Rhona McAlpine

Specialist Occupational Therapist, registered with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC)

I am a member of the Royal College of Occupational therapists and their specialist section of Independent Practitioners.


I have been practicing within the field of Child and Adolescent Mental Health for over fifteen years. My interest and passion has always been to support children and young people to lead a happy and purposeful life; promoting a positive sense of self. I pride myself in being client centred, yet family focused in my approach.

I work to support children, young people and their families who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including those with Neurodevelopmental conditions such as an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and those who have experienced developmental trauma and difficulties in their early relationships. My work includes pre and post-diagnostic support for young people and their families. I also help to support children and young people to manage stress and anxiety.


Attachment .  Connection .  Relationships.

'Behaviour is communication'


Therapy is a process of getting to know and gaining an understanding of a child or young person, within the context of their family structure/support system. I take a strengths based approach and offer practical strategies to support their development and positive mental health and wellbeing.

I can work directly with children and young people or indirectly with those that are supporting them. My overall goal is to facilitate better engagement in family life, play, self care and learning activities.


I consider the child or young person’s motivation, routines, environment and skills.


The focus of intervention typically involves activity/play and/or strategies. Work often introduces and explores emotions, focuses on co-regulation before self-regulation, considers the sensory attachment needs of the adults and the child and shines a light on positive relationships.

I have a particular interest in the concept of neurodiversity, the complex interplay between the body and the mind, sensory processing and the underpinning theories and neurobiology. 

'Curiosity is the key'



  • Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 2005 - BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (1st Class)

  • Anglian Ruskin University, 2006 Child Development for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Module- A (72%) Degree Level

  • Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 2012- Masters Module- Research Methods- Grade A ‘An exploration into the views of occupational therapists on their role within early intervention and preventative practice.’


  • The Alert Program 2005 - Therapyworks

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2006

  • Incredible Years Parenting Programme and Dinasaur school Child Training Program - Carolyn Webster Stratton

  • Sensory Integration in Mental Health Level 1 - Sensory Integration Network

  • Sensory Attachment Intervention Foundation Part one and two 2019 - Eadaoin Bhreathnach

  • Interoception Curriculum 2019 - Kelly Mahler

  • Decider Skills 2020 Michelle Ayres and Carol Vivyan 

Wheat Field


  • Presentation/Workshop session:  ‘Occupation focused early intervention: An evidence based resource to support occupational engagement’. College of Occupational Therapist 36th Annual Conference: Glasgow 2012

  • Highly Commended Award- Poster: ‘The ACHIEVE Assessment Toolkit- Building a Parent and Teacher Outcome Measure’ College of Occupational Therapist 36th Annual Conference: Glasgow 2012

  • Co Author – ‘Up, up and away! Inclusive learning and Collaborative Working- Practitioners and carers ideas in practice, early years resource 0-5years’. Circle Collaboration 2011

  • Acknowledged for contribution to ‘Health Happy Bairns, support from the start, community empowerment and health inequalities’ changeXchange 2011

  • Acknowledged for contribution to ‘Inclusive Learning and Collaborative Working- ideas in practice. Secondary School Resource (age 12-18yrs). Circle Collaboration 2016.

  • SIGN Group: Review of E learning module based on SIGN 98 for the College of Physicians

  • Delivered ‘Master class in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ NHS Quality Improvement Scotland Event Glasgow 2009

  • Poster : ‘Sensory toolkits to assist children and young people with emotional self regulation. Lothian Occupational Therapy Conference