© Laura E. Fischer 2019

  • @brains_and_brushes
  • @brains_brushes


Laura E. Fischer is a Researcher, Mental Health Activist, and Artist who specialises in trauma.

Her work weaves scientific methods with creative approaches, and vice versa. She has focused both her undergraduate studies in the arts and her postgraduate studies in psychiatry on developing novel interventions to respond to violence, abuse, and neglect. In particular she is interested in the neurophysiology of developmental trauma and the creative use of body-based methods to enable traumatic memories to be processed. She was awarded for this work the Improvement Leader Fellowship by NIHR CLAHRC NWL and she now continues to work with NIHR ARC NWL as an Honorary Research Fellow.


Laura is also an active advocate for the inclusion of lived experience in research agendas and public discourse. She believes in openly challenging the societal constructs that underpin violence, abuse, and neglect, and she believes in reframing traumatic experiences as narratives of resilience, not victimisation, and healing as a self-led transformative path toward growth, not an other-led attempt to fix broken individuals. She regularly works with trauma survivors both through action research and through workshops, and has herself been public about her own experience of trauma.


Laura has spoken at numerous conferences and TEDx, has written sections of several books and articles, and has had her artwork and films exhibited internationally since 2005. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at different universities including UCL and Central Saint Martins. From 2020, Laura will serve on the Editorial Board of The Lancet Psychiatry journal. In addition to her independent practice, Laura works for the McPin Foundation as a Public Involvement Coordinator and Researcher. Her primary focus in this role is coordinating public and patient involvement (PPI) across the Public Mental Health research programme for England under the NIHR School for Public Health Research.


In sum, she tries in whichever ways she can to contribute to shifting things for the better.


2019   Keynote Speaker, Brunel Occupational Therapy Conference, Brunel University, London, UK

2019   Plenary Speaker, Wellbeing Conference for Anaesthetists, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK

2018   Plenary Speaker, Journée Romande des Soins Infirmiers, healthcare conference, Lausanne, Switzerland
2018   Keynote Speaker, The Bigger Picture: Activism, Social Practice & Art for Health, Central Saint Martins, London, UK

2018   Keynote Speaker, Sheffield Healthcare Improvement, Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
2018   Panelist, Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Glasgow, UK
2018   Speaker & Panelist, MCA Expo, healthcare improvement & leadership conference, Shef eld, UK
2018   Plenary Speaker, Healthcare Improvement Event, NIHR CLAHRC NWL, London, UK
2017   TEDx Talk Speaker, The Happy Generation, TEDxULB, Brussels, Belgium
2017   Speaker, Future Citizen Innovation Series: Reinventing Healthcare Technology, Amazon WS, London, UK
2016   Speaker, Kent Mental Health Festival, Folkestone, UK

Exhibitions, Screenings, Performances

2019   Film Screening Cinemas of Sisterhood: Trauma and Resistance, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK

2018   Film Screening, Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Glasgow, UK

2018   Film Screening, Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Lisbon, Portugal

2018   Film Screening, national television, Switzerland

2017   Exhibition The Traumatised Self: Mind, Brain, and Body, Willesden Gallery, London, UK

2017   Exhibition The Character of Physical Law: Physics & Art, Willesden Gallery, London, UK

2017   Exhibition The Traumatised Self: Mind, Brain, and Body, MRC Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre,

           King’s College London, London, UK

2017   Exhibition Trauma-Focused Movement Language, Central Saint Martins Museum, London, UK
2017   Film Screening, Central Saint Martins, London, UK
2016   Performance, community project, Royal Albert Hall outreach program, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
2016   Film Screening & Live Score, collaboration with London Sinfonietta Orchestra, Southwark Playhouse, London, UK

2016   Exhibition Focal Perception, ArtMoorHouse, London, UK

2015   Film Screening & Live Score, collaboration with London Sinfonietta Orchestra, British Film Institute, London, UK

2015   Exhibition Femme, 1650 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2014   Performance, PDP Collective, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

2013   Exhibition Waters, 1650 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2013   Exhibition Human and Machine, Central Saint Martins, London, UK

2010   Exhibition Body Language, Metropolis, Morges, Switzerland

2008   Exhibition Body Language, Le Tempo, Yverdon, Switzerland

2005   Exhibition Through My Lens, Art Gallery Casamundo, Lausanne, Switzerland




2019   The Lancet Psychiatry (present & forthcoming)
           Series of photographs based on my work on trauma and the body published monthly

           as covers for the journal’s 2019 issues & an accompanying article to be published later this year

2019   Palgrave (forthcoming)
           Contributor to the book Patient Knowledge: A Cornerstone for the Transformation of Care and

           Health Organisations

2019   House Sparrow Press
           Violence and Trauma: A Societal Reality We Are All Responsible For, essay written for the

           book Doorways on homelessness, women, trauma and resistance

2018   CSM Public

           Trauma-Focused Movement Language, article on my work, vol. 2, pp. 49

2018   Poésie en Mouvement

           Contributor to the book Arythmie


2018   Winner, Mental Health Arts and Film Festival of Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal
2017   NOVA Award Nominee, Central Saint Martins, London, UK
2011   BCV Prize for Academic Excellence, Marcelin, Morges, Switzerland

2008   BEAUSOBRE Prize in Visual Arts, Morges, Switzerland

2008   BEAUSOBRE Prize in Photography, Morges, Switzerland

2008   BEAUSOBRE Prize in Political Science, Morges, Switzerland