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 Laura Warbrick

Laura Warbrick

Research Fellow


 Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research F05


Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research, University of Exeter, Queens Drive, Exeter, EX4 4QQ, UK


I am an early career clinical-researcher, with a clinical background in low-intensity CBT / IAPT ‘PWP’ practice. My work is currently funded by a competitively awarded NIHR Three Schools Mental Health fellowship and the Mental Health Mission (; which link with the NIHR School for Primary Care Research and the Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) group.

I'm passionate about building research and practice capacity in the mental health service 'gap' – particularly for individuals who continue to have unmet needs within existing mental health services; and those who may have been excluded from accessing support and hope to continue to build a joint clinical-academic career with this specific focus in mind. In particular I'm interested in building capacity for individuals who struggle to manage their emotions, relationship and sense of self, who may have been exposed to stressful or traumatic experiences in early life. This cluster of experiences is sometimes referred to as personality difficulties', a 'personality disorder', 'complex emotional difficulties' or 'complex trauma'.

My clinical interests include transdiagnostic, wellbeing-focused approaches - in particular those with a relational or behavioural focus. 

Research Keywords:

  • personality difficulties, personality disorder, complex emotional needs, complex trauma
  • Primary Care, IAPT, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
  • wellbeing
  • intervention development
  • mental health service "gap"

Current Work:

My current work focuses on intervention development and pilot and feasibility evaluation of brief Primary Care clinician (GPs and clinicians working in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Services (IAPT)) training packages which aim to improve care and outcomes for individuals with complex emotional needs, who may have experienced 'complex trauma' and who's difficulties are sometimes referred to as 'personality difficulties' or a 'personality disorder'. 

I am based within the Mood Disorders Centre and also have strong links with the ADepT Programme (Augmented Depression Therapy). ADepT is a novel talking therapy for depression that aims to simultaneously reduce negativity and build positivity in an effort to keep people well in the long term. ADepT has been developed alongside service-users and NHS clinicians and we now aim to evaluate if the novel talking therapy for depression is better than current best practice in the NHS (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) in reducing depression and in building wellbeing; and how we might ADepT for use in different contexts, for example for clients with a history of complex trauma or depression in young adults. 


Academic Qualifications:

BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Nottingham, 2017 (1st class)

MSc Psychological Research Methods, University of Exeter, 2020 (Distinction; with Dean’s Commendation for Exceptional Performance)

Clinical Qualifications:

PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice (Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), University of Exeter, 2021 (Distinction)

Registered Wellbeing Practitioner with BABCP, 2021 onwards.


Research group links

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Research interests

  • Translational research 
  • IAPT service research
  • documenting, innovating and building research capacity within the mental health service “gap”
  • Research and capacity building in underserved clinical populations including individuals with experiences consistent with personality disorder spectrum difficulties
  • Research capacity building in low-intensity therapies and the PWP workforce and other emerging psychological professions
  • Transdiagnostic and wellbeing focused psychological therapy approaches

Research projects

NIHR Three Schools Mental Health Fellowship (Cheif Investigator):

- Refinement and  evaluation of a training workshop for high intensity IAPT therapists to improve care for individuals with personality difficulties - pilot and feasbility multi-site mixed methods observational study.

- Development and evaluation of training package for GPs to improve care for individuals across the spectrum of personality difficulties and disorder.

Other projects (Active collaborator):

- 'Assessing a new training initiative for IAPT therapists' single site pilot study of a training workshop for high intensity IAPT therapists to improve care for individuals with personality difficulties, NIHR ARC West, CI: Paul Moran.

- A case series evaluation of Augmented Depression Therapy (ADepT) for treatment of complex depression - a multi-site multiple baseline case series; NIHR Three Schools Mental Health Research Award (Rich Pione, MH040), PhD Funding by Saudi Arabian government (Batool Alalsayednasser).

-  How well do Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services meet the needs of clients with a history of complex trauma? - observational survey study; PhD Funding by Saudi Arabian government (Batool Alalsayednasser)

External collaborations:

-  Devon Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; 'Psychological Systems Review' (Internal review); understand and explore the mental health service 'gap' and provide recommendations for future commissioning. Supervision and support around developing qualitative framework for analysing stakeholder engagement data (2022).

Research networks

Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx)

Mood Disorders Centre

AccEPT Clinic

NIHR School for Primary Care Research 

Research grants

  • 2021 National Institute for Health Research
    NIHR Three Schools Mental Health Fellowship

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Journal articles

Warbrick LA, Meehan B, Carson J, Mackenzie J, Dunn BD (2024). A pilot evaluation of a training and supervision pathway for Augmented Depression Therapy (ADepT) in a Devon NHS Talking Therapies Service. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 17 Abstract.
Warbrick LA, Dunn BD, Moran PA, Campbell J, Kessler D, Marchant K, Farr M, Ryan M, Parkin M, Sharpe R, et al (2023). Non-randomised feasibility study of training workshops for Talking Therapies service high-intensity therapists to optimise depression and anxiety outcomes for individuals with co-morbid personality difficulties: a study protocol. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 9(1). Abstract.
Dunn BD, Widnall E, Warbrick L, Warner F, Reed N, Price A, Kock M, Courboin C, Stevens R, Wright K, et al (2023). Preliminary clinical and cost effectiveness of augmented depression therapy versus cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of anhedonic depression (ADepT): a single-centre, open-label, parallel-group, pilot, randomised, controlled trial. eClinicalMedicine, 61, 102084-102084.

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Office Hours:

Face-to-Face Office Hours:

Tuesday-Wednesday: 9-5

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