About us

It all began back in 2010, when our Clinical Director Dr. Alastair Barnett, Consultant Clinical Psychologist for NHS CAMHS, decided he wanted to work with children, adolescents and their families - in a different way. He wanted to be able to present a more personalised service and offer more time. He took this idea forward in the independent sector, founding a psychology practice that could meet a broad range of needs, helping those who were struggling to get help by other means. It also meant Alastair would have more time doing what first took him into child psychology – direct work with children and young people.

Alastair setup a small clinic here in Kenilworth and Conatus Child Psychology was born. At the time, Conatus was the only child-focused psychology practice in the region offering a truly bespoke service.  That service is still offered today, although the practice has grown both in size and reputation. Our clientele is hugely varied as we offer services to individual families, fostering services and adoption agencies, schools, NHS Trusts, local Government children’s services, and others. Alastair is still very much involved, both clinically and in leading the practice, but most importantly he is still doing what he loves - helping families, although he does have a bigger team around him these days.
Psycologist talking to child
Def: "inclination, effort, endeavour, impulse".

From early philosophies of psychology and metaphysics, conatus is an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself.

Mission and ethics

Conatus is a well-regarded provider of specialist child clinical psychological services. We believe in the importance of timely, evidence-based support for children and families experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties.

We strongly support the principles of ethical practice. We will only offer treatment where there is the need for clinical psychology input and we base our interventions on the available research evidence to encourage best practice. We are outcome-focused and aim to provide the support mechanism and structure that facilitates our clients to achieve agreed therapeutic goals.

Crucial to a positive outcome is the involvement of families and young people in the decision-making about their treatment. We always strive to work in a collaborative way.

We review treatment plans regularly and will only offer follow-up appointments when clinically indicated and requested by the family.

When Conatus feels that we are not able to help with certain cases, we will explain and try to point you in the direction of more appropriate support, if possible.
Our family appointment (non-complex) average over the last three years is between 7 and 8 appointments.


We accept private referrals: just call us on 01926 678085 and one of our friendly team will take your family’s details. Initial enquiries are then viewed by a senior member of the clinical team and, if it’s thought we can offer our help, we will recommend an appointment with an appropriate clinician. We will ask you to complete some questionnaires and registration forms; these are best returned prior to the first appointment so that the clinician can read the informatåion beforehand.

We also accept referrals from GP’s, paediatricians, schools, social workers, children’s social care services and other childcare or health care specialists.
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