Psychological Services

Stepdown’s clinical forensic psychology service brings together a unique blend of skills to ensure that the young people we care for have access to the highest standard of psychological care and support. Our chartered and registered psychologists employ an integrated, formulation-led approach to work with the young people and their carers to help them manage their developmental, emotional and mental health needs as well as their risks and vulnerabilities.  

Programme Work
Recognised as an important tool and staff in preparation for delivering programmes received training in:

Group Work Skills
Increases knowledge of the conflicting roles in managing a group setting a precursor to delivering programmes.

Motivational Interviewing
The art of using a set of communication skills to encourage the development of a commitment to change. It is a way of supporting a young person to recognize and build on their own self-motivation for changing their life.
Programme Team
Our Programme Team offer the following programmes which are based on CB approaches:

Anger Management
‘Keep Your Cool’ by David Boag (clinical psychologist)

A 20 session programme, that aims to improve skills relating to emotional management and developing appropriate coping strategies in relation to the expression of anger.

Offending Is Not The Only Choice / Violence Is Not The Only Choice
These programs aim to:

Assist young people to understand the link between the way they think and their behaviours

Help them understand that they have a responsibility for their own behaviour and the impact that their behaviours can have on others

Identify risk areas which may prove harmful to themselves or others and to teach skills which would help to reduce the risk of harm to themselves or others.

To develop appropriate relapse prevention strategies

Staff were trained in the above programmes by the Cognitive Centre and Cora Schools Psychological Services who are registered trainers.

Friends For Life - Prevention of Anxiety and Depression
A program aimed at promoting resilience, emotional and social competencies in young people. Training is provided by Pathways Health & Research Centre.

Family Support
Parenting Programme ‘Handling Teenage Behaviour’ is a six week programme for parents/carers.

Dr Lorraine Johnstone
Dr Johnstone is dually trained and chartered as a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist.

She has over 25 years experience working with high risk and vulnerable groups (children, adolescents, adults and families) with mental health, psychological and offending needs. This has included working with rare and complex case presentations.

Dr Johnstone is passionate about delivering accessible and effective interventions for young people and is committed to working at all levels (individual, systemic, organisational and strategic) to ensure that vulnerable youth are able to benefit from integrative, multi-theoretical and highly specialist input.

Dr Johnstone has worked in the NHS, prisons, residential and secure children’s services and in academia. Dr Johnstone has published extensively, advises various expert groups, trains and consults across several different agencies.

She has won awards for her work including for service design and delivery for high risk young people and is very passionate and committed to providing the best services possible.

Kate Black
Kate qualified as a clinical psychologist in 2010 from the University of Glasgow and is registered with the Health and CareProfessions Council (HCPC). 

Kate has experience working in a wide range of settings, including working with charities, social work departments, justice services and residential providers, and within the NHS.  In recent yearsKate has worked with organisations across Scotland to support the provision of safe, healing environments, and to provide risk assessment, formulation and intervention for children who experience complex needs and are at risk of harm and/or of harming others.  

Kate specialises in delivering clinical psychology services to individuals and families who find it difficult to access mental health support, psychological assessment, or therapy.  Kate also has extensive experience in working with services and individuals to meet the needs of people who have been diagnosed with personality disorder, and in supporting the safety and wellbeing of staff teams who work with vulnerable client groups.  

More Information

Please contact: Alastair MacColl:  or
Norrie Clark:
Or alternatively telephone: 07872377180