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Ian Smith supervises 1 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Ian Smith

Research Director & Senior Clinical Tutor

Professional Role

Ian is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the NHS for over twenty years. He joined the Lancaster University DClinPsy programme staff in April 2006 and is now the programme's Research Director and the Senior Clinical Tutor overseeing the curriculum of the programme.  He continues to work clinically as part of the programme's Clinical Psychology Service for medical students. 

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 gained his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wales (Bangor), and is registered as a Clinical Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council. Since qualifying sixteen years ago he has worked 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 other staff in services for these client groups.


Ian has a special interest in the use of ‘safe failure’ and of the use of playful learning techniques in learning, teaching and assessment. He has written and researched on the teaching of micro-therapy skills, in particular the use of solution focused approaches in clinical work and with people with intellectual disabilities. He 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. Between 2006 and 2009 he was the editor of Solution News, the journal of the UKASFP.

Research Interests

Ian has research interests in the following areas:

  1. All aspects of the practice and process of using solution focused therapy and of the process of training specialist and non-specialist practitioners in these therapy skills
  2. Clinical interventions of all types for psychological distress in people with intellectual disabilities, and in developing and evidence base for these interventions
  3. Issues of assessment and failure in professional training
  4. Using digital tools in the management and treatment of mental health problems
  5. International collaboration in best mental health practice between Western and African countries
  6. Staff - patient relationships in inpatient mental health care

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).

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