Isaac Meyer Marks (born 1935) was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He trained in medicine there, qualifying in 1956. His training as a psychiatrist began in 1960 at the University of London (at the Bethlem-Maudsley Hospital) and was completed in 1963. In 1971 he was a founder Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and in 1976 he was elected a Fellow.
Between 1964 and 2000 he conducted clinical research at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, and the Bethlem-Maudsley Hospital. He collaborated with the Chief Nursing Officer there, Eileen Skellern, to develop an innovative course for nurses in behavioural psychotherapy, which started in 1973. He became Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute in 1968, and Professor of Experimental Psychopathology in 1978. In 2000 he became Professor Emeritus.
Marks’ research included the treatment of anxiety, phobic, obsessive-compulsive and sexual disorders; interactions between drugs and behavioral psychotherapy; development of a nurse behavioral psychotherapist training program (in relation to which he coined the term 'barefoot therapist', modelled on Mao Zedong's term Barefoot Doctor); community care of serious mental illness; and health care and cost-effectiveness evaluation. He has developed computer aids both to evaluate treatment outcome and for self-help - matters which continue to be a central interest.
- Living with Fear: Understanding and Coping with Anxiety (1978) ISBN 0-07-040396-1
- Cure and Care of Neuroses (1988) ISBN 0-88048-162-5
- The Practice of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (foreword) (1991) ISBN 0-521-41741-4
- Hands-on Help: Computer-aided Psychotherapy (2007) ISBN 978-1-84169-679-9
- Fears, Phobias, and Rituals: Panic, Anxiety, and Their Disorders (1987) ISBN 0-19-503927-0
- Portrait of Isaac Marks unveiled Annabel Ferriman BMJ 2003;326:784, doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7393.784/a
- David H. Russell, ‘Skellern, (Flora) Eileen (1923–1980)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
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