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Emily Holmes

Can we Reduce Intrusive Memories of Traumatic Events using a Computer Game? From Lab Experiments to Helping Frontline Health Care Staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 Emily Holmes, Ph.D.

Emily Holmes, Professor in Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden.  She is affiliated to the Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Clinical Neuroscience, and is a Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK.


Holmes received her degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, UK. She is also a clinician and completed a clinical psychology training doctorate at Royal Holloway University of London, and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience in Cambridge. She became Professor in 2010 at the University of Oxford. Holmes is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences. She is the recipient of several international awards, including from the American Psychological Association and the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Holmes serves on the Board of Trustees of the research charity ”MQ; transforming mental health”.

Holmes’ work as a clinical psychologist has fuelled her research questions. She is interested in psychological treatment innovation in mental health – both in creating new techniques and reaching more people. Under the wider umbrella of mental health science, her approach brings together psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, maths and more. Holmes’ research has demonstrated that mental imagery has a more powerful impact on emotion than its verbal counterpart. Her group is particularly interested in understanding and reducing intrusive memories after trauma, especially after a traumatic event, whether a severe car accident, traumatic childbirth, war, or events during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Uppsala Universitet

Karolinska Institutet