Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Who we are

The Older Adult Psychology team is made up of Clinical Psychologists and a Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology.


The team also regularly have Assistants Psychologists and Trainee Clinical Psychologists on six-month placements. 

Dr Gillian Bowie, Consultant Clinical Psychologist – Head of Service

Dr Fionnuala Edgar, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Rebecca Bell, Senior Clinical Psychologist

Dr Suzie Mason-Roberts, Senior Clinical Psychologist 

Dr Caitlin Haile, Clinical Psychologist

Rhiannon Breed, Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology


What We Do

The Older Adult Psychology Service provides a range of services across a variety of settings such as GP surgeries, outpatients, inpatients and care homes.  This service is usually for people who are over the age of 65 and/or retired.


Some of the services we provide include:


  • Psychological Interventions
  • Neuropsychological Assessment

Psychological Therapy:

Assessment and treatment for a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety, bereavement and trauma.

We offer a range of psychological interventions based on the best available evidence such as:


  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Compassion Focussed Approaches (CFT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
  • Systematic Therapy.


The approach taken will be dependent on the individual needs and goals for therapy. This will be informed by a shared understanding between you and your therapist of all the factors that are contributing to current difficulties, including early and recent life experiences.

Who might find psychological interventions helpful?

Psychological interventions can be very effective but they are not suited to everyone, all the time. To get the best from therapy it is important to consider the following:

  • Are you able to commit to weekly or fortnightly therapy sessions, each lasting around an hour?
  • Do you feel ready to work within the time-limits of therapy;
  • Are you able to work on making changes in between sessions. The therapist will often set ‘homework’ tasks, which are important to complete, as carrying out tasks and implementing work in between appointments will help with accomplishing your treatment goals.

Sometimes it is not the right time for therapy, or people might not feel ready, and that’s ok. You can wait until you are ready before discussing a referral to our service.

Neuropsychological Assessment

 The Psychology Service also works as part of the local Memory Assessment Pathway to provide specialist assessment for difficulties with memory and thinking. If you have been seen via the Memory Pathway you may be referred to our team for more in-depth assessment of difficulties with memory and thinking. 

These assessments will involve:

  • 2-3 appointments lasting 1-1.5 hours each
  • Pen and paper tasks to assess your current memory and thinking
  • A feedback appointment to discuss your results and what they might mean
  • Discussion regarding strategies to help manage and cope with memory loss

Where will I be seen?

 We offer video calls via the NHS Near Me service, for individuals that have the technology and ability to support this type of appointment.

 We also offer face to face appointments across the region in a variety of setting such as:

  • Mountainhall Treatment Centre
  • Innistaigh
  • GP/Primary Care Settings

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to offer home visits if someone is unable to attend their local GP practice or healthcare setting.  Please contact us directly to discuss if you are struggling to attend your appointment due to e.g. transport or mobility issues.

Referral Information

Who can refer to our service

 We accept referrals from a range of different Health and Social Care professionals including:

  • GP
  • Practice Nurse
  • Psychiatry
  • Community Mental Health Nurses
  • Social Work
  • Allied Health Professionals including, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists
  • Or any other health or social care professional involved in your care

Referrals are reviewed to ensure that the Older Adult Psychology Service is the right service to meet your needs. If we feel those needs would be better met by another service within Psychology or the wider Mental Health service, the referral will be forwarded to that team.

If you think you or someone you know may benefit from being assessed by the team, we encourage you to discuss this with any health or social care professional involved in your care.   This may be your GP or someone else.

What can I expect when I’m referred to the service?

 When you are referred to the Older Adult Psychology Service you will receive a letter confirming this. You may be asked to confirm that you wish to be seen by our service via an ‘opt-in’ letter.  


When we receive your response, we will contact you within 12 weeks to arrange an initial, brief, assessment appointment. This appointment will focus on:


  • Finding out how things are for you and exploring what might be making the problem worse or better.
  • Agreeing on whether we are the right service to meet your needs and/or discussing alternative sources of support
  • Discussing ways in which you can begin to improve your wellbeing whilst waiting to be seen this may include, reading material, online support packages or information on third sector support agencies.

When will I be seen for therapy?

 We aim to see people within 18 weeks of referral.  We are currently working very hard to reach this target and are also developing better ways of supporting people who unfortunately have to wait longer than we would like them to.

During this time, it may be helpful to try ‘self-help’ material. A range of self-help guidance can be found in the leaflets and resources section, below.  If you require paper versions of any information or resources, please use the contact us information to request this.


Any conversations you have with a member of our team are strictly confidential. If, however, something you tell us raises significant concerns regarding risk of harm to you or to someone else we will need to share this with other professionals. We will always aim to discuss this with you first.

Contact us

The Older Adult Psychology Service are based at:

Older Adults Psychology Service
Department of Psychological Services & Research
Mountainhall Treatment Centre
Bankend Road

Tel. 01387 244495, 
Open Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm, for enquiries.

Appointments for the Service are held throughout Dumfries and Galloway. If there are concerns regarding transport or accessibility to attend appointments, home visits may be an option.

Helpful Contact Details

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 999 or go to A&E now

If you need help urgently for your mental health, but it’s not an emergency, get help from NHS 111 online, or call 111. This service is available outside of your local GP’s working hours.

Your mental health is as important as your physical health. You will not be wasting anyone’s time.

Additional services

Tel. 0800 4 70 80 90

Breathing Space
Tel. 0800 83 85 87

Living Life (NHS24) 
Tel. 0800 328 9655

Tel. 116 123

Alzheimer’s Scotland
24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline: 0808 808 3000

Carer’s Centre 
Tel. 01387 248600

NHS Dumfries & Galloway: Interventions in Dementia Education Assessment Service (IDEAS).

Leaflets & Resources