The Retreat’s newest member of staff is Dr Richard Dearden who joins our Autism Service for Children and Young People as a Clinical Psychologist.

Richard comes to us from Wakefield Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Community Paediatrics where he spent over four years contributing to the autism assessment process and working with young people who experience a range of mental health difficulties. Prior to this, he gained a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hull.

His role here will involve overseeing and establishing The Retreat’s new Children and Young People’s Autism Assessment Service. Richard will be joining a multidisciplinary team of Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists and Speech and Therapists who will work together to support young people and their families through the assessment and diagnosis process for possible autism. He brings a breadth of experience and his work within the NHS was recognised earlier this year; being awarded ‘Outstanding Clinical Initiative of the Year” for leading significant improvements to clinical processes and waiting times within a Paediatric Autism Assessment Team.

He said:

“I recognise that it’s often been a long journey for families and so it’s a real privilege for me to be part of the assessment process and work together to find an explanation for concerns. Often families have been stuck in a place of confusion or frustration that they are not being heard and bringing a sense of clarity can be really rewarding work.”

“I’m particularly interested in working with young people who have experienced very challenging circumstances during their early life. I think it is important to recognise how these experiences can impact any person’s ability to relate with others and bringing an understanding of this can contribute in helpful ways to discussions about autism.”