Listen to the blog audio here (4.45 MB) .
Here at PPN NW EbE Steering Group, we are counting down to the 10 Year NWPPN Anniversary Celebration event on the 24th May 2023 - registration is open and it’s free to attend, so please book now as places are limited.
And the PPN NW EbE steering group have a slot from 13.30-14.15 (time subject to change) entitled –
Who we are, how we inform, enable and influence, and what’s next?
We are excited about celebrating this milestone and hope to meet you there in person.
On 31st March, before April blew in with gales and showers, Leanne Bird, Hilary Tetlow and myself were delighted to represent the PPN NW EbE steering group at the Talking Therapies Divisional Leadership Away Day hosted by Dale Huey. We were given a platform to not only share our presentation and the animation and toolkit but were able to capture the audience feedback, for example in the word cloud response below, about what can be done to promote EbE involvement and were able to comment on that valuable response immediately. We had really positive reactions about the usefulness of the animation and toolkit to Talking Therapies and services, and suggestions to take forward for future development in our projects and work.
On behalf of Hilary and myself, I want to thank Leanne for her role in coproduction with us in developing a format that allowed us to showcase our knowledge about, and passion for, EbE involvement.
To everyone who attended, thank you for your warm welcome and to Dale for not only his kind words to us as guest speakers but also for giving a moving and compassionate opening presentation about the benefits across the lifespan of psychological help and interventions to individuals with complex mental health needs.
“I think the animation went down well with various trusts and the idea of using this for training. I think they do have EbE groups, but they don’t really at present involve them properly in coproduction”.
“The organisers seemed to want to get the concept ‘involved’, so it will be interesting to see what happens and how they take this forward”.
Finally, Leanne commented,
“The attendees appeared to be actively involved and intrigued by the animation and discussion tool. Following the presentation, a few individuals approached us with their unique concepts on how to expand Expert by Experience involvement and showed enthusiasm in networking and exploring the topic further.”
I am delighted this month to introduce you to Dr Ioannis Angelakis. This blog allows us at the EbE steering group the opportunity to meet inspirational psychological professionals who make a difference through their work. Ioannis works as a researcher and as a lecturer for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at the University of Liverpool and has a wealth of experience and expertise to share with us. His determination to ensure best practice with EbE involvement from inception in his research and also within training to shape the practitioners of tomorrow chimes with our values on the PPN NW EbE steering group - but I am leaping ahead as these are questions, I put to Ioannis in conversation!!
Ioannis, what would you like to share with us about how your interest in psychology began?
“I am a curious person and in Greece in my youth that curiosity took me to examining closely my own behaviours – why did I do this? This interest became a driver, not only to understanding my own behaviour but to try and understand human behaviour. Experimenting on myself to shape my own behaviours and create change allowed me as a scientist to step into other people’s shoes and to develop the insight required to become a scientist/researcher. Complex issues have become my areas of specific interest. Asking questions of the young people I work with who have a diagnosis of autism/ADHD or other difficulties and asking questions of their families and the staff that care for and work closely with them. Also looking at research and the literature to see what research had been undertaken on behaviour and shaping behaviour, talking to my peers, my director and being curious about gaps in the literature and research to find other avenues to explore and investigate. Conducting research applicable to the people who need it, particularly around emotional problems, and self-harm.
“My teaching and research are inter-correlated and help me to shape research questions to improve clinical practice for vulnerable groups where childhood adverse events and maltreatment affect the mental health and behaviours of adolescents and adults. How can we support people who experienced such adversities/neglect in childhood and develop new interventions to prevent self-harm and also raise awareness?”.
I interrupt Ioannis to say his description puts me in mind of a detective looking for clue, building a picture to find a solution to a puzzle that he had not only curiosity about but also a passion and a determination to resolve. Ioannis thought about this and said he’d never considered his work as a scientific practitioner in this way before.
“Research has earned my entire interest because nothing is so challenging, solving issues, keeping curious, investigating what mechanisms underly resilience in childhood trauma to develop and refine treatments. I am dedicated in supporting those who need support, so yes solving a mystery like a detective and I have high expectations of myself in achieving my goals. For anyone on a similar journey I would say cultivate your skills and hone them, stay curious, talk to your mentors, read the literature, put together those clues and opportunities, push through and you will effect change by discovering better, tailored outcomes for the populations you work with.”
And how about the role of EbE’s or PPIE in your work?
“The role of people with lived experience in research is essential. The lens of lived experience supports thinking, teases out gaps in knowledge and the literature, and grounds the language used. With EbE involvement, aims and objectives can be adjusted, allowing researchers and mental health professionals to understand and incorporate their findings into practice for the people who need it most. Lived experience has transformed my thinking and 100% lived experience must be there from inception through to dissemination. You lose too much without that input from the start in discussion and refining a project or intervention to address real world needs.
“In training and teaching too, the complexity of lived experience can be shared through EbE involvement, which is not just helpful, it’s essential to every aspect of trainee development. I strive always in every sphere of my work to embed EDI, to focus on including people to ensure cultural differences are respected and understood, because mental health care must benefit everyone and it is only possible when all voices shape services, research, and training to improve outcomes”.
Thank you so much, Ioannis, for sharing not only your passion and curiosity with us but also your reflections on how lived experience is essential to shaping your research and in your work teaching trainees at Liverpool University to become the clinical psychologists of tomorrow.
Next month, more on the countdown to the 10-year NWPPN Anniversary Celebration. You can find out more here - https://ppn.nhs.uk/north-west/resources/news/item/celebrate-10-years-of-the-north-west-psychological-professions-network-sign-up-now
The North of England Talking Therapies Forum took place on Tuesday 18th of April, and if you missed it, you’ll be able to view all the slides, and watch the recording here - https://ppn.nhs.uk/north-west/groups/iapt-leadership-innovation-forum/iapt-leadership-innovation-forum-events
More feedback to share with you and reflections on our involvement at this event (via a pre-recorded video) next month!
Until then, from me and everyone on the EbE steering group, and to get in touch with any suggestions for the blog, or to enquire about advice or support from the EbE steering group at PPN NW, please email
Take care of yourselves,