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Professional Programmes in Clinical Psychology - Lived Experience Group (LEG)

Lived Experience Group

Thank you for your interest, so, what is a ‘LEG’?

A Lived Experience Group (LEG) is a group of individuals with lived experience of mental ill health and their supporters who come together to share their thoughts on certain topics. The University of Exeter has various LEGs whose input is invaluable in shaping research, training, and policy. These individuals are recognised as ‘experts by experience’ (EBE).

The purpose of this LEG is to share opinions and views on psychological training and research to improve training of trainees working in the psychology profession. At the time of writing (August 2023), the LEG group continues to work with staff and trainees on the Doctor of Clinical Psychology programme. This programme sits within the DClinPGR (Doctorates in Clinical Post Graduate Research) portfolio, which offers other doctorates and apprenticeships for professionals working in psychology.

This LEG is also directly linked into Clinical Education Development and Research (CEDAR). CEDAR is an Applied Psychological Practice Centre of Excellence at the University of Exeter. CEDAR is one of the UK's largest providers of training in evidence-based psychological practice and therapies, working in the NHS and private practice.

What are the benefits of joining this LEG?

  • Contributing to the delivery of training of psychological professionals
  • Voicing the thoughts and opinions of people with lived experience of mental health
  • Satisfaction, empowerment, and hope
  • Feeling valued, respected and ‘heard’
  • Skills development and improved confidence
  • and these are just a very few examples…

If you are a person or a supporter of someone with lived experience of mental ill health, and you feel you are in a good place currently, and confident to share your experiences within a group, or with a research student in a project setting, please contact us via one of the emails below.

We hope to hear from you

The LEG Consultation group will meet roughly every two months in hybrid format (online via MS Teams or Zoom and with members in a room together), for maximum of an hour and a half to talk through research student presentations, involvement opportunities, and LEG involvement issues.

Who can I contact to find out more?

Phil Ruthen is the LEG Project Coordinator. Phil works part-time, and aims to monitor mail when possible outside his core hours. The LEG Team can be reached at


Our stories

One of our goals in the Lived Experience Group is to raise awareness of depression as well as help provide support for those who suffer from depression or other mood disorders. Towards that aim, we have recorded the stories of some of our members to share. Click on the links to watch the videos.

Jo's Story

Learning to Live with Depression

This publication was generated by members and friends of the Lived Experience Group in the hope that the thoughts in it might help you too.

Download : Leg booklet pdf

For further information on depression and services available locally please contact :