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Introducing Dr Rosie Gilderthorp, Plymouth based Clinical Psychologist.

We are all currently in a time and place where our mental health is being tested to it's limits. Parents especially are feeling the pressure with many children still at home 24/7 after what is now months. Practical family support has not been an option for most and with the added weight of home schooling alongside financial difficulties, it has been stressful to say the least. In our very first Your Zen Life blogzine interview, we meet Dr Rosie Gilderthorp (who frankly I couldn't have discovered at a better time) to provide us with resources that she describes as 'help in being the parent you really want to be' with the Emotional Health Toolkit.

Tell us about you!

I’m a Clinical Psychologist, military wife and mum to two toddlers age three and almost two. I worked for ten years in mental health with HM Prison Service and also in the NHS, before setting up my own private practice Dr Rosie psychology services when I was living in London in 2018.

After a difficult pregnancy, lots of sickness and stress alongside lots of spam email telling me how excited I should be and how good I should feel, my experiences felt completely out of sync with the rest of the world! Hypnobirthing changed everything for me and I began to feel genuinely excited about the prospect of birth and by the time the day came, the process held no fear for me. I came out of my birth feeling empowered and confident as a new mum.

I wanted to support other parents who were struggling with their mental health, so I offered hypnobirthing classes and psychological therapy for people struggling with birth trauma, post natal depression and anxiety. I loved my work but after only a few months I found out that my husband was going to be re-located to Plymouth, Devon.

When we arrived in May 2018. I threw myself into getting to know the local baby community and made some wonderful business friends. Before long, my hypnobirthing classes were doing well and I grew a thriving therapy practice at Plymouth Science Park. It always bothered me however, that solo or single parents who didn’t have much support around them, wouldn’t be able to come in for sessions, so last year I got an additional qualification in providing online therapy, so I could help more people like me who struggle with childcare and now around 50% of my therapy work is done online!   

I have been consistently blogging and using social media over the years, to try and help parents improve their mental health and support their children.

In February this year, I started the 'Do more than therapy' community and the'Business of Psychology Podcast.' with the aim to assist other psychologists and therapists to help more people by creating sustainable community projects on social media, through books or other exciting innovations.

It is social enterprise that exists so other professionals can help more people live more values and avoid burnout. The Do More Than Therapy group now has a fully fledged membership following a successful Crowdfunder campaign, which offers masterclasses in mindset, business skills and creative projects as well as peer supervision and a very supportive community. I am halfway through the first season of the podcast which I am incredibly proud of.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak people have been looking to the online world for help to get them through the crisis with their mental health intact.

Through my Do More Than Therapy community I came across a wonderful project called The Emotional Health Toolkit which is a Facebook group formed as part of a professional collaboration.

Over forty psychologists are uploading helpful videos, blog posts and other guidance designed to help people deal with the pressures of social distancing and anxiety linked to the virus. The project was so in line with my values as a psychologist that I couldn’t resist asking to get on board and I am now part of the organising team. This is a new, more accessible way for people to improve their mental health from home and I am very proud to be part of it. Bringing people the knowledge they need to improve their mental health and reversing the current “mental health” crisis drives me. I think that is how I find the energy to work even on days when neither of my children have slept!

I am hopeful that this crisis will create lasting change. It is almost like, through losing everything we normally use to make ourselves feel good, like socialising, the gym and our routines, we have the opportunity to build habits that are healthy for our minds. I also hope to build healthy habits for my own body as I am as susceptible as anyone to the self isolation Toblerone...

I am in the process of having the Do More Than Therapy Community and Dr Rosie Psychology services brought together as one social enterprise. That means that any profit I make goes back into the projects I am running, providing low cost therapy or other innovations in mental health. I have always run my businesses with this philosophy and am proud to call myself a social entrepreneur. My ultimate aim is to make a big impact on the way society views and deals with our mental health. I see this as becoming much bigger than something I can do from my office.

Being a military wife means I have to adapt to challenging situations all the time, so I am flexible and innovative because I have to be! We move frequently and I am a solo parent for long periods of time, often with very little notice. My stability in life is that my mission never changes. I sometimes have to find new ways to achieve it but the flexibility that online working brings, means I can just pick up and carry on when life throws me a curve ball. As I bring more people in to the team over the next year I expect that will become part of our working culture.

Where do you work from?

I carry out my face to face work at Plymouth Science Park. It is a comfortable and quiet location for my clients and a stimulating and professional community to be a member of. I also like to offer my clients the highest level of flexibility possible so carry out much of my work online via zoom. This has become standard since COVID-19 changed the world but a few months ago I would probably have needed to explain to readers what zoom is! I also use The Emotional Health Toolkit, Facebook videos, Instagram and my website to communicate positive messages about mental health to people that need them.

COVID-19 has certainly tested my ability to be flexible!

Despite the fact my husband has been recently deployed with the Royal Navy and will be away for an indefinite period, I am, after a Covid induced break, continuing my work with the Emotional Health Toolkit and the Do More Than Therapy Community.

My belief in my mission to make positive messages about mental health part of normal life has never been stronger or more relevant than it is right now. I am also offering my therapy and hypnobirthing services online. Whether or not you are diagnosed with pre or post natal depression, there are times during pregnancy and early parenthood when every parent needs a bit of help. There are good evolutionary reasons for that. Therapy with me, including my reduced cost online courses, is all about understanding your brain and body while learning compassion, relaxation and mindfulness practices that will help you take control.

I believe in knowing your values in life and doing what matters to you even when it is hard. That is how I try to approach both my family life and my work life and forms the basis of the therapy I do with my clients.

The Future

I think this project is bigger than just me, so over the next year I plan to work with the mental health professionals to grow the membership of the Do More Than Therapy Community and use the profits to invest in providing more low cost therapy and funding more innovations designed to enhance the nation’s mental health. 

I find therapy work very fulfilling but I have never believed that mental health is a “ disease" that only needs treatment when it gets really bad. I see our mental health as something that we all need to look after throughout our lives. When I started the business I was driven purely by a desire to help people who were already struggling with their mental health but my perspective has changed. I still find a great deal of fulfilment from helping those who are struggling but I also believe we have a responsibility as mental health professionals to help people before they reach crisis point. I am fuelled by the desire to change how the world sees mental health!

'Helping you be the parent you want to be'

Where to find Dr Rosie: You can find out more about Dr Rosie Psychology Services and the Do More Than Therapy Community at You can listen to the Business of Psychology Podcast at: Instagram @rosiegilderthorp

Facebook @DrRosieGilderthorp You can also join the Emotional Health Toolkit for the latest advice and resources from leading psychologists, here:

Edited by Summer Bradshaw.

© Your Zen Life



Issue 5 ~  Autumn '22
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