Anne Cooke is a Principal Lecturer in the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology and (jointly with Louise Goodbody) Clinical Director of its Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology.
Anne’s first degree was from Edinburgh University in Linguistics and German, and she initially worked in the media. Following her decision to change direction and pursue a career in clinical psychology, she undertook a conversion course and then trained at London's Institute of Psychiatry, qualifying in 1992. In 1999 she gained BABCP accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.
After qualifying she worked in inner city London for many years, mainly in a community mental health team and an acute mental health ward. She developed an interest in psychosis and also - in response to her experience of the complexities and limitations of offering mental health services to people in very difficult life situations - in critical approaches to mental health practice and in the service user/survivor movement. Alongside her clinical work she was manager of a psychology team and a tutor on the doctoral programme in clinical psychology at University College London. From 1996 to 2000 she was also Media Officer for the British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology.
She came to Salomons/CCCU in 1999, initially as Academic and Research Tutor, being promoted to Principal Lecturer in 2005. Since then she has been a Director of the Programme. In addition she has worked clinically in local NHS services and within the Department’s own Practice Consultancy service. She has also been a tutor on the Department’s postgraduate programmes in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Anne has published extensively on critical approaches to mental health and particularly psychosis. She edited the British Psychological Society's influential public information report 'Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia', leading a team of 25 leading UK academics together with people who had experienced psychosis.
Research and knowledge exchange
The research questions that Anne is interested in include:
• Epistemological, historical, political and cultural perspectives on clinical psychology and related institutions.
• The debate about the role of psychology in our society. For example, is psychological therapy just ‘the opium of the people’? Would efforts directed at changing individuals be better directed at changing society?
• Ethical Issues for the profession. For example, clinical psychologists often work as part of wider systems that are arguably damaging to clients. Is it best to work for change from within or to leave and work elsewhere?
• Service user perspectives on services, including clinical psychology.
Anne has been involved in a number of significant knowledge exchange projects in the area of public education about mental health, both on a local and a national level. She has edited or co-edited a number of public information reports for the British Psychological Society:
- Recent Advances in Understanding Mental Illness and Psychotic Experiences (2001). This report, aimed at the public, journalists, policymakers and service users was widely read and cited.
- Psychosis Revisited: A workshop for Mental Health Workers (2007) . Anne was awarded a grant by the UK Department of Health to produce a training course for mental health workers based on the BPSreport.
- Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Why some people experience extreme mood states and what can help. (2011)
- Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia (2014, 2017). This report has been highly influential and widely discussed internationally,
Anne is also in demand nationally and internationally as a speaker and in the media: for example she has appeared on Radio 4's Today and All in the Mind programmes. She is active on Twitter (https://twitter.com/AnneCooke14) and writes for the Centre's blog https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/discursive/ which aims to inform and involve the public and service users in current debates.
Teaching and subject expertise
Anne convenes the following teaching units:
- Biological and Medical Approaches
- Psychology and Society
- Critical Psychology
She is a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology and in 2017 was named its 'Practitioner of the Year' for her work promoting good quality public information about mental health.
She undertakes and offers supervision in the areas of critical approaches to mental health and suicide.
Anne is committed to increasing the involvement of service users and survivors in the education of mental health professionals. She has published on this and also takes a lead on service user and carer involvement wthin the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology.
She is interested in the cross-over between arts and mental health and has collaborated with several artists, notably the visual artist Anita Klein on 'Understanding Psychosis' and the experimental theatre company Ridiculusmus, with whom she was a co-applicant on a successful grant application to the Wellcome Foundation.
She is very active on social media, particularly Twitter where she has nearly 10 000 followers.
Anne is a regular invited speaker at national and international conferences. She leads on the British Psychological Society public information project 'Understanding Psychosis' and was named the Society's Practitioner of the Year in 2017.
Publications and research outputs
Cooke, A. (2018) Diagnostic cultures: a cultural approach to the pathologisation of modern life. European Journal of Psychotherapy.
Allman, J., Cooke, A., Whitfield, B. & McCartney, M. (2017) “It doesn’t mean I’m useless” How do young people experiencing psychosis contribute to their families and why are their contributions sometimes overlooked? Psychosis.
Cooke, A. & Kinderman, P. (2017) “But what about real mental illnesses?” Alternatives to the disease model approach to ‘schizophrenia’.Journal of Humanistic Psychology
Kinderman, P. & Cooke, A. (2017) Responses to the publication of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM 5. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
Court, A. J., Cooke, A. & Scrivener, A. (2016) They’re NICE and neat, but are they useful? A grounded theory of clinical psychologists’ beliefs about, and use of NICE guidelines. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.
Cooke, A., King, J. & Greenwood, K. (2016) “We could end up in a lot of trouble” Teachers’ communications with young children about mental health. Journal of Public Mental Health.
Cooke, A. (2016) Changing society’s whole approach to psychosis. Journal of Mental Health.
Lea, L., Holttum, S., Cooke, A. and Riley, L. (2016) Aims for service user involvement in mental health training: staying human. Journal of Mental Health Training & Practice.
Cooke, A. (2015) I’d rather die than go back to hospital’: why we need a non-medical crisis house in every town. Mad In America.
Cooke, A. (2015) The ordinary chaos of psychosis. British Journal of General Practice.
Cooke, A., ed. (2017) Understanding psychosis and schizophrenia: why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality,and what can help. British Psychological Society.
Cooke, A (2017) Training that domesticates or education that liberates? Tensions and dilemmas related to teaching critical psychology in the context of UK clinical psychology training In: Newnes, C. & Golding, L.,. Teaching Critical Psychology