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Dr Laura Thompson

Laura 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 and work as a practitioner lies in three key areas: (1) Health and therapeutic communication (2) mental health in the workplace and higher education (3) work engagement and chronic illness. Often informed by an interactional and conversation analytic approach, Laura’s research aids the development of therapeutic interventions, management recommendations and psychological coaching. Several projects draw on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Laura is Co-Director of the Professional Doctorate in Occupational Health Psychology & Management and leads on the development of the Centre’s enterprise offerings including interventions and consultancy. She is a Chartered Psychologist, 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 a practitioner: providing external consultancy and behaviour change interventions.

Some Recent Publications

Thompson, L., Ford, H., Cottrell, A., & Madill, A. (2019) Tortoise or Hare? Supporting the chronotope preference of employees with fluctuating chronic illness symptoms. Psychology & Health, 34, 695-714

Thompson, L., Ford, H., Cottrell, A., & Madill, A. (2019) Managing the (in)visibility of Multiple Sclerosis in the workplace: Parody, dialogism and reported speech. Qualitative Health Research.

Bergen, C., Stivers, T., Heritage, J., Barnes, R., McCabe, R., Thompson, L., & Toerien, M. (2018) Closing the deal: A cross-cultural comparison of treatment resistance. Health Communication, 33, 1377-1388.

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