DClinPsy, BSc, CPsychol
Research Clinical Psychologist & NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow
I am a Research Clinical Psychologist within O-CAP. The overall aim of my research is to improve psychological treatments for people experiencing severe mental health problems, with a particular focus on distressing voices.
My fellowship is investigating why derogatory and threatening voices can be so believable and difficult to ignore. I aim to use this understanding to inform cognitive behavioural treatment developments.
Much of my work to date has focused on the association between sleep disturbance and psychotic experiences, working as part of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi). Our research has highlighted novel psychological mechanisms associated with the occurrence of nightmares and we have used this to inform a brief CBT treatment for nightmares for patients experiencing high levels of paranoia (The Nightmare Intervention Study, NIteS). I have worked on a range of studies which have demonstrated that sleep disruption is one contributory cause of mental health problems, including paranoia and hallucinatory experiences (e.g. the OASIS trial) and have a particular interest in optimising psychological interventions for inpatient wards. We have recently completed a randomised controlled trial of insomnia treatment in this setting (OWLS) with promising effects on insomnia and the length of admission.
I am committed to sharing the learnings from our research with the general public. For example we have created an animation on hearing derogatory and threatening voices (see below). My hope is that it is a tool that aids the understanding of, and conversations about the experience.
I am an HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist and completed my clinical doctorate at the Institute of Psychiatry. My research through my clinical training investigated the occurrence of nightmares in individuals who experience psychotic symptoms.
Listening to and believing derogatory and threatening voices
SHEAVES B. et al, (2022), Schizophrenia Bulletin
Alsuhibani A. et al, (2022), PLoS One, 17
Henry AL. et al, (2021), Journal of Sleep Research, 30
Reeve S. et al, (2021), PLoS One, 16
3. Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (schizophrenia,
schizoaffective disorder, short-term psychotic episodes)
SHEAVES B. and FREEMAN D., (2020), European Sleep Medicine Textbook (Second Edition)