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20 October 2015

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder six years ago. I benefitted from NHS and private psychiatric care in Oxfordshire for four years, before moving to Beaconsfield where I was referred to Dr Allen. Now, aged 32, I have never felt better. I attribute that in largest part to Dr Allen’s professionalism and experience. To give a flavour of his methods:

Dr Allen has true expertise; he is authoritative but quietly unassuming in his approach. Dr Allen establishes a strong and genuinely empathic doctor-patient relationship that is based on mutual trust. I have never felt so comfortable, open and honest with a psychiatrist before.

Dr Allen is also extremely patient, almost subtle in his approach. Patients are rarely surprised when they are first diagnosed – after all, it is your life history – but then what? Mental illness is a difficult thing to accept because it trespasses on your (subjective) perspective of who you are. Acceptance means coming to terms with the objective prognostic nature of the diagnosis and its treatment. It took me years to get to that stage. Dr Allen maintained his patience and he acted as the voice of reason – that is no small comfort during a transitional period when you cannot always trust your thoughts. Bipolar disorder did not define me; but I accepted it at last.

Finally, the search for the most appropriate treatment(s). This can be a frustrating process – we are all different and there is no substitute for trial and error. Dr Allen communicated his strategy clearly and he was only too happy to involve me in the decision making process, which included making appropriate dosage adjustments based on my feedback as a medication-sensitive individual. Not only is that degree of personalised care a rarity, it was also very clever: it empowered me; it gave me some degree of control over my treatment; I willingly complied and my condition improved markedly as a result.

I have never looked back and I wholeheartedly recommend him.