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- Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis
- Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology
- Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
- Faculty of Brain Sciences
Professor Peter Fonagy OBE FMedSci FBA PhD
Peter Fonagy is Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at UCL; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London; Consultant to the Child and Family Programme at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine; and holds visiting professorships at Yale and Harvard Medical Schools.
He is Programme Director of the UCLPartners Integrated Mental Health programme and a member of the UCLPartners Academic Board, National Clinical Advisor of the Department of Health/NHS England Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) programme, and a member of the Programme Board for IAPT. He is leader of the Mental Health theme in the North Thames CLAHRC and a Senior Investigator for the National Institute of Health Research. He has occupied a number of key national leadership positions including Chair of the Outcomes Measurement Reference Group at the Department of Health, Chair of two NICE Guideline Development Groups, and Chair of the Strategy Group for National Occupational Standards for Psychological Therapies. He currently co-chairs the Department of Health's Expert Reference Group on Vulnerable Children.
His clinical interests centre on issues of early attachment relationships, social cognition, borderline personality disorder and violence. A major focus of Professor Fonagy’s contribution has been an innovative research-based dynamic therapeutic approach, called Mentalization-Based Treatment, which was developed in collaboration with a number of clinical sites both in this country and in the US. He is currently PI or Co-PI on research grants worth in excess of £15 million. He has published over 450 scientific papers and 250 chapters, and has authored or co-authored 17 books. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the American Association for Psychological Science, and was elected to Honorary Fellowship by the American College of Psychiatrists. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from several national and international professional associations including the British Academy, the British Psychological Society and the World Association for Infant Mental Health.
My research work has largely focused on the integration of psychodynamic theoretical and clinical work with empirical research strategies in the areas of early emotional development and psychosocial treatment research, engaging specifically with severe personality pathology. "Mentalization based treatment" or MBT is an innnovative research-based dynamic therapeutic approach developed by the Psychoanalysis Unit in collaboration with a number of clinical sites both in this country (the Anna Freud Centre, the Halliwick Psychotherapy Service, the Marlborough Family Service, the Brandon Centre, Islington CAMHS) and in the US (the Menninger Clinic and the Yale Child Study Center). It is based on a developmental research relevant to a theory of personality disorder reported in a frequently cited 1991 paper (Maternal representations of attachment during pregnancy predict the organization of infant-mother attachment at one year of age) and a number of books from our group (Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis + Other Press; Affect Regulation, Mentalization and the Development of the Self + Other Press). I am also engaged in a major collaborative programme exploring developmental psychopathology from an attachment-mentalization perspective. A longstanding collaboration with the Child and Family Program of the Menninger Clinic has been extended to include the Yale Child Study Center. This international collaboration has yielded a number of cutting-edge research programs funded from the Menninger Child and Family Center endowment and other extra-mural sources. In previous studies our laboratory has found close relationships between the development of social cognition (mentalizing) and the quality of early attachment relationships.
I have a leadership role in the development and ongoing growth of clinical psychology within UCL and the teaching of psychoanalysis. There was no clinical psychology at UCL when I joined the staff in 1977. In 2007 we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Clinical Psychology Professional training programme which I established at UCL and which I was proud to co-Direct until September 2011.
It took 10 years (1977 to 1986) for us to be able to establish a programme by first developing undergraduate clinical courses, then a diploma course and finally a Masters programme accredited by the Professional body (the BPS). The course has ultimately become the most popular and respected doctoral programme in the UK. When cuts were imposed on almost all other UK-based courses in 2007, UCL retained all its 42 new commissions (126 in total), which indicates the esteem in which this course is held by the Strategic Health Authority. In 2010, with many courses experiencing substantial cuts, UCL had only a 5% cut in its contracted 2011 intake which it made up from training psychologists intending to practice oversees. Current indicated ‘quality adjusted’ training numbers 2012 (adjusted for quality) for next year are 43, and international applications from fully foreign state funded applicants massively exceed the places we can offer. It remains the most popular program in the country in terms of number of applications (1,300 this year). I have overseen a successful major expansion of the programme (intake increasing from 5 to 42) associated with staff expansion (from 4 to 24), change of degree status (MSc to Doctoral degree), pay scale and workload reallocation negotiations, introduction of new examination procedures and a new team-based internal administrative structure. We have successfully negotiated several major QAA reviews, an HPC review and five BPS quinquennial reviews, the last of which identified UCL as housing a ‘beacon programme’. While these developments represent an extraordinary team effort I feel proud of the robust health of the clinical programme and its capacity to retain its leadership position through massive changes in the NHS, the profession and the university.
|2015||Director of Research and Development||North East London Foundation Trust, United Kingdom|
|2011 – 2015||Visiting Professor||Harvard University, United States|
|2011||National Clinical Lead Children and Young People's||Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme||Department of Health/NHS England, United Kingdom|
|2011 – 2016||National Clinical Lead||IAPT for Children & Young People||Department of Health, United Kingdom|
|2011||Senior Investigator||National Institute for Health Research, United Kingdom|
|2011||Honorary Principal Investigator||Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom|
|2010||Programme Director||Mental Health and Wellbeing Theme||UCL Partners, United Kingdom|
|2008||Head of Department||Res Dept Clin, Edu & Health Psychology||University College London, United Kingdom|
|2005||Clinical Professor of Psychiatry||School of Medicine||Yale University, United States|
|2003||Consultant, Child and Family Program||Menninger Dept of Psychiatry||Baylor College of Medicine, United States|
|2003||Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry||Baylor College of Medicine, United States|
|2003||Chief Executive Officer||Anna Freud Centre, United Kingdom|
|1999 – 2003||Marie & Scott S. Smith Chair in Child Development||The Karl Menninger School of Psych & MH Sciences, United States|
|1995 – 2003||Coordinator||Child and Family Center||Menninger Clinic, United States|
|1995 – 2002||Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology||Kansas University, United States|
|1995 – 2007||Director||Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology||University College London, United Kingdom|
|1995||Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst||British Psychoanalytic Society, United Kingdom|
|1992||Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis||University College London, United Kingdom|
|1989 – 2003||Director of Research||Anna Freud Centre, United Kingdom|
|1988 – 1992||Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology||University College London, United Kingdom|
|1986 – 1989||Consultant to Research||Anna Freud Centre, United Kingdom|
|1980 – 1985||Honorary Senior Clinical Psychologist||Royal Free Hospital, London, United Kingdom|
|1977 – 1980||Trainee Clinical Psychology||North East Thames Regional Health, United Kingdom|
|1977 – 1987||Lecturer in Psychology||University College London, United Kingdom|
|1980||Dip.||Diploma – Clinical Psychology||British Psychological Society|
|1980||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy – Psychology||University College London|
|1974||BSc Hons||Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Psychology||University College London|