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The purpose of my work is to make significant advances in the understanding and treatment of delusions and hallucinations. Drawing on a variety of approaches, including epidemiological studies, psychological experiments, clinical trials, and a ground-breaking virtual reality laboratory, I use the theoretical knowledge to develop carefully tested psychological treatments that will truly make a difference.
At the moment four main randomised controlled treatment trials are in progress. Each targets a key factor in the occurrence of delusions and hallucinations: worry, poor sleep, low self-esteem, and avoidance of social situations. There are also a number of studies running that will lead to a greater understanding of the causes of psychotic experiences. The research is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, and the NHS National Institute of Health Research.
I’m also committed to making knowledge of the best psychological research and treatments for mental health problems available to the general public. Therefore I’ve written a number of popular science books on mental health issues. The latest to appear will be The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth about Men, Women, and Mental Health, which sets out to answer a simple, but crucial, question: are rates of psychological disorder different for men and women? This important issue has been largely ignored in all the debates raging about gender differences.