Dr Mark Turner

Chartered Clinical Psychologist:
Working in Dermatology for
over 10 years

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The Skin Psychologist

Welcome to The Skin Psychologist, the working home of Dr Mark Turner’s professional private service’s specialising in the links between the skin, the mind, and improving quality of life. The main service is confidential psychology appointments for clients with hair and skin conditions and other reasons for attending dermatology departments.Dr Mark Turner is the lead clinical psychologist at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. He has dedicated his professional practice to the dermatology setting since 2014.

Why Psychological Therapy ?

Many clients with skin and hair conditions find it helpful to have the support of a psychological therapist due to feelings of stress, uncertainty, stigma, loneliness, and experiences of pain, itch, or trauma.Research shows that psychological therapy can contribute to improved skin condition symptoms and result in reduced distress and a better day-to-day life. There are many examples of how psychological therapy plays a key role in bringing about these outcomes.However, some clients have therapy simply because they need the time and emotional support from a professional who is trained in how to listen and in providing helpful coping strategies.

Information and Specialist services

Please click on the thumbnails below to learn about Psychodermatology and the specialist services offered by The Skin Psychologist. If you would like more information about these services, you can reach Dr Turner by using the contact details at the bottom of this home page.

Psycho-dermatology

Psychodermatology is a subspecialty of dermatology including multidisciplinary professionals with a
special interest in the links between the skin and mind.

Psychology Appointments​

Dr Turner’s approach to psychology appointments is safe, supportive, and effective. It is research
evidence-based and integrates: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy …

Supervision

Dr Turner promotes safe and accountable clinical practice by providing supervision to other
practitioner psychologists. This service may be of interest to psychologists …

Presentations and Workshops

Dr Turner uses his extensive experience as a clinical psychologist in the dermatology setting to give educational presentations and interactive workshops to a range of audiences.

What clients say about their psychological therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Many clients claim on their health insurance for appointments with Dr Turner. If you do not have health insurance, you can still attend as a self-pay client.
As a self-pay client your initial consultation would be £220 and therapy appointments are £180 each. If a client returns to see him after a break of approximately 12 months, he asks them to attend a new initial consultation.

Many clients want to try in-person appointments at some point during their
psychological therapy or for their initial consultation for the purpose of human
connection and relationship building. However, others prefer remote (video call)
appointments to make their attendance possible due to living outside of London or
simply because they have a busy schedule. From experience, having more regular appointments seems to be more related to how beneficial psychological therapy is, compared to whether it is attended in-person or online. However, much more
research is needed on this topic!

Most clients have 6-12 therapy appointments. However, you may need more or less depending on how complex the concerns are that you bring to therapy. It is also worth considering that some clients have more goals than others that they’d like to reach by the time their appointments end. A client with atopic dermatitis using topical treatments might have just 5 appointments to work on scratch reduction and improved sleep. A client who has clinically significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, and a needle phobia might require as many as 20 sessions.

Dr Turner recommends that you attend every week or two for the best chance of a very positive outcome to your therapy. However, some clients choose to use psychology appointments more like a drop-in service which you can contact him about if you think that would suit your needs better. You can contact him by email (mark.turner @theskinpsychologist.com ) or by text to his business What’s app phone number which is 07818562087.

Clients with a large range of skin and hair conditions of all severities attend psychology appointments with Dr Turner at The Skin Psychologist. Some have common conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, or urticaria whereas others have rarer or lesser-known conditions such as hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).
Clients often attend because they want help with overcoming stress, worries, anxieties, pain, depressive symptoms, low self-esteem, or sleep problems related to their skin or hair condition. There may be an aspect of trauma to their distress that they wish to have treated. Others just feel that their life is no longer at the stage they’d like it to be at due to their health problems. Some clients want help with a more specific issue such as needle phobia.
Appointments are also attended by clients who pick their skin, pull their hair (trichotillomania), or have difficulties with itch – scratch cycles. Some clients feel very preoccupied and anxious about their appearance even though others cannot understand why.

Clients usually have therapy with Dr Turner because he has helped many others with emotional challenges related to hair, skin, or its dermatological treatment. He is a Clinical Psychologist who has received referrals from a huge number of Dermatologists and Dermatology Nurses. Many clients are referred from Dermatologists who have worked with him in the NHS at St John’s Institute of Dermatology over the past 10 years. He is extremely experienced at working with clients who have moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), and vitiligo due to the nature of his NHS post. His accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist means that he offers a very high standard of practitioner skills in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). He is also one of the only Clinical Psychologists in the UK that focuses their EMDR practice on helping clients with skin conditions. He wrote his doctorate thesis on the topic of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Clients therefore choose to have therapy with him for a variety of reasons.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a research evidence-based approach to delivering talking therapy used to treat a large range of problems including improved adjustment to skin conditions. CBT involves identifying unhelpful cycles of daily triggers, thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and behaviours which often have some origin in early life experiences. After a joint understanding of these unhelpful cycles is developed between a client and therapist, CBT involves receiving help to turn them into more virtuous cycles towards personal goals. CBT involves learning new skills in adaptive thinking, actions, ways of interacting with others and in becoming more self-compassionate. CBT is at least as effective as medication in treating anxiety and depression and improvements can continue after therapy ends. There is evidence that CBT can lead to improvement in skin conditions.

Habit Reversal (HR) is a research evidence-based approach to treating unwanted habits such as hair-pulling and picking, rubbing, or scratching of the skin. Its first phase involves daily monitoring (usually with a hand tally counter) of the behaviour that you would like to reduce, whilst also identifying its triggers. This monitoring increases awareness of how often the unwanted habitual behaviour you want to reduce is occurring. Its second phase involves minimising the amount of contact you have with identified triggers. It also involves learning new more helpful behaviours that prevent you from engaging with the old unwanted behaviour that is having a negative impact on your health. Depending on the behaviour being targeted with habit reversal, the outcome can be improved skin health or hair growth.

ACT is a development in how to deliver behaviour therapy for problems such as anxiety and depression. It has a grounding in the view that it is human nature to experience suffering and to try and avoid it in ways that work against a better quality of life. It therefore focuses on the use of mindfulness skills and metaphor to help people embrace their inner experiences of distress in very useful ways that would have otherwise remained unknown. ACT also assists people to clarify what truly matters to them (i.e. their values) so they can be more focused on how they spend their time. Its aim is to promote a fuller, healthier, and more meaningful life. Research shows that it can be combined with Habit Reversal in the treatment of unwanted habits. It may also help people to keep up with their medicines.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Re-processing (EMDR) is a research evidence-based approach to treating symptoms of trauma and other forms of distress. EMDR can reduce the vividness of disturbing memories and the impact of related emotions, physical sensations, and beliefs. It can radically reduce symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder such as distressing dreams and flashbacks. It can also help treat phobias that are trauma-based. It involves almost no homework. EMDR involves working with a trained therapist to bring to mind the worst parts of distressing memories whilst you make repeated eye-movements, taps, or listen to tones. EMDR aims to support you to work towards a desired state for the future. Dr Turner recommends that you see an EMDR practitioner who is used to working with clients with skin conditions.