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News > General > Stavros Orfanos, Clinical Psychologist

Stavros Orfanos, Clinical Psychologist

"Looking back, Owen's gave me confidence to 'give things a go'. For me, the teachers, ethos & culture of the school instilled the message in me that no ambition is too big..."
Stavros Orfanos, Clinical Psychologist
Stavros Orfanos, Clinical Psychologist

Current Job Title & Employer

I am Clinical Psychologist working in the NHS and private sector. In the NHS, I co-manage a team in Enfield CAMHS and deliver talking therapies to children (one-to-one and in groups) who are experiencing anxiety, low mood and/or other mental health difficulties. I usually work alongside families and schools also. As one of the managers in the team, I am involved in supporting the improvement of services. Outside the NHS I run a small private practice, both locally and around London, where I work with children and adults. I’m also an honorary Clinical Tutor at UCL on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate course. 

Class of?

2007 - I had the privilege of being in Mrs Luxford’s form group for the first five years of my time at Owen's. Legend!

Brief description of your path after Owen's

- Undergraduate degree (Oxford University); 2007-2010
- Support worker / various part-time research roles: 2010-2011
- Researcher / PhD student (Queen Mary University of London); 2011-2016
- Trainee Clinical Psychologist (UCL); 2016-2019
- Clinical Psychologist (Enfield CAMHS / private practice); 2016-to present

How has your career path lead you to where you are now? 

After Owen's (with Maths, Biology and Psychology A-levels under my belt), I completed an undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, (2007-2010). During this time I was confused with what career path I wanted to go down. I applied for a variety of internships in finance (which were not for me!) and was even offered a place with Teach First (which I turned down). But, even though I didn’t know which direction to go in, I knew I was interested in a career in Clinical Psychology. So I gave myself a year to get some clinical experience. Luckily I had a great opportunity to work as a Support Worker at a day centre with young adults with learning disabilities and a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition under the guidance of a brilliant manager. I was super keen and took extra research jobs part-time (mainly weekends) for extra experience. Feeling inspired to develop my clinical experience further, I then spent the next five years (2011-2016) at the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry at the Newham Centre for Mental. My initial research contract was for at least three years - so based on some good advice, I completed a PhD (looking to scientifically understand how therapy delivered in groups work) with the data I had collected from a larger research trial. During this time I also took up all the opportunities I could working alongside Clinical Psychologists in the Acute Inpatient Hospital wards at Newham. I then applied and got an offer to complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at UCL, where I spent another three years learning/studying (2016-2019), before getting at job with the team I’m in now (Enfield CAMHS) after qualifying in 2019. Almost four years later, I’m still in Enfield CAMHS. I didn’t expect to stay as long I have, but working in a team of wonderfully dedicated professionals has kept me here.

What skills or attributes did Owen’s inspire in you?

Looking back, Owen's gave me confidence to ‘give things a go’. For me, the teachers, ethos and culture of the school instilled the message in me that no ambition is too big and if you’re interested in something, go for it and enjoy the ride. In 6th Form, I really struggled to decide what next steps to take. Luckily, I had a fantastic careers adviser (Mrs Whiter, hero!) who gave me the confidence and belief to pursue my interests in psychology. I initially scoffed at the idea of applying to Oxford, but I was encouraged to not put myself down. I also felt really privileged to be Deputy-Head Boy and part of the senior prefects. I was so grateful that my peers and teachers voted for me and thought I could be up for the role. This gave me the confidence later in life to put myself forward for things.

Favourite Owen's Memory?

This is an easy one - being part of ‘Soul Band’ led by the wonderful (then) Miss McNally. What started off as a few friends jamming in the music block turned into a real togetherness and I loved it. Really fond memories of assemblies, concerts and other performances. A real highlight of my school experience. And pretty cool that the majority of the original members are now professional musicians!

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