Dr. Christopher Scanlon

Dr. Christopher Scanlon


Christopher’s clinical background is a Consultant Psychotherapist in general adult and forensic mental health in the NHS, he is also a Training Group Analyst at the Institute of Group Analysis (London).

He has held numerous academic positions and is currently: Visiting Principal Clinical Lecturer, Psychosocial Studies, University of East London; Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Understanding Social Processes (CUSP), University of the West of England and Visiting Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychotherapy, Department of Developmental and Social Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, St. George’s University of London.

He is a Founder member of the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS); full member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Society (ISPSO); an associate of the Organisation for Promotion of the Understanding of Society (OPUS); member of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy (IAFP) and is an associate editor for Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society and ‘Free Associations’.

As a Team Development and Organisational Consultant he has extensive experience of working with staff groups working with ‘hard-to-engage’ people in a range of settings and has served as an expert professional adviser to: the ‘Social Inclusion Unit’ in the Communities and Local Government (CLG); the Department of Health’s Personality Disorder Expert Advisory Group and NHS England’s Severe Personality Disorders, Clinical Reference Group (CRG). He is a Director and Trustee of The Consortium of Therapeutic Communities (TCTC) was previously a Trustee of the Zito Trust – a major UK Mental Health Charity campaigning for improved services for mentally disordered offenders and their victims.

Clinical/practice/research interests:

The application of knowledge derived from psycho-social studies, group analysis, group relations, systems-psychodynamics and therapeutic community practices in enhancing our shared understanding ‘homelessness’, ‘dangerousness’ and ‘dis-order’.

Recent publications:

Christopher has published over 40 articles and book chapters including:

Edited Volumes

  • Adlam, J., Aiyegbusi, A,. Kleinot, P., Motz, A. and Scanlon, C (2012) (eds.) The Therapeutic Milieu Under Fire: Security and Insecurity in Forensic Mental Health. Forensic Focus series, London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Adlam, J. and Scanlon, C. (2011) (eds.) ‘Psycho-social perspectives on the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in groups, organisations, communities’. Psychodynamic Practice, 17,3. (Special Issue on psycho-social perspectives on the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in groups, organisations and communities).


  • Adlam, J., Gill, I., Glackin, S., Kelly, B.D., MacSuibhne, S. and Scanlon, C. (2013) Beyond These Walls – The Total Institution of Homelessness: Perspectives on Erving Goffman’s “Asylums” Fifty Years On. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, advance online publication, June, DOI 10.1007/s11019-012-9410-z.
  • Scanlon, C. and Adlam, J. (2013) Reflexive Violence. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, advance online publication, February 2013; doi:10.1057/pcs.2013.2.
  • Scanlon, C. and Adlam, J. (2013) ‘On knowing your place and minding your own business: perverse solutions to the imagined problems of social exclusion’, Ethics and Social Welfare, 7, 2, 170-183 (Special Edition on Psychosocial perspectives).
  • Scanlon, C. and Adlam, J. (2012) ”Dangerous Liaisons’: Close Encounters of the Un-boundaried Kind’ pp. 240-252 in A. Aiyegbusi and G. Kelly (eds.) Professional and Therapeutic Boundaries in Forensic Mental Health Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Scanlon, C. (2012) ‘The Traumatised Organisation-in-the-mind: Creating and maintaining spaces for difficult conversations in difficult places’ pp. 212 – 228 in J. Adlam, A. Aiyegbusi, P. Kleinot, A. Motz & C. Scanlon (Eds). The Therapeutic Milieu Under Fire: Security and Insecurity in Forensic Mental Health. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Scanlon, C. & Adlam, J. (2012) ‘Disorganised responses to refusal and spoiling in traumatised organisations’ pp 151 – 175 in E. Hopper (ed.) Trauma and Organisations. London: Karnac.
  • Scanlon, C & Adlam, J. (2012) ‘On the (dis)stressing effects of working in (dis)stressed homelessness organisations’. Journal of Housing, Care and Support, (Special Edition on Psychologically Informed Environments), 15, 2; 74-82.
  • Adlam, J. & Scanlon, C. (2011) ‘Working with hard-to-reach patients in difficult places: a Democratic Therapeutic Community approach to consultation’, pp. 1-22 in A. Rubitel & D. Reiss (eds) Containment in the Community: Supportive Frameworks for Thinking about Antisocial Behaviour and Mental Health. London: Karnac.
  • Scanlon, C & Adlam, J. (2011) ‘Who watches the watchers? Observing the dangerous liaisons between forensic patients and their carers in the perverse panopticon’. Organizational and Social Dynamics, 11, 2, 175 – 195. 
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