Mark Williams is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford. Until his retirement in 2013 he held a joint appointment in Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry and Department of Experimental Psychology. He has held previous posts at the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge and the University of Wales, Bangor. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy.
His research is concerned with psychological models and treatment of depression and suicidal behaviour, particularly the application of experimental cognitive psychology to understanding the processes that increase risk of suicidal behaviour in depression. With colleagues John Teasdale (Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto) he developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for prevention of relapse and recurrence in depression, and many clinical trials have found that MBCT significantly reduces the recurrence rate in those who have suffered the most severe and long-lasting depression. In Great Britain, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), working on behalf the National Health Service, has recommended MBCT as a primary treatment for prevention relapse in depression. His current research focuses on whether mindfulness can help prevent depression in teens.