David Harper profile picture

Professor David Harper

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Professor of Clinical Psychology, Mental Health and Social Change

Department of Professional Psychology , School Of Psychology

David Harper is a clinical psychologist who worked in mental health services in the North West for nearly a decade before moving to UEL in 2000.  Since 2014 he has been one of the two Directors of UEL's clinical psychology programme.  His co-authored and co-edited book Psychology Mental Health & Distress won one of the two 2014 BPS book prizes.


  • PhD (Manchester Metropolitan University, 1999)
  • M Clin Psychol (University of Liverpool, 1991)
  • BA (Hons) Psychology (University of Liverpool, 1987)

Areas Of Interest

  • Critical qualitative research (e.g. Discourse Analysis) in mental health, particularly concerning professional discourse about concepts (e.g. psychosis and paranoid delusions) and interventions (e.g., medication, ECT and mental health legislation).
  • Social inequality - both how it is explained and its influence on mental health.
  • Discrimination against those experiencing mental distress – both exploring its effects and examining interventions which aim to challenge it.
  • Psychological therapies which try to avoid pathologising users of mental health services.
  • Critiquing the use of psychological knowledge in national security-related interrogation.
  • Examining public perceptions of surveillance and dataveillance technologies.
  • Transforming how mental distress is conceptualised, understood and taught.
  • Developing more progressive approaches to public mental health.
  • Advancing knowledge of the impact of social inequalities on mental health and other social problems.
  • Changing how unusual beliefs and experiences (including those attracting psychosis diagnoses) are conceptualised and understood.
  • Qualitative mental health research methods from a more critical perspective.
  • The discourse of paranoia and surveillance in contemporary culture.
  • Critiquing the use of psychological knowledge in national security-related interrogation.


The last four years of publications can be viewed below. 

Full publications list

Visit the research repository to view a full list of publications