Dr Sara Hirst

Psychology 30038939

  • Fee assured
Fee assured

Specialises in

  • Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mindfulness based CBT
  • Psychotherapy
  • Trauma focused CBT

Bupa specialist

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health services

About me

Dr Sara Hirst is a clinical psychologist based in Christchurch and Southbourne, just outside Bournemouth in Dorset. She has over 20 years of experience in the NHS providing support, therapy, management and consultancy in a range of mental health settings.

Sara is experienced in working with people who have trauma and who struggle with psychological distress. She currently provides therapy in private practice, but she has also worked in a range of NHS settings over the years including adult community mental health teams, psychiatric rehabilitation, early intervention teams for people experiencing psychosis, and inpatient services.

As a clinical psychologist, Sara’s approach is integrative, drawing heavily from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches including traditional CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT). She is trained in both Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), which both have a strong evidence base and clinical effectiveness for symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress and anxiety related difficulties. Sara is also an accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) practitioner, which also has a strong evidence base and can be very effective in helping people make sense of complex long-standing issues stemming from early experiences and relationships. Sara has a depth of experience with mindfulness practice as a practitioner and therapist, she is trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and she uses mindfulness alongside other creative and imagery approaches within therapy if people choose these options to enhance their awareness and progress.

It is very important to Sara that people feel secure enough within therapy to be able to engage with the difficulties that have led them to seek help. She is committed to ensuring that the people she works with feel supported, respected, understood and in control of which direction therapy is heading in.

Sara is chartered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registered as a practitioner with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). She has full indemnity insurance to provide therapy and consultation, and has full disclosure and barring service checks completed (DBS). Sara receives regular clinical supervision in relation to the assessment and therapy that she provides, in line with the BPS code of conduct.

Areas of interest

Sara offers evidenced based psychological therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating a range of difficulties including:

; Panic and anxiety related difficulties
; Low mood and depression
; Difficulties related to traumatic experiences and post-traumatic stress
; Problems related to challenging childhood experiences
; Relationship difficulties

Consultant's practices
Information for healthcare professionals

Information for healthcare professionals (Bupa patients only, last 12 months)

Procedures completed

  • AA809

    Psychology session - (>50)

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