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“I aim to be a warm, curious, and compassionate clinician, and believe that psychological problems usually arise because difficult things happen in people's lives, not because something is "wrong" with them.”

About Me
Expertise
Experience
Research & Publications

I approach therapy as a joint endeavour, where the goal is to help the client connect with their innate strengths and capacities to bring about positive change, whatever their background, age or type of concern.  As well as my clinical work, I am a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office/British Red Cross Emergency Psychosocial Support Team. In this role, I am on call to respond to international disasters and incidents involving British nationals. I feel that this aspect of my work brings additional depth and insight to my day-to-day work with individuals at CPG.

Sam’s areas of expertise include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and difficulties linked to work stress, relationships, sexuality, and identity. He particularly values systemic, compassion-focused and solution-focused models of therapy, and is happy to work with individuals, couples, families, and younger people.

Sam works in the NHS at the Tavistock Centre, where he is part of a national specialist team, supporting young people and families with complex issues relating to development, gender, and communication.

Sam came to clinical practice later in life, following a significant career as a psychologist in the policy, consulting, and academic worlds. After a first degree from Cambridge he completed a PhD in social psychology, and then worked for several years at a leading think-tank. Here he explored the psychology of happiness and wellbeing, and led projects for - amongst others - the Department of Health, the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing, and the National Mental Health Development Unit.

He was Senior Lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London, and Senior Research Fellow in public mental health at the University of Liverpool. Over time, Sam found that he wanted to put his psychological expertise to use in helping people more directly, which led him to train in clinical psychology at the University of East London.  Within the NHS, Sam regularly supervises other psychologists, and offers consultation and training to mental health professionals. Since qualifying as a clinical psychologist, Sam has undertaken additional training in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) for complex trauma.

Although now a full-time clinician, Sam remains active in research. Recently, for example, he explored the relationship between financial debt and depression as part of a large multi-centre randomised trial funded by the National Institute for Health Research. He has published widely in the areas of happiness, well-being, and public mental health.

Thompson, S. (2018). Wellbeing, mental health and the false promise of the medical model. In N. J. L. Brown, T. Lomas, & F. J. Eiroá-Orosa. (2016). The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Positive Psychology. London, UK: Routledge. 

Gabbay, M., […] Thompson, S., et al. (2017). Debt counselling for depression in primary care: an adaptive randomised controlled pilot trial (DeCoDer study). Health Technology Assessment, 21(35), https://doi.org/10.3310/hta21350 

Thompson, S. (2016). Qualitative methods and public policy. Journal of Positive Psychology, 12, 321-322. 

Thompson, S. (2014). On the diagnosis debate. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1, 498. 

Thompson, S. (2013). Editor of section ‘Happiness and Society’. In S. David, I. Boniwell & A. Conley-Ayers (Editors at large), The Oxford Handbook of Happiness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Thompson, S., Marks, N., & Jackson, T. (2013). Well-being and sustainability. In S. David, I. Boniwell & A. Conley-Ayers (Editors at large), The Oxford Handbook of Happiness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Kjell, O. N., Thompson, S. (2013). Exploring the impact of positive and negative emotions on cooperative behaviour in a Prisoner’s Dilemma Game. PeerJ, 1, e231 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.231 

Aked, J., & Thompson, S. (2011). Five Ways to Wellbeing: New Applications, New Ways of Thinking. Report commissioned by NHS Confederation and the National Mental Health Development Unit. 

Mahony, S., Thompson, S., & Seaford C. (2011). Ways to Wellbeing: Exploring the barriers to promoting public mental health. Report commissioned by the Department for Health and Sciencewise-ERC. 

Thompson, S., Michaelson, J., Abdallah, S., Johnson, V., Morris, D., Riley, K., & Simms, A. (2011). Moments of Change as Opportunities for Influencing Behaviour. Report commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

Michaelson, J., Abdallah, S., Steuer, N., Thompson, S., & Marks, N. (2009). National Accounts of Well-being: Bringing real wealth onto the balance sheet. London: New Economics Foundation. 

Thompson, S., & Marks, N. (2008). Measuring Well-being in Policy: Issues and applications. Report commissioned by the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Well-being. 

Aked, J., Marks, N., Cordon, C., & Thompson, S. (2008) Five Ways to Well-being: The evidence. Report commissioned by the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Well-being.

 
 
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