DPhil, DClinPsy, BSc, CPsychol
Research Clinical Psychologist
The overall aim of my research is to improve psychological treatments for people experiencing severe mental health problems, with particular focus on distressing voices and sleep disruption.
My doctoral fellowship developed a new cognitive framework to explain why derogatory and threatening voices can be so believable and difficult to ignore. My current NIHR development and skills enhancement award will use this framework and take the first steps in designing a cognitive behavioural treatment for people distressed by derogatory and threatening voices.
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). 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). Applying this knowledge to an inpatient setting, I have conducted a pilot randomised controlled trial of insomnia treatment on an acute ward (OWLS), which showed that it is possible to treat insomnia, and there are promising reductions in the length of inpatient admission as a result of treatment. One common but under-recognised cause of sleep disruption for people experiencing severe mental health problems is nightmares. Our research has highlighted novel psychological mechanisms associated with the occurrence of nightmares and I have used this to inform a brief CBT treatment for nightmares for patients experiencing high levels of paranoia (The Nightmare Intervention Study, NIteS).
I am committed to sharing the learnings from our research with the general public. For example we have created an animation on the challenges and opportunities of being around people whilst hearing derogatory and threatening voices. My hope is that it is a tool that aids the understanding of, and conversations about voice hearing experiences.
I am an HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist. I completed by DPhil at the University of Oxford and clinical training at the Institute of Psychiatry.
Johnsen L. et al, (2023), Journal of Sleep Research
Henry AL. et al, (2023), J Affect Disord, 339, 58 - 63
Sheaves B. et al, (2023), SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN
Longden E. et al, (2023), PSYCHOSIS-PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIAL AND INTEGRATIVE APPROACHES
UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIATING ROLE OF SLEEP IMPROVEMENT ON ANXIETY SYMPTOMS USING DIGITAL CBT FOR INSOMNIA
Henry A. et al, (2023), SLEEP, 46