UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Psychological Medicine Research

All children with long-term physical illness may have mental health needs but children with neurological symptoms and problems are even more likely to often have emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties than children without. Psychological problems often have a significant impact on both the child and their family, and their school experience. These problems are nobody's fault and may be related to the underlying neurological problem, but they are often easily treated.

Our research focuses on better understanding the overlap between neurology and psychiatry/psychology. We are interested in evaluating the psychological treatments that have been shown to work in young people with mental health disorders in those who also have physical health conditions. We are also interested in developing and evaluating new cognitive behavioural interventions for psychopathology such as perfectionism and obsessive compulsive disorder across the age range.

Ensuring that our work can be translated into routine clinical care is a priority and fundamental to the research we conduct.​ To both pilot and evaluate treatments we have collaborated in establishing a model Psychological Medicine Intervention Service where research standard measurement is integrated into clinical care. For further information please see UCL Psychological Medicine Research website .

Our Team

  • Professor Roz Shafran (PI)
  • Professor Isobel Heyman (PI)
  • Dr Sophie Bennett
  • Emily Booker
  • Dr Anna Coughtrey
  • Anup Kharod
  • Dr Fiona McFarlane
  • Dr Andrew McWilliams
  • Dr Tara Murphy
  • Dr Daniel Stark
  • Leonardo Bevilacqua
  • Corah Lewis
  • Lynette Chan
  • Mishka Mahdi
  • Liam Chawner
  • Hannah Allcott-Watson
  • Charlotte Rose
  • Mhairi McKenzie
  • Alexander Rozental

We work closely with teams at GOSH, especially the Psychological Medicine Team  and the Tourette Syndrome Clinic.

  • Bell C., Waller G., Shafran R., and Delgadillo J. Is there an optimal length of psychological treatment for eating disorder pathology? International Journal of Eating Disorders 2017

  • Egan S. J., Shafran R., Lee M., et al. The Reliability and Validity of the Clinical Perfectionism Questionnaire in Eating Disorder and Community Samples. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 2016

  • Bennett S., Shafran R., Coughtrey A., et al. Psychological interventions for mental health disorders in children with chronic physical illness: a systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2015

  • Branson A., Shafran R., Myles P. Investigating the relationship between competence and patient outcome with CBT. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2015

  • Myles P. and Shafran R. (in press). The CBT Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Using CBT to Overcome Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Low Self-Esteem. Constable Robinson.
  • Gyani A., Shafran R., Myles P. and Rose S. The gap between science and practice: how therapists make their clinical decisions. Behaviour Therapy 2014
  • Coughtrey A. E., Shafran R. and Rachman S. J. Imagery in Mental Contamination. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 2014
  • Radomsky A. S., Rachman S., Shafran R., Coughtrey A. E. and Barber K. C.  The nature and assessment of mental contamination: A psychometric analysis. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 2013
  • Gyani A., Shafran R., Rose S. and Lee M. J. A Qualitative Investigation of Therapists' Attitudes towards Research: Horses for Courses? Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 2013
  • Colonnelli M. C., Cross J. H., Davies S., D'Argenzio, L. Scott, R. C. Pickles, A. and Heyman I. Psychopathology in children before and after surgery for extratemporal lobe epilepsyDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2012
  • Hannan S., Cross H., Harkness W., and Heyman I. The effects of epilepsy surgery on emotions, behaviour and psychosocial impairment in children and adolescents with drug resistant epilepsy: a prospective study. Epilepsy and Behaviour 2009

  • Murphy T. and Heyman I. Group work in young people with Tourette Syndrome. Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2007

  • Davies S., Heyman I. and Goodman R. A population survey of mental health problems in children with epilepsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 2003

Our Research

  • Guided self-help for children and young people with emotional or behavioural difficulties in the context of neurological conditions
  • Improving the psychological treatment of children with epilepsy: a feasibility study
  • Mental health and psychological well-being drop-in booth at Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Online guided self-help for the treatment of perfectionism
  • The psychological profile of children and young people with medically unexplained vision loss
  • Guided self-help for young people with depression and cancer
  • Treatment of medically unexplained symptoms in neurology patients: a case series
  • A comparison of exercise in children with Tourette Syndrome and children with epilepsy
  • Long term psychological follow up of epilepsy surgery patients
  • Executive function in Tourette's Syndrome
  • Qualitative study into the needs, challenges and aspirations of individuals with cystic fibrosis and their families


  • Psychiatry of movement disorders
  • Online behavioural treatment for tics