Chartered Psychologist | Dr Olivia Thrift
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Dr Olivia Thrift


Dr Olivia Thrift

Psychologist & Founder
I am an HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist and founder of The Psychology Company. I am also a licensed Psychologist in California. I work online via Zoom.

Attachment and Relational Trauma, Childhood Emotional Neglect, Enmeshment, Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks, OCD, Low Self-Esteem/Worth, Difficulties Regulating Emotions, Relationship Difficulties


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness and Schema Therapy.


UK Wide and California: Online Therapy Only.

Online Therapy


I am an HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist, certified Yoga and Mindfulness teacher and founder of The Psychology Company. In 2017 I moved to California and now provide therapy to my UK clients online via Zoom. My working hours for UK clients are 5pm-10pm GMT.


I supervise Psychologists and Psychotherapists looking to develop and enhance their Schema therapy skills and have supervised several therapists going through the schema accreditation process. I am also a licensed Psychologist in California.


The therapeutic approaches I specialise in include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)Compassion-Focused TherapyMindfulness and Schema Therapy. I am also trained in DBT and am a certified yoga teacher.


I work with people aged 18 years and over and appreciate there are many and varied things that can bring someone to therapy. I specialise in working with clients who experience chronic emotional or interpersonal issues and have experienced attachment difficulties growing up. This can include;

  • Physical/verbal/sexual/emotional abuse
  • Growing up in invalidating/critical/emotionally dismissive family environments
  • Growing up in an over-controlling environment where you were not free to be expressive, play or make mistakes
  • Growing up witnessing significant and/or frequent parental conflict/domestic violence.
  • Growing up with a family member who was addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Growing up with a family member who had volatile moods and/or angry outbursts.
  • Growing up with a family member who was depressed or experienced mental health problems.
  • Growing up with a family member who themselves experienced attachment/relational trauma as a child which went untreated.
  • Losing a parent/sibling/someone very close to you whilst growing up.
  • Experiencing parental divorce.
  • Having difficult experiences at school including going to boarding school, bullying and feeling different and/or ostracized from peers.


I also have a special interest in working with adults who experienced childhood emotional neglect. Childhood emotional neglect refers to a situation in which a child’s emotional needs were consistently unmet, ignored, or disregarded by their caregivers. It’s not necessarily about abusive or overtly harmful actions; rather, it’s often about what’s missing—emotional responsiveness, validation, and support that children require for healthy emotional development. Key aspects of childhood emotional neglect include:

  • Emotional Unavailability: Caregivers may have been physically present but emotionally unavailable due to various reasons like their own emotional struggles, work, or other priorities.
  • Lack of Validation: As children we might have grown up feeling our emotions weren’t acknowledged or validated.
  • Absence of Support: We might not have received the guidance, comfort, or support we needed when facing challenges or emotional distress.

Childhood emotional neglect can have lasting effects into adulthood and can lead to feelings of emptiness, low self-worth, relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety and difficulties in expressing or understanding emotions.


Finally, I have a passion for working with people who have grown up or are still in enmeshed relationships with their parents/close family members.  Enmeshment refers to a dysfunctional relational pattern where boundaries between individuals are blurred or non-existent. There is also an over reliance on a child for emotional support and children in enmeshed relationships with their parents may find themselves suppressing their own feelings and aspirations in favour of maintaining the other person’s wellbeing. Enmeshment can lead to an undeveloped sense of our own identity, loneliness and anger as well as a lack of autonomy and individuality, for example people might struggle to make independent choices or feel guilty when asserting their own needs, fearing it will upset or disappoint the other person.


I believe a strong therapeutic relationship combined with evidenced based structured therapy is imperative in helping people make the changes they desire. I am an active participant in therapy sessions which is different from some more passive approaches. A therapy session with me could include some or all of the following (this is not an exhaustive list);

  • Creating a psychological formulation together. A psychological formulation helps us to understand why you might be feeling the way you do and why you might act the way you do. To make this puzzle picture, we gather pieces of information about your temperament/personality, life experiences, recent stressors, things that might be maintaining your difficulties and your strengths. It is a collaborative process and it is usually developed over the course of therapy.
  • Psychoeducation. I will provide information and education about various topics related to psychology, therapy and mental health.
  • Trauma processing. I am  trained in various trauma processing techniques.
  • Emotion focused/experiential techniques including imagery rescripting and chair work. Experiential therapy techniques focus on helping people to experience their emotions in a safe way. These techniques can be helpful for people who have difficulty expressing their emotions, or who have been through traumatic experiences.
  • Learning new skills and techniques to help you regulate your emotions and tolerate distress.
  • Mindfulness and Compassion Practices


I am passionate about my work and feel very privileged to be able to help people overcome their difficulties and reach their goals. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family in Marin and wherever possible appreciating the wilderness of California.

My Experience

For more than 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of  supporting people as they work through the challenges and traumas of life. I have worked in the NHS, prison service, secure psychiatric hospitals, DBT teams and private practice. I have helped people with a vast spectrum of psychological difficulties – from longstanding and complex challenges to people seeking a safe reflective space to better understand and develop themselves. I seek to help all those I work with reach their full potential.


I am the founder of The Psychology Company. In 2017 I moved to California and now work with people in the UK online (via Zoom). I offer appointments between 5-10pm GMT. I am also a licensed Psychologist in California and have a private practice in San Anselmo, Marin.


I am a schema supervisor for several UK based Schema training programmes.  I co-authored a chapter titled: “Developing a Compassionate Mind to Strengthen The Healthy Adult Mode” for the Schema book entitled Creative Methods in Schema Therapy that was published by Routledge in 2020.


I have chartered status and am an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and am accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the regulatory body for psychologists in the UK. Furthermore I am certified with the International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST) and am an ISST authorised Advanced Schema Therapist, Trainer and Supervisor. I am a Certified Mindfulness Teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute, who are accredited by the International Mindfulness Teachers’ Association (IMTA).


Finally, I am also a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and am very interested in how trauma is stored in the body and how we can incorporate mindfulness and yoga into psychological therapy to help rebalance our nervous system and return our body and mind to full health.


I am covered by BUPA and work with clients aged 18 and over.

My Training

Practitioner Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (Psych.D); University of Surrey


B.Sc (Hons.) Psychology; University of Wales, Cardiff


CBT Training


Cognitive Therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Maudsley NHS Trust


Using Trauma-Focused CBT for PTSD; Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre


CBT for Eating Disorders; British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies


Recent Advances in OCD Treatment; British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies


Working with Distressing Psychosis; British Psychological Society


Schema Therapy Training


Advanced Certification in Schema Therapy; International Society for Schema Therapy. This training focused on using schema therapy with people with a diagnosis or traits of Personality Disorder including Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Avoidant/Dependent Personality Disorder


Group Schema Therapy (Dr Joan Farrell and Dr Ida Shaw); International Society for Schema Therapy


Time-Limited Schema Therapy (Dr Vreeswijk); International Society for Schema Therapy


Advanced Imagery Rescripting; (Dr Chris Hayes and Remco van der Wijngaart); International Society for Schema Therapy


Schema Therapy Skills: Working with avoidance and over-compensation; Schema Therapy Associates approved by the ISST


Transformational Chairwork; Scott Kellogg


Body Focused Interventions in Schema Therapy; Janis Briedis and Helen Startup


Treating Complex Trauma Using Schema Therapy; Judith Margolin and Robin Spiro


Schema Supervision Training


Schema Therapy Trainer-Supervisor; Dr Joan Farrell and Dr Ida Shaw; International Society for Schema Therapy


Using the Schema Therapist Competency Rating Scale (Dr Wendy Behary); International Society for Schema Therapy


DBT Training


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy; Isle of Wight NHS Trust


Radical Openness and DBT; Targetting Over Control; Professor Tom Lynch


Treating PTSD during Dialectical Behaviour Therapy with High-Risk Clients; British Isles DBT Team


Compassion Focused Therapy Training


Advanced Clinical Skills Workshop in Compassion-Focused Therapy; Prof Paul Gilbert; University of Derby


Using Compassion Focused Therapy To Overcome The Legacy Of Childhood Trauma; Dr Deborah Lee; British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies


Compassion Focused Therapy for Anger: The True Strength Program; Prof Russell Kolts; University of Derby


Compassionate Mind in Shame and Self-Attack; Dr Deborah Lee; British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies


Compassion and the Integration of Mind; Prof Paul Gilbert and Prof Dan Siegel.


Mobilising Compassion in Group Psychotherapy; Kia Kaha Psychotherapy and Training


Mindfulness and Yoga Training


Mindfulness Teacher Training with the Mindfulness Training Institute, Berkeley, California (12 month programme). Accredited by the International Mindfulness Teachers’ Association (IMTA)


Mindfulness Based Heart Centred Practices; Cultivating Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Spaciousness. Mindfulness Training Institute.


Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy Seven-Day Training Retreat; Oxford Mindfulness Centre


Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Core Skills Training; Dr Kristin Neff and Dr Christopher Germer; University of Derby


Mindful Compassion; Prof Paul Gilbert and Choden; Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan Centre, London


Yoga 200 hour teacher training; Samahita Retreat Thailand


Prison Yoga Project Training, Berkeley, California


Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Oakland, California


Forensic Training


HCR-20 V3; Partnerships in Care


Risk of Sexual Violence Protocol; Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Understanding and assessing Psychopathy (PCL-R); Pearson Training

Start your journey with us today…

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