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Louise Johns

MA, DPhil, DClinPsy, PGCAP

Consultant Academic Clinical Psychologist

  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry.
  • Visiting Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Early Intervention

I am a consultant clinical psychologist in the Oxford Early Intervention in Psychosis Service, overseeing the delivery and evaluation of psychological therapies for clients and their caregivers, together with training and supervision of staff. I am also an honorary senior research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, and an associate member of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre.

My research interests include understanding the development of psychotic symptoms in young people, cognitive behavioural therapies for psychosis, and early intervention and prevention of severe mental illness. Previous research in OASIS (a South London service for young people with an At Risk Mental State) has contributed to our understanding of the development of psychotic symptoms. A common feature of the At Risk Mental State is attenuated psychotic symptoms, and we have found that cognitive processes are disrupted before the expression of full-blown symptoms, and may be important in their aetiology. Following up these young people provides a means of identifying factors that influence symptomatic and functional changes over time and predictors of outcome in this group. 

My research in developing and evaluating cognitive behavioural therapies for clients with psychosis has included novel approaches for negative symptoms, and a new Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group intervention. My current research in this area involves ACT and mindfulness for psychosis, piloting interventions for negative symptoms, and evaluation of psychological therapies for young people with first episode psychosis.

I am passionate about understanding and preventing the development of distressing mental illness, and I am applying my clinical and research experience to the area of health promotion and very early intervention. Theory-driven and tailored approaches are needed to promote the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people, before the onset of mental ill health. Families, schools, and community settings all provide opportunities to deliver programmes to enhance resilience and improve emotional wellbeing, and to reduce the chances of mental health problems developing or worsening.