Dr Sam Thompson

Clinical Psychologist & Associate

sam@balancedminds.com

Sam is a Clinical Psychologist and has worked in the NHS since 2012. He is lead psychologist for staff wellbeing in the emergency department at a major London hospital, and also works in a psychological therapy service for adults with complex mental health problems.

A warm, curious, and compassionate clinician, Sam believes that psychological problems usually arise because difficult things happen in people’s lives, not because something is “wrong” with them. He approaches therapy as a joint endeavour, where the goal is to help people connect with their innate strengths and capacities to bring about positive change.

Sam is experienced in supporting people who have struggled with depression, anxiety, work-related stress, relationship difficulties, and who have suffered trauma and abuse. He particularly values Compassion-Focused, Acceptance and Commitment, and Solution-Focused models of therapy, and has undertaken additional specialist training in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Narrative Exposure Therapy for complex trauma.

In addition to his work with Balanced Minds and in the NHS, Sam provides consultation and training for The Listening Place (TLP), a volunteer-led charity offering support to people in suicidal crisis. He is also a member of the British Red Cross Psychosocial Support Team, working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide a rapid response to traumatic events overseas, including terrorist incidents, natural disasters, and major accidents.

Sam came to clinical practice following a career in the policy and academic worlds. After a PhD in social psychology he worked for a leading think-tank and held a number of academic posts,

publishing widely on the psychology of happiness and wellbeing. Although now a full-time clinician, he 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 also currently chairs the British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology subcommittee on Public Health and Prevention.

Qualifications:

2015 – Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych), University of East London

2005 – PhD Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London

Registration and accreditation:

HCPC – Registered Clinical Psychologist (PYL32278)

British Psychological Society – Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) and Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)

Additional training:

EMDR Parts 1-3, Richman Training, 2019-20

CBT for recovery from childhood abuse, Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, 2019

ACT for trauma, Russ Harris, 2018

Couples as parents and parents as couples, Tavistock Centre, 2018

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Psychwire, 2018

Motivational Interviewing, MINT, 2017

Clinical supervision, North Thames Clinical Psychology training programmes, 2017

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, BRIEF, 2016

Narrative Exposure Therapy for complex trauma, Vivo International, 2015

Solihull Approach for working with children and families, First Steps Hackney, 2014

Group facilitation, Cruse Bereavement Counselling, 2012

Key publications: 

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.