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Meet The Staff - Psychosis Research Unit
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Meet The Staff

Director / Assistant Director

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Professor Tony Morrison

Director

Tony Morrison is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester and is also Associate Director for Clinical Research at Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust. He has published over 150 articles on cognitive approaches to understanding and treating psychosis and related topics, including an influential cognitive model of psychosis, and has conducted several treatment trials of cognitive therapy for people with psychosis and for people at high risk of developing psychosis.

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Dr Melissa Pyle

Assistant Director (Research)

Melissa started her career at PRU as an assistant research psychologist (RA) working on two feasibility trials. The first was an open-trial of CBT for people with experience of psychosis who chose not to take anti-psychotic medication. This study was affiliated with partners Professor Douglas Turkington at Newcastle, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Dr Alison Brabban at Tees, Esk and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff - Alphabetically

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Alissa Miners

Research Assistant

Alissa started her current role at PRU in January 2018. She splits her time between two research projects: ‘Talking with Voices’ which is looking into the feasibility and acceptance of “voice dialoguing” therapy, and ‘PIERS’ which is investigating whether it is feasible and acceptable to offer PEER delivered information sessions to people who are experiencing Psychosis.

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Ann Parkes

PRU Administrator

In April 2013 Ann joined PRU and the number of trials carried out here have rapidly expanded since she joined the team. Ann has been involved in developing our admin systems as the unit has grown. She is one of two PRU administrators and provides confidential secretarial and administrative support for the various research projects within PRU. She is the first point of contact for enquiries.

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Dr David Shiers

Honorary Research Consultant

David Shiers a former GP in Leek, North Staffordshire, became involved in the early intervention reform of the mid 90s after his daughter’s experience of a severe psychotic illness in her adolescence motivated him to initially complain about the lack of appropriate service.

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Dr Eleanor Longden

Postdoctoral Service User Research Manager

Dr Eleanor Longden is the Postdoctoral Service User Research Manager at PRU and the current chair of its Service User Reference Group (SURG). Throughout her career she has drawn on her own experiences of recovery from psychosis to promote more creative, person-centred approaches to complex mental health problems

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Emma Izon

Assistant Psychologist (Research)

Emma is an Assistant Research Psychologist working primarily on the IFCBT trial. This randomised control trial is looking at combined individual and family therapy in comparison to the usual treatment offered to people at risk of psychosis. We are investigating whether this combined approach is an acceptable, feasible and potentially effective treatment. Emma has been involved with this trial from the onset with the initial ethics application, and is now focussing on recruitment, referrals and liaising with different organisations and departments, as well as carrying out assessments for potential clients.

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Emmeline Joyce

Assistant Psychologist (Research)

Emmeline is an assistant psychologist/research assistant on the Bipolar At Risk Trial (BART). BART is a pilot randomised controlled trial of cognitive behavioural therapy vs treatment as usual, for young adults at risk of developing bipolar disorder. Emmeline works with young people experiencing difficulties with mood swings, and is passionate about being able to offer as much support as she can to the young people she meets in the course of her job.

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Dr Heather Law

Research Trial Manager

Heather studied for a degree in psychology at the University of Manchester before moving to work at Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2007. To begin with, Heather worked as a research assistant in the child and adolescent services in Prestwich mainly on studies looking at assessment and care pathways for young people in contact with the criminal justice system.

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Jonothan Orson

Trial Therapist

Jonothan is a Registered Mental Health Nurse and joined the Psychosis Research Unit in 2018. Jonothan currently works as a Research Care Coordinator on the iATTp trial (Investigation into Attention Training Technique for Psychosis), a feasibility study investigating whether ATT is beneficial for individuals experiencing psychosis.

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Heather Peel

Service User Researcher

Heather Peel started working for PRU in May 2016 as a Service User Researcher conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews for the Method of Levels (MOL), a feasibility randomised control trial. Furthermore, Heather completed some of the transcribing and helped to develop the coding for the trial booklet.

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Karmen Au-Yeung

Assistant Psychologist (Research)

Karmen is an Assistant Psychologist working on the PRODIGY (Prevention of Long Term Social Disability Amongst Young People with Emerging Psychological Difficulties) trial. Before working full-time, Karmen was volunteering for PRU, assisting on the COMPARE trial and also helped on the conference: Challenging the Stigma of Psychosis 2016. Karmen is enjoying her first post as an Assistant Psychologist and hopes to build on her research and clinical skills.

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Dr Liz Murphy

Research Clinical Psychologist

Liz is a research clinical psychologist at the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU). Her role is to provide cognitive therapy to people who are participating in research trials. Since Liz joined the team in early 2014, she has provided therapy across a range of trials, including RESPECT (Reducing Self-stigma in Psychosis by engagement in Cognitive Therapy), FOCUS (Focusing On Clozapine Unresponsive Symptoms), COMPARE (COgnitive behavioural therapy or Medication for Psychosis – A Randomised Evaluation), BART (Bipolar At-Risk Trial) and PRODIGY (Prevention of Long-Term Social Disability in Young People with Emerging Psychological Difficulties).

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Lydia Pearson

Assistant Psychologist (Research)

Lydia is an Assistant Research Psychologist working on the Bipolar At Risk Trial (BART). Lydia has been involved with this trial since it started in April 2015, supporting with duties that include the ethics application, liaison with services for referrals, the assessment process, and retention of the participants. Before working on the BART study, Lydia worked as a volunteer within the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU) and then as an Assistant Research Psychologist with the TEAMS study (Thinking Effectively About Mood Swings), which has now finished.

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Dr Natasha Holden

Clinical Psychologist

Natasha is a Clinical Psychologist. Her main role within PRU is to deliver structured interventions (CBT) to clients. As well her role as a trial therapist, Natasha also contributes to teaching, training and research. Natasha co-facilitates the Recovery Academy’s Living with Hearing Voices course which is accessible to anyone, and provides teaching to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course at the University of Liverpool on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis.

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Nikki Dehmahdi

Assistant Psychologist (Research)

Nikki is an Assistant Research Psychologist working across a number of trials at PRU. She is currently assisting with the IF CBT trial and working towards establishing the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) for the Questionnaire about the Process of Recovery (QPR). Prior to working full-time at PRU, Nikki volunteered and assisted with the BART trial and MORE study.

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Professor Paul French

Honorary Research Consultant

Paul is currently the Clinical Lead for Early Intervention in Psychosis services across Greater Manchester, Mental Health Clinical Lead for Greater Manchester and East Cheshire Strategic Clinical Network, NHSE North Clinical Lead for Early Intervention in Psychosis for the North West and Honorary Professor at Liverpool University.

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Professor Peter Haddad

Consultant Psychiatrist

Peter Haddad is a Consultant in Community Psychiatry at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He is also an Honorary Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester.<br /> His main research interests are the management of affective disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis with an emphasis on widening treatment choice and improving outcomes for people with these disorders.

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Dr Rory Byrne

Postdoctoral User-Researcher

Rory is a postdoctoral user-researcher at the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU), currently involved as a co-applicant with the following ongoing clinical trials: FOCUS, COMPARE, PRODIGY, BART, and IFCBT. He contributed to the development of these trials with a particular focus on the priorities and preferences of trial participants, and contributes to the ongoing development of research materials, trial management, qualitative sub-studies, and the publication of trial results.

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Sophie Faulkner

Trial Therapist

Sophie is an Occupational Therapist working as a therapist on the iATTp (investigation of Attention Training Technique for people with psychosis) trial at the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU). Sophie completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the University of Manchester, and is currently undertaking a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship alongside this role. Clinically Sophie has previously worked in inpatient settings and as a CMHT care co-ordinator (Community Mental Health Team). Sophie is passionate about research to improve access to evidence based non-drug treatments within secondary care mental health services.

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Dr Sophie Parker

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sophie Parker is a Clinical Psychologist working at the Psychosis Research Unit (PRU) at Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Sophie completed an undergraduate psychology degree in London and spent the early years of her career working with people with learning disabilities prior to gaining her first role in working with people who experience psychosis.

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Verity Smith

Assistant Psychologist (Research)

Verity Smith is an Assistant Research Psychologist working on MAPS (Managing Adolescent first episode Psychosis: a feasibility Study). This trial is investigating treatment options for young people (aged 14-18) who are currently experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

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Wendy Jones

Service User Researcher

Wendy Jones is a Service User Researcher here at PRU working on trials such as MAPS, BART, IF-CBT as well as contributing to the running of the Service User Reference Group (SURG)