Charlie Davidson, PhD

Clinical Lead

Update, January 25th, 2024: I continue to support and consult with the amazing Akin team, but I am no longer an employee here. I have a private psychology practice in Atlanta, Georgia and am becoming involved in some community services in the area. Please see my website for more information or to check availability:

I am the Clinical Lead for Akin Mental Health, Adjunct Lecturer at Emory University, and Licensed Psychologist in Georgia. My approach is aligned with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) Psychology, which focuses on evidence-based practice in psychosocial rehabilitation utilizing the principles of the recovery paradigm. I have a broad background including extensive training in development, evaluation, and implementation of empirically-supported mental health treatments. Much of my research has been devoted to understanding processes involved in illness, treatment, and recovery for people with serious mental illness (SMI) and psychosis – attempting to improve our understanding of “what works for whom and why.”

As I have worked in more direct service roles and professional organizations outside of the academic medicine research context, my focus has shifted toward implementation and sociocultural issues. I have been working to understand the roles of stigma and how misconceptions of SMI interfere with screening and prevention, as well as how mental healthcare training programs can most effectively challenge SMI and psychosis stigma for the next generation of healthcare professionals (Davidson et al., 2020). More broadly, I have been working to understand the dramatic difference between the evidence base for treatments and social supports for people with SMI and the realities on the ground. I have completed some scientific research in these areas, but most of my activities have been professional organization, advocacy, and working to harness opportunities with my employers and professional contacts (e.g., Davidson et al., 2022; Buchholz et al., 2021).

I am particularly proud of my work with the Psychosis and Schizophrenia-Spectrum Special Interest Group (PASS SIG) at Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the SMI Psychology Specialty Council, Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, and my esteemed colleagues who helped publish a book in this area (Stacy & Davidson, 2022). That work also led to my current role at Akin Mental Health, which is the first job of my professional career in which my personal research and advocacy goals are aligned with my job responsibilities and coworkers. My job at Akin requires me to help build, evaluate, and implement psychosocial supports for families of people with SMI. We harness the possibilities of digital technology, family peer staff, and the substantial research and practice evidence base for SMI family interventions, all in an innovative service model. It is an incredibly challenging and rewarding role that leverages all of my experience and expertise.