Irene Samuel

Family Therapist on Eating Disorders Unit

Priory Lane
SW15 5JJ

Location telephone: 020 8876 8261

Location email:

Secretary name: N/A

Consultant telephone: 0208 876 8261

Consultant email:

Irene Samuel

Before training as a psychotherapist I spent many years as a musician, teaching the piano and working mostly with children and young people. Realising that a weekly piano lesson was in some ways similar to a weekly therapy session (in the sense of being a long term 1:1 relationship which in most cases continued for years) my interest in working with young people led me to train as an Integrative Psychotherapist and then as a Family Therapist. 

In 1999 I had to spend time doing a placement in a psychiatric hospital and for this reason I went to the Priory Hospital Eating Disorders Unit. This led to a part time job as a Healthcare Assistant, which continued for three years. After completing my Family Therapy training in 2008 it was a natural step to return to Eating Disorders, and I have worked as the Family Therapist on the Eating Disorders Unit in The Priory since 2011, and have also developed a private practice.

I work to support weight restoration in collaboration with my colleagues (Consultant Psychiatrists, Dieticians and Individual Psychotherapists) and to emphasise the importance for both patients and their close family members of learning how to manage their emotions in healthy ways.

Alongside the many joys in life, all of us throughout our lives, have to deal with emotional problems and difficulties. These might be major life events such as a death of a relative, or something like the breakdown of a friendship at school. Eating Disorders offer many patients a very dangerous short cut to managing their emotions by suppressing them, so a large part of my work involves helping my patients to learn and explore healthy ways of processing emotions and thereby helping the sufferer to manage without the eating disorder.

Family Therapy is ideal for looking at patterns in families and accessing solutions to recurring problems, as well as allowing all family members to have a voice and explain their perspective, and in this way to contribute to the recovery of the patient.

MA Psychoanalytic Studies (The Tavistock Institute/University of East London)
MSc and Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy (Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University)
MSc in Systemic Family Therapy (The Institute of Family Therapy/Birkbeck College University of London) Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision and Consultation: Psychotherapeutic & Organisational Approaches (University of Surrey Department of Psychology) I am accredited with the UKCP as a Systemic Family Psychotherapist and with the Association of Family Therapy as a Supervisor.