Professor David Clark, C.B.E.Back to People

Subjects: Experimental Psychology
Department: Experimental Psychology
College appointment: Professorial Fellow
Phone: 01865 281607


David Clark was an undergraduate at Lincoln College from 1974 – 77, where he studied Chemistry before switching to Experimental Psychology. He subsequently trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College London) and completed his DPhil at Wolfson College in 1983. His first academic appointment was as a university lecturer and then Professor in the Oxford Department of Psychiatry. From 2000 – 2011 he held the Chair of Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. He is currently the Chair of Experimental Psychology in Oxford and NHS England’s National Clinical and Informatics Advisor for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Honours include: Fellowships of British Academy, Academy of Medical Sciences, and Academy of Social Sciences; Lifetime Achievement Awards from British Psychological Society, American Psychological Association, Society for Science in Clinical Psychology, and British Association of Cognitive & Behavioural Psychotherapies; and CBE for services to mental health.


David Clark runs an undergraduate advanced option series of lectures and tutorials on ‘Developing New Psychological Treatments’ and also contributes to lectures for medical students and the MSc in psychological research. He conducts masterclasses in cognitive therapy for the Oxford Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme and supervises graduate students.

Research interests:

He is well-known for his work on the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders. With colleagues, he has developed original and effective cognitive-behaviour therapy programmes for four different anxiety disorders: panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and health anxiety (hypochondriasis). More recently, his team have developed internet basedinternet-based versions of the social anxiety and PTSD treatments. David has also played a key role in large-scale initiatives that aim to make evidence-based psychological treatments more widely available to the public. The first initiative involved training local clinicians to treat post-traumatic stress disorder following the 1998 car bomb in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The second is the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, which aims to vastly increase the availability of psychological therapies for depression and anxiety disorders. David Clark is one of the principle architects of this programme which currently treats over 600,000 people a year, collects outcome data on 99% and places this information in the public domain in order to promote transparency about mental health outcomes and to improve the quality of services.

Publications (selected):


  • Layard, R. and Clark, D.M. (2014). Thrive: The power of evidence-based psychological therapies. Allen Lane (Penguin), London.
  • Stangier, U., Clark, D.M., Ginsberg, D.M., and Ehlers, A. (2016). Soziale Angststörung. Hogrefe, Berlin.
  • Smith, P., Perrin, S., Clark, D.M. & Yule, W. (2009). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Cognitive Therapy with Children and Young People. Routledge
  • Clark, D.M. and Fairburn, C.G. (1986) & Fairburn. Science and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Oxford University Press.
  • Hawton, K., Salkovskis, P.M., Kirk, J. and Clark, D.M. (1989) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy For Psychiatric Problems: A Practical Guide. Oxford University Press.


  • Clark, D.M. (1986) A cognitive approach to panic. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 24, 461-470.
  • Clark, D.M. & Wells A. (1995) A cognitive model of social phobia. In R.G. Heimberg, M. Liebowitz, D. Hope, & F. Scheier (Eds) Social Phobia: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment. pp 69-93. Guilford: New York.
  • Ehlers, A., & Clark, D.M. (2000). A cognitive model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 319-345.


  • Clark, D.M., Salkovskis, P.M., Ost, L.G., Westling, B., Koehler, K.A., Jeavons, A. and Gelder, M. (1997) Misinterpretation of body sensations in panic disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 203-213.
  • Stopa, L. and Clark, D.M. (2000) Social phobia and interpretation of social events. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 273-283.
  • Hirsch, C., Clark, D.M., Mathews, A. and Williams, R. (2003) Self-images play a causal role in social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 909-921.
  • Mansell, W., Ehlers, A. and Clark, D.M. (2003) Internal versus external attention in social anxiety: an investigation using a novel paradigm. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 555- 572.
  • Wells, A., Clark, D.M., Salkovskis, P.M., Ludgate, J., Hackmann, A, and Gelder, M.G. (1995) Social phobia: the role of in-situation safety behaviours in maintaining anxiety and negative beliefs. Behavior Therapy, 26, 153-161.
  • Kleim, B., Grey, N., Wild, J., Nussbeck, F.W., Stott, R., Hackmann, A., Clark, D.M. & Ehlers, A. (2013). Cognitive change predicts symptom reduction with cognitive therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 383-393. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037%2Fa0031290
  • Gray, E., Beierl, E. and Clark, D.M. (2019). Sub-types of safety behaviours and their effects on social anxiety disorder. Plos One, 14(10), e0223165. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223165
  • Wiedermann, M., Stott, R., Nickless, A., Beierl, E., Wild, J., Warnock-Parkes, E.L., Grey, N., Clark, D.M., and Ehlers, A. (2020). Cognitive processes associated with sudden gains in cognitive therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder in routine care. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000488
  • Leigh, E., Chiu. K., and Clark, D.M. (2021). Self-focused attention and safety behaviours maintain social anxiety in adolescents: an experimental study. Plos One. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247703
  • Leigh, E., Chiu. K., and Clark, D.M. (2021). Is concentration an indirect link between social anxiety and achievement in adolescents? Plos One. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0249952


  • Clark, D.M., Salkovskis, P.M., Hackman, A., Middleton, H., Anastasiades, P. and Gelder, M.G. (1994) A comparison of cognitive therapy, applied relaxation and imipramine in the treatment of panic disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 759-769.
  • Clark, D.M., Ehlers, A., McManus, F., Hackmann, A., Fennell, M.J.V., Campbell, H., Flower, T., Davenport, C., & Louis, B. (2003). Cognitive therapy vs fluoxetine plus self-exposure in the treatment of generalized social phobia (social anxiety disorder): a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 1058-1068.
  • Clark, D.M., Ehlers, A., Hackmann, A., McManus, F., Fennell, M., Grey, N., Waddington, L., & Wild, J. (2006). Cognitive therapy versus exposure plus applied relaxation in the treatment of social phobia. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 568-578.
  • Stangier, U., Schramm, E., Heidenreich, T., Berger, M. and Clark, D.M. (2011). Cognitive therapy vs interpersonal psychotherapy in social anxiety disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 692-700.
  • Mortberg, E., Clark, D.M., and Bejerot, S. (2011). Intensive group cognitive therapy and individual cognitive therapy for social phobia: sustained improvement at 5-year follow-up. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 994-1000.
  • Smith, P., Yule, W., Perrin, S., Tranah, T., Dalgleish, T. and Clark, D.M. (2007). Cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD in children and adolescents: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 1051- 1061.
  • Ehlers, A., Hackmann, A., Grey, N, Wild, J., Liness, S., Albert, I., Deale, A., Stott, R., & Clark, D. M. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of 7 day intensive and weekly Cognitive Therapy for PTSD and emotion-focused supportive psychotherapy, American Journal of Psychiatry, 171, 294-304.
  • Mayo-Wilson, E., Dias, S., Mavranezouli, I., Kew, K., Clark, D.M., Ades, A.,and Pilling S. (2014). Psychological and pharmacological interventions for social anxiety disorder in adults: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry, 1: 368-376.
  • Freeman, D., Bradley, J., Antley, A., Bourke, E., De Weever, N., Evans, N., Ernis, E., Sheaves, B., Waite, F., Dunn. G., Slater, M. and Clark, D.M. (2016). Virtual reality in the treatment of persecutory delusions: randomised controlled experimental study testing how to reduce delusional conviction. British Journal of Psychiatry. 209 (1), 62-67. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.115.176438
  • Meiser-Stedman, R., Smith, P., McKinnon, A., Dixon, C., Trickey, D., Ehlers, A., Clark, D.M., Boyle, A., Goodyer, I., and Dalgleish, T. (2017). Cognitive therapy as an early intervention for post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. 58 (5), 623-633 https://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fjcpp.12673


  • Gillespie, K., Duffy, M., Hackmann, A. and Clark, D.M. (2002) Community based cognitive therapy in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder following the Omagh bomb. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 40, 345-357.
  • Clark, D.M., Layard, R.L., Smithies, R., Richards, D.A., Suckling, R., & Wright, B. (2009). Improving Access to Psychological Therapy: Initial Evaluation of Two UK Demonstration Sites. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 910-920. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.brat.2009.07.010
  • Gyani, A., Shafran, R., Layard, R. & Clark, D.M. (2013). Enhancing Recovery Rates: Lessons from Year One of IAPT. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 597- 606. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.brat.2013.06.004
  • Clark, D.M., Canvin, L., Green, J, Layard, R.L., Pilling, S, and Janescka, M. (2018). Transparency about the outcomes of mental health services (IAPT approach): an analysis of public data. Lancet, 391, 679-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32133-5
  • Clark, D.M. (2018). Realizing the Mass Public Benefit of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies: The IAPT Program. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 14, 159-183. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5942544/