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Profile of Sandra Wiltshire

Full name

Sandra Wiltshire
BSc Psychology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Job title

Principal Clinical Psychologist, Chronic Pain Services

Special interests

Sandra works at both the Optimise Pain Rehabilitation Unit and the Pain Relief Unit at the Churchill Hospital, and provides a link between the two services.

At Optimise she is involved in assessing the psychological needs of patients, working on the Balanced Life Group Programme, and offering some patients one-to-one psychological therapy.

She has a particular interest in developing the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a unique evidenced-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, alongside more traditional Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) techniques.

Year of professional qualification

1997 (Southampton)


Psychologists working in chronic pain are not trying to see whether pain is real or imaginary. All pain is real and it doesn't just affect the body, it also affects how much you can do, how you feel emotionally, the quality of your life and the life of those around you.

Pain psychologists can help with these problems by using psychology-based treatment approaches which can reverse some of the effects of the pain, and enable people to work out ways to live a meaningful and valued life despite the pain. 

Sandra has over 20 years of experience working in the NHS with adults and young people with a wide range of mental health difficulties. She has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings, a specialist eating disorders unit and community mental health teams. She first became an NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Oxford in 2003.

Sandra has specialised in the treatment of people with complex problems and apart from CBT can utilise techniques from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, and Schema-focused Cognitive Therapy. In 2005 she also completed a two year Practitioner Training Diploma in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). She also works as a trainer, supervisor and assessor for the well reputed Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre which runs recognised training courses in CBT.

Sandra is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and also a BABCP Accredited CBT Practitioner. She is an HPC Registered Practitioner Psychologist, and a British Psychological Society Registered Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor. Sandra is a member of the British Pain Society.

Sandra was appointed to her current post in September 2011.