Dr Sunita Rajput

Chartered Counselling Psychologist

Dr Sunita Rajput

Dr Sunita Rajput is chartered psychologist who provides expert evidence in criminal, civil and family proceedings.

Instructing Dr Sunita Rajput

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Profile

Dr Sunita Rajput is a Highly Specialist Counselling Psychologist with over ten years of experience working with adults and families in clinical, NHS and private settings. She has worked with individuals who have complex mental health needs and comorbidity, for example personality disorder and/or autistic spectrum disorders and PTSD.  She is qualified to use a wide range of psychometric tests, deliver therapeutic interventions and clinical procedures in making assessments of cognitive functioning, personality and trauma.

She is currently working as a Highly Specialist Psychologist in an Acute Mental Health Setting for the West London NHS Trust. Her role is to provide rapid psychological assessment, formulation and brief interventions to adult service users experiencing a mental health crisis requiring hospital admission. She can be asked to provide an opinion and recommendations for psychological intervention in the community, through signposting and allowing for safer discharge. Her role also involves offering reflective practice groups daily to staff, supporting their well-being, the reflective practice space has also been used to discuss cases of interest to support nursing staff develop formulation skills. She also acts as an independent reviewer during seclusion reviews. In addition, she offers supervision to psychology trainees, contribute to research seminars and training development materials.

She disseminates her work by presenting at the BPS annual conference on a regular basis. She has delivered training and teaching to trainee GPs on topics such as common difficulties in discerning organic illness from health anxiety, increasing awareness of interventions and improving access.

Experience of giving evidence

She has provided over 100 expert witness reports on criminal, family and civil cases, heard before Family and Crown Courts, Magistrates and Mental Health Tribunals. Assessments are based on psychological testing, clinical interviewing and a thorough review of documentation concerning the case. Research literature may also be reviewed where appropriate to reach a carefully considered objective opinion.  She is confident in her ability to speak, offering an honest, independent and absence of bias clinical opinion, with facts, relevance and comprehensive reasoning which is evidenced based.

Cases undertaken

Dr Rajput is regularly instructed to provide her expert opinion to the family and criminal courts.  She provides expert evidence in immigration and asylum cases (assess mental disorder, risk of relapse and suicide in the context of detention and deportation).

Her work for the criminal courts involve assessment of:

  • Fitness to plead and to stand trial
  • Witness reliability
  • Cognitive function which includes neuropsychological assessments of prisoners with trauma and challenges to mental capacity
  • Suggestibility and vulnerability
  • Complications of substance misuse
  • Personality disorder
  • Mental Health needs
  • The impact of trauma and abuse and neglect
  • Screening of Learning Disabilities and Developmental disorders (Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADHD).

Her work for the family courts involve assessment of:

  • Capacity
  • Cognitive function and the impact of LD on parenting
  • Assessment of Attachment in a family
  • Contact Recommendations
  • Psychological Assessment and management skills of emotional and behavioural difficulties, ability/readiness for change and work with professional agencies.
  • Assessing risk to children (parents who misuse substances)

Specialist assessments offered

Personality and clinical symptom assessments

  • Paulhus Deception Scales-Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (PDS)
  • CAPS-5 (NCPTSD Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) Clinician Training by National Center for PTSD) to assess post-traumatic stress disorder diagnostic status and symptom severity
  • Detailed Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress (DAPS)
  • Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-IV) to assess for clinical syndromes and personality disorder in adults
  • Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) to assess brief histories of abuse and neglect in childhood
  • Clinical Assessment of Depression (CAD)
  • Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) to assess nine symptom dimensions.
  • Devereux scales of mental Disorders for Children

Intellectual, cognitive & capacity assessments

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV) to measure cognitive ability in adults.
  • Certificate of capacity
  • Wide Range Achievement Test 5 (WRAT-5) to assess and monitor the reading, spelling, and maths skills in ages 5-85+

Other

  • Gudjonsson Suggestibility and Compliance Scales
  • Adult Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-4)
  • MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Fitness to plead Criminal Adjudication (MacCAT-CA) to assess fitness to stand trial

Publications

Rajput S., Hassiotis A., Richards M., Hatch S.L., Stewart R. Associations between IQ and common mental disorders: The 2000 British National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity. European Psychiatry. 2011 Sep; 26(6):390-5. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Rajput S., Stewart R. Association between premorbid intellectual functioning and late-life depression in the French Elderly population. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. (with authors for review).

Availability

Dr Rajput dedicates time in her working week to her medicolegal practice which means that she has good availability to accept instructions.

Qualifications and memberships

Qualifications

Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (2012)
Regent’s College School of Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy

MSc in Psychiatric Research (2006)
Institute of Psychiatry at The Maudsley

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PCET) (2001)
University of Greenwich

BSc. (Hons) Psychology (1999)
University of York

Memberships

Chartered by the British Psychological Society (Membership of Clinical and Counselling Divisions) 139837

Health and Care Professionals Council Registered Practitioner Psychologist PYL30377

National Autistic Society

UK Health and Learning Disabilities Network

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