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Associate Professor Neil Thomas

Associate Professor of Psychology; Deputy Director, Centre for Mental Health


Neil Thomas is an Associate Professor in Swinburne’s Department of Psychological Sciences, Deputy Director of the Centre for Mental Health, Director of the National eTherapy Centre, and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Alfred Health. He has particular interests in psychological models and interventions for severe mental health problems (e.g. psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), in persisting auditory hallucinations or ‘hearing voices’ as an experience, and in the therapeutic use of online, mobile and digital technology.

The main focus of Dr Thomas’s research is in developing new therapeutic approaches to empower people who live with mental health problems to self-manage symptoms and have the best recovery possible. He heads the PERISCOPE Lab, which conducts research on experiences of psychosis, along with the process of recovery and the development of interventions. Alongside directing the National eTherapy Centre, he also researches therapeutic uses of digital technology in healthcare including online health self-management courses, telehealth, mobile applications and the use of tablet computers by health workers.

Dr Thomas has established research collaborations with a number of health services in Victoria including Alfred Health, Austin Health, Melbourne Health, St Vincent's Health, headspace, Mind Australia, Neami National, Uniting Care, and Wellways Australia (Mental Illness Fellowship). He has received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government Department of Health, Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, Victorian State Government Department of Health and Human Services, and VicHealth.

Research interests

Clinical Psychology; Mental Health

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Digital self-management intervention development and trialling: There are a range of possible projects in the domain of developing and refining digital self-management interventions, including specific self-management programs, uses of virtual reality, and blended digital/face-to-face applications. Including work with National eTherapy Centre and/or industry partners. 

Hallucinations/Hearing Voices: Targeted Research and Interventions for Understanding and Managing Persisting Hallucinations: There are a range of potential projects concerned with testing models and/or developing and trialling interventions for persisting halucinatory and voice hearing experiences via the TRIUMPH research program run via the Voices Clinic and in conjunction with international collaborators.

MPsych projects: Please contact me about possible MPsych projects


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Does digital immersion help with mindfulness?: In this project you will be exploring how different technologies can help or hinder mindfulness practice. You will use virtual reality, video, and audio to investigate how the effects of a mindfulness practice differ across mediums.

Does personality predict adherence to mood monitoring on a smartphone?: Digital mental health interventions are effective, but adherence to usage for self-monitoring can be variable. The aim of this project is to explore the individual characteristics (e.g., personality traits) that predict adherence to a mood tracking app, MoodPrism, which allows individuals to track their mood over time.

How do virtual environments impact on mood?: Relaxation and positive affect can be trained within virtual reality. However our understanding of what virtual environment features influence mood is still emerging. This project will aim to explore the way mood can be altered with changes to virtual environments.

The impact of negative and positive daily events on self-esteem: exploring change over time: Self-esteem fluctuates over time. This project will seek to explore how the experience of positive and negative daily events influence self-esteem. Data will be drawn from an evidence-based mood tracking app.

Fields of Research

  • Health, Clinical And Counselling Psychology - 170106

Teaching areas

Clinical Psychology


Also published as: Thomas, Neil; Thomas, N.
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Grant information is currently offline and as such is unable to be displayed here. A further update will be provided in mid-January 2019.

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