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We investigate why people experience hallucinations and delusions, and use that knowledge to develop truly effective treatments for these problems. Our targeted interventions for paranoia are now being tested in randomized controlled clinical trials.

Our research has shown that hallucinations and delusions are far more common than previously believed. Indeed many people in the general population will have experienced them in a relatively mild form. For others, however, these experiences can cause real distress. We work to understand why they happen and how they can be treated.

Mental health problems are complex phenomena. To help us explain how hallucinations and delusions are caused and why they can persist, we follow best practice and focus on particular experiences – for example, feelings of paranoia. Drawing on a variety of approaches, including epidemiological studies, psychological experiments, clinical trials, and a ground-breaking virtual reality laboratory, we use our theoretical knowledge to develop carefully tested treatments that will truly make a difference.

Alongside these clinical interventions, we are committed to making our research - and especially therapeutic techniques - available to the widest possible audience, with several books for the general reader published and more in preparation. Our work is supported by the NHS National Institute of Health Research, Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust.


Paranoid Thoughts website

Follow Daniel Freeman on Twitter


BBC Radio 4 Series: A History of Delusions 

Recent open access papers

Our team

Selected publications

Related research themes