Psychoanalysis Unit




Professor Peter Fonagy


Peter Fonagy
Professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science and Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at UCL. He is Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre London.Issues of borderline psychopathology, violence and early attachment relationships. Integrating empirical research with psychoanalytic theory.






Professor Patrick Luyten


Patrick Luyten
Professor of Psychodynamic Psychology at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology at University College London, London (UK) and Director of the PhD in Psychoanalytic Studies. He is also Associate Professor and Director of the Psychoanalysis Unit at the Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Leuven (Belgium).

The role of personality, stress and interpersonal processes in depression and functional somatic disorders, the development and neural correlates of (parental) mentalisation.

Professor Patrick Luyten is accepting PhD students in the next academic year in the following areas:

(a) Research on the effectiveness of Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), a brief integrative treatment for depression, and mechanisms of change in DIT, using data from randomized controlled trial comparing DIT to CBT and TAU.

(b) Research on the role of epistemic hypervigilance in borderline personality disorder (BPD). This topic is part of a larger series of studies concentrating on epistemic hypervigilance in BPD, and involves testing some key hypotheses concerning epistemic hypervigilance in relation to attachment and mentalizing in a series of experimental studies. 

Self-other distinction in BPD (in collaboration with Dr. Celine De Meulemeester)

This research focuses on studying impairments in mentalizing about the self vs. about others in relation to borderline personality disorder (BPD). Specifically, individuals with BPD may be impaired ini self-other distinction (SOD), that is, the ability to differentiate one's own mental states from those of others. This may result in egocentric (ie attributing own mental states to others) or altercentric bias (taking over others' mental states as one's own). Using well-validated experimental tasks, this project will study biases and their predictors in relation to BPD


Professor Aikaterini Fotopoulou

Katerina Fotopoulou
Professor of Psychodynamic Neuroscience at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London.Current research projects focus on the psychological and neural mechanisms by which interoceptive body feelings, as well as multimodal representations of the body, are influenced by internalised social expectations, on-line interactions with other people and neuropeptides known to enhance social feelings. These studies point to unique neural mechanisms by which our bodies are interpersonally 'mentalised' to form the basis of our selves.

Professor Martin Debbané

Martin Debbane
Professor of Psychopathology at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London (UK). He is also Associate Professor and director of the Developmental Clinical Psychology Research Unit at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva (Switzerland). He is a trained and licensed child and adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapist. He acts as associate and trainer in mentalization-based therapies at the Anna Freud Centre in London. He teaches and practices psychotherapy, from a contemporary psychodynamic perspective.

His research activities focus on developmental psychopathology, examining the developmental roots of severe disorders in the psychosis or personality spectrum disorders. The scientific projects involve a number of different methodologies, including but not restricted to clinical measures and cognitive paradigms, as well as structural and functional neuroimaging. He is involved in a number of longitudinal projects following youth cohorts with clinical risk (schizotypy, borderline or antisocial traits) or genetic risk (22q11.2 Deletion syndrome) for severe psychopathology.


Professor Nick Midgley

Nick Midgley
Professor of Psychological Therapies with Children and Young People at UCL and the Anna Freud Centre.

Child and adolescent psychotherapy; mentalization-based treatment with children and young people; foster care; adolescent depression; the use of qualitative methods in psychotherapy research. 

Dr Liz Allison

Liz Allison
Lecturer and Director of the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCL. Member of the British Psychoanalytical SocietyPsychoanalytic metapsychology, Freud, Bion, literature, especially Romantic literature, philosophy, philosophical and literary precursors of psychoanalysis.

Dr Lionel Bailly

Lionel Bailly
Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychoanalysis at UCL and Consultant Psychiatrist (North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust).Psychological trauma in children, including the impact of human rights violations, war and cultural issues and health related quality of life in children suffering from mental disorders. Another special interest is in the systematic and critical review of the available evidences in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr Lesley Caldwell


Lesley Caldwell
Honorary Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Italian department at UCL. She is a psychoanalyst of the BPA, a member of the BPF, and a guest member of the BPAS, in private practice in London. With Helen Taylor Robinson she is Joint General Editor of the Trust's DWW Collected Writings project (2015).Psychoanalysis and the Arts, Winnicott, Sexualities, The History of Psychoanalysis in Italy.

Professor Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins
Honorary Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCL and Reader Emeritus in Philosophy at King's College. He was Kohut Visiting Professor of Social Thought at the University of Chicago for 2008. Prof. Jim Hopkins' webpage.Psychoanalysis, consciousness, Wittgenstein, and interpretation.

Professor John Fletcher

John Fletcher - small
John Fletcher is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of 'Warwick. John is a Honorary Senior Research Associate at UCL.Freud's metapsychology, questions of time, trauma, drive theory,  and fantasy in his work, his readings of literature, painting, tragedy and their role in his thought. Freud's materialism. Freud, Kristeva, Abraham and Torok on melancholia. The work of Jean Laplanche, the General Theory of Primal Seduction, the role of the other in psychic processes, his re-thinking of gender and the sexual. Psychoanalytic approaches to fantasy in cultural production (literature, painting, film).

Dr Renée Danziger

R Danzinger
Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychoanalysis at UCL. Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society and a psychoanalyst in private practiceThe application of psychoanalytic theory and concepts to social and political issues, including cyber conflict and social media, austerity, the uses of shame in political life, and revenge.

Dr Chloe Campbell

Chloe Campbell

Deputy Director of the Psychoanalysis Unit, University College LondonMentalizing, epistemic trust, attachment theory, interdisciplinary implications of epistemic trust and mentalizing.

Dr Saul Hillman

Saul Hillman
Senior Research Fellow ChAPTRe; Clinical Research Tutor, Postgraduate Studies, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

His research has predominantly involved children and adolescents in at-risk and clinical contexts, including those in looked-after and adopted settings. Many of these studies have had a strong focus around attachment and mentalization. He was a Principal Investigator on a longitudinal adoption research project ( Coram / .Anna Freud / Great Ormond Street Hospital) and several studies. In collaboration with Five Sisters River Childcare, on children and adolescents in foster and residential care.

At the heart of his research has been the application of the Story Stem Assessment Profile (SSAP), a tool that is used to assess attachment in children, and developing the Adolescent Story Stems (ASSP). More recently, his interests concern neurodiversity in children and adolescents. He is part of PRIDA (Participatory research in Depression and Autism), a study that aims to understand the lived experience of depression,  recovery and interpersonal therapy experiences in autism. He is also focussed on social camouflaging in neurodivergent populations.