I’m a chartered and registered Clinical Psychologist practitioner. I qualified as a psychologist in 2008. I did my training in Portugal (‘Licenciatura’) which is academically equivalent to the British Clinical Psychology doctorate.
I studied at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of Algarve University in Faro, Portugal. I did a full-time year placement in an internationally known Early Intervention Service in the city of Coimbra (Projecto Integrado de Intervençāo Precoce), where I provided psychological assessments and interventions to children and parents/carers, and participated in different projects promoting social inclusion and emotional health awareness. I’ve undergone professional placements in two other services, namely in the National Health System where I worked with all age groups for 9 months (Health Centre of Faro), and in a council service (Junta de Freguesia da Se) for 13 months.
In Portugal, I did further post-graduate training in Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy during 1 year which is accredited by the Portuguese Association of Behavioural Therapy and by the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies.
I moved to the UK in 2010. I completed a 2 years part-time post-graduate diploma in Family and Systemic Theory at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London. Since 2010 I have been employed by the NHS in different Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
In 2014 I started my private clinical practice where I’ve been able to offer psychological support not only to children and young people, adults, couples and families.
I’m currently still working for the NHS, and privately. I’m based in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Neuro-Developmental service Bedford, and currently taking new referrals for private work.
I am passionate about life, psychology, science, nature, art, music, travelling and culinary. I honour the principle of unconditional self-love and wish to help my clients remember that they are innately perfect.
Andreia was easy to talk to and through her encouragement, I found a way to better understand and work through a difficult time in my life. She has a warm, attentive style and I felt comfortable straight away. The work we did together has made a tremendous difference to the way I feel about myself and the people around me and I now feel much more able to enjoy my life. (Female, 45, 2015)
Dear Andreia, words can not express my gratitude for you, sincere, for your understanding of our situation. My son and I wish you every success, as you know the value of what you do. (Mother, 39 and son, 13, 2019)
You are a really special soul and I feel so happy our paths have crossed! We all have lovely memories of our time with you and your counsel – have fun, be positive and to be true to our instinctive selves. I am excited for the people who will be encountering you next! Love.(From a lovely family based in London, 2019)
Working with Andreia was a pleasure. She is very understanding and easy to open up to. Her calm, non-judgmental approach and easygoing manner helped me to reflect on how to best manage unhelpful ways of thinking and to be more accepting of, and less judgmental about, being myself. I hope she will continue her good work with many others in the future. (Male, 28, London, 2019).
When I began therapy in the beginning, I was unsure of why I was attending. I saw the world only through the lens of my mental illness, therefore that was the only possible reality for me. Most mental health professionals had a conventional approach that encouraged unintentional guilt and only temporary solutions within the realms of conformity; conformity and guilt drove the cycle of mental illness. Dr Andreia Santo’s approach was the first to have a true effect in my life. She treated me as an individual which helped me realise my goals. My goals included organising my thoughts, coming to peace with my life experience and being able to carry on travelling on the journey of life, instead of simply moving around on pause as consequence of mental discomfort. My meeting with Dr Andreia made me feel at home. Conversations were based on authenticity, without the fear of judgement. We both listened and learned from each other, in contrast to other professionals, who dictated the truth based on biased and contradictory perspectives. I see humans as two: Our true selves and plastic selves. Our true selves practice unconditional self-love and joy in expression. Our plastic selves only practice thoughts and behaviours we deem socially accepted, rather than fair. Our plastic selves would feel guilty to express our genuine feelings. Most people and professionals only encourage us to become better plastic. This is fine for those wanting to continue suffering. I now feel a oneness with the universe, my desires, with all and everything. (Male, 18, Walthamstow, 2020).