Rex Haigh is a consultant psychiatrist, medical psychotherapist and group analyst. He has been a passionate believer in the power of therapeutic communities, relational care and positive environments.
Areas of interest
- Therapeutic Communities
- Enabling Environments
- Relational Psychiatry
- Reflective Practice
- Green Care
Dr Rex Haigh is an NHS psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy who has been a committed and passionate promoter of therapeutic communities since he worked in one as an Oxford medical student in 1980. Therapeutic communities are a a radical group-based treatment method based on principles of democracy, emancipation and social justice. Rex is passionate about promoting relational practice, values based practice and compassionate care.
Rex has been Chair of the Association of Therapeutic Communities, series editor of the Jessica Kingsley ‘Community, Culture and Change’ book series, and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities. He started the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ “Community of Communities” in 2002 and “Enabling Environments” in 2009.
His professional background is general practice, psychiatry, psychotherapy and group analysis. He has been an NHS Consultant since 1994, has worked with the Department of Health as Clinical Advisor for the National Personality Disorder Programme (2002-2011), and is Honorary Professor of Therapeutic Environments at Nottingham University’s School of Sociology and Social Policy. He has particular interests in co-production and greencare, and is Director of Imagination, Ideas and Aesthetics for Growing Better Lives CIC.
Rex founded the current style of Living Learning Experiencing (LLE) workshops in 1995, and started the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ “Community of Communities” in 2002 and “Enabling Environments” in 2009.
His particular clinical interests are modified therapeutic communities, ecotherapy, critical psychiatry, and co-creation with service users. The social enterprise he chairs, ‘Growing Better Lives’ won the 2014 sustainability award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He was appointed as Honorary Professor of Therapeutic Environments and Relational Health at Nottingham University’s School of Sociology and Social Policy in 2015.
The enabling environments work he founded at the Royal College of Pscychiatry has widened to include other ‘Positive Environments’, such as where contact with nature is part of the therapeutic programme, and particular attention is paid to the conduct and quality of interpersonal relationships.