We’re here to help towards a happier & healthier mind

Everyone’s mind is unique. Many of us are neurodiverse. And while the neurological differences that make us individuals can bring challenges, we believe that with understanding, empathy and expert support, everyone can thrive.

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Psicon's History

From Humble Beginnings to a Thriving Practice

Our Founding Story

Our story begins in the summer of 1998 when LJ Conradie, then Head of the East Kent Clinical Neuropsychology NHS service founded Psicon.  Later in 2001, Dan Simmonds, then a fresh-faced university student, contacted LJ for support with his psychology placement.

Building Psicon Together

After completing clinical training, Dan returned to Psicon in 2008 and was LJ’s first full-time clinical psychologist. Together, they have been building the practice ever since. LJ developed the adult mental health and neurorehabilitation services at Psicon with a focus on high quality care, delivered by experts in the field. His self-described obsession for quality set the bar for all that was to come.

Expanding Our Services

At the same time, Dan was passionate in his belief that people with neurodevelopmental challenges deserved better.  And with LJ’s wholehearted support, set out to broaden Psicon’s offering. He created an environment where neurodiverse children and adults could be assessed and fully supported with kindness, compassion and the best clinical care.  

We became known for providing a warm and welcoming safe space, where every troubled, ‘different’, unhappy or challenged individual feels understood and hopeful for their future.  

Evolution and Expertise

Over 14 years later, Psicon has grown in size and reach, both in the UK and internationally.  Now one of the largest providers of neurodevelopmental services in the country, our multidisciplinary team is over 150 strong, and includes expert clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, paediatricians, specialist nurse prescribers, occupational and speech and language therapists. Locally, our expert team of clinical and counselling psychologists and CBT therapists offer mental health services to children and families. Our neurorehab team deliver specialist care across the South East.

Joining the Onebright Family

In September 2023, Psicon joined the Onebright family, the UK’s leading outpatient private mental health service. With our shared values, and a focus on clinical excellence and patient-centred care, we are very excited about the next chapter and what we can achieve together. Dan will still lead Psicon as Managing Director, while LJ is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement after an immaculate career.

We are still based in Canterbury, Kent, though in bigger offices now. And while our professional family and the services we offer have grown, our ethos remains the same. To provide the best care possible, to help every unique mind thrive.

Speak to a member of our team

Meet our leadership team

Whatever your reason for seeking help, whether you are struggling with emotions, psychiatric health or mental wellbeing, we will make sure you have the support of the right expert, at the right time.

Dr Daniel William Simmonds

Managing Director

Dan is the Managing Director of Psicon and a consultant clinical psychologist specialising in neurodevelopmental conditions in children and younger people.  

He started Psicon’s neurodevelopmental lifespan service back in 2010, in response to the increasing demand for quick access to quality assessments. He sought out three experts in the field to help him, who all still work with him today.

From the start, Psicon was committed to delivering exceptional clinical quality, with kindness at its heart. The private service quickly developed a great reputation for doing exactly this.

At the same time, the local CAMHS service was struggling with long lists and in 2015 commissioned Psicon to bring down the waiting time for autism and ADHD assessments. By 2017, the team had successfully reduced these to around 16 weeks.

News of this success spread, and Psicon was then commissioned by other NHS Trusts and ICBs to do the same. Since then, the clinic has assessed tens of thousands of children and brought waiting times down across the country.  

Psicon’s private service, based in Canterbury, has grown too, with more than 1000 children and young people assessed every year. The vast majority of private referrals come via word of mouth and Dan is exceptionally proud of this achievement. For him, there’s no higher praise than a recommendation from someone who has been through the service.

Dan’s guiding philosophy has always been to do the best for every person, at all times. From the start he wanted families to receive the highest quality care possible, whether they come to Psicon through the NHS or paid privately.

He wanted them to be seen by professionals who aren’t only experts in the field but are lovely people who care.

He wanted to make the cost of an assessment affordable for both privately paying families as well as for Trusts and commissioners – who are responsible for spending public money effectively.

He also wanted Psicon to grow and be available to everyone who needs an assessment for autism or ADHD.

Dan still has a caseload of clients, mainly young people with a diagnosis of autism. He feels very privileged to be let into their lives and to help nurture the most incredible and unique minds.

For Dan, autism is a difference, not an impairment. He believes that with the right support and understanding everyone can thrive.

Dan is a Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Clinical Psychologist, with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from University College London.

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Dr Daniel William Simmonds

Managing Director

Louis Conradie

Director

Louis joined Psicon in early 2015, intending only to help with a short-term data project before starting a job the City. However, Psicon's ethos and culture extended his stay, and now eight years later, he is our Finance Director. An integral part of the senior management team, Louis works alongside Dan and Louise to develop and ensure the smooth running of the organisation. Before joining us, he completed a MSc in Economics at Sussex university.

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Louis Conradie

Director

Louise Simpson

Director of Operations

Louise joined Psicon in September 2018 and is a highly experienced professional with an extensive background within the management of private healthcare settings. She has a specialist interest in human resources, business development and quality improvement.

As part of the senior management team, Louise is responsible for directing the operations functions across the business, which includes human resources, quality management, business operations and facilities. She also looks after regulatory and legal matters, ensures compliance with the Health and Social Care Act, Data Protection legislation and is the CQC nominated individual.

Louise takes enormous pride in working alongside Dan, Louis and the rest of the leadership team to ensure Psicon provides the best possible experience for clients and their families.

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Louise Simpson

Director of Operations

Dr Oluwafemi Ogunbona

Medical Director

Femi is a Consultant Community Paediatrician with 14 years’ experience in the assessment and treatment of children and young people with neurodevelopmental disorders.

He began working with Psicon in 2011, carrying out ASD and ADHD assessments, and became our Medical Director in 2018. He feels it is a real privilege to be able to work with neurodivergent children and young people and their families.

After earning his medical degree in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria in 1986, Femi went on to complete the membership exams for the Royal college of Paediatrics (MRCPCH) in 2001.  

He was appointed as a NHS Community Paediatric Consultant in May 2008, a position he continues to hold.

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Dr Oluwafemi Ogunbona

Medical Director

Sonet Strijdom

Clinical Lead For Adult Services

Sonet is a consultant Clinical Psychologist with 27 years’ experience in general adolescent and adult mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions. She joined our team in 2017, doing assessments and treatment in the fields of neuropsychology, general mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions. She is now both our Lead of Neuropsychology and Medicolegal Services and Clinical Lead of adult Neurodevelopmental Services.

Sonet studied in South Africa, specialising in neuropsychology as well as completing a Masters degree in Pharmacotherapy at University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked in the field of neuropsychology and neurodevelopmental conditions in the UK since 2016.  

Sonet’s focus at Psicon is on the assessment and treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions in adults. As well as being registered as an Associate Fellow with British Medical Council and as Practitioner Clinical Psychologist with Health and Care Professions Council (UK), Sonet is also a university-qualified Expert Witness. She obtained this qualification at Cardiff University in 2022.

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Sonet Strijdom

Clinical Lead For Adult Services

Dr Ana Mendes

Clinical Lead for Children's Services

Ana is a highly experienced Consultant Clinical Psychologist and for many years has specialised in working with children, adolescents and their families.  

After working in child and adolescent mental health services in Kent for many years, Ana joined Psicon in May 2019 as the Clinical Lead for children’s services, providing psychological interventions to children, young people and their families. Direct work with families continues to be her main interest and she values learning from the families she sees and focusing on continuously developing her clinical practice.  

Ana’s role as a clinical lead consists of supporting the service in a clinical capacity as a clinical psychologist, as well as providing leadership and support to the wider clinical team. This includes providing clinical supervision and guidance as well as contributing to service development, ensuring we continually maintain high clinical standards across our organisation.

Ana also has an academic background and has taught at Doctorate level on a Clinical Psychology training programme at Salomons as well as on the Masters in Developmental Psychology at the University of Kent.

Ana is a highly experienced clinician, has worked with many emotional and mental health issues and uses a range of therapeutic models to inform her clinical work at Psicon.

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Dr Ana Mendes

Clinical Lead for Children's Services

Our Ethos

Our values guide how we work with our clients and with each other. They are at the heart of all we do.

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Commitment

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Commitment

We are committed to our professional work as individuals and as part of our team. We strive to deliver exceptional care and clinical interventions, supported by extremely efficient and effective management and administration.

We always go the extra mile to give the best care possible to our clients and to meet the goals we set ourselves. We believe in every individual, each other, the work we do and our organisation.

Trust

People come to us at their most vulnerable, and to help them most effectively we need to earn their trust. From the therapist in the room to the receptionist taking the calls, our clients can safely share their most confidential information, knowing that we are utterly professional and discreet.

We also need to trust in each other as a team. Each of us can be certain that we deliver on the promises we make, to help us do the best we can for the people we care for.

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Integrity

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Integrity

We will always do the right thing, even when it’s the most difficult thing. We work with people who are at their most vulnerable and we are committed to doing what’s best for them at all times. It’s our professional responsibility.  We will always offer psychological and health support that is in our clients’ best interests.

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Kindness

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Kindness

When people turn to us for support, we meet them with kindness and respect for their situation. From the first phone call to the final session, genuine kindness is a core value for us, at the heart of our approach and our business.

We believe in being kind at work: kind to our clients and kind to each other. This can mean spending a quiet moment with someone, making a cup of tea for a busy colleague, or a simple “would you like to talk?” Kindness should feature in every interaction we have with each other and is forever a priority.

Located in the heart of
Canterbury

Our offices in Canterbury, Kent are like a home from home, a space where everyone feels welcome and relaxed. Here, our trained reception staff meet everyone with kindness and respect (and a cup of tea) and will always respect your privacy.

Our work with the NHS takes us to locations all over the UK. So, if you’re an NHS patient, we’ll see you in your local area – no need to travel far. The details of where you’ll be seen will be in your appointment letter.

We will soon be opening a new site in the centre of  Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Contact Us
psicon building
Sonet Strijdom
Dr Oluwafemi Ogunbona
Louis Conradie
Louise Simpson
Dr Daniel William Simmonds
Dr Ana Mendes

Get in Touch

We're with you at every step

Everyone’s mind is unique. Many of us are neurodiverse. And while the neurological differences that make us individuals can bring challenges, we believe that with understanding, empathy and expert support, everyone can thrive.

Talk to one of our team