Appointed December 2022.
Why did you want to become a governor?
I am delighted and honoured to have been elected to the governing body of the Tavistock. I worked in the Child and Family Department from 1990 to 2000 as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and was also Vice Dean of the Department for four years. I see the Trust as an immensely important centre for psychotherapy, especially psychoanalytic and family systemic therapy, and a beacon for caring mental health practice. Its standards of training and clinical work have always been high, and the creativity of its staff has meant that its national and international influence have been disproportionately great given the size of the organisation. I hope very much that I can contribute to an institutional culture in which these great strengths can be maintained and developed as the Tavistock enters its second century.
What skills and experience do you feel you can bring to the role?
As well as my background in clinical psychology, including ten years working at the Trust in the 1990s, I have pursued an academic career for the last forty years. I am currently Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, based in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, which I founded in 2007 as an interdisciplinary department working on the conjunction of social and psychological concerns. I was Pro-Vice-Master of Birkbeck for fourteen years, with successive ‘portfolios’ in Learning and Teaching, Research and Internationalisation, so I have a very strong understanding of these areas, all of them relevant to the Tavistock. I have published widely on psychosocial studies and on psychoanalysis and have a strong involvement with work on social identities, antiracism and gender issues – all areas that abut on the clinical and research issues that engage Tavistock staff. I am currently an elected Governor at Birkbeck, representing the academic community; I am also a director of a preschool and have been Chair of Governors at a primary school in Haringey, so I have experience of governance at various levels and with differently-sized institutions. I am very keen to work alongside the talented group of Governors that support this wonderful organisation.
Do you have any relevant interests (financial, political, or other) to declare?