Our Sports Team
Our Specialist Sports Service is led by Dr Sam White and Dr Adele Parker, however NCPS has the capacity to draw upon other specialisms within the NCPS team when required.
Dr Sam White
BSc (Hons) PG Cert, DClin Psychol
Based at Chapel Allerton
Dr Sam White qualified as a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Leeds. He is a registered practitioner psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (PYL37103) and is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society (265476).
Sam is one of our Lead Clinical Psychologists within our specialist mental health service for professional sport people. Not only does he offer individual therapy to athletes, he offers training packages to clubs and plays an important role in service development to ensure the highest quality of care to this unique client group.
Sam has conducted doctoral research investigating the impact that the sporting environment has on the mood of male athletes and has a keen interest in this area. In addition to a professional interest, Sam has a personal interest in sport having played rugby for 14 years and engaged in a variety of other sporting activities. He understands the unique pressure faced by athletes and the competing demands within these environments.
He has experience of working therapeutically with individuals across the lifespan and adopts a client-centered approach to therapeutic engagement. This ensures that the individual's needs can be met with the most appropriate therapeutic intervention. Sam draws upon a variety of psychological models including, but not limited to, CBT, CAT, ACT and Narrative therapy.
In addition to working with individuals, Sam has experience of consulting to and training professional sport teams. These consultations and training events have enabled professional sports clubs to skill up the mental health knowledge of their key stakeholders (coaches, physiotherapists, players) and enable the development of systems to identify mental health difficulties and intervene to minimise distress.
Dr Adele Parker
BSc (Hons) ClinPsyD CPsychol AFBPsS
NCPS Managing Director
Based at Wetherby
Dr Adele Parker has been a practicing Clinical Psychologist for over 15 years and has extensive experience within a wide range of mental health difficulties (read more about her role under the section Senior Management, Managing Director). Over the last few years Adele, together with her wider team, have assessed and treated athletes from various sporting backgrounds that have suffered psychological difficulties often associated with the pressure of competing demands within these unique environments. She has a specialist interest in the impact professional sport can have on mental health when careers come to an abrupt end. Associated difficulties can include, such as loss of self-identity, poor body image, low self-worth and self-confidence, adjustment difficulties, persistent pain, together with anxiety and depression.
Adele has always had a personal interest in this area having being raised by a father who was actively involved in rugby league, both as a player, referee and as a club official. Adele also swam competitively throughout childhood to early adulthood, reaching county standard. She later married a professional cricketer and whilst she shared both the joys of his victories and highlights, she also observed some of the low points and struggles that professional sports people can endure.
Taking into account Adele’s personal and clinical experience, as well as having over 10 years founding and managing NCPS, it almost seems inevitable that her passion for service development would naturally shift to this particular area.
Adele, together with her team are able to offer professional sports clubs and individual athletes expertise in many areas, including head injury, pain, loss, adjustment, trauma, addiction, eating difficulties, anxiety-based disorders and severe depression.