Lorna qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1985 at Glasgow University. She has worked in the NHS since then, with adults of working age. Having been inspired during her training by a fabulous placement and supervisor in a psychiatric rehabilitation unit, Lorna developed a special interest in adults with severe and persistent psychological difficulties, particularly those associated with psychosis, and she has developed this interest throughout her career.
Lorna’s first NHS post was in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. She then moved to Oxford Health in 1987 where she spent 15 years working across a range of services, specialist psychological services, CMHTs, acute and long stay in-patient units, day care services, including the charitable organisations Rethink and Mind. Lorna was lead psychologist for a sector of Oxford City as well as lead for psychological services for people with severe and persistent psychological difficulties across the Trust before she left Oxford. She is committed to multi-professional working and teaching, and evidence-based practice, including continuously working within and across teams and professional boundaries to develop innovative services and enhance quality. Together with a small group of colleagues, Lorna piloted an Early Intervention for Psychosis Service in Oxford. She also coordinated and delivered teaching on the doctorate training Programme, for people with severe and persistent psychological difficulties. She was a personal tutor during her time in Oxford and clinical placement supervisor for mandatory AMH placements, progressing to specialist EI placements as well as AMH in her next post in Oxleas Mental Healthcare Foundation Trust, Kent. Whilst in Oxford and for some years thereafter, Lorna contributed to teaching on the Diploma in Cognitive therapy.
From 2000 to 2010 Lorna worked for Oxleas NHS Trust, with lead responsibility for psychology services in the south sector of the borough of Bexley. In 2006, she set up EI Services within the Trust and became Clinical Lead for EI, alongside working as an academic tutor at Salomons Clinical Psychology Training Programme at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Lorna took up her first paid academic post at the University of Bath in 2010, to work on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Training Programme. As the first clinical tutor appointed to the new Programme, she was directly involved in developing, implementing and refining most of the programme processes, particularly the admissions process, but also trainee support, the involvement of people with personal experience in the Programme and trainee personal and professional development. She coordinated teaching for people with severe and persistent difficulties. In conjunction with this, she continued her commitment to the NHS through locum posts and an honorary contract with Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust to provide psychological assessment and treatment services within a specialist national psychological treatment clinic for people who do not benefit sufficiently or in a lasting way from local services including a period as Clinical Lead for this service.
Working within an academic context provided the exciting opportunity to further research interests and skills and explore in a more systematic way issues that concerned Lorna in her clinical work. Lorna’s main research interest is investigating social identity processes in psychosis, i.e. what it means for a young person, particularly within a social context, to develop unusual perceptual experiences and/or beliefs that others find hard to understand, and how this impacts relationships, readiness to seek help and ultimately self-esteem and wellbeing. Lorna registered for a part-time PhD at the University of Bath in October 2016 to explore these issues further with a view to ultimately augmenting individually-focused interventions with those more informed by social identity theory and social processes. Other related research interests include stigma and self-stigma in psychoses and disclosure and social identity in psychosis and mental health more generally, including within mental health professionals, and those training to become mental health professionals. Lorna was very active in supervising trainee consultancy, quality improvement, literature review and main research projects in Bath and hopes to continue such involvement in trainee research in Oxford.
Lorna is totally committed to the NHS and delighted to again be working for the NHS and within Oxford. She enjoys multi-professional working and is committed to integrating services in the best interests of patients and their loved ones. She is committed to evidence-based practice, both learning from the evidence to provide high quality interventions and provide patients with informed choices about their care, as well as contributing to the evidence base. Lorna has experience of clinical audit, service evaluation and quality improvement and research methodologies, including both qualitative and quantitative. She is excited by the opportunities this new post at the Institute offers to further these interests, and to work closely with, and learn from, existing Programme staff, trainees, regional supervisors and people with personal experience in order to meet the needs of local and national stakeholders.