Professional background

I am a consultant clinical psychologist and I have worked in the NHS with children and young people who have a chronic illness for over 30 years.

My interests are in working with young people and their significant systems which include their families, their medical teams, their school/college/work environment etc.

My clinical work is informed by narrative therapy and systemic principles.I am interested in hearing the many stories that exist in a young persons life. I am interested in hearing the stories attached to the challenges they are facing as well as the stories which are outside the influence of these challenges and I am interested in hearing about a young persons skills and abilities as well as the values that are important to them.

I endeavour to work collaboratively with the young person and their family and other networks. I offer a group work for young people and I have designed "The Beads of Life" (Portnoy, S., Girling, I., & Fredman, G. 2016) to work with young people where a significant problem is dominatung their lives. This is an approach which can be used with individuals or as a group.

I also enjoy offering supervision to other professionals interested in working in these ways.     


Greenfield, S. A., Chubb, I. W., Grünewald, R. A., Henderson, Z., May, J., Portnoy, S., ... & Wright, M. C. (1984). A non-cholinergic function for acetylcholinesterase in the substantia nigra: behavioural evidence. Experimental brain research, 54(3), 513-520.

Portnoy, S., Callias, M., Wolke, D., & Gamsu, H. (1988). Fiveyear followup study of extremely lowbirthweight infants. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 30(5), 590-598.

Berger, M., & Portnoy, S. (1990). Clinical child psychology. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 3(6), 781-784.

Head, D. M., Portnoy, S., & Woods, R. T. (1990). The impact of reminiscence groups in two different settings. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 5(5), 295-302.

Noar, J., & Portnoy, S. (1991). Dental status of children in a primary and secondary school in rural Zambia. International Dental Journal, 41(3), 142-148.

McIntosh, N., Crockford, H., Portnoy, S., & Berger, M. (1995). Outcome at three years of sick neonates involved in a doubleblind trial of two parenteral amino acid preparations. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 37(3), 221-225.

Portnoy, S. (1997). Patient Co-operation–how can it be Improved?. British journal of orthodontics, 24(4), 340-342.

Lee, D. A., Portnoy, S., Hill, P., Gillberg, C., & Patton, M. A. (2005). Psychological profile of children with Noonan syndrome. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 47(1), 35-38.

Portnoy S and Stubbs D. Bereavement in Goldman, A., Hain, R., & Liben, S. (Eds.). (2012). Oxford textbook of palliative care for children. Oxford university press.

Portnoy, S., Girling, I., & Fredman, G. (2016). Supporting young people living with cancer to tell their stories in ways that make them stronger: The Beads of Life approach. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 21(2), 255-267.

Portnoy, S. (2019). Recipes for new beginnings. In Clinical Psychology Forum (Vol. 320).

Portnoy, S. (2019).Bringing Narrative Therapy to refugees during their journey. In Clinical Psychology Forum (Vol. 320).

Portnoy S and Ireland L The Beads of Life Approach adapted for young people with acquired brain injury Ch 10 in Jim, J., & Cole, E. (Eds.). (2019). Psychological Therapy for Paediatric Acquired Brain Injury: Innovations for Children, Young People and Families. Routledge.

Portnoy, S., & Ward, A. (2020). Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people–Understanding their journeys towards improved physical and emotional health. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 25(3), 636-647.

In Press

Portnoy S and Ives-Baine L . Bereavement in Goldman, A., Hain, R., & Liben, S. (Eds.). (2021). Oxford textbook of palliative care for children. Oxford university press. Awaiting final publication

In Preparation

Portnoy S, Pena C and McParland J Draft Chapter on “Working with families where a young person is facing death” with the Editor