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Working With Women With Complex Needs

Understanding and meeting the needs of women experiencing multiple disadvantage

Working with women experiencing multiple disadvantage: This course will help participants understand the specific, multiple and complex difficulties experienced by vulnerable or multiply disadvantaged women and explore tailored approaches to service design and deliver for this population. This will include thinking about the role of power, and complex and compound trauma; prostitution; working with risk, safeguarding and domestic violence; working with couples, the loss of children taken into the care system and relationships to care and support professionals; before exploring practical skills to enhance engagement, strengths-based approaches, work with substance use, trauma informed systems and female service re-design.

Length: Four modules, duration: 30 - 45 mins of study per module


Your Instructors


Dr Rebecca O'Grady
Dr Rebecca O'Grady

Dr Rebecca O'Grady has worked as a Clinical Psychologist since 2013 and is registered with the Health & Social Care Professionals Council as a practitioner psychologist. She currently works for Solace Women’s Aid, leading on a project to engage women experiencing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), who facing multiple barriers to accessing support - such as homelessness, insecure immigration status, involvement in prostitution, substance use issues and mental health issues.

Rebecca trains professionals across the statutory and non-statutory sectors in complex trauma and and in gender-informed and trauma-informed approaches. She has previously worked within a Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Service, and was an integral part of the Psychology in Hostels service in Lambeth, a pioneering Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) service for individuals with multiple complex needs. She draws on a range of psychological theories in her approach, including attachment theory, mentalisation-based therapy (MBT), narrative therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. She strongly believes in drawing on the strengths and resources of the women we are working with to enable them to take greater agency within their own lives.



Dr Emma Williamson
Dr Emma Williamson

Passionately working across organisational boundaries to develop new approaches to address health inequalities, Dr Williamson has a national reputation as leader in the development and delivery of services to address the needs of complex and multiply disadvantaged populations. With over 10 years’ experience using innovation to address social exclusion, Dr Emma Williamson (Principal Clinical Psychologist) continues to lead award winning NHS services for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, spanning multiple London boroughs.

Emma formerly worked at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in their innovative Primary Care Psychotherapy Consultation Service and has a personal interest in contributing to service redesign and development of the evidence base for working with socially excluded and multiply disadvantaged populations. Emma is also the CEO of aneemo Ltd staff training and development company, works in private practice, teaches on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate at the Kings College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and is a published author; regularly talking at conferences, in national media, TV documentaries & news programmes.

Class Curriculum


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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if this isn't the course I wanted?
If your chosen course isn't what you wanted, you may be entitled to a course exchange, subject to our 14 day cooling off period.

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