Dr. Julian Manley

Research Fellow

School of Social Work, Care and Community

Harrington Building, HA104

+44 (0) 1772 89 3478

Julian Manley has a background in English Literature, Music, Group Relations and Psychosocial Studies. Before joining UCLan, he pursued a career in secondary school education and management. In 2000 he trained with the Tavistock Clinic and qualified in organisational consultancy using the ‘Tavistock approach’.

Full Profile

Julian Manley has many years experience in the field of psychosocial studies, and a background in group relations in the Tavistock tradition. His current research interests concern the use of the visual imagination and emotional awareness to open up new pathways to understanding human relationships. Fields of interest include co-operatives and community, climate change and the environment and the socially engaged arts. He also teaches psychosocial studies to undergraduate students.

Before beginning work at the University of Central Lancashire, Julian spent many years living in Spain, where he worked in the British Council School teaching English language and literature for GCSE, A level and IB, as well as exercising senior management posts. As a result of his growing interest in group relations, he then became an organizational consultant and coach, working in Spain, the UK and France. In 2007 he was resident at Schumacher College, in Devon, and in 2008 he became Managing Director of Ecowaves, a consultancy and training organization encouraging an ecologically aware attitude to human relations at work. His interests are in multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches in psychosocial studies and in encouraging a more ‘holistic’, inter-subjective approach to thinking and understanding that embraces thought and feeling, intellectual and experiential, theory and practice.

In the growing field of psychosocial studies, he has dedicated many hours of research time and experiential work in the area of ‘social dreaming’, the main subject of his Phd thesis. As part of this research, other related psychosocial aspects have emerged, such as an ongoing reflection into the nature and meaning of the ‘psychosocial attitude’, psychosocial methods, contemporary philosophy and fields of enquiry, including the nature of the shared unconscious, the image-like value of the ‘language’ of dreams and unspoken ideas, the connections between emotion and the visual, the understanding of subjectivity and inter-subjectivity.


PhD, Psychosocial Studies, (Social Dreaming), University of the West of England, 2010
MSc, Group Relations and Society, University of the West of England, 2004
MA, English, University of Cambridge, 1990
DipHE Creative Arts, (Music), Middlesex University, 1986
BA (Hons.) English, University of Cambridge, 1983

Julian had an article published on The Conversation in November 2018 about how the city of Preston changed its fortunes to be assessed as the most improved city in the UK in 2018, entitled ‘Preston changed its fortunes with ‘Corbynomics’ – now other cities are doing the same’.


Froggett, L., Manley, J. and Roy, A. (2015) ‘The Visual Matrix Method: Imagery and Affect in a Group-based Research Setting’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research. Vol 16/3 (2015).

Manley, J (2014) ‘Gordon Lawrence’s Social Dreaming Matrix: background, origins, history and developments’. Organisational and Social Dynamics Vol 14/2 2014

Froggett, L., Conroy, M., Manley, J. and Roy, A. (2014) ‘Between Art and Social Science: Scenic Composition as a Methodological Device’. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Volume 15/3

Manley, J, (2010), ‘The slavery in the mind: inhibition and exhibition’, Chapter 6 in Lawrence, W. Gordon (ed.), The Creativity of Social Dreaming. London: Karnac.

More publications


Research Activities

Active areas of research include the socially engaged arts, co-operative and community human relations, climate change psychology and our relationships with the environment and sustainability, and substance misuse. Research includes methodological research in the area of the application of the visual imagination as a means of data collection, analysis and interpretation.

Research Projects

Current research projects include ‘Researching recovery from substance misuse through visual methods’ (in collaboration with Portraits of Recovery, funded by the Richard Benjamin Trust); ‘The culture of co-operative organizations in Mondragón’, (in collaboration with the Mondragón Corporation (MCC)); ‘A survey of recovery oriented practice’, (funded by CRI); ‘The cultural experience and value of two distinct public artworks in Ilfracombe’, (funded as part of the AHRC’s Cultural Value programme).


Human Development Scotland (HDS)

Organisation for Promoting Understanding of Society (OPUS)

Gordon Lawrence Foundation (GLF)

Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA)

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Julian is the Module Leader for the Psycho-Social Studies undergraduate module (SW2053) and has responsibility for both MA and PhD student supervisions.


• Manley, J, (2012), ‘Dreaming New Thoughts: Between Self and Utopia’, presentation and workshop at the Museums Utopias Conference, University of Leicester, 27-28 March 2012

• Manley, J, (2011), ‘Between Place and Perception: The Potential Space of Creativity’, presentation at the Shorelines Conference, Ayr, organised by the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, 15 November 2011

• Manley, J, (2011), ‘Can the Arts heal Trauma? Social Dreaming as an Creative Model for Healing’, Über(W)unden: Art in Troubled Times, Conference, Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa, 7-11 September 2011

• Manley, J, (2010), ‘Social Dreaming as a tool for exploring the feelings, emotions and unconscious thoughts of visitors to museums’, symposium at Manchester Art Gallery, ‘The unconscious in the museum’, 12 November 2010

• Manley, J, (2010), ‘Transgression: Self, Sanity and Society’ at Transgression and its Limits Conference, University of Stirling, 29-30 May 2010

• Manley, J, (2010), ‘Image-Affect in the Social Dreaming Matrix and its Potential in Psycho-Social Research’, at Vital Signs (2) Conference, University of Manchester, 7-9 September 2010

External Activities

Chair of the Gordon Lawrence Foundation’s Academic Research Development Group.