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UK Fellow, Psychology, elected in 2012

Professor Chris Brewin FBA

Clinical psychology; phenomenology, diagnosis, neural basis, & treatment of depression & post-traumatic stress disorder; psychological care following major incidents
Professor Chris Brewin FBA profile picture

About this Fellow

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.



Current post

  • Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University College London


Intrusive images and memories in psychological disorders: Characteristics, neural basis, and treatment implications Psychological Review 2010, 117, 210-232

Posttraumatic stress disorder: Malady or myth? New Haven: Yale University 2003

Imagery rescripting as a brief stand-alone treatment for depressed patients with intrusive memories Behaviour Research and Therapy 2009, 47, 569-576

Episodic memory, perceptual memory, and their interaction: Foundations for a theory of posttraumatic stress disorder Psychological Bulletin 2014, 140, 69-97

Psychopathology and early experience - a reappraisal of retrospective reports Psychological Bulletin 1993, 113, 82-98.

Embodying self-compassion within virtual reality and its effects on patients with depression British Journal of Psychiatry Open 2016, 2, 74-80

Other Psychology Fellows

Professor Steven Tipper

Perception and action; the role of selective attention in perceptual and motor processes, understanding other people via motor simulation processes, the influence of perception and action on emotion.

Professor Susan Carey

Conceptual development: innate representational capacities and the mechanisms that allow humans to transcend them; the acquisition (over evolutionary, historical and ontogenetic time frames) of physical, biological, and mathematical concepts.

Professor Margaret Snowling

Developmental disorders of language, learning and cognition including basic research on dyslexia and language impairment and the development and evaluation of interventions that ameliorate children’s literacy difficulties

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