After receiving a first class honours degree in Psychology from the University of Manchester Ann Steele went on to continue her Psychology studies at the University of Oxford. Here she completed a Masters in Research in Psychology, followed by a PhD exploring the development of literacy, numeracy and other cognitive skills in children with developmental disorders with the Attention, Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) group. During this time Ann also had interests in mental health, collaborating with the Oxford Perinatal Psychology Research Group (OPAL) on the SAMMI study, which explored women’s experiences of depression and anxiety following stillbirth, and the Lupina Project run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which treated people experiencing panic and agoraphobia using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). In recognition of achievement in her PhD studies Ann was awarded the Leathersellers’ Graduate Scholarship for Science by St Catherine’s College, Oxford.
On completing her studies at Oxford Ann was keen to pursue further her interests in mental health research, taking on a researcher role in the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, at the Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London. Here Ann worked on the Tempo Programme, developing and piloting a new intervention to improve communication between psychiatrists and patients with psychosis. It was in this role, working closely with both clinicians and service-users within the NHS, that Ann decided to pursue further her clinical training in order to work more closely with people experiencing mental health problems.
Between 2011-2014 Ann Steele undertook her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at The Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. During her training Ann completed 6 clinical placements spanning a wide range of mental health services within the NHS including adult, child and adolescent and older adult mental health services as well as services for people with learning disabilities. She completed advanced placements at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (CADAT) specialising in delivering CBT for anxiety disorders, and at Dimbleby Cancer Care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, specialising in offering psychological support and interventions to people suffering from cancer, as well as their families and carers. In addition, Ann undertook research during her training into psychiatric treatment for people with psychosis, and evaluating CBT for insomnia. Having completed this training Ann is now a Chartered Psychologist registered with The British Psychological Society (BPS) and regulated by The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC).
Since completing her clinical training Ann was keen to work in an area that could combine both her research experience and interests with her clinical training. As a trial therapist at the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU) this has been made possible. Ann’s main responsibility in this role is to deliver evidenced-based CBT to participants in the different research trials including Focusing on Clozapine Unresponsive Symptoms (FOCUS), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Medication for Psychosis – A Randomised Evaluation (COMPARE), Prevention of Long-Term Social Disability in Young People with Emerging Psychological Difficulties (PRODIGY), Bipolar At-Risk Trial (BART) and Individual and Family Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (IF CBT). Across all of these trials the CBT interventions prioritise the needs and values of the individual and promote creative and personalised delivery of therapy, an approach Ann highly values and strives towards in her work. Ann Steele does additional work at PRU including providing training in areas of CBT and mental health, particularly psychosis, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders, to local services and charities who are interested in PRU’s research; teaching on local Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and CBT training programmes; and co-facilitating Living with Hearing Voices, a workshop open to all run by the Recovery Academy.
When she is not being a Psychologist Ann enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends and discovering new parts of Yorkshire – a place, despite originally being a Southerner, she is proud to currently call home.