The DirectorsAdvisory group, 2022

7 experts in the field of psychosis supported the research and development of The Directors.

Listed in alphabetical order, they include Peter Bullimore, Dr Jacqui Dillon, Professor Charles Fernyhough, Laura E. Fischer, Professor David Harper, Jo Loughran, and Dr Isabel Valli.

Peter Bullimore

Peter is a voice hearer who spent ten years as a psychiatric patient. He recovered through learning holistic approaches and with support from the Hearing Voices Network. Peter now teaches on hearing voices and paranoia internationally, facilitates a support group in Sheffield, runs a training and consultancy agency, and is a founding member of the Paranoia Network. He teaches at the University of Manchester where he is also carrying out research into collaborative working between voluntary sector organisations and the university, and what recovery means from a service user’s perspective.

Dr Jacqui Dillon

Dr Jacqui Dillon is a respected activist, writer and speaker, and has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, abuse, psychosis, dissociation and healing. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England, Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Visiting Research Fellow at The Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University and a member of the Advisory Board, The Collaborating Centre for Values-Based Practice in Health and Social Care, St Catherine’s College, Oxford University. Jacqui has co-edited 3 books and has published numerous articles and papers, is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches and the founder of the Beck Road Alliance (BRA) which exists to support survivors of organised childhood sexual abuse on Beck Road, Hackney, and all survivors everywhere, to share their testimonies of surviving childhood sexual abuse. In 2017, Jacqui was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Psychology by the University of East London.

Professor Charles Fernyhough

Charles is a writer and psychologist. His non-fiction book about his daughter’s psychological development, The Baby in the Mirror, was published by Granta in 2008. His book on autobiographical memory, Pieces of Light (Profile, 2012) was shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. His latest non-fiction book, The Voices Within, is published by Profile/Wellcome Collection in the UK and by Basic Books (2016) in the US. He is the editor of Others (Unbound, 2019), an anthology exploring how books and literature can show us other points of view, with net profits supporting refugee and anti-hate charities. Charles has also written for numerous publications, consulted on theatre productions and supported the development of countless TV and radio series'. He is a part-time Professor of Psychology at Durham University, where he leads the interdisciplinary Hearing the Voice project, investigating the phenomenon of auditory verbal hallucinations. He has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed journal articles on topics such as inner speech, memory and child development.

Laura E. Fischer

Laura is an Artist, Researcher, Lecturer, and Mental Health Activist who specialises in trauma. A key focus of her work is on the neuropsychological and neurophysiological correlates of childhood trauma and the development of novel creative body-based and survivor-led interventions. Through her art practice, she creates spaces for trauma survivors to reclaim and redefine their narratives on their own terms. She is an Honorary Research Associate of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, an Honorary Research Associate of UCL’s Division of Psychiatry, an Improvement Leader Fellow and Honorary Research Fellow of NIHR ARC NWL, a Special Lecturer at UCL and Central Saint Martins, and she is on the Editorial Board of QI4U and the Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Psychiatry. She has published articles and book chapters, has facilitated workshops and given numerous talks, including keynotes and TEDx, and her artwork and films have been exhibited internationally, at venues including the V&A, the Whitechapel Gallery, and the BFI, and some of her work is in the Central Saint Martins Museum Collection.

Professor David Harper

David is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London (UEL). He is a clinical psychologist who worked in mental health services in the North West for nearly a decade before moving to UEL in 2000. He completed both his undergraduate psychology degree and postgraduate training in clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool and his PhD (‘Deconstructing Paranoia’) at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since 2014 he has been one of the two Programme Directors of UEL's Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. His co-authored and co-edited book Psychology Mental Health & Distress was a winner of the 2014 British Psychological Society’s book award. He is predominantly a qualitative researcher, developing conceptual and empirical projects from a critical psychology standpoint. His focus is on psychosis (especially paranoia and unusual beliefs), social inequality and mental health, changing attitudes about mental health and investigating how electronic gathering, storage and transmission of personal information is experienced by the public.

Jo Loughran

Jo is a leader and strategic thinker with more than a decade of involvement in the UK charity sector, almost all of those years in Rethink Mental Illness in a variety of roles. Jo draws on her specialist knowledge of behaviour change campaigns, mental health anti-stigma programmes and lived experience leadership as Director at Time to Change. Previously in her role She has worked for Rethink Mental Illness for the past 15 years and, as Head of the Children and Young People's programme at Time to Change, she has led the development, from concept to implementation, of England's largest mental health anti-stigma programme for young people aged 11-18 and their parents. With personal experience of mental health problems that began in her teenage years, Jo is passionate about creating an environment where no one feels isolated or ashamed to speak out. She is the founder and Trustee of Nauka, a charity that helps disadvantaged women in Zambia realise their full potential, and a serving Trustee of The McPin Foundation, transforming mental health research by putting the lived experience of people affected by mental health problems at the heart of research methods and the research agenda.

Dr Isabel Valli

Isabel is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. She is currently Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Barcelona and visiting lecturer in the department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She is a specialist in the treatment of psychosis and has worked as a consultant psychiatrist in first episode psychosis services within the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Her research uses neuroimaging techniques to study the brain mechanisms associated with high-risk states for psychosis and their potential use for the early identification of vulnerable individuals. She has an interest in the arts and has established collaborations with artists and theatre makers for the development of multidisciplinary projects.

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