Dave Hawkes

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Nursing and Midwifery

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Nursing and midwifery

Research Supervision:Yes

Dave Hawkes is a practitioner with expertise in Phenomenological Research and Qualitative Research Methodologies in Mental Health, individual, group and family psychotherapy, working with psychosis and voice hearing, communication with people experiencing Alzheimers Disease in in-patient settings, Ericksonian approaches to hypnosis and therapeutic intervention and particularly Solution Focused Brief Therapy, a field in which he has frequently published and has spoken on internationally.



Dave trained as a Registered Mental Health Nurse qualified in 1986 and has worked in therapeutic community, in patient and community mental health settings. He worked extensively using systemic family therapy as part of family therapy teams and community mental health nursing teams and specialised in Solution Focused Brief Therapy, training with the models originators Insoo Kim Berg and Steve De Shazer in 1992 in Milwaukee USA and adapting the approach to the UK for which he was awarded a Queens Nursing Institute Award in Innovation and became an alumni of the Queens Nursing Institute.

Dave has been lecturing at Anglia Ruskin University since 2000.  He is the module leader for the first module in the UK on Solution Focused Brief Therapy and leads modules in both the pre-registration nursing and Continuing Professional Development Curriculum. He consults and supervises educators and clinicians in Solution Focused Brief Therapy , has studied Ericksonian Hypnotherapy in Phoenix Arizona in 2012. His MA was research into voice hearing and what helps people experiencing voices and he is currently studying a PHD on Miracle Questions in therapy using Heidegger and Wittgenstein to explore future focused questions in therapeutic interventions in mental health. He is a primary author and contributor to the “VERA” cycle of Communication which was published initially in the Nursing Standard in 2011 and represents a new approach to working with confused communication including working with issues caused by dementia.

Research interests

  • Qualitative and Phenomenological research methodologies in health care.
  • Clinical application of the VERA Cycle (to be published in Nursing Standard 2015).
  • Miracle Questions in Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
  • Hearing Voices and helping people who hear them.
  • Systemic approaches to psychotherapy.
  • Recovery models in mental health care.
  • Inquiry Based Learning and teaching and learning innovations.
  • Role play in education
  • Peer feedback and self assessment in teaching and learning.

Areas of research supervision

  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy in Mental Health settings.
  • Group psychotherapy approaches in in patient settings.


  • Module Leader Philosophy and Values Of Mental Health Nursing (Module 4 Pre registration second year nurse training module)
  • Module Leader Solution Focused Brief Therapy
  • Teaching on modules in Social Work, Health Visiting, Accident and Emergency Courses, Nursing Skills, facilitates pre registration nurse training groups.
  • Teaches generically on mental health and recovery approaches, therapeutic interventio0ns and counselling skills in nursing care. Family Therapy and Philosophy.

Dave runs contracted / commissioned workshops of between 1 and 8 days on Solution Focused Therapy and also leads clinical groups in practice areas with people with drug and alcohol addictions, people who hear voices, anxiety and depression and learning disabilities. He has been involved in external consultation for drug and alcohol teams, Child and Family teams and community mental health teams.


  • PHD (In Progress), Anglia Ruskin University, Ongoing
  • Post Graduate Diploma Teaching and Learning, Anglia Polytechnic University, 2004
  • Post Graduate Certificate In Action Research, Anglia Polytechnic University, 2003
  • MA Mental Health, Anglia Polytechnic University (Passed with Distinction), 2000
  • RMN, Barking Havering and Brentwood School Of Nursing, 1986

Selected recent publications

Hawkes, D. and Hingley, D. (2011). Asking Questions To Aid Recovery: 42 hope building questions for the mental health worker.  Mental Health Practice Sept 2011 Vol 15 No 1 PP 14-20

Blackhall, A., Hawkes, Hingley, D. and Wood, S. (2011). VERA a stepped approach to working with confusion. Nursing Standard Volume 26 No 10 November 9-15 2011 Pp 35-39.

Hawkes, D. (2011). Heidegger Undisclosed. 2011 Interaction:The Journal Of Solution Focused Management


Hawkes, D., Marsh, I., Wilgosh, R. (2000). Solution Focused Therapy, A Handbook For Health Care Professionals. Butterworth and Heinemann.


Hawkes, D. (2003). Working With Psychosis, Chapter in A Handbook Of Solution Focused Therapy O’Connell, B and Palmer, S (editors). Sage.

Recent presentations and conferences

2011: North Essex Partnership Trust/HPFT (NHS) Supporting People With Learning Disability and Dementia. The VERA Framework a stepped approach to working with confused communication.

2011: Nuffield Health and ARU Post Graduate Medical Institute GP training event Ericksonian communication, 42 questions to help the busy GP.

2011: UK Association Of Solution Focused Brief Therapy National Conference Key note presenter Phenomenological approaches to therapy, Is Heidegger Hiding in SFBT?

2010: Bridges: The International EBTA and SFBTA Conference Malmo Sweden, Key note Presentation on Miracle Questions in SFBT.

Media experience

Radio Interview experience ( BBC )

Film Experience (Clovis Point Productions).

DVD role play and lecture capture /Vodcast experiences on Virtual Learning Environment and external platforms.