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Dr Ian Smith FHEA

Lecturer, Lecturer in Research Methods & Senior Clinical Tutor

Ian Smith

Furness Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YG

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592282


Research Interests

My major research interest is in all aspects of clinical interventions for psychological distress in people with intellectual disabilities.

I am also interested in what any clients of clinical psychologists and oyther therpaists  want and get from psychological therapy. This includes exploring the nature of clients' goals, how these can change, and how this links to psychological theories of prediction. It also includes identifying and examining events in therapy that are seen as helpful. I am interested in exploring these issues in both clients with mental health problems and in clients with intellectual disabilities.

I also have an interest in the impact of providing brief training in talking therapies to clinical staff, particularly how this alters staff behaviour and any barriers that affect the development and use of the skills learned.

Current Teaching

Ian co-ordinates all teaching for the Clinical Psychology professional doctorate (DClinPsy) programme,  and more directly oversees  teaching on critical and contextual psychology. He also contributes to teaching on clinical skills, psychological therapies, epistemology and research  topics.In addition,  Ian teaches on the final-year undergraduate psychology module 'Topics in Clinical Psychology' (PSYC 327).

Additional Information

Ian joined the Lancaster University DClinPsy programme staff in April 2006 and he now works full-time for the programme as a lecturer in research methods and as the senior clinical tutor overseeing  the curriculum of the programme. His work also includes supervising trainee research to doctoral level, and day-to-day line management of  NHS-employed clinical pychology trainees. He is also the deputy chair of the programme's examinations board. He works  for one session per week as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in a  local NHS  service for people with learning disabilities.

Prior to joining the programme at Lancaster, Ian worked at the University of East London (UEL) doctoral programme in clinical psychology as a clinical tutor.

Ian trained on the Lancashire in-service Clinical Psychology programme, and is registered as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council. Since quallifying nine years ago he has worked clinically in the National Health Service in forensic services and community services for adults with intellectual disabilities, and also with people with severe mental health problems and challenging behaviour,whilst providing support, training and consultation to the staff who work with them.

Ian has a special interest in the teaching of micro-therapy skills and in using solution focused approaches to clinical work, and has an MA in Solution Focused Brief Therapy from the University of Birmingham. He has taught and facilitated workshops in the UK and in South America on these topics, and taught as a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Birmingham and Hertfordshire. He also provides specialist supervision on solution focused working.

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