Dr Rachel Brand | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Rachel Brand

BSc (hons) Manchester, DClinPsy London, PhD Swinburne

  • Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
  • School of Health
+61 7 5456 3145
Office location
USC Thompson Institute
Rachel Brand

Dr Rachel Brand completed a professional doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2009. Since that time she has worked in specialist mental health services for people experiencing psychosis and for people with post traumatic stress disorder. In 2020 Rachel completed a PhD in Health Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology examining the application of trauma-focused psychological interventions to treat trauma-related psychotic symptoms.

Rachel’s research focuses on understanding psychological factors involved in psychotic symptoms and developing and testing empirically derived, targeted psychological interventions for people experiencing psychosis. Rachel has an interest in improving the implementation of psychological therapies for psychosis in Australia. Rachel is a chief investigator and therapy lead on AMETHYST, an NHMRC funded clinical trial examining whether an avatar assisted therapy for distressing voices (auditory verbal hallucinations)  is superior to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Rachel also set up the Queensland Psychological Interventions for Psychosis clinic (Q-PIP) - a training and research clinic delivering psychological therapies for psychosis, a partnership between Sunshine Coast Hospital Health Services and UniSC.

Rachel is an associate editor for the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice and is a committee member of the Australian Psychological Society Psychology and Psychosis Special Interest Group.

Professional Memberships 

  • Australian Psychological Society
  • Registered Psychologist with Clinical Endorsement - Psychology Board of Australia


  • Dean’s award for best HDR thesis, School of Health Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, 2020
  • Best short oral presentation, Early Career Hallucination Research Group ANZ, 2020
  • Young scientist research awards- runner-up, Royal Society of Victoria, 2019

Professional Social Media

Research Grants

Grant/Project name


Funding body & A$ value


Focus (of research grant)

Avatar-mediated therapy for hallucinations: superiority trial (AMETHYST)

Thomas, N. A., Rossell, S. L., Bell, I., Brand, R. M., Thompson, A. J., Castle, D., Mihalopoulos, C., Meyer, D., Longden , E. & Wadley, G.

NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies ($1,746,774.20)


A randomised controlled trial of a digitally assisted psychological therapy for people who hear distressing voices (auditory verbal hallucinations)

Early Career Hallucination Research Group ANZ Conference, 2020

Dr Rachel Brand

Dr Imogen Bell

Swinburne University Centre for Mental Health, Seed Funding. $1100



Investigating trauma-focused therapies for trauma-related hallucinations.

Dr Rachel Brand

Associate Professor Neil Thomas

Professor Susan Rossell

Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation. $4600.



Swinburne University Postgraduate Research Award

Dr Rachel Brand

Swinburne University of Technology, $82,788.



Potential Research Projects for HDR & Honours Students

  • PhD project available as part of the AMETHYST trial: This project will be embedded within an NHMRC funded trial, with options to examine processes of change in avatar assisted therapy for distressing voices, or to explore and improve our understanding and measurement of the things that distressing voices say (voice content).

  • Masters or honours projects available - developing expert consensus guidelines on the psychological treatment of psychotic symptoms in Australian private practice settings, examining the validity of scales measuring proneness to auditory hallucinations in the general population using cognitive interviewing.

  • I am also open to students proposing studies within my areas of expertise and interest.

Research areas

  • psychological therapies for psychosis
  • post traumatic mental health
  • psychological mechanisms in psychotic symptoms
  • trauma and psychosis

Teaching areas

  • Clinical Psychology