Our Advisory Team
The Listening Place is a volunteer based service: it has been set up with a wide range of on-going professional support and advice. To ensure our volunteers are appropriately trained and supervised we are very fortunate to have an active advisory team of leading professionals to provide supervision, on-going training and practical advice on a pro bono basis, and we are most grateful for their time and very generous support.
Dr Gwen Adshead
Dr Gwen Adshead is Visiting Gresham Professor of Psychiatry and currently consultant forensic psychiatrist at Ravenswood House. Prior to this post, she worked at Broadmoor Hospital from 1996, first as Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, and then as a Consultant in Forensic Psychotherapy.
Professor Adshead qualified in medicine in 1983 and was elected member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1987 before being made a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2005. She has a Masters’ Degree in medical Law & Ethics; is a qualified member of the Institute of Group Analysis; and holds a Master’s Degree in Mindfulness based Cognitive therapy.
She has over 20 years practice in the NHS and has contributed to the work of the Royal College of Psychiatrists as chair of their Ethics Committee; and she has also contributed to Department of Health policy in relation to abnormal maternal illness behaviour.
In addition to being a practising clinician, Professor Adshead has authored over 100 academic papers in books and journals. She is the co-editor of several books including Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health Research (with Dr Christine Brown). Her most recent book,Clinical topics in personality Disorder (co-edited with Dr Jay Sarkar) was awarded first prize in the Psychiatry Section at the BMA Book Awards in 2013.
Dr Chloe Beale
Dr Chloe Beale is a consultant liaison psychiatrist in Homerton University Hospital, a busy general hospital serving a diverse and underprivileged population. She has trained and worked in East London for her whole career other than a year spent in Edinburgh doing research into management of depression in cancer patients. Much of her current work is within the hospital A&E department where people attend in mental health crisis, most often with suicidal thoughts.
Chloe is particularly interested in supportive suicide risk management, active promotion of collaborative working between psychiatry and other medical specialties, and mental health training and education for non-mental health professionals.
Dr Susan Cottam is a clinical psychologist employed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust since 2011. She works at Camden MOSAIC CAMHS, a community service for disabled children and their parents.
Her clinical role involves supporting parents, families and children in the ongoing task of adjustment to disability, and supporting the skills development required to live with disability. She is interested in parenting, the development of the attachment process between parents and disabled children and the way in which parents adapt to the experience of grief and loss. She has a special interest in sleep and the role it plays in child development and family wellbeing. Susan has published research in peer reviewed journals on parenting training programmes and also the subjective experience of hearing voices. She is currently supervising a research project looking at attitudes of parents of disabled children to seeking help for sleep problems.
Susan began retraining as a clinical psychologist in 2002 after a first career in design management. She volunteered as a Samaritan for several years in the run up to professional qualification and is committed to supporting those who feel suicidal or hopeless.
Teresa Graham FCA CBE
Teresa joined the Newcastle upon Tyne office of PWC as a student accountant. In 1986, she was seconded to the UK Government’s Enterprise and Deregulation Unit reporting directly to Lord Young, the Secretary of State for Employment and then Trade and Industry. In 1988 she was appointed to the Government’s Deregulation Advisory Panel and served through two decades of administrations.
Teresa joined Baker Tilly in 1989 and during her time there she headed up their Business Services Department.
She now works independently focusing on her three passions – strategic advice to ambitious, growing businesses, liberating these businesses from the fetters of red tape and “Head of Parties and Fun” at The Lexi Cinema, a social enterprise, digital, boutique cinema in North London covenanting 100% of its profits to a charity in South Africa called The Sustainability Institute Trust. She holds a number of appointments, including non-executive, mentoring and advisory roles in growth businesses.
She is currently Chairman of the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board of HMRC and a member of their Office of Tax Simplification and immediate past Chair of the Regulatory Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors receiving an honorary membership in recognition of her contribution to the Institution.
Teresa was awarded a CBE in the 2007 New Years Honours list for public service and an OBE in the 1997 New Years Honours List for services to better regulation and the small firms sector.
Professor Stephen Platt
Stephen Platt is Emeritus Professor of Health Policy Research at the University of Edinburgh. He has a lifetime research interest in social, epidemiological and cultural aspects of suicide, self-harm and mental health and ill-health. He has been particularly concerned with the influence of socio-economic inequalities (including labour market conditions and economic recession) on the incidence of suicidal behaviour and with the challenges of developing evidence-informed strategies and approaches to suicide prevention.
Stephen contributed to the development of Choose Life, a National Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent Suicide in Scotland and led a consortium of researchers who undertook a formative evaluation of the first phase of the strategy. He is an adviser on suicide prevention research and policy to Samaritans, NHS Health Scotland (a national Health Board working with public, private and third sectors to reduce health inequalities and improve health) and the Scottish Government.
He has contributed to the development of Connecting for Life (2015), Ireland’s most recent national strategy to reduce suicide, and devised an outcomes framework intended to support the evaluation of its impact. Stephen has been involved in policy development and analysis relating to public mental health and mental health improvement, and has extensive experience of successful collaboration with policy planners and practitioners working in these areas.
He has published on conceptual and methodological aspects of well-being and is co-developer of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS). Stephen is a former trustee of the Mental Health Foundation (UK) and Samaritans (UK), and is currently Vice-President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and a trustee of Evaluation Support Scotland.
Suzanne Thomas DHC, MRes
Suzanne Thomas is an Ericksonian hypnotherapist and counsellor. She has practised as such since 1986 when she qualified with honours from The UK Training College for Hypnotherapy and Counselling. Being a Samaritan volunteer was the catalyst for a career change.
At Wormwood Scrubs Prison she facilitated groups for men with recent life sentences. She was a visiting therapist in The Priory, Roehampton’s, addictions unit. She is a member of the British Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology and is a practitioner at Mr J Richard Smith, MD, FRCOG and Mr Michael Stafford, MD MRCOG’s Women’s Health Clinic.
She has taught extensively and supervised the MacMillan Nurses at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and ‘de-briefed’ VSO volunteers. She continues to study and attend workshops, seminars, conferences and other training on all related aspects. She taught counselling skills to workers at Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood) – an anti child trafficking charity in India whose founder/leader jointly won the Nobel Peace prize last year. She represented that charity in the UK. She wrote a problem page for a teenage magazine and wrote many articles on psychological issues for that publishing company’s various magazines.
Before becoming a hypnotherapist she was a stylist in advertising and co-founded a record company. In 2006 she gained a Masters in Research in Art and continues to practice as an artist. She is an accredited member of NCH and a senior member of GHC.
For Suzanne, hypnotherapy brings together interests in psychology, creative imagination and goal focused therapy. Currently Suzanne’s practice is based in Chelsea.
Dr Sam Thompson
Dr Sam Thompson is a clinical psychologist at the East London NHS Foundation Trust. He works in a psychological therapy service for adults with complex mental health problems, many of whom have experienced chronic abuse and trauma. Previously he worked at the Tavistock Centre, as part of a national specialist team supporting young people and families.
Sam came to clinical practice following a career in the policy and academic worlds. After a PhD in social psychology he worked for a prominent think-tank, leading projects for various government departments and publishing widely on the psychology and politics of happiness. He also held the posts of Senior Lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London, and Senior Research Fellow in public mental health at the University of Liverpool. During this period Sam volunteered at Central London Samaritans, holding various supervisory and training roles. He was amongst the first Samaritans volunteers to facilitate support groups for people bereaved by suicide, for the Facing the Future project.
Now a full-time clinician, Sam regularly provides supervision, consultation and training to mental health professionals and others. In addition to his work with The Listening Place, he is also a member of the British Red Cross / Foreign Office Psychosocial Support Team, responding to international emergencies involving British nationals.
Professor Peter Tyrer
Peter Tyrer is the Professor of Community Psychiatry in the Centre for Mental Health in the Division of Experimental Medicine.
His main interests are in models of delivering community psychiatric services, the classification and treatment of common mental illnesses, particularly anxiety and health anxiety, and the classification and management of personality disorders. He also leads on research into the management of patients with intellectual disability and on new psychological treatments for a common but largely unrecognised condition, health anxiety.
He is experienced in the management of those with severe mental illness, substance misuse and personality disorder and has developed a new treatment, nidotherapy, to help these people by making environmental, not personal, changes. Much of his recent work has been concerned with improving and extending the concept of personality disorder.
Personality disturbance is very common, not just in psychiatric practice, and this importance has been largely unrecognised as the classification system for this group of disorders is so poor. Fortunately, a major reform of classification is under way and will simplify, and hopefully destigmatise a very common form of mental distress.
Professor Peter White OBE
Peter White is Professor of Psychological Medicine at Barts and the London Medical School, Queen Mary University of London. He is a consultant liaison psychiatrist at St Bartholomew’s hospital and co-leads the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) service there.
His clinical work involves assessing and caring for patients who have both a physical and mental health problem, such as cancer and depression, as well as co-leading an assessment and treatment service for patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
He qualified in medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, and then trained in general medicine in Southampton, after which he received his psychiatric training at the Maudsley and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals.
Research interests have included illnesses affecting both mind and body and understanding the links between them.
This research has helped to establish the independent existence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). More recent studies have explored the factors leading to poor quality of life after cancer, and developing interventions to improve it.
Dr Teresa Wolowiec
Following a first career in documentary photojournalism, Dr Teresa Wolowiec retrained as a Clinical Psychologist and now works with East London NHS Forensic Directorate. She specialises in working with individuals with complex, long-term difficulties and enjoys the on-going challenges of finding effective and creative ways to support positive change. She also facilitates reflective practice sessions with staff throughout the Forensic service, to explore alternative perspectives in addressing complex problems.
Teresa has a chequered research history, including research in to synaesthesia, gender and social cognition. She lectures on the North London Clinical Psychology doctoral courses, and is interested in the application of psychology to the broadest range of sociocultural and political issues. Alongside her work in Forensics, she has a long history of working with individuals experiencing gender dysphoria.
Dr Andrew Reeves, 30 June 2016 – 24 July 2020
Dr Andrew Reeves has nearly 30 years experience, beginning as a Samaritans volunteer, and then as a social worker and counsellor across a full range of settings, including: health, social care, education and the third sector. His client work has included child protection, children and families young adults, mental health (crisis work and statutory assessments) and people with learning and physical disabilities. He additionally supervises practitioners across a range of clients backgrounds, including counselling in schools.
As previous Editor-in-Chief of Counselling and Psychotherapy Research journal, he is committed to qualitative research methods in the field and his own research area is therapeutic interventions with people who are suicidal, around self-harm and self-injury, and therapy with male clients. He has written extensively in this area, including Counselling Suicidal Clients (Sage, 2010), Challenges in Counselling: Self-Harm (Hodder Education, 2013), and Working with Risk in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2015), in addition to other key textbooks and numerous articles and book chapters.
He is an experienced and highly-regarded trainer in the field, with particular expertise in helping professionals in their work around suicide and self-harm. He remains entirely committed to developing skills and competency in a relational approach to working with suicide risk. He is a Trustee of COMPASS Counselling in Liverpool, a third sector counselling provider, as well as his work with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.