Louise Helsdown qualified with a BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy in 2001 from Oxford Brooks School of Healthcare. She has extensive experience in the field of mental health, developmental disorders, learning difficulties and brain injury within community and inpatient settings. Louise has specialist skills in working with adults and children with a range of problems including challenging behaviours, autistic spectrum conditions, sensory processing disorders, learning disabilities, and post-traumatic stress.
Following her qualification, Louise worked in community mental health services and secure hospital services in Surrey and Sussex. In 2004 Louise was approached to set up the therapy services in the Huntercombe Hospital, Roehampton as a Head Occupational Therapist which specialised in secure treatment for mental health conditions and acquired brain injury with challenging behaviour. Louise led the therapy services in achieving nationally recognised awards. During this time Louise worked towards becoming a Consultant Occupational Therapist and received additional qualifications in Sensory Integration, a variety of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Mentalisation Based Therapy and the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills.
In 2009 Louise took up the position of Director of Therapies in a rehabilitation hospital in Hertfordshire, where she worked with adults with physical and mental health diagnoses including clients with acquired brain injury. Within this role Louise was asked to take the lead in setting up a sister company specifically for adults with autistic spectrum conditions, conduct disorders and learning difficulties within the community and in September 2011 Louise became the Services Manager. Her role consisted of administering specific assessments, treatment planning and managing clients with complex needs as well as helping the clients access provisions, resources and services to increase their functioning. As the services manager Louise recruited, supervised and managed a large team of staff, training them to high standards, supervising the clinical input and in 2014 receiving Autism Accreditation status for the service. Louise has received training in Makaton and PECs for non-verbal clients.
Louise has thorough knowledge of working within the legal frameworks of the Mental Health Act 1983 and Mental Capacity Act 2005 and has conducted many capacity assessments and safeguarding meetings.
Louise currently works independently where her practice has a clinical branch and training service. She assesses, treats and supports a variety of children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum conditions, dyspraxia, fine and gross motor difficulties, communication difficulties, poor executive functioning, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorders, depression, anxiety and trauma. Alongside the direct clinical work, Louise has extensive experience of working closely with parents, carers, educational and health professionals. Louise also works independently with large organisations, charities and support groups to develop and facilitate comprehensive training packages, service reviews and development plans on a corporate level.
Louise is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council and is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT). She is also a member of the Sensory Integration Network (SIN), National Autistic Society (NAS) and the Specialist Section for Independent Practice (SSIP). Louise regularly engages in continuing professional development.