David Smail - Biographical Note

Born 23.4.38 at Putney, London, David Smail studied philosophy and psychology at University College London, and was awarded a PhD in psychology there in 1965.

He entered the National Health Service as a clinical psychologist in 1961, and in 1964 joined Tom Caine's psychology department at Claybury Hospital in Essex, which was at that time pioneering the 'therapeutic community' approach to the treatment of mental disorder. There followed a fruitful period of collaboration with Dr Caine, resulting in a number of research publications supporting therapeutic community methods.

David Smail moved to Nottingham in 1968, where he remained as head of clinical psychology services until 1993. He retired fully from the NHS in 1998. He held the honorary post of Special Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nottingham from 1979 until 2000.

David died on 3 August 2014. The Guardian published an obituary available at http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/17/david-smail.




David Smail on depression, 1989


as he explains some of his doubts about psychotherapy


Interview with Paul Moloney, 2004