Isabel Clarke: General Pages
Psychology and Spirituality/Religion
Ecology and the Relational Self
Psychic Phenomena
Clinical Pages
CBT for The Acute Care Pathway Recovery
ICS and Psychosis Anger and Stress Management
ICS underpinning 3rd Wave CBT Groups and Manuals
Clinical Home Page

Isabel Clarke — Home Page

My work spans two areas: psychosis and spirituality, and clinical psychology. Both draw on the research based Interacting Cognitive Subsystems model of cognition, and both seek to bring spirituality into centre stage, founding it in cognitive and other research and theory, and regarding it as a central part of what it means to be human.




Forthcoming Events.

CHCC Mental Health Chaplains’ Annual Study Conference 2014
Journeying Outside the Walls

What lies beyond a traditional understanding of Spiritual Care?
High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire
Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th September 2014

 I will be addressing the: Wessex Psychotherapy Society on Wednesday 17th September 2014
from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m.  on:
Mindfulness and the balancing act of being human.
The need to create reflective space to consider the unhelpful patterns of relating and doing that cause distress and dysfunction,  is common to most therapeutic approaches.
As a psychologist, I am interested in what is going on here. Why do we so easily get tied up in these tangles? Why is being human so difficult?
As a therapist  working in severe mental health settings, and therefore with teams, I am interested to demystify therapy and spread psychological understanding of mental distress throughout the staff group – with the idea that all will feel confident to support the service user with psychological understandings  and coping skills.
 Mindfulness  is at the heart of all of these concerns.
More details:

Recent Presentations etc.

Things Unseen Podcast.
Shamans and Sacraments: the meaning of rituals
This discussion can be viewed on:
(fourth item down on the page).
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
A shaman undergoing a ritual burial and a Catholic attending mass seem poles apart –
yet both rituals answer similar needs

The presenter for the programme is Jane Little. Contributors are a Catholic writer, Peter D Williams and Shamanic Practitioner, Nick Shaman, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Isabel Clarke. Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Royal College of Psychiatrists' Special Interest Group in Spirituality Conference 14th April.
Speaking on:
"Transcendence and the transliminal"                       
The human faculty to step beyond the boundedness of the individual self into a place of connection has long been recognized by religious traditions and spiritual practitioners. The concept of the ‘transliminal’ (Thalbourne) has been introduced into the discourse by Claridge in research into schizotypy – or openness to unusual experiencing. This talk will attempt to bridge the psychological/scientific and spiritual divide by combining the evidence of experience with a theory of cognitive architecture, in order to unpack the way in which the person operates both as a discrete individual and embedded in relationship, including relationship with the ultimate: that which is beyond human knowing. Thus, with respect for both science and mystery, the aim is to reach a richer understanding of a crucial but elusive aspect of human experiencing.


BACP Practitioner Conferences: London 28th January. Leeds 8th March.
Guest Opening lecture title : Spirituality at the heart of being human

To present the argument that spirituality is grounded in an experience of relationship and is fundamental to being human.  Our complex evolutionary development has given us two distinct ways of knowing: one precise and grounded in individual self consciousness;  the other, holistic and grounded in relationship.
To draw out the implications of this model, which stems from fundamental cognitive research:
That being human is a precarious state
That we are dependent on key roles and relationships to hold us together
This is evident at times of loss and transition – which can lead to breakdown
Transitions and losses can also open the individual to the other way of experiencing
This can facilitate relationship with that which is greater and deeper than ourselves
It can also lead to loss of bearings and into dangerous places. 
Workshop: Trauma and the Elusive Self
To convey the way in which trauma impacts on the relationship between and individual and themselves, and therefore on development.
To normalize this in the context of a model of self as process, as continuously in the making
To extend this into consideration of how past trauma intrudes into present life and the ways in which people seek to cope with the resulting unbearable experiences and emotion
To invite participants to link this model with their own clinical experience in small groups
To present an emotion focused way of making sense of this for clients
To present the use of mindfulness as a tool to break dysfunctional patterns set up by ways of coping with the trauma.


Finding Solid Ground: investigating mental health, spirituality and extreme human experiences

Rufus May • Catherine Lucas Caroline Brett • Charlie Heriot-Maitland • Isabel Clarke
An interactive conference with talks,workshops and opportunities for you to participate
28th June 2013, University of Sunderland
9.00–4.30 . Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Recent research New ways of helping people through crisis New understanding of extreme human experiences – all offering hopeful and transformative ways forward for those struggling with experiences that can be described variously as: spiritual crisis / psychosis etc.

[Community Foundation] This event has been made possible by a grant from the Lily Matthews Fund.

View or right-click to download a flier for this conference

I   contributied a workshop to this conference:


Psychosis and Spirituality: journey with no map.

Presentation given at the Conference: Psychosis and Spirituality: Inner Journies in a Time of Transition. Liverpool John Moores University. 10th November 2011.
Linked audio and powerpoint (on line), powerpoint.

Symposia convened at the Division of Clinical Psychology BPS Conference, Birmingham 1st and 2nd December 2011

For presentations and details see conference page.


Web site design by Chris Clarke