Born 23.4.38 at Putney, London, David
Smail studied philosophy
and psychology at University College London, and was awarded a PhD
in psychology there in 1965.
He entered the National Health Service as a clinical psychologist in 1961,
and in 1964 joined Tom Caine's psychology department at Claybury Hospital in
Essex, which was at that time pioneering the 'therapeutic community' approach
to the treatment of mental disorder. There followed a fruitful period of collaboration
with Dr Caine, resulting in a number of research publications supporting therapeutic
David Smail moved to Nottingham in 1968, where he remained as head of clinical
psychology services until 1993. He retired fully from the NHS in 1998. He held
the honorary post of Special Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University
of Nottingham from 1979 until 2000.