Emily Holmes, PhD, DClinPsych leads the Emotional Mental Imagery Lab (EMIL) at Uppsala University. Her research group is underpinned by a core interest in mental health science, and the translation of basic findings to create innovations to improve psychological treatments.
My driving force is improving mental health through science. My specialism is mental imagery.
In addition to being a Professor at the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Holmes is affiliated to Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Clinical Neuroscience.
Holmes received her BA (Hons) in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, UK, and her Masters in Social Sciences at Uppsala University, Sweden. She is also a clinician and completed a clinical psychology training doctorate at Royal Holloway University of London, and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK. She became Professor in 2010 at the University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences. She is the recipient of several international awards, including from the American Psychological Association and the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Holmes serves on the Board of Trustees of the research charity "MQ Foundation".
Holmes' field within psychology is experimental psychopathology in the areas of memory and emotion. Under the umbrella of "mental health science", her interdisciplinary research places cognitive science alongside clinical psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience for psychological treatment innovation. Work in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and bipolar disorder is linked by an interest in mental imagery and emotion.
Her research has demonstrated that mental imagery has a more powerful impact on emotion than its verbal counterpart. This is of clinical relevance given the historical focus on verbal thoughts (rather than imagery) in therapy. Her group’s particular interest is intrusive memories—imagery that springs to mind unbidden. An imagery focus opens up treatment innovations to help mood stability in bipolar disorder, and potential new methods to prevent intrusive memories after trauma. It also holds fundamental relevance to the science of mental life and the nature of human memory.
Holmes' Google Scholar publications can be found here.
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