As Programme Director for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ClinPsyD), I hold overall responsibility for the training of clinical psychologists at the University of Manchester. I also teach on the programme and supervise ClinPsyD research projects. Alongside my training roles, I conduct research and supervise PhD students. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In the remainder of my time I work as clinical lead for the Functional Neurological Disorders (FuND) Service, in my role as honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist within the Psychotherapy team at Gaskell House, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The FuND Service offers specialist psychological assessment and treatment for people with functional (i.e. 'medically unexplained') neurological symptom disorders. We offer the main evidence-based approaches for functional neurological symptoms. The predominant therapeutic approach is individual Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy, although we also offer individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy where appropriate.
Typical referrals include:
- people with symptoms that appear to be due to neurological illness (e.g., non-epileptic seizures, paralysis, movement difficulties, sensory disturbance) but which have been diagnosed as functional by a neurologist following appropriate investigation;
Anyone with a Manchester GP can be referred to the FuND Service. We also accept out-of-area referrals if funding can be agreed with the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group on a cost-per-case basis. Referrals should be sent to Dr Richard J. Brown, FuND Service, Gaskell House, Swinton Grove, Manchester, M13 0EU.
I developed research interests in consciousness, volition and executive function during my first degree at UCL and extended these interests during an MRC funded PhD focusing on the cognitive mechanisms of hypnosis and suggestion. I applied my knowledge in these areas during a three-year post-doctoral research fellowship at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, investigating dissociation, trauma, suggestibility and illness cognition in patients with somatization disorder and non-epileptic attacks. I have continued to conduct research on somatization and dissociation since this time, with a particular emphasis on functional (i.e., 'medically unexplained') neurological symptoms.
I completed the Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ClinPsyD) at Manchester in 2004 and joined the School of Psychological Sciences as a lecturer in October of that year. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008 when I took on the role of Academic Director for the ClinPsyD. I was made Programme Director for the ClinPsyD in September 2011.
A major focus for my teaching is Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (PIT). I use PIT clinically (alongside other approaches) and am involved in research on the effectiveness of this form of psychological treatment. I am a founding member of the PIT Special Interest Group UK, and organise our website www.pit-sig.uk
I won the British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology May Davidson Lecture Award in 2012, a major research prize "for clinical psychologists who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of clinical psychology within 10 years of qualifying as a clinical psychologist", for my work on dissociation and functional symptoms.
Memberships of committees and professional bodies
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (recognition reference PR111702)
Registered Clinical Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (registration number PYL03024)
Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Division of Clinical Psychology, British Psychological Society
Member of the Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology, British Psychological Society
Member of the Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy Special Interest Group UK
Member of the United Kingdom Functional Neurological Symptoms group