Document Actions

Dr Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson works at the intersection of applied health, occupational and social psychology. She draws across methods and disciplines to help solve real-world problems in healthcare, non-profit and corporate sectors. Her current research interests lie in two key areas: (1) Organisational communication and relationships. Inspired by the fields of microethnography and conversation analysis, she examines the effectiveness of communication practices in-situ to improve the wellbeing and outcomes of professionals and/or the clients they serve. Much of her work to date has focused on the NHS, particularly mental health services. (2) Psychosocial issues in the experience and management of chronic illness in the workplace. Currently her research focuses on Multiple Sclerosis. Taking a critical and social stance, Laura’s work aids the development of novel therapeutic interventions, management/training recommendations and coaching.

Laura is Director of Learning and supervises trainees on the Professional Doctorate in Occupational Health Psychology (OHP). She is a Chartered Psychologist, a BPS Registered Coaching Psychologist and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2014, Laura completed her PhD at the Centre for Social & Community Psychiatry, Barts and the London School of Medicine, following a Masters in Psychology at the University of Bristol. After working as a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, she took up a Lectureship in Social Psychology at Loughborough University in 2015. In tandem with these posts, she worked actively in the public communication of health information, with clients including BBC Radio 4, Macmillan Cancer Support, Rethink Mental Illness, the Kings Fund and the Health Foundation. Laura joined the Centre in 2017. She also works as an OHP practitioner: providing external consultancy and behaviour change interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, CBT & MI.


Some Recent Publications

Bergen, C., Stivers, T., Heritage, J., Barnes, R., McCabe, R., Thompson, L., & Toerien, M. (In press) Closing the deal: A cross-cultural comparison of treatment resistance. Health Communication

Thompson. L., & McCabe R. (2017) How psychiatrists recommend treatment and its relationship with patient uptake. Health Communication.

Stivers, T., Heritage, J., Barnes, R.K., McCabe, R., Thompson, L., & Toerien, M. (2017) Treatment recommendations as actions. Health Communication.

Thompson, L., Howes C., & McCabe, R. (2016) The effect of questions used by psychiatrists on therapeutic alliance and adherence. British Journal of Psychiatry, 209, 40-47

Thompson, L. & McCabe, R. (2016) ‘Good’ communication in schizophrenia: A conversation analytic definition. In M. O’Reilly & J.Lester (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Adult Mental Health (pp.394-418). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Thompson, L. (2015) Book review: Cognitive behavioural prevention of suicide in psychosis: A treatment manual. Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 43, 381-322         

Thompson, L., & McCabe, R. (2012) The effect of clinician-patient alliance and communication on treatment adherence in mental health care: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 12, 87

Dr Laura Thompson

Director of Learning

Centre for Sustainable Working Life
Birkbeck University of London 
Malet Street, Bloomsbury 
London WC1E 7HX

Tel: +44 (0) 207 631 6340