Curriculum committee biographies

Gill Attwood is the Team Leader for the Complex Needs Service in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire delivering a specialist personality disorder service, using a therapeutic community model. She is also team leader for Training and Vocational Initiatives in Personality Disorder, a department within Oxford Health delivering training nationally. She is a Registered Mental Nurse  and Psychodrama Psychotherapist, and has experience in working in five different TCs in the Thames Valley. She is a member of the British Psychodrama Association Executive Committee and chair of their communications, publications and research committee.

Dr Oliver Dale is a Consultant Psychiatrist in West London Mental Health Trust and a Jungian Analyst. He is the Clinical Lead for the Cassel Hospital and the Personality Disorder Pathway. He is an executive member of the General Adult Faculty (Royal College of Psychiatrists) and is Co Lead of British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder (BIGSPD) Community of Practice. His interests include service standards and service design for the management of personality disorder. He places an emphasis on developing the place of co-production in the delivery of training, education and reflective practice.

John Diamond is CEO of the Mulberry Bush Organisation. His working career has been in residential therapeutic work with children and young people.  John has published and lectured in the UK and internationally on this work. He is Chair of the Dartington Centre for Social Policy, on the editorial board of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, and a member of the Therapeutic Communities Accreditation Panel at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. John has trained in group work at the IGA, the Tavistock, and with OPUS, and has an MA in ‘Therapeutic Child Care’ (Reading University) and in ‘Consultation and the Organisation; Psychoanalytic Approaches’ (Tavistock and UEL).

Kevin Gallagher is a qualified social worker and Tavistock trained Organisational Consultant. He subsequently completed an MBA and now studying for a PhD part time.  Kevin has worked in and around residential childcare for 20 years starting as a residential worker and progressing through management and into leadership roles. Across this period he has worked in a variety of therapeutic child care settings and models, moving into TCs in 2006 with involvement in the pilot year of the Community of Communities Children’s Network. He is also a Lead Reviewer and on the Advisory Panel at C of C.  Former trustee and chair of The Charterhouse Group, Kevin was involved in the establishment of TCTC and is currently chair of that organisation. Kevin is Managing Director of Amberleigh Care which operates two TCs in Shropshire and Wales for teenage boys who display harmful sexual behaviour.

Vicky Gavin originally trained as a painter and worked as an Artist and Designer before entering the nursing profession as an RMN. She joined The Retreat York in 1999, as a member of the Acorn Programme Therapeutic Community team. Vicky qualified as a group analyst in 2011. She has been the Therapeutic Community Manager at HMP Send since December 2012 and has presented the work of the Send DTC at the TCTC Windsor Conference several times in recent years, and the No Offence Conference on Women Offenders in York, Nov 2013. She is a co-author with Mark McFetridge, Rebecca Milne and Liat Levita of “Borderline personality disorder: patterns of self-harm, reported childhood trauma and clinical outcome within a therapeutic community” a short report published in BJPsych Open (2015) 0,1-3. Vicky is also a trustee of The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities, and a TC specialist for Community of Communities, Royal college of psychiatrists centre for quality improvement.

Dr Rex Haigh is an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist who has been fascinated by therapeutic communities since the shock of learning his psychiatry in one, as an Oxford medical student. He has been Chair of the Association of Therapeutic Communities, founder of the Community of Communities quality network at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Unit, founder of the Living-Learning Experience training workshops, series editor of the Jessica Kingsley ‘Community, Culture and Change’ book series, and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities. With Steve Pearce, he has recently written and published the first modern textbook of TCs: ‘The Theory and Practice of Democratic Therapeutic Communities’.

His professional background is general practice, psychiatry, psychotherapy and group analysis. He has been an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist since 1994, has worked with the Department of Health as Clinical Advisor for the National Personality Disorder Programme, is Honorary Professor of Therapeutic Communities and Relational Health in Nottingham University’s School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Institute of Mental Health, and leads the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ “Enabling Environments” project.

David Kennard is a retired clinical psychologist and group analyst who worked in therapeutic communities for acute psychiatric admissions (Phoenix Unit), drug addiction (Ley Community) and psychosis rehabilitation (The Retreat), as well as in high security and in psychotherapy and counselling centres. He had a career-long involvement in the Association of Therapeutic Communities and published widely in the field, including An Introduction to Therapeutic Communities (1983, 1998) and numerous research papers. From 1992-8 he was editor of the journal Therapeutic Communities. From 2004-9 he was chair of ISPS-UK (International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis – UK Network)). His other books include A Workbook of Group Analytic Interventions (1993) with Jeff Roberts and David Winter, Experiences of Mental Health In-patient Care (2007) with Mark Hardcastle, Lenny Fagin and Sheila Grandison, and Staff Support Groups in the Helping Professions (2009) with Phil Hartley.


Neelam Khawani-Connett has a lived experience of Personality Disorder, having attended the New Horizons Therapeutic Community in Aylesbury, part of Oxford Health NHS Trust.  Having battled with her own depression from a very young age, the skill-set she has since developed allows Neelam to work collaboratively alongside clinicians to deliver training in this subject to professionals as a long standing member of STARS (Support Training and Recovery System) and to raise awareness of Personality Disorder among professionals nationally, as well as working with the local services to meet with potential clients and encourage them to engage with the Complex Needs Service.  Neelam also participates in various activities with the Royal College of Psychiatrists as part of the Community of Community Project and the Enabling Environments Project, leading reviews and assessments for both, as well as being a member of the Advisory Group.

Jan Lees has worked in the mental health field for over 40 years as a social worker, lecturer, researcher, counsellor and therapist. She was a researcher at Henderson Hospital for three years in the 1980, and more recently, worked at Francis Dixon Lodge Therapeutic Community in Leicester for 12 years, as a researcher and therapeutic community therapist. She was lead researcher on a systematic literature review of therapeutic community research studies, on a multi-centre comparative study of therapeutic communities, was chair of the Editorial Collective of the Therapeutic Communities Journal 2004-2008 and has published many papers on therapeutic community research.

She led the initial Prison Service audits, as part of the Community of Communities Quality Improvement peer-review network of therapeutic communities. She has just retired from her post as an adult psychotherapist in the NHS, and is now working freelance, having qualified as a group analyst in 2013. She has been part of the LLE workshop staff team for over ten years.

Amanda Mackenzie trained as a General, Community, Mental health and Midwifery Nurse. She worked in several specialties of nursing while undertaking a fine art diploma. Amanda has worked at the Cassel Hospital for 19 years and now holds the role of Senior Nurse there. She teaches student nurses, presents at conferences and consults on away days for teams that work with people with complex difficulties. Her interests are in therapeutic community practice and how these principles can be applied to different environments and organisations.

Dr Steve Pearce works as a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, UK, where he runs the Complex Needs Service, a specialist service for people with personality disorders and related conditions.  He is a past editor of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities and past President of the British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder, and trained as a group analyst. He chairs the specialised mental health clinical reference group for NHS England.

Sue Pauley is the administrator for TCEPT.  She currently works for the Training and Vocational Initiatives in personality disorder team (TVI) having previously been a medical secretary in a therapeutic community for many years.  She enjoys working with STARS (ex-service users from the Thames Valley TCs) helping them to look forwards towards meaningful employment.  She is also involved in the rolling out of the Knowledge and Understanding Framework in PD Awareness training in south central England.

Stuart Whitelaw is an expert by experience. He has worked as part of Training and Vocational Initiatives since 2014 offering training and support around people with complex psychological and emotional needs. He is a Knowledge and Understanding Framework trainer and an Independent Peer Reviewer as part of Community of Communities.

Dr Gary Winship is  Associate Professor in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, Course Leader MA Trauma Studies, Senior Fellow and arts coordinator of the Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham University,  Chair of the Appointment Panel for the annual Skellern Lecture and JPMHN Lifetime Achievement Award in MH, and Chair of training standards for the University Psychotherapy & Counselling Association (UPCA). His clinical roles have spanned more than 30 years. TC Consultant Psychotherapist HMP Dovegate (2015-), locum consultant psychotherapist Broadmoor (2001), Senior Adult Psychotherapist: Berkshire NHS (1994-2004), Bethlem & Maudsley Hospitals. Out-patient and community services in London, Berkshire, Brighton, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands. He has worked in 5 prisons and in collaboration with Eric Cullen established a Therapeutic Community in Aylesbury Young Offenders Institute in 1997. His research has been applied to the understanding of the optimal conditions for an effective therapeutic milieu, including the resources of staff, peers and team work.  Currently supervising 5 PhD students research various aspects of therapeutic environments.  He edits International Journal of Therapeutic Communities which together an international network of academics, practitioners and services user interested in democracy, social and therapeutic and enabling environments.  GW has visited colleagues in Moscow (2016,2017), China (2010, 2011, 2013) where he has been part of a process of building research partnerships with mental health colleagues in Ningbo and Shanghai, Australia (2016).  In 2012 he delivered a keynote at the 22nd China National Congress of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, and in 2013 he was part of delegation which reviewed the landmark first Mental Health Act in China.  He has led several research grants including leading a work-stream for the £1.5 million AHRC research project looking at new creative pathways to mutual recovery.  Honorary president of Real United FC which has a key mission develop programmes of mentorship for young people in Nottingham where football offers a life changing chance to engage in team membership and character building.