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The Pain Service Directors

Clemency Palmer BSc MSc CPsychol

Clemency Palmer is a Chartered and Clinical Psychologist, qualifying in 1990.  She initially worked in the NHS, developing an interest in psychological trauma working with survivors of child sexual abuse. She further specialised in this area whilst working with The Centre For Crisis Psychology, where she remained until 1999. During that time Clemency was involved in the treatment, both acute and longer term, of victims of serious trauma including manmade and natural disasters.  She has completed her EMDR training, Level I and Level II.

Clemency developed The Psychology Service, in 1999, which provides specialist assessment and treatment services in respect to a variety of mental health problems typically arising following road traffic accidents and other traumatic incidents, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety based disorders, depressive disorders, adjustment disorders, as well as pain management. She maintains her position as Managing Director where her role is divided between her own clinical work as a medico-legal expert and in psychological therapy, supervision of the consultant's work, and her managerial and marketing role. She regularly presents upon psychological injury and therapy at major conferences within this field.  

In recent years, Clemency has developed a strong interest and experience in the assessment and treatment of chronic pain conditions. In recognition of the limitation of pain management services currently available nation-wide she has for some time wanted to develop an easily accessible interdisciplinary service where pain management focuses upon the intervention between expert psychological therapists and physiotherapists skilled in the treatment of chronic pain to replicate the widely respected high quality treatment service currently provided by The Psychological Service.

She is delighted to be joined by Petrus du Plessis, as Co-Director, in the formation of The Pain Service and believes this offers a unique treatment approach for chronic pain sufferers that will complement other multi-disciplinary services available.

Clemency is married and has four children. Her personal life focuses upon her family, her horses (and a melee of other animals – currently 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 chickens and 2 goldfish!), and she tries to ride whenever she has a chance, having been actively competing in eventing in her younger days. She also greatly enjoys supporting her husband and sons in their passion for motor-sport, rugby and football although her most precious moments are being at home in the warm, sat in front of a roaring open fire enjoying good food and wine! 

Petrus du Plessis

Petrus du Plessis began his interest in physiotherapy whilst doing sport from a young age. After finishing school at Hermanus High in South Africa, he went to Stellenbosh University and studied Sports Science. Moving to the UK in 2002, he wanted to pursue his career in physiotherapy and started working for the NHS on a part-time basis as a physiotherapy assistant.

In 2004 he enrolled in a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course at Salford University in Manchester, and then working as a lecturer in physical interventions in the NHS. Petrus graduated in 2008 and subsequently worked full-time in the NHS as a physiotherapist, gaining extensive experience in acute and chronic pain management treatment approaches and a solid foundation in treating patients with long-term pain. Petrus has published a paper on the “Physical assessment of occupational health staff” in 2010.

Petrus, however, also harbored an ambition to further a career as a professional rugby player and, in 2010, having impressed the coaching staff at Saracens Rugby Club with his performance on the pitch whilst playing for Nottingham, he was scooped up by the top North London side. Petrus continues to be a regular first team player and was proud to be part of the team when Saracens became the Aviva Premiership Champions of England in 2011.

Alongside the demands of his professional rugby career, Petrus maintains a strong involvement in physiotherapy and the management of chronic pain. When not charging across a rugby pitch he focuses his attention upon The Pain Service and brings not only his professional experience but also tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to its success and has immense support from Saracens in this respect.

He comments: “Pain is an everyday occurrence for hundreds of thousands of people. This is something I am very passionate about. I know what it’s like to be in pain and how it can impact upon the whole of your life. It is my goal to try and make a difference in the management of pain nation-wide.”