Professor Frances Maratos

‘Compassion in the Classroom’ – Overall Lead

Frances Maratos is Professor of Psychology and Affective Science at the University of Derby. Her research is centred on understanding psychological, neurological, cognitive and physiological correlates of emotional well-being, with a specific focus on understanding threat-processing and the use of compassion for emotion-regulation. She has worked with some of the world experts in understanding anxiety and how one can apply this knowledge to improve general well-being, improve pain coping, increase our understanding of disordered eating and increase our understanding of childhood behaviours. She has published over circa 40 papers in these specific areas, as well as a number of book chapters. In recent years she has also become a key individual within the compassion in schools movement, helping initiate and progress associated international research programmes, and leading on the UK arm of this research. She is also currently serving as: i) a consultant on UK ‘Mindfulness Initiative Education Strategy’ policy; and ii) an external expert on a 5-year US National Institute of Health research grant concerned with the ‘Neural Mechanisms Underlying Self-Critical Rumination and Self-Reassurance and Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior in Youth’.

Outside of work, she has two football mad children in the UK educational system (one girl secondary; one boy primary) and variously spends her weekends cheering them on from the side-lines come rain, shine or snow.


Dr Caroline Harvey

Compassion in the Classroom – HE Arm Lead

Harvey is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby. Her research interests include embedding compassion in the Higher Education student curriculum. Specifically, enabling students to develop compassionate communication skills - referred to as the ‘micro skills of compassionate communication’. Caroline is also the employability lead for Psychology and plays a key role in preparing students for the move to employment following university. Caroline studied for her Phd in Psychology at the University of Derby in the late 1990's. Following this she went on to work in the public sector for many years working for both the Police and a Local Authority. Caroline's roles were focused around management information, performance monitoring and community safety. She moved to her current role at the University of Derby in 2012. Her further research interests encompass the relationship between nature and wellbeing, and aspects of individual differences. Outside of work Caroline enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and their dog. She loves horses and is happiest when she is out riding in the countryside, spotting wildlife along the way.


Wendy Wood

Staff and Pupil Curriculum Developer- Trainer

Wendy spent 16 years working as a mental health nurse in the NHS. She then moved on to become an assistant psychologist and studied for an MSc in counselling and psychotherapy. She worked in both private practice and the NHS as a counsellor/psychotherapist for over 20 years. Wendy began working at the University of Derby in 1997. She mainly worked in Counselling and psychotherapy subject area, but she has also worked across a wide variety of modules and programmes within Health and Social Care. During this time, she studied for a postgraduate Certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and also later was the programme lead for the postgraduate Certificate in Compassion Focused therapy, training around 120 people across the world in CFT collaboration with Professor Paul Gilbert (OBE). She was also Head of the Counselling and Psychotherapy subject area at the University of Derby for three years before semi retiring in 2017.Currently she has continued to work at the University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant to complete her PhD. Her research is exploring the experiences of therapists who have used compassion focused therapy in their personal and professional life. Other areas of interest include Compassion in Organisations and of course Compassion in Schools.


Professor Paul Gilbert

Staff and Pupil Curriculum Developer

Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and honorary visiting Prof at the University of Queensland. In 2002-2004 he was a member of the first British Governments’ NICE guidelines for depression and then in March 2011 was awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to mental health. Until his retirement from the NHS in 2016 he was Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust and has been a practising clinical psychologist for over 40 years. Throughout this time, he has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology with a special focus on the roles of mood, shame and self-criticism in various mental health difficulties for which Compassion Focused Therapy was developed. He was made a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993 and has written/edited 21 books and over 250 papers and book chapters. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation as an international charity To promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion ( He established and is the Director of the Centre for Compassion Research and Training at Derby University UK. He has written and edited many books on compassion. His latest Book is Living Like Crazy.


Dr Marcela Matos

‘Compassion in the Classroom’ Portuguese Lead, Staff and Pupil Curriculum Developer & Trainer

Marcela Matos is a clinical psychologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioural Intervention (CINEICC), University of Coimbra, in Portugal. She has developed extensive research in evolutionary clinical psychology and third wave cognitive-behavioural psychological approaches. She is an expert on shame memories and how they shape who we are. She has authored more than 50 scientific papers on the topics of compassion, psychological flexibility, emotional regulation, shame, self-criticism, psychopathology and wellbeing. She is a member of the International Compassionate Mind Foundation and the Portuguese Association for Mindfulness. Currently, her main research focus is on applying and testing the efficacy of compassion based group interventions in promoting mental and physical well-being in several populations (including schools), and investigating their impact on epigenetic mechanisms and physiological stress responses.