Honorary Lecturer


Dr. Sean F. Harper is an Honorary Lecturer in the Nursing Division at Queen Margaret University. Dr Harper graduated from Aberdeen University in 1992 and went on to complete his Doctorate at Edinburgh University by 1999.

Current posts

  • Programme Director for the South of Scotland Post Graduate Masters Training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Professional Lead for Psychology Psychosis and Complex Mental Health Service

Dr Harper's clinical career spanning 25 years has focused on delivering and developing psychological services for people who experience psychosis and complex mental health (PCMH).

He has played the lead role in the formation of an acute in-patient mental health Psychology service across the Board and in the implementation of training and evaluation of Psycho-social Interventions for Psychosis and Behavioural Family Therapy for psychosis.


​Sean’s research activity has focused on improving understanding of the aetiology of psychosis and complex mental health problems (PCMH), associated psychological therapies and service provision for this client group. This included supervising numerous research projects for D.Clin. theses, Masters in CBT and PhD students in relation to this area of research.

Training Development and Delivery

As programme Director for the South of Scotland Masters training programme in CBT he has delivered direct teaching and workshops to trainee cognitive therapists for 13 years and has overseen the successful development of 200-250 Cognitive Therapists. He has been directly involved in developing innovative training practices to provide access to trainees in Cognitive Therapy from remote and rural parts of Scotland.

Sean has also been involved directly in the writing, development, delivery and evaluation of innovative training programmes in clinical supervision in Scotland.

A further training strategy of note involves the writing, development, delivery and evaluation of the Psycho-social Interventions for Psychosis training programme which has been implemented nationally across Scotland.

Sean has lead the development, delivery and evaluation of a highly successful CBT informed training programme aimed at improving access to mental health literacy and CBT informed practice for young people in the senior level school educational sector.

Finally, he has delivered papers and workshops at BABCP national conferences and BPS conferences amongst other forums at local and national level.

Sean has trained in KSA assessment with BABCP allowing a greater access to non-core professions into CBT training which has had a marked impact on widening access to CBT in non -traditional mental health environments such as physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.



  • Braehler, C & Harper S.F.(2008). Identifying Psychological Need in Psychosis-Perceptions and Priorities of CMHT keyworkers. Clinical Psychology Forum. No.182, February, 2008.
  • Livingstone, K., Harper S.F.& Gillanders, D (2009). An Exploration of Emotion Regulation in Psychosis. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 16(5), 418-430. 
  • Newman-Taylor, K, Harper, S.F. & Chadwick, P (2009). Impact of Mindfulness on Cognition and Affect in Voice Hearing: Evidence from Two Case Studies. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. 37(4) 397-402
  • Harper, S.F. (2013) Integrating theories and concepts: Formulation driven CBT for a client with a diagnosis of Schizo-Affective Disorder. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 20, 77-86.
  • Harper, S.F. (2014). Psychosis-normal response to stress? Letter in The Psychologist 27(2)
  • Taylor, C. D. J. & Harper, S. F. (2017). Early maladaptive schema, social functioning and distress in psychosis: A preliminary investigation. Clinical Psychologist. 
  • Ferguson, S, Sloan, G, Harper, S.F., Platz, S & Smith, K. (2016) Developing Specialist CBT Supervision Training in Scotland using Blended Learning: Challenges and opportunities. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapist 9
  • Paterson, C; Karatzias, T; Dickson, A; Harper S; Dougall N & Hutton, P (2018) Psychological therapy for inpatients receiving acute mental healthcare: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 57(4). 
  • Paterson,C; Karatzias,T; Harper, S; Dougall, N; Dickson,A; Hutton, P. (2018) A feasibility study of a cross-diagnostic, CBT-based psychological intervention for acute mental health inpatients: Results, challenges and methodological implications. British Journal of Clinical Psychology
  • Switzer, F; Harper, S and Peck, D. (2019) Exploring the barriers to the implementation of cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) Mental Health Review Journal · Switzer, F & Harper, S (2019) A narrative review of the barriers to the implementation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp.), Psychosis, DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2019.1578400
  • Cogan, N, Harper S & Schwannauer (2019) Recovery and self-identity development following a first episode of psychosis. Journal of Public Health (in press)