David Clark PhD

David Clark is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology who has worked in the addiction and mental health fields for over 40 years. His work is based on the core values of acceptance, authenticity, compassion, connection, creativity, empathy, empowerment, reciprocity and trust.

David has an extensive knowledge of psychological, sociological, cultural and biological aspects of addiction and mental health recovery, and healing from trauma. During the past 20 years, he has been a storyteller, educator, researcher, online community developer and recovery (healing) advocate. He played a key role in the development of the addiction recovery advocacy movement in the UK and in advocating recovery-based care worldwide. He moved from the UK to Perth, Western Australia, in 2008.

David was initially a neuroscientist for 25 years, having trained with a Nobel Laureate (Prof Arvid Carlsson) and been the recipient of a number of awards for his research. His research on brain dopamine systems was widely cited and his laboratory, which he ran for 15 years, was a world leader in studying the role of dopamine in addiction.

In 2000, David decided that focusing on brain chemistry and using drug treatment was not the answer to helping people overcome addiction and mental health problems. ‘It is not what is wrong with a person, but what is happening or has happened to that person that influences their wellbeing.’

David started developing the grassroots initiative Wired In, which was hailed as visionary in its approach to empowering individuals, families and communities to recover from drug and alcohol use problems. In 2001, he launched Daily Dose, an acclaimed news portal focused on drugs and alcohol. For several years, he wrote a popular bi-weekly education column for Drink and Drugs News, the leading UK magazine in the field.

As part of the Wired In initiative, David developed the web community Wired In To Recovery, launched at the end of 2008, which provided key information about recovery, a collection of Recovery Stories, an empathic environment where people supported each other, and a strong voice for recovering people. The community had 4,000 members and generated over 7,500 blogs.

In 2013, David launched Recovery Stories, which provides an environment where role models and their personal narratives play an important role in helping people recover from addiction.

In 2014, he launched Sharing Culture, an educational initiative to help Indigenous peoples heal from historical (or transgenerational) trauma and its consequences, e.g. addiction, mental health problems, suicide. He believes strongly that society can do much better in helping Indigenous peoples. Moreover, there is much that society can learn from Indigenous peoples.

In the past few years, David has been working with Social Anthropologist John Stanton to tell the magical story of traumatised Aboriginal children who rise above considerable adversity in 1940s Western Australia to create beautiful landscape artworks that are acclaimed around the world. This healing story is told through The Carrolup Story website and accompanying YouTube channel, as well as in David’s eBook Connection: Aboriginal Child Artists Captivate Europe.

David’s latest book, Our Recovery Stories: Journeys from Drug and Alcohol Addiction, will be published in eBook form at the end of March 2021.