AD4E Guest Speakers & Facilitators

You are here: AD4E / About / Events / Biographies

Our grateful AD4E thanks to the following individuals, who have spoken at and/or supported one or more of the AD4E events. If you are interested in contributing at one of the next AD4E events, please get in touch.

Professor John Read

Dr John Read is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. John worked for nearly 20 years as a Clinical Psychologist and manager of mental health services in the UK and the USA, before joining the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1994, where he worked until 2013. He has published over 130 papers in research journals, primarily on the relationship between adverse life events (e.g child abuse/neglect, poverty etc.) and psychosis. [more]

Paula Joan Caplan PhD

Paula J. Caplan is a clinical and research psychologist, expert witness, activist, advocate, award winning playwright and filmmaker, screenwriter, lyricist, actor, and director. She received her A.B. with honours from Radcliffe College of Harvard University and her Ph. D. in psychology from Duke University. She is currently Associate at the DuBois Institute, and she spent two years as a Fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School, both at Harvard University. [more]

Clare Shaw

Described by the Arvon Foundation as “one of the country’s most dynamic young poets”, Clare Shaw has two collections from Bloodaxe: Straight Ahead (2006), which attracted a Forward Prize Highly Commended for Best Single Poem; and Head On (2012), which is, according to the Times Literary Supplement: “fierce … memorable and visceral”. Her third collection will be published by Bloodaxe in 2018. [more]

Dr Akima Thomas

Dr Akima Thomas is a feminist activist and comes from a background in nursing and social work. Founder and Clinical Director of Women and Girls Network a holistic therapeutic service working with women and girls surviving gendered violence. Akima has pioneered working from a trauma informed approach and has developed a strengths based non pathologising clinical model; the Holistic Empowerment Recovery Model (HER) integrating healing of mind body and spirit. [more]

Matthias Schwannauer

Matthias Schwannauer, MA, MSc, DPsych, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, Professor of Clinical Psychology, graduated in clinical and applied psychology from the University of Marburg in 1998. He currently leads the research centre of Applied Developmental Psychology at Edinburgh University. [more]

Nadine Denneth

Nadine Denneth is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about waking people up to the ways we can help ourselves stay well ‘outside’ of medicalised intervention. She supported her father in his journey with Bipolar Disorder and is now using that experience to empower others. [more]

Mary Maddock

Scarred by the myth of the chemical imbalance theory, Mary Maddock was branded with many psychiatric labels – ‘puerperal psychosis’ ,‘hypomania’ and finally ‘bipolar’ which blighted her life for more than two decades. Despite this Mary was inspired by the psychiatric survivor movement, especially MindFreedom International and the likes of Terry Lynch, Peter Breggin and Lucy Johnstone and ultimately rejected all labels, weaned herself off all psychiatric drugs and became an active campaigner in highlighting the deceptive and coercive nature of psychiatry. [more]

Julie Leonovs

Julie Leonovs is a human rights mental health activist. She is also a blogger for Mad in America and has lived experience. Julie is currently training to be a psycho-therapeutic counsellor and subsequently a psychotherapist. Previously she studied for a masters in Psychological Research Methods and a degree in psychology. [more]

Robyn Timoclea

Robyn Timoclea is a survivor researcher and anti-PD activist with a specialist interest in emancipatory and feminist approaches to distress. She is a member of the anti-pd activist group, PDintheBin and has previously worked facilitating sexual violence and complex needs groups in prisons. Her current research explores the extent to which experiences of traumatised women in forensic services are pathologized. In addition to this, Robyn has had her own lived experience of surviving sexual violence and a personality disorder diagnosis.

Robyn Timoclea

Robyn Timoclea

Anne Cooke

Anne Cooke is Clinical Director of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University. For many years she worked as a consultant clinical psychologist in the NHS, leading psychology services in psychiatric hospitals and mental health teams. She is the current British Psychological Society Practitioner of the Year. [more]

T.O. Walker

T.O Walker has worked in mental health on and off for 17 years. She has also used mental health services on and off for 22 years. She has had different diagnoses assigned or suggested to her but has found it much more useful and empowering to frame any struggles in terms of the context of her life. [more]

Shazia Ali

Shazia Ali is black feminist activist a teacher, a peer support worker culture changer, trauma survivor and a co-founder of wellbeing cafe. She co- facilitates workshops around mental health and structural inequalities ‘seldom heard’ communities. Her background is in equalities and women and low pay. She has BA honours in Gender studies and PGCE.

Shazia Ali

Shazia Ali

Johann Hari

Johann Hari is the author of two New York Times best-selling books. His first, ‘Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’, is currently being adapted into a major Hollywood feature film, and into a non-fiction documentary series. His most recent book, ‘Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions’ is being translated into 17 languages and has been praised by a very broad range of people, from Hillary Clinton to Tucker Carlson, from Elton John to Naomi Klein. [more]

Professor Peter Kinderman

Professor Peter Kinderman is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool and Vice President of the British Psychological Society. His research interests are in psychological processes underpinning well being and mental health. He has published widely on the role of psychological factors as mediators between biological, social and circumstantial factors in mental health and well being, and has received significant research grant funding – most recently from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), to lead a three-year evidence synthesis programme for the ‘What Works Centre for Well being’, exploring the effectiveness of policies aimed at improving community well being and from the National Institute for Health Research to investigate the effectiveness of human rights training in dementia care. [more]

Dr James Davies

Dr James Davies graduated from the University of Oxford in 2006 with a PhD in social and medical anthropology. He is now a Reader in social anthropology and mental health at the University of Roehampton.

James is also a psychotherapist, who started working for the NHS in 2004. He is the co-founder of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (CEP), which is secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence. [more]

Michelle Springer-Benjamin

Michelle Springer-Benjamin – Womanist Activist. Currently working in the VAWG sector as a Training Manager. Worked for the NSPCC as a Senior Training Consultant. Professional journey includes qualifications in social work, counselling, coaching. Loves ritual and ceremony that reminds us as women of who we truly are and our divine femininity. [more]

Eleanor Hope

Eleanor Hope – Life Coach, trainer, speaker and activist. Background in Community Development and mental health, NHS & BAME communities and Peer Support facilitator. Workshop facilitator on structural inequalities and marginalised communities, Diversity and Wellbeing. Contributor to the Equality Act 2010 in Mental Health edited by Hari Sewell Founder and director of Hope Matters, a coaching and training personal development social enterprise.

Eleanor Hope

Eleanor Hope

Professor Richard Bentall

Professor Richard Bentall is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Liverpool University and has previously held chairs at Manchester University and Bangor University. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the British Academy. He graduated with a BSc and then a PhD in experimental psychology at the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University) and then completed his clinical training at Liverpool University. He also holds an MA in philosophy applied to health care awarded by University College Swansea (now Swansea University). His research interests have mainly focused on psychosis. [more]

Dr Joanna Moncrieff

Dr Joanna Moncrieff is a Reader in Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London, and works as a consultant in community psychiatry in North East London Foundation Trust. She has researched and written about theories of drug action, the subjective experience of taking psychiatric drugs, decision making, the history of drug treatment and the history, politics and philosophy of psychiatry more generally. [more]

Pete Sanders

Pete Sanders spent over 35 years practising as a counsellor, educator and clinical supervisor. During that time he was the course leader on three BACP recognised courses, was centrally involved in establishing and running the BACP Trainer Accreditation Scheme. He has written, co-written and edited numerous books, chapters and papers on many aspects of counselling, psychotherapy and mental health. [more]

Jo McFarlane

Jo McFarlane is a poet who has lived in Edinburgh all her life and studied languages and philosophy, then a postgraduate degree in Community Education at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked in various voluntary sector roles, mainly in the field of advocacy, and has published several collections of poetry, articles and essays. The themes she writes about include creativity, volunteering, spirituality, social justice, diversity, mental health and childhood trauma – drawing on her own experience of these – as well as comic verse and observational pieces on everything under the moon. [more]

Dolly Sen

Dolly Sen is an award-winning writer, artist, performer and filmmaker. She has had 10 books published, been nominated twice for a Dadafest Literary Award (2006 & 2007), and won several awards for her poetry. Her subversive blogs around art, disability and humour have a huge international following. Since 2004 she has exhibited and performed internationally. Her most recent projects have been a digitally commissioned work for Short Circuit and the Brighton Digital Festival, where she gave an ordinary website a psychotic episode and changed its programming forever, and the creation of the popular Madvent Calender for Christmas 2014. [more]

Laura Delano

Laura Delano is an ex-psychiatric patient and the Co-founder and Executive Director of Inner Compass Initiative (ICI), a U.S.-based non-profit organisation that provides information to facilitate more informed choices regarding all things “mental health” and resources to support people who wish to leave, bypass, or build community beyond the mental health system. [more]

Sally Fox

Sally Fox uses visual arts and the written word to explore and communicate her experience of mental distress and using services. She has performed and exhibited widely and her work has been published in The British Journal of Psychiatry and several poetry anthologies.  Her areas of interest include the therapeutic process and relationship, trauma and attachment, art therapy and art journaling, LGBT identities, and the effect of labelling – in particular, Borderline Personality Disorder – all of which she has devised and facilitated groups and events around. [more]

Dr Gary Sidley

Dr Gary Sidley worked within NHS mental health services for 33 years in a variety of nursing, psychological and managerial roles. In the 1980s he was employed as a psychiatric nurse at a large asylum in Manchester, commencing his clinical psychology training in 1987. Subsequently, he worked as a clinical psychologist in community mental health services, inpatient units and GP practices, as well as operating as a professional lead and a member of a Trust’s senior management team. [more]

Rai Waddingham

Rai Waddingham is an experienced freelance international trainer and consultant specialising in innovative ways of supporting people who struggle with extreme states (including ‘psychosis’, ‘dissociation’ and post traumatic reactions). As well as having over 12 years of experience within the adult mental health field, Rai also has particular expertise in working with children, young people and people in prison who hear voices/see visions. [more]

Jasmine Gardosi

Jasmine Gardosi is the current Cheltenham Poetry Festival Slam Champion, Mix It Up Midlands Slam Champion 2015 and one of the winners of the International Pangaea Poetry Slam 2015. She has appeared on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb and was shortlisted for Birmingham Poet Laureate 2016/18. A former BBC Arts Young Creative, she has worked as a Poet in Residence for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and is collaborating with Autin Dance Theatre on a sexual health show combining dance and spoken word. [more]

Jessica Eaton

Jessica Eaton is a national independent specialist in the psychology of victims of sexual violence, abuse, sexual trauma and the social phenomena of victim blaming. She is a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Criminological and Forensic Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Jessica is the founder of the first male mental health and well-being centre in the UK, built on a whole person perspective of trauma and distress. [more]

David Gilbert

David Gilbert is a poet and Writer in Residence at The Bethlem Gallery. His collection ‘Elephants (Fragile)’ published by Cinnamon Press is out in Feb 2018. He is also a mental health service user and Patient Director of the Sussex MSK (musculoskeletal) Partnership. [more]

Chris Coombs

Chris Coombs is studying to become a therapist. He is a suicide attempt survivor who has dealt with depression and anxiety on a personal level for over a decade. Over that time-span he has found those initially helpful labels to be increasingly redundant and has come to focus more on personal identity and meaning. He has recently begun blogging about his experience of internalised able-ism and taboos from within the disability community.

Chris Coombs

Chris Coombs

AD4E Video & Photogragphy

Daniel Sketchley

Daniel (19), from Birmingham, is a Film Production student at the University of Gloucestershire. His work at the ‘A Disorder For Everyone’ events involves filming and editing footage of the various speakers and activities for promotional use online. If interested in having your own event filmed by him, feel free to get in touch at

Daniel Sketchley

Daniel Sketchley

Vicky Ola

Vicky Ola is an Artist/Psychologist who promotes understanding of wellbeing using a wide variety of media including art installations, interactive games and graphic facilitation for meetings and conferences. Vicky believes that abilities and disabilities are a product of individual, social, cultural and economic process and that with the right environment a person can achieve their true potential. [more]

Stephanie King

Stephanie is an EU citizen who has been living in Britain for over half of her life, branded with several mental health diagnoses she has rebelled against all.  Photographer, Trustee of Community Support Network South London (Mental Health Advocacy Charity), Editor for NSUN (National Survivor User Network), mental health and political activist contributed to ‘Our Encounters with Suicide’ on PCCS (as ‘Madame Merteuil’).

Stephanie King

Stephanie King

John Richardson

John Richardson is a filmmaker who specialises in creating films around the subject of mental health. Having been sectioned a few times himself, he is enthusiastic about putting lived experience at the centre of understanding. He hopes to make films which provide a refreshing authenticity and expose audiences to new ways of thinking – with a dash of humour along the way. [more]