Richard Velleman, AFINet

Richard Velleman

Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Research
University of Bath, Bath, England


I took a first degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, and then trained in clinical psychology and obtained my PhD at the University of Exeter before moving to Bath where I worked in a number of related positions within both the University of Bath and the National Health Service mental health services. I have researched and written extensively about alcohol and drug problems, with a special interest on the impact of addiction problems on the family and the development of methods for helping and supporting affected family members. With colleagues in the Alcohol, Drugs and the Family (ADF) Research Group UK I have helped pioneer the development of the Stress-Strain-Coping-Support model of understanding the impact of addiction problems on families; the 5-Step Method to help affected family members in their own right; and the ideas of protection and resilience in children affected by family substance misuse problems. I am a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

International Work

My international work in relation to addiction and families began with my collaboration, with Jim Orford and others in the ADF Group, with Guillermina Natera and colleagues at the Mexican Institute of Psychiatry. This continued with our work with the Living with Alcohol Program in the Northern Territory, Australia in the 1990s and early 2000s, and then with work with Caterina Arcidiacono in Naples, Italy, both in looking at the impact of addiction in families in Italy and in utilising the 5-Step Method there. At the same time (the late 1990s and early 2000s) I became involved with setting up and developing ENCARE (, an EU-wide network concerned with developing resources to assist professionals across the EU to improve the help they offer to children in families affected by substance misuse. More recently this work has involved work with colleagues in several other countries including Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Nigeria and South Africa. I am also a Senior Research Consultant in India [with the Sangath Community Health NGO, Goa, India -] where I am developing and researching the use of community lay health workers to deliver psychological interventions to people with severe depression or serious alcohol problems; a member of the 15-strong Scientific Committee for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) ( - this is the only pan-EU expert scientific committee related to substance misuse, and is appointed to via major competition; and a member of the EU project ‘Minimum Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction - EQUS’ which has recently reported. Along with work in England, the work in Mexico and Australia resulted in the book, Coping with Alcohol and Drug Problems.

Recent Books Include

  • Chowdhary, N., Dabholkar, H., Velleman, R., Dimidjian, S., Fairburn, C. and Patel, V. (2014) The PREMIUM Counselling Relationship Manual. Porvorim, Goa, India: Sangath.
  • Dabholkar, H., Nadkarni, A., Velleman, R. and Patel, V. (2014) Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP). Porvorim, Goa, India: Sangath.
  • Velleman, R. (2011) Counselling For Alcohol Problems, 3rd Edition. London; Sage (Counselling in Practice Series).
  • Velleman, R. and Aris, S. (2010) Counselling and Helping: Psychology in Action. London: Wiley Blackwell / British Psychological Society.
  • Arcidiacono, C., Velleman, R. Procentese, F., Albanese, C. (Eds) (2009) Famiglie Sotto Stress: Con-vivere Con Chi Abusa di Alcol e Droga. Milano, Italy: Edizioni Unicopli.
  • Velleman, R., Davis, E., Smith, G. and Drage, M. (Eds) (2007) Changing Outcomes in Psychosis: Collaborative Cases from Users, Carers and Practitioners. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Baker, A. and Velleman, R. (Eds) (2007) Clinical Handbook of Co-existing Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Problems. London: Bruner Routledge.
  • Velleman, R., Copello, A. and Maslin, J. (Reissued Edition, 2007) Living with Drink: Women who live with problem drinkers. London: Pearson Education.
  • Orford, J., Natera, G., Copello, A., Atkinson, C., Mora, J., Velleman, R., Crundall, I., Tiburcio, M., Templeton, L. and Walley, G. (2005). Coping with Alcohol and Drug Problems: The Experiences of Family Members in Three Contrasting Cultures, London: Brunner-Routledge.

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AFINet-related scientific papers added to website

AFINet Trustee Richard Velleman has added a list of AFINet-related scientific papers published from ... Read more

First AFINet International Conference at The Discovery Museum, in Newcastle, UK, November 2018

    Conference Programme and Pack   AFINET CONFERENCE PROGRAMME   AFINET ABSTRACTS   A... Read more

AFINet member Urvita Bhatia presents Poster and gives Twitter interview

AFINet member Urvita Bhatia presents Poster and gives Twitter interview at the Wellcome Trust / Depa... Read more

AFINet members publish a systematic review of “Psychosocial interventions for addiction-affected families in Low and Middle Income Countries

AFINet members Anil Rane, Urvita Bhatia, Jim Orford, Richard Velleman and Abhijit Nadkarni recently ... Read more

5-Step Method training in New Zealand

Matua Raki (the national addiction workforce development centre in New Zealand) has been working clo... Read more

5-Step Method training in Australia

As part of the ‘Checkmate’ programme (reported elsewhere in this newsletter) , Gill and Richard Vell... Read more

Article supporting our 5 Step intervention in DNN Magazine

Great to see an article in support of our 5-Step intervention for family members in the Feb '17 issu... Read more

Training near London in the 5-Step Method is announced

Save the Date!  On 1st & 2nd November 2016, Richard and Gill Velleman will be running a 2-day tr... Read more

What I’ve been reading this month (July 2016), from Jim Orford

I have just read two articles which come from countries which, as far as I know, have not produced ... Read more

Further findings from the UK bereavement through substance use study published

Another paper from this recently completed 3 year study in the UK, which focuses on a subset of in... Read more

Core findings paper from UK bereavement through substance use study published

A paper outlining the main findings from a recently completed UK study in to bereavement through... Read more

AFINet 1st AGM, Birmingham, UK on Wednesday July 15th 2015

AFINet 1st AGM Birmingham Wednesday July 15th 2015 Winterbourne Gardens, Edgbaston Park Road, B... Read more

Final event of a major 3 year study in to 'bereavement through substance use'

In June 2015 AFINet members, Lorna Templeton and Richard Velleman, attended the final event of a m... Read more

5-Step Method training in Hong Kong & new book with contributions from AFINet members published

Following the delivery by Richard Velleman and Gracemary Leung of a 2-day 5-Step Method training i... Read more

The Parenting Support and Drug Use Study:

The following papers may be of interest to AFINet members. They report findings from a two year lo... Read more

Family members affected by a relative's substance misuse looking for social support: Who are they?

Brazilian AFINet colleagues, Helen Sakiyama et al. have had a paper describing their research in Sao... Read more

Iran’s first research about family members affected by addiction

Iran’s first research about family members affected by addiction has been published! In fact we thin... Read more

Conflict and dilemma in experiences of adult family members caring for a problem-drinking parent.

“How do I tell my children about what my mum's like?” Conflict and dilemma in experiences of adult... Read more

Involving family members in drug treatment: A pilot study of a social network intervention for heroin users in opiate substitution treatment

This multi-site randomised controlled trial aims to test the feasibility of implementing and evalua... Read more

Testing the short questionnaire for family members affected by addiction: help required

The short questionnaire for family members (affected by addiction) – the SQFM(AA) – is starting to ... Read more

First AFINet Newsletter published

This is the first AFINet Newsletter so a big welcome to all AFINet members and to others of you wh... Read more

Results from the first English Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)

A team at the Centre for Child and Youth Research at Brunel University, London, led by Professor Jud... Read more

A recent article raises interesting questions for AFINet about cultural differences

Although this interesting qualitative study by Maria Fotopoulou, of the School of Social and Politic... Read more

Is a child, harmed by the mother’s drinking during pregnancy, entitled to compensation

Is a child, harmed by the mother’s drinking during pregnancy, entitled to compensation, and what are... Read more

Bereavement through substance misuse

The first phase of this UK 3 year study (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) has bee... Read more

Supporting young people affected by parental alcohol misuse in Northern Ireland

A major 4 year project is underway in Northern Ireland. Building on previous work (further informati... Read more

2-day Workshop on The 5-Step Method: Supporting Family Members of People with Drug, Alcohol and Gambling Problems

Richard Velleman, a founder AFINet member, is travelling to Hong Kong in April to co-run (with Grace... Read more

When Older Adult Substance Abuse Affects Others: What Helps and What Doesn’t?

Jan Ligon, PhD, LCSW Georgia State University The abuse of alcohol and other drugs in the older adu... Read more

Addiction in context: The influence of families and wider social networks, theory and practice

During November 2013 Alex Copello was invited to give one of the keynote addresses at the Australa... Read more

The Forgotten Carers: Support for adult family members affected by a relative’s drug problems reports

This work builds on the first phase of UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) family research, with a... Read more

Jim Orford speaks about gambling and family members at the Third International Multidisciplinary Symposium

Jim Orford recently made two presentations about gambling and family members at the Third Internat... Read more

Alcohol Focus Scotland | Unrecognised and under-reported

"1 in 3 people report having heavy drinkers in their lives" and "1 in 2 people report being harmed... Read more

Steps to Cope

Two projects have been completed in Northern Ireland with our AFINet partners to develop and evaluat... Read more

The effects that substance misusing parents have on children and other family members

Richard Velleman recently gave a talk about the effects that substance misusing parents have on chi... Read more

Half-day programme on Addiction and the Family

Members of the UK Alcohol, Drugs and the Family research and practice group convened a half-day prog... Read more

The Impact of Substance Misusing Parents on children - References

References on Risk and Resilience: The impact of substance misusing parents on their child... Read more

International workshop | 5-Step Method for family members affected by relatives’ addiction problems

An International workshop for collaborators and potential collaborators involved in research and ac... Read more

Major report, Silent Voices, into parental alcohol misuse

One member of the UK ADF Group (Lorna) has co-authored a major report, Silent Voices, into parental ... Read more

Major new project underway

Major project underway to investigate the experiences and needs of family members and significant ot... Read more

The Impact of Substance Misusing Parents on children - The Report

Risk and Resilience: The Impact of Substance Misusing Parents on children Presentation at the LSCB/... Read more


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