UCL News


Spotlight on... Dr Sonia Greenidge

13 June 2023

This week we meet Dr Sonia Greenidge, Head of Student Psychological and Counselling Services. Here, she chats to us about working as a CBT therapist, publishing three books and implementing a duty system to help students deal with mental health issues.

Dr Sonia Greenidge

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the Head of Student Psychological and Counselling Services (SPCS). This involves working closely with the Director of Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) and Deputy Director of Student Support and Wellbeing in liaising with other SSW services, ensuring issues of safeguarding for UCL students, and heading the SPCS clinical and administrative team. I also provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to students.  

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I’ve been at UCL for 13 years and 10 months. I started as a CBT therapist in the service during the final year of my Counselling Psychology Doctorate. Before that, I was working as a lead clinician for the Ealing Borough Young Person’s Drug and Alcohol Service.  

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?  

I think one that has had the most impact is the duty system. Having recognised the increasing complexity of issues students presented to SPCS with, we agreed as a team that a duty safeguarding rota needed to be arranged. This is the triaging of registration forms as they come in and making contact with students, GPs or trusted contacts when risk is presented. I set up the rota and lead the duty handbook for staff. It has been a team effort and one that has been so beneficial to the students.  

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

I am currently working on increasing the feedback and outcome measures collection within SPCS. I hope this will enable us to illustrate, at a glance, the service’s governance, safety and effectiveness and to ensure the reliability of the outcome data we receive. 

What is your favourite album, film and novel?  

  • Album: I’ve not listened to albums in a long time and couldn’t think of one that stood out when I did!  
  • Film: My favourite film is Stand By Me by Rob Reiner based on a Stephen King novella. I’ve loved that since age 12.  
  • Book: I love reading so this is hard, but anything by Jodi Picoult is bound to be a winner. 

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

What’s brown and sticky? A stick! 

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

I thought about this for so long with a number of famous figures coming to mind but then decided that all my closest friends together would be my dream guests. I’d get to relax and totally be myself with them. As having them all together in the same place hasn’t been possible for so long now, I’d absolutely love that! 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t worry so much. Have faith in your abilities and go with the flow more. You got this (‘this’ being life)! 

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I have self-published three fictional books on Amazon. I have loved writing since I was 11 years old and always wanted others to read my stories. Getting a publisher wasn’t happening so I figured I’d go it alone! 

What is your favourite place?

Another hard one to answer. Anywhere hot! Or my bed. I love my bed!