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14 November 2023

Professor William Yule 1940 – 2023

Tribute to Emeritus Professor William ‘Bill’ Yule, who passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at home on Sunday 5th November 2023.

William Bill Yule

Bill Yule was Emeritus Professor of Applied Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, where he Founded the Child Traumatic Stress Clinic. He was also an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a member of the European Federation of Psychology Associations' standing committee on trauma.

In the UK, Professor Yule was instrumental in establishing clinical child psychology as a discipline. Throughout his career, he published more than 350 articles and book chapters, and 10 authored or edited books on the subject of child psychology. He was renowned internationally for his pioneering research on understanding and treating the effects of trauma on children.

Bill worked closely with many members of the Department of Psychology. He had a remarkable range of clinical interests, and his contributions to the field of child psychology are enormous. He will be deeply missed by us all.

Professor Rona Moss Morris, Head of Department of Psychology, King’s IoPPN

Professor Yule first came to the, then, Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) in 1962 to complete a one-year Diploma in Clinical Psychology. Upon finishing the Diploma, he began a research job with Jack Tizard CBE in the Medical Research Council (MRC) unit based at the IoP. In 1964, Professor Yule moved with Jack to the Institute of Education at the University of London, taking up the position of Lecturer in Child Development. He returned to the IoP in 1969 as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. He was a former Head of Clinical Psychology Services at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals Special Health Authority, and Director of the clinical psychology training course at the IoP. He held the Chair in Clinical Psychology (as Professor of Applied Child Psychology) from 1987 until his retirement in 2005.

In 1993, he became an advisor to UNICEF during the civil war in former Yugoslavia. He then helped set up the Foundation for Children and War, a charity based in Norway. He was also part of the UK Sri Lanka Trauma Group, a group of British and Sri Lankan mental health professionals working together to find a practical way of helping Sri Lanka respond to war related trauma in the country.

Bill was kind and generous with his expertise. He mentored and supported colleagues and students with wisdom and good humour, well into his retirement.

Professor Patrick Smith, Reader in Clinical Psychology at King's IoPPN

Professor Yule’s work and recognition continued long beyond his retirement in 2005. In 2014, he was named one of the UK’s top 100 practising scientists by the Science Council, recognised for his leadership in advancing research and services in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children. In 2017, he chaired the BPS Presidential Taskforce on Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Bill was the embodiment of a scientist-practitioner. He was well-known to generations of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and other colleagues at the IoPPN, and his loss will be felt deeply.

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Executive Dean of the IoPPN

The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the IoPPN community are with Professor Yule’s family, colleagues, collaborators and friends.