Alastair Dobbin is a UK qualified family doctor and has worked in London, Australia and Edinburgh. He has had a lifelong interest in mental health. He ran an NHS mental health clinic for 10 years from 1992, taking referrals from other GPs and using a variety of psychotherapeutic and hypnotherapeutic techniques to help patients, ego state therapy, NLP, coaching and psychotherapy. He developed a supervised self-help audio programme (Positive Mental Training, PosMT) from his experiences, based on elite sports training programmes, health promotion and positive psychology, recognising the common factors of peak performance and emotional recovery: visualisation and a growth model of personal development.
Alastair has co-designed and been involved in a number of research studies of the programme and other techniques with Imperial College (ego state therapy), Edinburgh University dept of General Practice (Mental Training), Edinburgh University Department of General Medicine (Irritable Bowel), Centre for the Economics of Mental and Physical Health, King’s College London (Mental Training), University of Cambridge Department of Public Health and Primary Care (stroke recovery), Department of Neurology Edinburgh University (Multiple Sclerosis) and McGill University dept of Psychology (RCT in resilience and memory structures).
He co-founded and is a director of the Scottish Charity ‘Foundation for Positive Mental Health’ and has co-created the NHS digital library accredited app ‘Feeling Good: Positive Mindset’. The Positive Mental Training programme has been shown to have good outcomes in Quality of Life, depression, burnout, anxiety and rehabilitation from stroke. The programme has been a service provision in the NHS in Edinburgh for 13 years and has been widely used in Edinburgh also in parts of Scotland and England with over a thousand health professionals using it for over 80,000 patients. He is currently involved in research into using the PosMT programme in Borderline Personality Disorder. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and runs workshops for medical students in Neurobiology and Neuropsychology, and regular workshops for a wide variety of health professionals in recovery from emotional distress.
He lives in Edinburgh with his partner Sheila Ross, also a founder of the Foundation and his co-researcher, has 3 children and 1 granddaughter, and enjoys cycling hillwalking and reading.