About Us


OCTC is a self-funding agency within Oxford Health NHS Trust, with a remit to provide specialised cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) services, particularly in teaching and training. We have to generate enough income to cover all our costs and have done this successfully every year since the centre was established over 25 years ago.

  • DPhil, MSc and Diploma and certificate courses in CBT and Advanced CBT studies, accredited by University of Oxford.
  • Shorter training programmes in CBT at all levels, from beginners to the most advanced, to a wide range of audiences in Oxford, around the UK and abroad. Audiences include nurses, doctors, psychologists, counsellors, graduate workers and many other groups, in various locations all around the UK. Our overseas programmes include regular contributions to CBT courses in Sweden, Hong Kong and Iceland, as well as comissioned training in other countries.
  • Our new on-line video training modules
  • Clinical supervision, face-to-face, by telephone or via live internet video link
  • Self-help booklets for patients, and guides for clinicians
  • Collaboration on academic projects with Universities

Staff

Adrian Krajewski, OCTC Online Support

Alison Croft, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Alison Croft

Alison Croft trained as a clinical psychologist in Oxford. She has over 25 years’ experience of working in various adult mental health teams from primary to tertiary care and has extensive experience of applying CBT with a wide range of clinical presentations. She is accredited as a CBT practitioner, supervisor and trainer with BABCP.

Alison’s specialist clinical interests include promoting good mental health in doctors, working with anxiety disorders and with complex presentations related to trauma. She currently works in Oxford as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Medic Support Service and a CBT clinician, trainer and supervisor with the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre (OCTC).  Alison is course director for the PG Cert in CBT and a course tutor on the PG Cert in CBT for Psychological Trauma. She has experience of delivering training and supervision to a wide range of clinicians, from beginner to expert level, both in the UK and overseas. She has published several book chapters related to CBT practice and research papers in the areas of CBT training and service innovations, and physician mental health.

Amandeep Soomal, Senior Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

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Amandeep Soomal is a Senior Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist specialising in Perinatal Mental Health. Amandeep has worked in primary care talking therapies services, and most recently specialist community mental health teams. She offers CBT assessment, formulation and treatment interventions as well as Couples Therapy and Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) to support parents and families experiencing challenges in their mental health and attachment in the vulnerable perinatal period.

Amandeep is a Programme Lead on the BABCP Top Up Programme for qualified Clinical Psychologists supporting clinicians progress towards BABCP Accreditation by coordinating CBT teaching, supervision and marking nationally. Amandeep is also an Academic Tutor on the Postgraduate Diploma for CBT, offering supervision and marking at University of Birmingham and now OCTC. Amandeep has an interest in embedding intersectionality within teaching and supervision and considering power and privilege within therapeutic practice.

Anne Garland, Consultant Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

Anne Garland

Dr Anne Garland, Consultant Psychotherapist is the lead for depression at OCTC. Anne is a mental health nurse by profession, trained in both behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy. Anne has 32 years’ experience of working clinically using CBT and has specialised in treating persistent, treatment resistant depression for the last twenty-five years. Anne has a national and international reputation as a CBT trainer and has published widely in the field of CBT for depression. Anne has been involved both as a collaborator and grant holder in funded RCT’s the most recent of which (Morriss, Garland, Nixon, Guo et al 2016) tested the clinical and cost effectiveness of CBT in the treatment of depression delivered via the Nottingham Specialist Depression Service, established in 2009. This is a unique service within England offering NICE recommended pharmacological and psychological treatments for persistent, treatment resistant depression within a collaborative care model. Anne is also trained in MBCT and Compassion Focused Therapy. Anne has both a clinical and academic interest in the role of shame, self-criticism and self-compassion in depression.

Anne established the University of Manchester and University of Nottingham postgraduate diploma/MSc in CBT and contributes to a number of IAPT Hi intensity training courses and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology courses. Anne is a past president and Honorary fellow of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Dan White, Consultant Clinical Psychotherapist

Dan White is a Consultant Clinical Psychotherapist and Course Lead for the PG Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Studies. He qualified as a therapist in 2011 and has an extensive background in mental health working as a specialist mental health pharmacist. Dan has a particular interest in working with anxiety disorders including OCD and GAD, other interests are chronic depression, panic disorder and low self-esteem. His research interests include the use of CBT techniques by routine healthcare professionals to enhance medicines optimisation, and he is currently undertaking a doctorate at the University of Oxford in this field.

Elaine Ulett, Learning Technologist

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Learning Technologist

Helen Kennerley, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Helen Kennerley is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and a founder member of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, where she was for many years Director of the postgraduate courses in Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies and the MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She is currently the lead for the OCTC / University of Oxford Certificate in Supervision and Training.  She is an experienced clinician now specialising in childhood trauma. She has made valuable contributions to the field of cognitive therapy through her popular workshops and her writings. Amongst other publications, she is the author of Overcoming Anxiety and co-author of An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, both of which have been highly commended by the British Medical Association. In 2002, Helen was also voted one of the most influential female cognitive therapists in Britain by BABCP members.

Helena Laughton, Consultant Psychologist

Helena Laughton completed her qualification as a counselling psychologist at University of Surrey in 2002. She worked in Aylesbury CAMHS and ISSP (young offenders) initially and then started her post in Bucks Early Intervention in Psychosis (BEIS) Service in 2004. Developing a special interest in autism, she undertook a secondment to the Oxford Adult Autism Diagnostic Service in 2014. She was awarded a distinction from Kings College London in her PGC in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis in 2017, shortly followed by working as a trial therapist for a feasibility RCT comparing antipsychotic mediation with psychological therapy (MAPS). She has been a supervisor/marker for OCTC since 2018. She currently works part time for OCTC as Deputy Course Lead for the PGCert in Enhanced CBT (Psychosis and Bipolar), alongside her post in BEIS. Helena is passionate about ensuring that people experiencing psychosis have access to high quality, evidence-based interventions.

Jean Kennedy, Administrator

Jo Adams, Principal Clinical Psychologist

Jo Adams is a Principal Clinical Psychologist who has worked in child and adolescent mental health services for over ten years. Jo has substantial experience of working with children, young people and their families across a range of psychological difficulties, and currently holds a clinical position within a specialist child and adolescent eating disorder service. Jo was previously a clinical tutor and lead for CAMHS on the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath. Jo has joined OCTC as a supervisor and trainer, leading on the new CAMH pathway for the Post Graduate Certificate in Enhanced CBT. She also works as a tutor at the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and Research. Jo has particular clinical and research interests in adolescent development in the context of mental health difficulties and physical illness, and in working with hard to engage young people.

Kate Rosen, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Kate Rosen has worked in Oxford since completing her clinical psychology training at the Institute of Psychology over twenty years ago.  In this time she has had a wealth of experiences and has gained expertise in working with CBT with adults with a wide range of clinical presentations, working in a variety of settings from primary to tertiary and inpatient and outpatient services.  Choosing to specialise in CBT and its application across disorders, Kate has also completed a PhD investigating illness appraisals in psychosis.  She currently works for OCTC as a supervisor and trainer.

Kevin Meares, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Picture of Kevin Mears

Kevin is a consultant clinical psychologist. He completed his doctoral training in clinical psychology in 1997 and his Diploma in cognitive therapy in 2000. He worked within a specialist tertiary level CBT Centre for 21 years where he developed a special interest in PTSD and trauma. More recently he worked into staff wellbeing. He is an experienced supervisor and trainer.  Together with Prof. Mark Freeston, he co-authored a self-help book entitled Overcoming Worry and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

He is an accredited BABCP trainer, supervisor, and therapist. He is also an EMDR Consultant and is part-trained in Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Kim Morris-Smith, Senior Administrator

Louise Isham, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Louise is a consultant clinical psychologist and NIHR clinical doctoral research fellow. She works for the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (O-CAP), PI Professor Daniel Freeman, and was a trial therapist on the Feeling Safe Study (an RCT testing the effectiveness of the Feeling Safe Programme) and the Oxford Ward sLeep Solution (OWLS) trial (a pilot RCT testing a sleep intervention designed specifically for psychiatric inpatients). She also works for the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre where she leads the PGCert in Enhanced CBT (Psychosis and Bipolar) course and provides specialist CBTp supervision and training.

Lynne Bester, OCTC University Programmes Manager

Maria Brunsden, Marketing Communications Lead

Headshot photograph of Maria Brunsden

Olivia Plant, Senior Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

Olivia is a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Chartered Psychologist and Academic Clinical Tutor on the Postgraduate Diploma for CBT. Olivia has experience working with a wide range of clinical presentations and has a particular interest in applying CBT to long-term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms.  

Additionally, Olivia has a background working in industry and research. Olivia is a former member of the Cognitive Neurology Group at the University of Oxford and was involved in several research projects investigating the cognitive mechanisms involved in directing attention, retaining memories and driving motivation. As part of this work, Olivia contributed to the development of a cognitive and systemic framework for the treatment of pathological apathy. Olivia is particularly interested in the utilisation of digital platforms to optimise cognitive health . 

Paul Salkovskis, Director of OCTC

Professor Paul Salkovskis qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1979 at the the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital. He worked in Yorkshire as a clinical psychologist before moving to the University of Oxford as a Research Clinical Psychologist. In Oxford he became Professor of Cognitive Psychology, before leaving to work at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry as Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science and Clinical Director in the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Institute of Psychiatry (2000-2010). He led the SLaM and national outpatient OCD service, and the outpatient NCG service and was Director of a joint University/NHS national specialist anxiety disorder clinic. He was then Programme Director for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme at Bath.

Paul has now returned to Oxford as Professor of clinical psychology, where is he Director of the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology and of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. He is currently Editor of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and on the editorial board of many international journals. He is Patron of several OCD and anxiety disorder charities. He has published over 300 articles and chapters on the understanding and treatment of psychological problems and anxiety disorders. He is President of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and was recently awarded the MB Shapiro Prize for Distinction in Clinical Psychology.

Rachel Manser, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Rachel Manser trained as a Clinical Psychologist with Oxford University.  She has worked across many NHS settings over the years as a Clinical Psychologist including IAPT, AMHTs, EIS and inpatient settings. She has also worked as a therapist on two research trials for people with a bipolar disorder diagnosis using imagery based CBT as well as working on a trial with people distressed by voice hearing.  Rachel has extensive experience supervising and teaching CBT.  She currently works as a Clinical Psychologist in an early intervention in psychosis service.  Rachel works in OCTC as a supervisor, trainer and as deputy course lead on the PG Cert in Enhanced CBT: psychosis and bipolar disorder.

Richard Blackwell, Senior Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist

Photo Richard Blackwell

Rich is a senior cognitive behavioural therapist specialising in CBT for psychosis. He has over 15 years’ experience working in various Community Mental Health Teams. This includes Assertive Outreach, Recovery and Early Intervention for Psychosis Teams. He is currently helping to develop the Psychosis & Bipolar Pathway within Swindon Community Mental Health Services to provide and ensure everyone has access to CBT for psychosis and bipolar. With a background in Social Work, Rich found his passion for CBT in 2016 studying at OCTC. He was awarded a distinction from the University of Oxford in the PG Diploma CBT for Psychosis and Bipolar in 2018. He now works part time for OCTC as a tutor for the PG Certificate in Enhanced CBT (Psychosis and Bipolar) and is a BABCP accredited CBT therapist within the Psychological Therapies Service in Swindon.

Sarah Lack, Principal Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sarah Lack qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2009, and is a BABCP accredited CBT psychotherapist and Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She completed the OCTC PGCert in CBT for Psychological Trauma and Personality Development in 2014. Since then she has gathered extensive experience of teaching and supervising CBT and is now Deputy Lead for this course. Sarah has worked in Community Mental Health Teams, Psychological Therapies Services, Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression, acute hospitals and is currently based in a specialist NHS psychological trauma service. Sarah was course tutor at the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and Research from 2020-2023, supervising doctoral research projects focused on CBT and PTSD presentations. Sarah was recently the Programme Lead for a national CBT training programme funded by NHSE to support CBT competence and BABCP accreditation within the clinical psychology profession.

Sarah Mansfield, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Sarah Mansfield is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years experience working with psychosis in the NHS. She has worked in a variety of NHS settings including Child & Adolescent, Community Adult, Acute Care and First Episode in Psychosis services. Sarah is a BABCP accredited practitioner and supervisor specialising in CBT for Psychosis and trauma treatments. Sarah currently holds a clinical position in a community mental health team alongside offering consultation, supervision and training on a part time basis with OCTC. Sarah is interested in the ongoing development of CBT for Psychosis and third wave CBT including Compassion Focused Therapy

Sarah Rakovshik, Consultant Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapist, Deputy Director of OCTC

Sarah Rakovshik is the Director of the University of Oxford/ OCTC Postgraduate CBT Programme and Deputy Director of OCTC. She is an experienced therapist who has worked with a wide range of clinical disorders in both adults and children.  Her clinical interests include treatment of co-morbidity and complex presentations, as well as in the potentially positive effects of adverse life events. She holds a D.Phil. from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry. Her research has focused on training methods and their effects on therapists’ competence and patients’ outcomes. She has had an international role as a trainer, supervisor and consultant for CBT training programmes and research projects.

Tom Graham, Counselling Psychologist

Tom Graham trained as a Counselling Psychologist at Roehampton University and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. He joined Oxford Health Specialist Psychological Intervention Centre and the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre after 10 years at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, initially working in a busy IAPT service and then at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma. Tom specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders, with special interests in misophonia and hoarding disorder. Tom has provided training and supervision to PGDip, DClinPsy, and MSc students, as well as delivering workshops and webinars to community teams and third sector organisations such as OCD-UK and Age UK.

Victoria Bream, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Victoria Bream trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Therapy at the OCTC. She has joined OCTC after 15 years working in the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley Hospital, specialising in using CBT with people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related problems, and hoarding disorder. She has provided supervision and teaching to a wide range of trainees and professionals in the NHS, and in local authorities. She is a co-author of the self-help book ‘Break Free from OCD’ the clinician guide ‘CBT for OCD’ and most recently the self-help book ‘Break Free from Maternal Anxiety’. Victoria is part of the team in the Oxford Health Specialist Psychological Intervention Centre (OHSPIC), an NHS national clinic offering specialist CBT.