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The management team

Peter FonagyProfessor Peter Fonagy: Chief Executive

Peter Fonagy is one of the three members of the Centre’s Directorial Team with responsibilities for Academic Liaison and Research as wells a Special Projects.

Peter is a part time clinician practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis and spends most of his time in academic and research management at UCL and at UCLPartners. He has been a UCL academic in the Psychology Department more or less continuously since obtaining his PhD and clinical qualifications in 1980. He has been Head of its Clinical Psychology Program which he founded in 1987 and watched it becoming the largest program in Europe. In 1992 he was appointed Freud Memorial Professor at UCL, a position he still occupies.  In 1997 he was elected to the British Academy.

Peter Fonagy’s work at the Centre started under the Directorship of George Moran in the 1980s where, with Mary Target they jointly developed a clinical-empirical approach to psychoanalytic theory and therapy within a developmental psychology tradition which has remained the hallmark of his work mostly with Mary and more recently also with Linda Mayes. Inspired by the work of Howard and Miriam Steele on attachment and Anthony Bateman on severe personality disorder, Peter has worked to link these areas into a particular integrative approach that came to be called Mentalization Based Therapy. Working in close collaboration with the Menninger Clinic, especially Efrain Bleiberg, a fresh approach to severe psychological difficulties in children, adolescents and adults emerged which retains its theoretical roots in psychoanalysis but aims to develop new techniques linking psychoanalysis with modern brain science.


Linda MayesProfessor Linda Mayes: Chair of the Directorial Team

Dr. Linda Mayes is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Paediatrics, and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center. After graduating from the University of the South in 1973, she received her medical degree at Vanderbilt University in 1977. Following an internship and residency in paediatrics, she spent two years as a fellow with Dr. Mildred Stahlman at Vanderbilt in the division of neonatology and worked in the area of developmental outcome of high-risk preterm infants. She then came to Yale in 1982 to do a Robert Wood Johnson General Academic Paediatrics fellowship. In her Yale fellowship, she began a close collaboration with the department of psychology, Dr. William Kessen, and investigators in the Child Study Center including Dr. Donald Cohen. She joined the Center's faculty in 1985 and established a laboratory for studying infant learning and attention. Subsequently, she also developed a neurophysiology laboratory for studies of the startle response and related indices of emotional regulation in children and adolescents and currently oversees the Developmental Electrophysiology Laboratory that includes dense array electroencephalography as a method for studying brain activity in real time.

Dr. Mayes’s research integrates perspectives from child development, behavioral neuroscience, psychophysiology and neurobiology, developmental psychopathology, and neurobehavioral teratology. She has published widely in the developmental psychology, paediatrics, and child psychiatry literature.

Her work focuses on stress-response and regulatory mechanisms in young children at both biological and psychosocial risk. She has made contributions to understanding the mechanisms of effect of prenatal stimulant exposure on the ontogeny of arousal regulatory systems and the relation between dysfunctional emotional regulation and impaired prefrontal cortical function in young children.  Dr. Mayes also focuses on the impact of parenting on the development of arousal and attention regulatory mechanisms in their children and specifically on how substance abuse impacts reward and stress regulatory systems in new parents. She and her colleagues have developed a series of interventions for parents including an intensive home-based program called Minding the Baby. Her research programs are multidisciplinary not only in their blending basic science with clinical interventions but also in the disciplines required including adult and child psychiatry, behavioral neuroscience, obstetrics, paediatrics, and neuropsychology.

In her work, Dr. Mayes collaborates across a number of departments and has international and national collaborators. She is also a visiting professor at University College London where she participates regularly as a member of a research faculty training program.  She is also a member of the National Scientific Council for the Developing Child and coordinates a collaborative masters training program between Yale and University College London on social and affective developmental neuroscience.  In 2007, she was appointed Special Advisor to the Dean in the Yale School of Medicine.


Mary TargetProfessor Mary Target: Professional Director

Mary Target PhD, the AFC’s Professional Director, first trained in clinical psychology and worked for ten years in NHS acute adult psychiatric services, neuropsychology and child and adolescent mental health. Her experience was mainly in CBT, family therapy, and keyworking with patients suffering severe personality disorders. Having a long-standing interest in psychoanalysis, she carried out the research for her PhD at the AFC, studying the outcomes of child psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. In parallel, she trained as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. Her research interests have been broad: treatment outcomes in adult and child mental health, adult and child attachment, adult and child social cognition (especially mentalization).

Mary Target is a Professor of Psychoanalysis in the UCL Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology; for the last 16 years she has been Course Director of UCL’s MSc in Psychoanalytic Theory, she also teaches undergraduates and supervises several PhD students. Mary has written and co-authored papers across all these areas of work and frequently gives keynote conference presentations. She has chaired several committees at UCL, the British Psycho-Analytical Society, the British Psychological Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association, and she has served on several editorial boards. She has a half-time adult psychoanalytic practice.


Eamon McCroryDr Eamon McCrory: Head of Postgraduate Studies 

Dr Eamon McCrory is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and a researcher in Developmental Neuroscience at UCL. Since 2008 he has been head of Postgraduate Studies at the Anna Freud Centre.

Eamon completed his PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL and subsequently undertook clinical psychology training at the Institute of Psychiatry. Since 2004 he has worked as a clinician for an NPSCC service for young people presenting with sexually harmful behaviour, many of whom have histories of maltreatment and abuse. In 2007 he established the UCL Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit with Dr Essi Viding. His research uses brain imaging and psychological approaches to explore the environmental risk factors that shape how the brain processes social and emotional information in childhood. His primary aim is to better understand the mechanisms associated with developmental adversity and resilience, and in particular the impact of physical abuse and domestic violence.

As Head of Postgraduate Studies at the Anna Freud Centre he oversees the delivery of several UCL MSc programmes on child development and clinical practice. Dr McCrory is also a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Child Study Centre, Yale.


Miranda WolpertDr Miranda Wolpert: Head of Programme, Service Evaluation; Director of CAMHS EBPU

Miranda Wolpert is Head of Programme for Service Development and Evaluation at the Anna Freud Centre,  Director of the CAMHS Evidence Based practice Unit (EBPU) and Chair of the CAMHS Outcome Research Consortium (CORC).

Dr Wolpert is a clinical psychologist by background and worked for many years in the NHS and in school settings providing therapy to children and families as part of multidisciplinary teams in London and Bedfordshire. In 2006 she founded the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Evidence Based practice Unit (EBPU). This academic and service development unit undertakes research, training and service development to improve child mental health provision.

Committed to involvement of young people and families the unit has collaborated closely with YoungMinds and has its own Children's Think Tank. Miranda is involved in a range of research projects, including leading the national evaluation of the mental health work in schools. Miranda and colleagues at the unit train front line staff in how to develop effective service provision for children, young people and their families. Miranda chairs the CAMHS Outcome Research Consortium (CORC) a collaboration of over half of all child and adolescent mental health services in England committed to using routine outcome evaluation to inform practice and service development.

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