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PhD Project: 

Tom's PhD project aims to investigate the role played by response style and reasoning in the maintenance of distress in people experiencing psychosis.  In three empirical studies and one systematic review this PhD will pursue two complementary lines of investigation.  

  1. A direct comparison of people with psychotic experiences (PEs) with and without distress/ a psychiatric ‘need for care’ in terms of ways of reasoning about, and responding to (‘response styles’) persistent psychotic experiences (Studies 1 & 2 using data drawn from the UNIQUE study sample).  
  2. A detailed investigation of reasoning/ belief flexibility and response styles within a clinical group defined as having persistent distressing voice experiences (Study 3- SlowMo trial sample; baseline assessment)

Research Clinical Psychologist post:

Thomas Ward is also a Research Clinical Psychologist working at the IoPPN.  He was Therapy Lead on the WELLCOME-funded randomised trial of AVATAR therapy for distressing voices and is currently the Trial Co-ordinator of a randomised trial of SlowMo therapy (the first blended digital therapy for paranoia). He has previously coordinated a large-scale study comparing individuals with persistent psychotic experiences with and without a ‘need for care’ (the UNIQUE study; led by Dr Emmanuelle Peters).  His research interests include a) elucidating the social and cognitive pathways involved in the development of psychosis (as part of the UNIQUE research group) b) understanding thinking and reasoning c) developing therapeutic approaches (including the application of novel technology).