them. It is not unusual for daily life, mood, self-esteem, social life, work capabilities and relationships to be affected; 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.