Professor John Gleeson

Centre Director, Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre
Program Lead, Digital Innovation in Mental Health and Well-Being

Areas of expertise: youth mental health; psychosis; digital interventions for serious mental illness

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7969-492X

Phone: +61 3 99533108


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

I am the Director of the Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre at The Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the Head of the Discipline of Psychology at ACU. I am a clinical psychologist with 30 years of experience working with youth and adults affected by mental health disorders. I attained my PhD from The University of Melbourne in the field of clinical psychology in 2002. In 2003 I was appointed Associate Professor when I took up a joint appointment with The University of Melbourne, School of Psychology, and Northwestern Mental Health, Melbourne Health. I was appointed to full Professor of Psychology at ACU in 2011, a continuing appointment.

My research interests are in the development and evaluation of innovative psychological interventions for serious mental health problems with a focus on the role of digital technology for improving clinical outcomes and psychological well-being. I have previously led randomised controlled trials of interventions for youth with psychosis and their families aimed at the prevention of recurrence and interventions for youth with co-occurring psychosis and borderline personality disorder. In recent years I have collaborated with colleagues from Orygen to develop a novel Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST) intervention aimed at improving recovery for both young people affected by serious mental disorders and their families. MOST has recently been adapted and evaluated for early psychosis, depression, social anxiety and borderline personality disorder. Together with colleagues from the UK I have developed and evaluated a smart phone application that integrates peer support with the aim of preventing relapse in adults affected by schizophrenia.

I have been a named investigator on National Health and Medical Research Council grants totalling more than AUD$10 million since 2005 and more than AUD$8 million in other funding since 2003.

Select publications

Peer reviewed journals

  • Ludwig, K. A., Browne, J. W., Nagendra, A., Gleeson, J. F., D'Alfonso, S., Penn, D. L., & Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2020). Horyzons USA: A moderated online social intervention for first episode psychosis. Early Intervention in Psychiatry.
  • Lim, M. H., Gleeson, J. F. M., Rodebaugh, T. L., Eres, R., Long, K. M., Casey, K., . . . Penn, D. L. (2020). A pilot digital intervention targeting loneliness in young people with psychosis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 55(7), 877-889.
  • Kalokerinos, E. K., Murphy, S. C., Koval, P., Bailen, N. H., Crombez, G., Hollenstein, T., . . . Bastian, B. (2020). Neuroticism may not reflect emotional variability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(17), 9270-9276.
  • Jansen, J. E., Gleeson, J., Bendall, S., Rice, S., & Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2020). Acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions for persons with psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Research, 215, 25-37.
  • Linardon, J., Gleeson, J., Yap, K., Murphy, K., & Brennan, L. (2019). Meta-analysis of the effects of third-wave behavioural interventions on disordered eating and body image concerns: implications for eating disorder prevention. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 48(1), 15-38.
  • Grommisch, G., Koval, P., Hinton, J. D. X., Gleeson, J., Hollenstein, T., Kuppens, P., & Lischetzke, T. (2019). Modeling Individual Differences in Emotion Regulation Repertoire in Daily Life With Multilevel Latent Profile Analysis. Emotion.
  • Firth, J., Torous, J., Stubbs, B., Firth, J. A., Steiner, G. Z., Smith, L., . . . Sarris, J. (2019). The “online brain”: how the Internet may be changing our cognition. World Psychiatry, 18(2), 119-129.
  • Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Bendall, S., Koval, P., Rice, S., Cagliarini, D., Valentine, L., . . . Gleeson, J. F. (2019). HORYZONS trial: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a moderated online social therapy to maintain treatment effects from first-episode psychosis services. BMJ Open, 9(2).
  • Rice, S., Gleeson, J., Davey, C., Hetrick, S., Parker, A., Lederman, R., . . . Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2018). Moderated online social therapy for depression relapse prevention in young people: pilot study of a ‘next generation’ online intervention. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 12(4), 613-625.
  • Lim, M. H., Gleeson, J. F. M., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., & Penn, D. L. (2018). Loneliness in psychosis: a systematic review. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 53(3), 221-238.
  • Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Gleeson, J. F., Bendall, S., Penn, D. L., Yung, A. R., Ryan, R. M., . . . Nelson, B. (2018). Enhancing social functioning in young people at Ultra High Risk (UHR) for psychosis: A pilot study of a novel strengths and mindfulness-based online social therapy. Schizophrenia Research, 202, 369-377.
  • Santesteban-Echarri, O., Paino, M., Rice, S., González-Blanch, C., McGorry, P., Gleeson, J., & Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2017). Predictors of functional recovery in first-episode psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 58, 59-75.
  • Gleeson, J., Lederman, R., Koval, P., Wadley, G., Bendall, S., Cotton, S., . . . Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2017). Moderated online social therapy: A model for reducing stress in carers of young people diagnosed with mental health disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(MAR).
  • Lim, M. H., Rodebaugh, T. L., Zyphur, M. J., & Gleeson, J. F. M. (2016). Loneliness Over Time: The Crucial Role of Social Anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(5), 620-630.
  • Haines, S. J., Gleeson, J., Kuppens, P., Hollenstein, T., Ciarrochi, J., Labuschagne, I., . . . Koval, P. (2016). The Wisdom to Know the Difference: Strategy-Situation Fit in Emotion Regulation in Daily Life Is Associated With Well-Being. Psychological Science, 27(12), 1651-1659.
  • Jansen, J. E., Gleeson, J., & Cotton, S. (2015). Towards a better understanding of caregiver distress in early psychosis: A systematic review of the psychological factors involved. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 56-66.
  • Chanen, A., Jackson, H., Cotton, S. M., Gleeson, J., Davey, C. G., Betts, J., . . . McCutcheon, L. (2015). Comparing three forms of early intervention for youth with borderline personality disorder (the MOBY study): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 16(1).
  • Gleeson, J. F., Lederman, R., Wadley, G., Bendall, S., McGorry, P. D., & Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2014). Safety and privacy outcomes from a moderated online social therapy for young people with first-episode psychosis. Psychiatric Services, 65(4), 546-550.
  • Dredge, R., Gleeson, J., & De La Piedad Garcia, X. (2014). Presentation on Facebook and risk of cyberbullying victimisation. Computers in Human Behavior, 40, 16-22.
  • Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Alcazar-Corcoles, M. A., González-Blanch, C., Bendall, S., McGorry, P. D., & Gleeson, J. F. (2014). Online, social media and mobile technologies for psychosis treatment: A systematic review on novel user-led interventions. Schizophrenia Research, 156(1), 96-106.


NHMRC funded projects

  • Chanen, A., Jackson, H.J., Cotton. S., & Gleeson, J.F. Early intervention for borderline personality disorder in youth: a randomized controlled trial. NHMRC Project Grant. 2010, 681,625.00 over 4 years.
  • Cotton, S.M. McGorry, P., Mackinnon, A., Herrman, H., Gleeson, J., Hides, L., Foley, D. Rates, patterns and predictors of long-term outcome in a treated first-episode psychosis cohort
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Targeted Call for Research Grant – Mental Health. 2012, $1,344,905 over 4 years.
  • Gleeson, J.F. Farhall, J., Cotton, S., Mihalopoulos, C., Lederman, R., Sundram, S., Alvarez, M. EMPOWER: Early signs monitoring to prevent relapse and promote wellbeing, engagement and recovery. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)-NIH Grant. 2015. $407,716 over 3 years.
  • Killackey, E., Gleeson, J.F., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., McGorry, P.D., Nelson, C., Bartholomeusz, C., Bendall, S., Allot, K., Harrigan, S., Koval, P. Does Antipsychotic Dose Reduction Lead to Better Functional Recovery in First Episode Psychosis: A Randomised Controlled Trial? National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant. 2015. $2,371,552 over 5 years
  • Alvarez-Jimenez, M, Gleeson, J.F., Murray, G., Herrman, H., Lederman, R., Rice, S., Hetrick, S., Koval, P. Parker, A. Preventing Relapse of Major Depressive Disorder in Youth: RCT of a Novel Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Online Social Therapy. National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant. 2018. $1,713,092 over 4 years.
  • Alvarez-Jimenez, M, Nelson, B., Gleeson, J.F., Yung, A., Penn, D., Killackey, E., Ryan, R., Lederman, R., Koval, P. Enhancing Social Functioning in Young People at Ultra High Risk (UHR) for Psychosis: RCT of a Novel Strengths-based Online Social Therapy. National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant. 2018. $1,543,656 over 5 years.

ARC funded projects

  • Koval, P., Kuppens, P., Gleeson, J., Hollenstein, T. Emotion regulation in daily life: Capturing context and flexibility. Australian Research Council Discovery Project. 2016. $224,691 over 3 years.

ACU funded projects

  • Gleeson, J.F., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Lederman, R., Herrman, H., Bendall, S., Cotton, S. Innovations in Psychological Assessment and Interventions: Youth Mental Health. ACURF Program Grant. 2017. $450,000 over 1 year.
  • Gleeson, J.F., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Lederman, R., Herrman, H., Bendall, S., Cotton, S. Innovations in Psychological Assessment and Interventions: Youth Mental Health. ACURF Program Grant. 2018. $460,000 over 1 year.
  • Gleeson, Penn, Alvarez, Gumley – new ACU Healthy Brain and Mind Research Centre, for Digital Innovation in Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Stream, – 2020 $1,407,734 over 3 years.

Other projects

  • Rice, S., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Gleeson, J. F., Davey, C., Hetirck, S., Parker, A., Bendall, S., Wadley, G., Lederman, R., McGorry, P., Preventing relapse of major depressive disorder in young people (15 – 25yrs): Development and piloting of a moderated online social therapy intervention. 2012, The HCF Health and Medical Research Funding, $199,959 over 3 years.
  • Alvarez-Jimenez, M., Gleeson, J. F., Bendall, S., McGorry, P., Killackey, E., Ledermann, R., Herrman, H., Penn, D., Cotton, S., & Mihalopoulos, C. The HORYZONS project: Moderated Online Social Therapy for Maintenance of Treatment Effects from Specialised First Episode Psychosis Services. Mental Illness Research Fund (MIRF). 2013, $1,792,727 over 4 years.

Appointments and affiliations


  • Registered Psychologist with the Victorian Psychological Council (Now Psychology Board of Australia) from December 3, 1990
  • Full membership of The Australian Psychological Society (APS) from 1992
  • Full membership of College of Clinical Psychologists, Australian Psychological Society

Community engagement

  • Clinical and Health Services Research Committee of the Royal Flying Doctors Service
  • Director, Board of the Australian Psychological Accreditation Council
  • Occasional panel member of The Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal to hear matters in relation to the registration and conduct of psychologists.

Editorial roles

Editorial board member

  • Early Intervention in Psychiatry
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
  • Psychosis


  • Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
  • Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
  • BMJ Open
  • Clinical Psychology Review
  • Cognition and Emotion
  • Psychological Medicine
  • Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
  • Schizophrenia Research
  • The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

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