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Bethany Ashley-Smith
Addictions Therapy Lead

Bethany Ashley-Smith

Bethany Ashley-Smith is both a mental health nurse and addictions therapist, and has worked within the mental health settings for 17 years. During this time, she has specialised both within the field of addictions and eating disorders, as well as general psychiatric illness.

Bethany has worked at Priory Hayes Grove as the addictions lead therapist for the past year, and loves the diversity of the role. She enjoys being able to support her team as well as her clients, and a thriving team of volunteers (all of which have experience of a treatment journey). 

Bethany has previously worked across both the NHS and private sector, and set up several services, including a hospital at home service for the management of chronic anorexia; a support service for IV drug users with physical health complications and family services within addictions.

She has a strong interest in families and relationships, as well as cultural and spiritual diversity.

Training

Bethany graduated as a mental health nurse in December 2006, and was lucky enough to start her nursing career within a hospital that had an addictions ward, and very quickly uncovered a passion for working with people who suffered with addiction. During this time, Bethany secured a training role, where she worked across the nursing and therapy department and trained as a therapist, to allow cohesive and holistic treatment, as well as robust risk management.

The ability to undertake therapy training has enriched her role, as she has skills both as a nurse and therapist, which allow the patient to have a realistic treatment plan.

Research interests

  • Bethany has previously set up several family programmes, both in the eating disorder and addiction settings
  • She has researched and set up a programme to enable people with chronic eating disorders to live safely in the community
  • She is currently working on specialist treatment for prescription drug dependency, and also a framework for clients who suffer with PTSD, as well as addictions

I have a passion for working with the individual, and using the client’s expertise of self, alongside my own professional, and personal experience of illness. I feel as a practitioner that working with hope of change is rewarding and achievable, as well as empowering, as it helps the individual uncover and remember their own strengths. I view treatment as a journey, and recognise that each journey is different, with its own set of challenges and rewards.

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