Dr Luis Alameda

Expertise My approach to therapy and treatment plans Training and education Conditions I treat
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I’m Dr Luis Alameda, an experienced General Adult Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist working with adults across a wide range of mental health conditions. I’m also currently finishing my PhD in psychiatry research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Neurology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Due to my dual training in psychiatry and psychotherapy, I can combine medical treatment with therapy. My psychotherapy training is specialised on psychodynamic theory, which focuses on unconscious processes and the role of insight in healing mental health conditions.

I believe that difficulties in managing mental health is a normal part of life and far more common than you might think. Seeking help for mental health isn’t a negative thing. Instead, it presents an opportunity to understand the problem, become more self-aware and then improve and progress on your journey.

If you’re concerned about a loved one, please get in touch as I can provide support and guidance on how you can help them through a difficult period, as well as providing you with the support that you need.

I believe that difficulties in managing mental health is a normal part of life and far more common than you might think. They present an opportunity to understand the problem, become more self-aware and progress on your journey.

Expertise

Brief Psychodynamic Intervention (BPI)

I specialise in Brief Psychodynamic Intervention (BPI), which is a form of psychodynamic investigation that focuses on a brief course of four sessions. The goal of BPI is to develop a comprehensive investigation of the current crisis, by addressing symptoms of distress that arise as the expression of unconscious conflict provoked by a difficult situation. It also allows a clinical diagnostic assessment and an initial psychological and or pharmacological intervention.

The short-time span of BPI has the advantage of allowing me to assess your motivation for treatment and whether another long-term course of therapeutic or psychiatric treatment would be helpful and indicated. It also helps me as a therapist to understand you as a whole person and whether other subtle factors could be contributing to your symptoms. Sometimes, an initial dynamic interpretation of what past experiences or circumstances have contributed to the current problem can take place. This initial interpretation can be very beneficial and help a better understanding of the current crisis and difficulties (sometimes called psychodynamically “insight”), which can relieve some symptoms.

Although BPI is based on psychoanalytic theory, it is a much shorter version that is focused on improving the current situation or crisis. Sometimes the four sessions are sufficient to help the client to feel better with a notable reduction of distress, while sometimes a long-term approach might suit better. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll share my impressions, hypotheses and diagnostic assessment with you. Together we can evaluate the progress and discuss whether further treatment would be beneficial.

Occasionally it can be helpful to incorporate medication while carrying out the BPI treatment, but I will only recommend medication if I think it’s necessary or useful. Again, an open discussion at the end of the final session will allow you to make an informed decision about how you’d like to continue with your treatment.

My approach to therapy and treatment plans

I believe that the relationship between the psychiatrist and the patient is essential. I understand the importance of trust, empathy and partnership to build a personal and human connection. I’ll provide a safe, non-judgemental and open space for you to discuss any problems. During the first consultation, I’ll ask you specific questions about your symptoms and history so that I can build a complete idea of all the factors contributing to your symptoms. At the end of the session, I’ll provide my clinical impression, and we can formulate a treatment plan, with your input.

Rather than categorising you or your problems under diagnostic labels, I prefer to focus on specific symptoms when communicating with my patients. Together, we might explore why you’re experiencing fear, worries, paranoia or sleep problems and how to address these.

I employ the ‘bio-psycho-social’ model when formulating a treatment plan that focuses on three different factors that typically contribute to mental health conditions:
  • Biological: dysregulation of biological processes (such as neurotransmitters or inflammation) that could be addressed with medication or other lifestyle interventions.
  • Psychological:emotions, experiences or thinking patterns. These can be addressed with various psychotherapy (talking therapy) interventions.
  • Social: family, friends and social context is critical, and the intervention will take your personal circumstances into account.

I believe that insight is one of the most vital components of any treatment, as understanding what is behind the symptoms and perspectives of the patient is essential to improving their mental health. Often, the insight itself can have a therapeutic value on its own.

If you’re going through a crisis, breakdown or suffer from anxiety, fear or ruminations, then please reach out for help. I have experience helping people who are still suffering the effects of difficult life events, flashbacks, sleep disturbances, persistent low mood, paranoia and perceptual abnormalities.

Medico-legal reports and expert reports

I explore my patient’s difficulties through their unique perspective, understand the reasons for their visit, their hopes and expectations from the treatment.

Mental health conditions can be caused by a range of stressors, including health problems, psychological or social difficulties. Mental health symptoms can be caused as a result of a complex combination of factors, including genetic vulnerability, psychological disposition, or environmental changes (work, school, social or family).

The first step in treatment is to understand the nature of the issue and how it affects you. I believe it’s crucial to find the best treatment approach for each individual, based on their symptoms and strengths, to give you the best chance of recovery.

Treatment typically involves the following steps, but the length of treatment and type of approach will depend on the individual:
  • Understanding the nature of the problem
  • Assessing negative impact and associated consequences (risks)
  • Diagnosis
  • Symptom relief
  • Structured intervention (medication and/or therapy, social and lifestyle)
  • Improving resilience and psychoeducation
  • Contingency planning before stopping treatment, so if any issues come up again we are better prepared to address them quickly

I am trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). In my approach to treatment, I also integrate the principles of family (systemic) therapy and psychodynamic therapy. I regularly collaborate with an extensive network of psychologists that I can refer patients to, should a specialist talking therapy be required.

I have additional expertise in identifying treatment strategies for people struggling with comorbid physical health and mental health conditions. In cases where physical health conditions could be complicating symptoms, I recommend full physical health investigations and collaboration with other specialists to confirm the best treatment pathway.

My approach to medication

Many people have a preconceived idea that seeing a psychiatrist will involve taking medication, but this is not always the case. The decision about whether to take medication is something that is discussed and agreed between the psychiatrist and patient, with all possible risks and benefits discussed openly so that the patient can make an informed decision.

As discussed above, sometimes there is a clear biological dysregulation that is playing a role where there are persistent and distressing symptoms, then medication can be a helpful tool to address this. However, medication is rarely the answer to the problems, and a combination of therapy and social intervention will provide you with the best chance of improvement.

Training and education

I’m currently working as a Consultant Psychiatrist for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, as well as a PhD researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, alongside my private practice.

I’m registered as a General Adult Psychiatrist with a licence to practice as a Consultant Psychiatrist with the General Medical Council (GMC). I’m approved under Section 12 of the Mental Health Act and approved clinician in England and an associate member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Before coming to the UK, I completed my Medical Studies at the University of Seville (Spain). I completed my training in Psychiatry and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Switzerland and completed my thesis at the University of Lausanne.

My PhD research investigates the relationship between stress, trauma and mental health. I’m specifically interested in the mechanisms linking stressful or traumatic experiences to severe mental health conditions. The goal of my research is to improve treatment for patients suffering from severe mental health conditions.

As part of my academic career, I’ve published over 25 scientific articles in the most prestigious academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and Schizophrenia Bulletin. I was also awarded the prize for the best research paper of the year by the European Psychiatric Association in 2019 and the “Prix de la Faculté” given to the best thesis of the year by Lausanne University in 2015.

To find out more about my research, please visit Research of Luis Alameda.

Conditions I treat

Bipolar Disorder Depression and Dysthymia Generalized Anxiety Disorder Insomnia and other sleeping disorders Social Anxiety & Social Phobia Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Personality Disorders (including Borderline, Narcissistic and Emotionally Unstable) Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Psychosis, Schizophrenia, paranoia and other psychotic disorder

If you don’t fit into any of these categories, but you feel you need help, please get in touch, and we can explore what may be the best option for you.

My personal interests

In my spare time, I enjoy running and various other sports. I also love listening to music and watching plays.

Fees

Initial consultation:
£395
(60 min)
Follow up consultations:
£220
(20 min)
Follow up consultations:
£330
(45 min)
Longer appointments are available: please contact my office for further information. Bipolar disorder and psychotic disorders assessments: please contact my office for further information.

Private medical insurance

Allianz, BUPA Global, Cigna and WPA

Patient success stories

When I was 24 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar disorder. Being diagnosed at this stage of my life was extremely confusing and distressing. In addition, I was very ignorant about what Bipolar disorder was. Since then, it’s been a complicated and challenging journey, but last year I started receiving treatment from Dr Alameda and Dr Pertusa, which has substantially helped with my symptoms. Recently, I had some panic attacks, and Dr Alameda responded rapidly and called me, despite the fact he was trying to catch a train at the time. Even though he was busy, he succeeded in calming me down. I feel incredibly appreciative of his holistic care and that I have a talented psychiatrist available over WhatsApp who is helping me stabilise and prevent me from relapsing this year.
I would also like to mention how brilliant Jennifer and Kirsty (Dr Petusa and Dr Alameda’s secretaries) are. They have a warm bedside manner, and I enjoy all of their phone calls. They’re efficient yet helpful. During my first panic attack, I called Jennifer, even though I don’t usually reach out for help. Her response was incredible, within 15 minutes, I was on the phone to Dr Alameda. The secretaries are also great with communicating with my dad, who can be a difficult person. Dr Pertusa and Dr Alameda’s psychiatry help also includes family therapy, which I think is essential for those who have a family member with Bipolar disorder.

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Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
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£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
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(30 minutes)
Follow-up consultations:
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(40 minutes)
Follow-up consultations:
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(60 minutes)

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Fees

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Conditions I treat:
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Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
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£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

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Conditions I treat:
ADHDAnxietyAutismBehaviour problemsBipolar disorderChronic painComplex trauma and PTSDDBT(Dialectical behaviour therapyDepressionEmotional DysregulationFamily workFibromyalgiaMemory problemsOCDPanic AttacksParentingPersonality DisordersPsychosisPsychosomaticSchool bullying and cyberbullyingSleep problems

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Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
First Consultation:
£720
(1.5 hours)
First Consultation:
£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£250
(30 min)
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£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

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Conditions I treat:
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Follow-up consultations:
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Follow-up consultations:
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(60 min)

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Conditions I treat:
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I believe that difficulties in managing mental health are a normal part of life and far more common than you might think. They present an opportunity to understand the problem, become more self-aware and progress on your journey.

Fees
First Consultation:
£395
(1 hour)
Follow-up consultations:
£220
(30 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£330
(45 min)

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Conditions I treat:
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Fees
First Consultation:
£475
(1 hour)
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£720
(1.5 hours)
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£895
(2 hours)
Follow-up consultations:
£320
(40 min)
Follow-up consultations:
£475
(60 min)

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Conditions I treat:
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I try to understand your treatment goals, values, limitations and preferences, so we can personalise your treatment using the best approach that gives you sustained recovery.

Fees
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£1160
(2 hours)
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£870
(1.5 hours)
Follow-up Consultation:
£290
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£580
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I am a Psychiatrist specialising in General Psychiatry and Medical Psychotherapy.
I treat most mental health difficulties and offer a range of approaches including medication, psychological therapies and lifestyle modification.

Conditions I treat:
Addictions AnxietyBDDBipolar disorderBorderline Personality DisorderComplex TraumaDepersonalisationDepression Eating DisordersInsomniaOCDSleep problemsPanic AttacksPsychosisTrauma & PTSD

I always try to focus on understanding you as a whole person and how any symptoms, problems and diagnoses affect you, your life and what is important to you.

Fees
Initial Consultation:
£1160
(2 hours)
Initial Consultation:
£870
(1.5 hours)
Follow-up Consultation:
£580
(1 hour)
Follow-up Consultation:
£290
(30 min)

Dr Nagore Benito

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Conditions I treat:
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The best six doctors anywhere, and no one can deny it are sunshine, water, rest, and air, exercise and diet. These six will gladly you attend If only you are willing Your mind they’ll ease Your will they’ll mend And charge you not a shilling
– Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990

Dr Alberto Pertusa

I have a strong interest in behaviour modification, lifestyle optimisation and the use of self-quantification as a way to foster wellbeing and increase performance.

Conditions I treat:
ADHDAddictionsAnxietyBinge EatingOCDOrthorexiaSleep problems

I always strive to provide the highest standards of care to all my patients.
I endeavour to offer personalised and bespoke treatment in order to meet your specific needs