My interest in psychiatry was born through my passion for literature. From a young age I became enchanted by novels, and fascinated by the characters I would find in them. It was a natural progression for me to study the character of people through my work as a psychiatrist.
I trained as a psychiatrist in my home country of Lithuania, at the Kaunas University of Medicine. I was very fortunate that this training involved psychotherapy, which provided me the essential skills of how to make contact with my clients, and showed me how to have real empathy and understanding for how their mental health conditions affected them, the people around them and the way they lived their lives. I believe this integration of psychiatry and psychotherapy gives me a unique blend of skills when working with clients.
I worked as a Grade 1 Psychiatrist in the Kaunas Psychiatric Hospital for over 25 years. During this time I worked with all presentations of mental health, and took a special interest in working with emotionally vulnerability people. Using a biological, social and psychological model I was able to support people overcome the stigma of mental health, and teach them how to cope when they got into a crisis.
After my marriage I decided to move to the UK, and in 2001 I started work within the UK health system. I started as a psychotherapist and progressed in 2004 to Consultant Psychiatrist in the Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Today I am a Consultant Psychiatrist in General Adult Psychiatry, in the In-patient / Home Treatment Team for the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Throughout my career as a psychiatrist, I have continued my study and exploration of psychotherapy. My base modality of training was in Transactional Analysis, which gives me a great base to understand how personality is constructed, and how psychopathology can manifest. Since then I have integrated further types of psychotherapy training into my work:
My recent training in Embodied Therapy, which explores how people hold psychological and emotional experience in their body, has allowed me to enhance my understanding of the feelings and experiences of people who suffer with major mental health disorders. Embodied Therapy integrates well with Transactional Analysis, which is a bio-psycho-social model, and I believe allows me to be even more productive in supporting people with mental heath problems to recover, and find a healthier way of living their lives.
In recent years I have found my work especially interesting when working with eating behaviour, malnutrition and eating disorders. I believe understanding how mental health can deteriorate with eating disorders and obesity, and become enmeshed with other co-morbid mental health conditions, is an essential frame and context that is necessary to support recovery. At WeightMatters, working with the excellent therapy and nutrition teams, allows us to provide a holistic team approach to enable our clients to move towards a balanced life and a healthy relationship with food, eating, body and their weight.
I am married, and enjoy my five daughters and twelve grandchildren, and live in the south west of England. I have always enjoyed dancing, and I’m now learning to dance Jaiva. To relax and have fun I love to ski, sail and visit interesting places. Cooking and eating are important to me, and I like creating recipes which keep me healthy, and give me energy to do all the wonderful things which life has brought me.