Professor Daniel Freeman

Subject: Clinical Psychology

Department: Experimental Psychology

College appointment: Professorial Fellow

Academic position: Professorship of Psychology


Daniel’s work aims to help improve the lives of people with mental health conditions by developing, testing, and implementing new cognitive-behavioural interventions. Over the past decade he has developed the most effective psychological therapy for persecutory delusions: the Feeling Safe programme. He has pioneered the use of virtual reality (VR) to assess, understand, and treat mental health conditions. gameChange, a ground-breaking automated VR treatment for people with psychosis, is now being used in mental health services in the UK and USA.

Career History

Daniel studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, completed a PhD and a doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsy) at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, then held a Wellcome Trust Fellowship, a Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellowship, and an NIHR Research Professorship. In 2011 he moved to the University of Oxford as Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and set up the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (O-CAP) research group. He joined the Department of Experimental Psychology as Professor of Psychology in 2023. Daniel is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, an NIHR Senior Investigator, Fellow of the British Psychological Society, founder of the University spinout Oxford VR, and Fellow of the British Academy.



Freeman, D. (2024). Paranoia: My Life Understanding and Treating Extreme Mistrust. London: HarperCollins.

Freeman, D., Freeman, J. & Garety, P. (2016). Overcoming Paranoid and Suspicious Thoughts. Second Edition. London: Robinson.

Freeman, D. & Freeman, J. (2013). The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth about Men, Women, and Mental Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freeman, D. & Freeman, J. (2012). Anxiety: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal Articles

Freeman, D., Lambe, S., Kabir, T., Petit, A., Rosebrock, L., Yu, L-M., Dudley, R., Chapman, K., Morrison, A., O’Regan, E., Aynsworth, C., Jones, J., Murphy, E., Powling, R., Galal, U., Grabey, J., Rovira, A., Martin, J., Hollis, C., Clark, D.M., Waite, F., & gameChange Trial Group (2022). Automated virtual reality therapy to treat agoraphobic avoidance and distress in patients with psychosis (gameChange): a multicentre, parallel-group, single-blind, randomised, controlled trial in England with mediation and moderation analyses. Lancet Psychiatry, 9, 375–388.

Freeman, D., Emsley, R., Diamond, R., Collett, N., Bold, E., Chadwick, E., Isham, L., Bird, J., Edwards, D., Kingdon, D., Fitzpatrick, R., Kabir, T., Waite, F., & Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis Trial Study Group (2021). Comparison of a theoretically driven cognitive therapy (the Feeling Safe Programme) with befriending for the treatment of persistent persecutory delusions: a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry, 8, 696-707.

Freeman, D., Loe, B.S., Yu, L.M., Freeman, J., Chadwick, A., Vaccari, C., Shanyinde, M., Harris, V., Waite, F., Rosebrock, L., Petit, A., Vanderslott, S., Lewandowsky, S., Larkin, M., Innocenti, S., Pollard, A., McShane, H., & Lambe, S. (2021). Effects of different types of written vaccination information on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the UK (OCEANS-III): a single-blind, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Public Health, 6, E416-427.

Freeman, D., Sheaves, B., Waite, F., Harvey, A., & Harrison, P. (2020). Sleep disturbance and psychiatric disorders: the non-specific as essential in understanding and treating mental ill health. Lancet Psychiatry, 7, 628-637.

Freeman, D., Haselton, P., Freeman, J., Spanlang, B., Kishore, S., Albery, E., Denne, M., Brown, P., Slater, M., & Nickless, A. (2018). Automated psychological therapy using immersive virtual reality for the treatment of the fear of heights: a single-blind parallel-group randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry, 5, 625-632.

Freeman, D., Sheaves, B., Goodwin, G., Yu, L-M., Nickless, A., Harrison, P., Emsley, R., Luik, A., Foster, R., Wadekar, V., Hinds, C., Gumley, A., Jones, R., Lightman, S., Jones, S., Bentall, R., Kinderman, P., Rowse, G., Brugha, T., Blagrove, M., Gregory, A., Fleming, L., Walklet, E., Glazebrook, Davies, E., Hollis, C., Haddock, G., John, B., Coulson, M., Fowler, D., Pugh, K., Cape, J., Mosely, P., Brown, G., Hughes, C., Obonsawin, M., Coker, S., Watkins, E., Schwannauer, M., MacMahon, K., Siriwaardena, A., Espie, C. (2017). The effects of improving sleep on mental health (OASIS): a randomised controlled trial with mediation analysis. Lancet Psychiatry, 4, 749-758.

Freeman, D. (2016). Persecutory delusions: a cognitive perspective on understanding and treatment. Lancet Psychiatry, 3, 685-692.

Freeman, D., Waite, F., Startup, H., Myers, E., Lister, E., McInerney, J., Harvey, A., Geddes, J., Zaiwalla, Z., Luengo-Fernandez, R., Foster, R., Clifton, L, & Yu, L-M. (2015). Efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy for sleep improvement in patients with persistent delusions and hallucinations (BEST): a prospective, assessor-blind, randomised controlled pilot study. Lancet Psychiatry, 2, 975-983.

Freeman, D., Dunn, G., Startup, H., Pugh, K., Cordwell, J., Mander, H., Cernis, E., Wingham, G., Shirvell, K., & Kingdon, D. (2015). Effects of cognitive behaviour therapy for worry on persecutory delusions in patients with psychosis (WIT): a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial with a mediation analysis. Lancet Psychiatry, 2, 305-313.