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Barbara Wilson (psychologist)

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Barbara A. Wilson
Known forFounded the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation

Prof. Barbara Ann Wilson OBE (born 1941) [1] is the founder of the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Ely, Cambridgeshire.[2] She was appointed an OBE for her work in brain injury rehabilitation over 40 years[2] for "medical rehabilitation".[3] She was a clinical psychologist, and is now (2019) retired. She was shortlisted for a Lifetime Achievement Award in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards in 2018 for her dedication to brain injury rehabilitation.[4]


Wilson spent her early career working with children with developmental delay, and brain injury, which influenced her career direction. She says:

"I worked for two years with children who had severe developmental learning difficulties, and then I moved to Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre in Oxford. On my first day there I knew that brain injury rehabilitation was my field and I would stay there for the rest of my career."[5]

She had a brain rehabilitation centre named after her in 2007. A centre in Quito Ecuador was named the "Centro de Rehabilitacion Neurologico Integral: Dra Barbara Wilson" and it was opened in honour of her work.[5]


Barbara A. Wilson qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1977.[2] She worked at the Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre in Oxford,[5] then at Charing Cross Hospital and the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge.[3] She established the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely in 1996.[2] She is the founder and editor of the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.[6] Wilson is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Academy of Social Sciences and the British Psychological Society (BPS)[7] and past president of the British Neuropsychological Society and the International Neuropsychological Society.[8] The BPS Barbara Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest UK professional award for clinical neuropsychologists, is named after her.[7] Wilson was appointed an OBE in the New Year's Honours List in 1998 for services to medical rehabilitation.[3] She ran the London marathon, in 2008, in close to six hours and ran for a charity fund.[5]


Wilson has written and edited several books, chapters and papers including:

  • The Assessment, Evaluation and Rehabilitation of Everyday Memory Problems: Selected Papers of Barbara A. Wilson (2013)[9]
  • Case Studies in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (1999)[10]
  • Essentials of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (Wilson and Betteridge 2019)[11]
  • Life After Brain Injury: Survivors' Stories (Wilson et al. 2013)[12]
  • Memory Rehabilitation: Integrating Theory and Practice (2009)[13]
  • Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: The International Handbook (Wilson et al., eds, 2017)[14]
  • Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Theory, Models, Therapy and Outcome (Wilson et al. 2009)[15]


Wilson has published more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 26 books, as well as eight neuropsychological tests.

Her awards include:

  • (1998) OBE for services to rehabilitation;
  • Four lifetime achievement awards, one from the British Psychological Society, one from the International Neuropsychological Society, one from the National Academy of Neuropsychology and one from the Encephalitis Society;
  • (2011) Ramon Y Cahal award, the International Neuropsychiatric Association;
  • (2014) honorary degree from The University of Cordoba, Argentina;
  • (2014) M.B. Shapiro award, The Division of Clinical Psychology (The British Psychological Society) for Distinguished Contributions to Clinical Psychology.[7]


  1. ^ "Wilson, Barbara A., 1941-". id.loc.gov. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Oliver Zangwill Centre | Specialist Rehabilitation after Brain Injury | The Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely, Cambridgeshire". www.ozc.nhs.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Barbara A Wilson | Pearson Assessment". www.pearsonclinical.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Professor Barbara Wilson, Oliver Zangwill Centre: national finalist in NHS 70 Birthday Awards". www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d "One on one......with Barbara Wilson | The Psychologist". thepsychologist.bps.org.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Neuropsychological Rehabilitation". www.tandfonline.com. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Professor Barbara Wilson". The Encephalitis Society. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Barbara A. Wilson". Guilford Press. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  9. ^ Wilson, Barbara A. (7 November 2013). The Assessment, Evaluation and Rehabilitation of Everyday Memory Problems: Selected papers of Barbara A. Wilson. Psychology Press. ISBN 9781317974475.
  10. ^ Wilson, Barbara A. (1999). Case Studies in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195065985.
  11. ^ Wilson, Barbara A.; Betteridge, Shai (2 September 2019). Essentials of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. Guilford Publications. ISBN 9781462540747.
  12. ^ Wilson, Barbara A.; Winegardner, Jill; Ashworth, Fiona (5 September 2013). Life After Brain Injury: Survivors' Stories. Psychology Press. ISBN 9781135941628.
  13. ^ Wilson, Barbara A. (21 May 2009). Memory Rehabilitation: Integrating Theory and Practice. Guilford Press. ISBN 9781606233832.
  14. ^ Wilson, Barbara A.; Winegardner, Jill; Heugten, Caroline M. van; Ownsworth, Tamara (20 June 2017). Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: The International Handbook. Psychology Press. ISBN 9781317244325.
  15. ^ Wilson, Barbara A.; Gracey, Fergus; Evans, Jonathan J.; Bateman, Andrew (11 June 2009). Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Theory, Models, Therapy and Outcome. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139478205.