Dr Morwenna Opie

Dr Opie is a highly expert Clinical Health Psychologist with specialist skills in supporting patients with physical health conditions.

Speciality Consultant Clinical Psychologist Sub Speciality: Cardiac Health and Long-Term Health Conditions

Clinical interests

Dr Opie is a highly expert Clinical Health Psychologist with specialist skills in supporting patients with physical health conditions.  She uses psychological and non-invasive interventions to encourage healthy behaviours, and improve both quality of life and physiological outcome.

Morwenna passionately believes that mind and body are inseparable, and delivers evidence –based therapies in her accessible, positive and inimitable style.  She is qualified in delivering Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-based therapies and meditation.

Patients can very naturally feel overwhelmed with the emotions and all information to process during and after diagnosis and treatment.  Morwenna has a gift for bringing together an individual’s unique clinical picture in a clear and practical way, empowering patients to take the lead in managing and their condition and optomising their recovery.

 

“I am dedicated to do the best for patients, colleagues and all involved in patient care to maximize their potential. I strive to shape innovative psychologically-informed treatment pathways and approaches to achieve optimum outcomes for patients with chronic ill-health.  The vision is to see psychological healthcare routinely embedded in psychical healthcare settings.”

Education and Training

2000 BA (Double First Class Hons) (Cambridge)

2003 Psychology PhD (UCL – London)

2004 Endorsement in Clinical Psychology (Massey University, NZ)

2005 PGDipClinPsych  (Masey University, NZ)

Dr Opie undertook undergraduate studies at Magdalene College, Cambridge and graduated with double first class honors, receiving both subject and college prizes. Subsequently she completed her PhD in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at UCL, having been awarded a scholarship for full-fees and a teaching position.  She then followed her heart to live and complete her studies in New Zealand, where she obtained her clinical practicing certificates; specialising in anxiety, neurophysiology and in clinical health psychology.

Morwenna is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, is a registered practitioner with the Healthcare Professional Council and a Registered CBT therapist with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies.

Consultant Appointments

Dr Opie has an Honorary Clinical Psychologist Position at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where she is involved in developing and auditing innovative services and brief interventions aimed at integrating psychological health into physical healthcare.   In this setting she also contributes to expert panels and research steering groups with regards to psychological support for long-term health conditions.

Prior to joining the London Cardiovascular Clinic,  Morwenna worked in a private hospital setting for over a decade with individuals, groups, couples, and families; and advising and teaching other health-care professionals domestically and internationally. Her broad experience across the lifespan and for a range of disorders including panic, anxiety, trauma, bereavement, OCD, mood, duel-diagnoses and eating disorders provides a breath of approaches and experience required to work competently and confidently with real-life complexity.  Morwenna was an early proponent of ACT skills which are so powerful in helping patients live a full and value-driven life in the present day, and to let go of past frustrations or future fears, which drain their precious resources and energy.

Dr Opie also does in-house consultancy work with clinics and health-care settings to help them remain psychologically-informed, patient-centred and addressing work-place stress.

Research Interests

Dr Opie has published and played an advisory role in research projects relating to autonomic dysfunction, syncope, and psychological intervention in healthcare settings.  She has published most recently on the role of placebo in Cardiology, and the treatment of Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.  Morwenna is currently developing and researching group interventions for complex and enduring health conditions.

Dr Opie also has a particular interest in writing informative material about health and treatment which is accessible and useful to patients.  She has experience of writing to meeting the Information Standard for patient leaflets in this context.

National Roles & Presentations

Morwenna is a trustee of PoTS UK which is a charity committed to research, raising awareness, offering support and improving care-pathways for patients with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.  She has also worked closely with the Syncope charity STARS, and Dysautonomia International. As a patient advocate Morwenna has worked with the leads of the national treatment centers to create a patient research cohorts, drafted grant applications for a Medical Research Council and subsequently British Heart Foundation stipend, and has formed connections at NHS England, in Specialised Commissioning and in Westminster.

Morwenna upholds the importance of compassionate, patient-centered, well-communicated care in all aspects of health-care delivery.  She specialises in adjustment to life-altering health conditions, especially cardiac, rheumatological and neurological conditions, chronic pain.  She has a particular interest in working with patients with autonomic dysfunction, and syncope. Morwenna has been invited to speak nationally and internationally, and to Chair meetings on these topics.  She seizes all opportunities to address the erroneous and unhelpful separation of physical and mental health, and to advocate for the importance of addressing fear, isolation, the power of expectancy and of generating hope in healthcare settings. Morwenna has been involved in shaping the agendas, chairing and speaking at the Heart Rhythum Congress since 2014

Personal Statement

I continue to enjoy my work and the variety of people, with their diverse experiences, who cross my path as a result. It is a real privilege to be allowed such access into a patient’s life and inner world, and an even greater one to assist them to be self-accepting, self-compassionate and through that committed to making long-lasting life enhancing changes. I find I am always enriched by that shared therapeutic experience. I aim to create a relaxed, safe and genuine relationship with my patients to enable them to feel confident and skilled to live well and manage their own care.

Outside of work I enjoy friends and family time, walking my dog and chasing my children in the parks, healthy-wholesome cooking, escaping to my native Cornwall, keeping fit, playing my harp and painting, practicing yoga and meditation, community engagement – and just occasionally flaking out on the sofa for a family movie and supper!

Testimonials

“Has vastly improved my quality of life, and I am now much better equipped to deal with my life challenges”

 “For the first time I feel I am getting real help with my problems, …. Morwenna  was absolutely amazing”

 “having the chance to talk about my pain rather than hide it away has given me a release.. sharing this in a safe independent environment has helped me learn new ways to try and enjoy life with a disability… thank you for helping me”

 “I chose excellent because there wasn’t a higher choice…by the second session I was amazed by how different I felt towards my health problems.  Morwenna inspired positive feelings which changed my attitude and I now wasn’t dwelling on my pain so much ….

 “Alongside a list of positive suggestions, Mindfulness I found had amazing results. I am so grateful.”

 “I think everyone should have several sessions with a therapist when doing through diagnosis  and starting treatment”

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