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The University of Southampton
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Dr Peter Lawrence PhD, DClinPsych, MSc, MA (Cantab), CPsychol, AFBPsS, FHEA

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Dr Peter Lawrence's photo

I am a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Southampton.

I am a clinical psychologist and a scientist conducting research in child and adolescent development and translating this into interventions to enhance children’s development and support their families. In 2020, I was awarded first prize in the Springer Nature / ABTA National Doctoral Research Awards (Social Sciences), and the Dean’s prize for outstanding early career research in the Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Southampton. (Please see the ‘Research’ tab below for more information about my work.)

I am chartered by the British Psychological Society (CPsychol); registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Practitioner psychologist; and accredited as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies.

I am a member of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and am a member of the Southern Branch committee.

Are you a UK parent or carer for a pre-schooler (aged 2 years +)?

The Co-SPYCE study will tell us how families are coping during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and what parents can do to help support their pre-school children's mental health. We hope this will help us to understand the needs of families at this time. We will share the findings to help others to provide the right support.

The Co-SPYCE study asks questions that relate to family life and relationships, overall health and wellbeing, parenting, psychological symptoms and how you are coping during the Covid-19 pandemic. The questions cover quite a lot of areas so that we can get a really good understanding of how things are for families currently, which will help us better understand what kind of support they might need.

The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. Participants will also be asked to complete some shorter follow-up surveys (around 10 minutes each) each month while social isolation is taking place, a month after schools have re-opened, and/or when there are major changes in Government advice around isolation.

2014 –  Present  Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, University of Southampton

2015 – 2018 NIHR Research Training Fellow, University of Reading

2010 – 2014 Psychological Therapist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

2009 – 2010 Locum Clinical Psychologist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

2006 – 2009 Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

2005 – 2006 Assistant Psychologist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

2003 – 2004 Assistant Psychologist, Social Work with Abused and Abusive Youth (SWAAY), Berkshire.

2015 – 2020  PhD, Anxiety and Depression in Young People Clinical Research Unit, University of Reading

2006 – 2009 D.Clin.Psych, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.

2004 – 2005 MSc, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

2000 – 2003 BA (Hons), Downing College, University of Cambridge

Funded by


Research interests

My main area of research concerns the development of young children in the face of adversity. My ultimate aim is to develop psychological prevention and intervention programmes to enhance children's early development and support their families.

My work in Southampton is based within the Centre for Innovation in Mental Health (CiMH). I would be pleased to hear from students interested in pursuing research in line with my interests.

My current work, funded by UK Research and Innovation and the Kavli Trust, includes:

  1. examining how families with pre-school children are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. randomised controlled trials to prevent anxiety disorders in children at risk of developing these (MY-CATS and Parenting with Anxiety); and,
  3. laboratory based experiments examining infants' learning from their mothers and fathers.

I completed my PhD at the University of Reading in 2020, supervised by Professors Cathy Creswell and Lynne Murray and funded by the National Institute for Health Research. This focused on anxiety disorders in young people, risk factors for developing these and prevention programmes for those at risk of developing anxiety disorders (see Lawrence, Rooke & Creswell, 2017; Lawrence, Murayama & Creswell, 2019; Lawrence, Creswell, Cooper and Murray, 2020; Lawrence, Harvey, et al., (in press) for papers arising from this work.) Previously, I worked at the University of Oxford with Professors Alan Stein, Lynne Murray and Peter Cooper to examine infants' development in the context of maternal post-natal depression. (See Stein et al., 2018 and Lawrence, Craske, et al., 2017 for papers arising from this work.)

Research group

Centre for Innovation in Mental Health (CiMH)

Affiliate research groups

Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Anxiety and Depression in Young People Research Clinic, University of Reading, The Oxford Psychological Interventions for Children and adolescents Research Group (TOPIC)

Research project(s)

Infant learning from parents in social situations

Covid-19: Supporting Parents and Young Children in Epidemics (Co-SPYCE)

Parenting with Anxiety: Helping anxious parents raise confident children

Minimising Young Children's Anxiety through Schools

Admissions Tutor, DClinPsych
Clinical Supervisor, CBT Programmes
Personal Clinical Tutor, DClinPsych
Research Supervisor, DClinPsych, BSc Psychology courses

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Book Chapters

My primary teaching duties are on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programmes.
Specifically, I lead two modules: Evidence Based Practice (PSYC6117) and CBT for Depression (PSYC6089).

I also contribute to:
Introduction to CBT Theory & Skills (PSYC6104),
CBT Theory and Skills II (PSYC6088),
CBT Supervision 1: Introduction to Evidence Based Treatments for People with common mental health problems (PSYC6095),
CBT Supervision 2: Disorder-Specific Treatments for People with Anxiety Disorders (PSYC6096), and
CBT Supervision 3: Evidence-Based Treatments for People with Depression (PSYC6097).

Dr Peter Lawrence
Building 44 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 44/4066

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