Meet our Dean

Our Dean is Professor Mark Freestone

Foreword from our Dean

Professor Mark Freestone

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Education and Training Directorate in the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

For over 100 years, the Tavistock Clinic, now the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, has been a global centre of excellence in training those who seek a deep understanding of how our minds work for and against us in forming meaningful and effective relationships with others, particularly those struggling with emotional distress who also find themselves socially vulnerable.

I first worked with the Tavistock and Portman in 2005 when the Trust and the University of Nottingham jointly developed a new, flexible ‘on the job’ training programme to equip professional staff in all areas and disciplines to work effectively with people with complex emotional and relational needs. I was struck by the depth of thought, experience and empathy that characterised the work of the Trust and it is a great testament to that that the course still runs today, nearly 20 years on. I was delighted and honoured to join the Trust permanently in 2024.

The Tavistock and Portman today is a thriving, diverse and exciting institution that links our innovative, historical psychosocial understanding of relationships with a modern approach to education and training, delivered alongside our University partners. We want to provide our students with a learning environment that is supported by that understanding of the need for compassion, respect and inclusivity alongside the pursuit of excellence which defines our work.

Whatever course or programme you are undertaking, a huge part of the work you will be doing involves not only learning and doing, but also thinking and reflecting about yourself. This can be extremely challenging, and I would like you to feel that we are here to support you and listen to any concerns or difficulties you might have. Challenge and adversity are awful things to face alone: but with the support of others they can be transformative moments for us.

Professor Mark Freestone, Chief Education and Training Officer and Dean of Postgraduate Studies

About Mark

Professor Mark Freestone joined The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Education and Training Officer and Dean of Postgraduate Studies in June 2024. Professor Freestone joined us from Queen Mary University of London, where he was Professor of Mental Health at the Centre of Psychiatry and Mental Health, and Director of Education at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health.

With a background in Sociology, Professor Freestone’s work focuses on public and forensic mental health – including research into the efficacy of treatments for those with mental health problems, specifically those at risk of violence or becoming victims of violence. He has consulted on forensic mental health issues for NHS England and the London Violence Reduction Programme, as well as for films and television shows, including the hit BBC drama series, Killing Eve. In 2020, he published a book based on his research and experiences in psychopathy, Making a Psychopath: My Journey into 7 Dangerous minds.

Professor Freestone is also an Honorary Senior Researcher at East London NHS Foundation Trust, a Fellow of the Digital Environment Research Institute (DERI), and mental health co-director for the North Thames Applied Research Collaboration (NT-ARC).

For a better viewing experience we recommend you upgrade your browser.