Dr James Brennan is one of the UK’s leading authorities on the psychological impact of illness on individuals, couples and families. He was Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Bristol Oncology Centre for over twenty-one years, providing treatment for a broad range of patients. Prior to that he worked for ten years in mental and physical health in London. For many years he was Honorary Senior Lecturer in Palliative Medicine at the University of Bristol, where he still teaches.
James has conducted research and lectured internationally in the area of cancer psychology, and is widely cited for his theoretical work on mental adjustment to illness and injury. James believes passionately that human distress can be recognised and understood without it needing to be seen to be something faulty within the individual, or something wrong with the mind or brain. Like Lucy Johnstone, his former colleague, he advocates formulating people’s experiences and difficulties, not pathologizing them.
His 2004 book Cancer in Context – a practical guide to supportive care (Oxford University Press) received accolades from reviews in many international scientific journals and has been reprinted four times.