Professor Chris Brewin FBA
Clinical psychology; phenomenology, diagnosis, neural basis, & treatment of depression & post-traumatic stress disorder; psychological care following major incidents
- Fellow type
- UK Fellow
- Year elected
I am a Professor of Psychology at University College London and a practising clinical psychologist treating patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using cognitive-behavioural methods. Our theory of PTSD claims that people lay down traumatic memories in both an image-based form (underlying involuntary flashbacks) and a more abstract, contextualised form (underlying narrative memories of trauma). The theory is supported with clinical, experimental and neuroscientific data. More recent research has used immersive virtual reality to treat depression. As an expert on memory and trauma I have since the 1990s been a prominent advocate for a balanced, scientifically grounded position on the false/recovered memory debate and I continue to act as an expert witness in such cases. After the London bombings I was involved in designing a unique outreach programme to ensure survivors recovered and I continue to advise Government on mental health after major incidents. I also contributed to recent international changes to the diagnosis of PTSD and to mental health provision for military veterans as honorary Consultant Advisor in Clinical Psychology to the British Army. I am a trustee of the Centre for Emotion and Law, a charity that informs the legal system about psychological evidence on memory.