Nanette Mol Debes, MD, PhD

ESSTS Chair, 2023-2026

I have known Dr. Seonaid Anderson for several years, and we started to collaborate more closely when I became a board member of the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome (ESSTS). Dr. Anderson has made significant contributions to the engagement of patient advocacy groups within the ESSTS society.

In 2023, she hosted the 15th European Conference on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders in Brussels. Throughout the preparations leading up to the conference and during the event itself, I was impressed by Dr. Anderson's commitment, enthusiasm, and her tireless work ethic. Her professionalism was evident during the entire process, and she proved to be not only a skilled and dedicated professional but also a warm and amiable individual.

Dr. Anderson's commitment is also seen in her engagement in various scientific projects and her passion for advancing our understanding of Tourette syndrome and related conditions.

It has always been (and will still be) an enormous pleasure to work together with Dr. Anderson and I look forward to witnessing her continued contributions to our field.

Sandra Eriemo

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapis, BABCP & MBACP (Accred)

I have known Seonaid for many years when she was a Research Manager at Tourette’s Action. I have always been impressed by her professionalism, dedication and commitment in supporting clinicians and researchers working in the field of neurodevelopment conditions. She was instrumental in setting up trainings which were well organised and very well received Seonaid also developed clinical consultation sessions bringing together clinicians and researchers in the field which was a fantastic resource.  She was always keen to receive feedback and was attentive to the needs of all participants. Her work in neurodevelopment conditions has certainly furthered my clinical practice and consequently benefited the clients that I see. Seonaid has always been very conscientious, knowledgeable and remains abreast of developments in the field.  She is very resourceful with a wealth of helpful information. In short, she is brilliant and a delight to work with. I could not recommend her highly enough.

Beverley Sinton

President, ADHD, ASC & LD Belgium

I first met Dr Seonaid Anderson on LinkedIn and I was impressed by her knowledge of Tics and Tourette syndrome.  She regularly shares valuable information and the most recent research.  I felt this knowledge was lacking in our community in Belgium and so I asked Seonaid to present a webinar for our group of parents and teachers, and she graciously agreed.  Our community is more knowledgeable about ADHD, autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia, and I was confident that Seonaid could 'fill in some gaps'. Seonaid's webinar was packed with expert information and inspiring advice and was greatly enjoyed by our audience.  She was extremely helpful and patiently answered all the questions we had. I admire the way she communicated her extensive knowledge to inform our teachers and parents, some of whom were very new to the subject.  One member of our audience described it as '...the best 2 hours of my time that I have spent this week."  I can thoroughly recommend Seonaid as an excellent and passionate speaker on the subject of Tics, Tourette Syndrome and Neurodiversity in general.

Dr Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett

Head of Research, Epilepsy Research UK

Seonaid undertook some probono work for Epilepsy Research UK to support us with developing our strategy for involving people with epilepsy in the work of the charity. Seonaid was well organised, personable, a self-starter who developed her own workplans, yet sought input and feedback to ensure project work was relevant. The report produced was well written, showed independent thought and delivered to brief. Seonaid contributed ideas and knowledge to wider work of the team and conducted interviews with staff members who reported back on her professionalism and understanding of the area. We would be delighted to work with Seonaid again.

Kerrie Hipgrave

Psychotherapist and Behavioural Therapist, Safe Talk Counselling

I first met Dr Seonaid Anderson in 2016 during CBITS training in Newcastle and subsequently for regular Tourettes Action clinician meetings in London. She was instrumental in the organisation and smooth running of these events. With ease and efficiency, she brought professionals together to discuss neurodiversity, in particular Tourettes Syndrome, to network, share research information and good practice and to identify and discuss potential professional challenges. Her professional collaborative approach and her depth of knowledge has always been a valued source of support.  Colleagues warm to her welcoming smile and very quickly feel a sense of mutuality and connection within her professional approach. She is an enthusiastic and inspiring colleague who has enriched me both professionally and on a personal level and I wish her every success in her new role as a freelance neurodiversity consultant.

Helen Eadie

Information Manager, Tourettes Action​

I work in a communications role for Tourettes Action – the UK leading charity supporting people living with Tourette Syndrome. I have found Seonaid’s input and collaboration on campaigns and website content invaluable. Her professional skills and relationships in clinical research have informed, enriched and directed the development of the charity’s information and resources, re-enforcing our position as the leading authority for patients and other associations in the field of Tourette Syndrome.

Charlotte Hall

Senior Research Fellow/Trial Manager, University of Nottingham

I had the pleasure of working with Dr Seonaid Anderson as part of my role as Trial Manager on a large NIHR HTA funded trial “ORBIT” which investigated the use of remotely delivered therapy to support children and young people with tics. The trial recruited to time-and-target which would not have been possible without Seonaid’s help. Seonaid actively contributed and advised on our recruitment strategy, disseminated adverts and collected contact details of interested families. Furthermore, Seonaid advised on how best to keep public interest in the trial once we were up-and-running. As a researcher I often find meaningful patient and public involvement (PPI) during the middle of a trial a difficult task. However, Seonaid advised on excellent strategies harnessing digital technology which have been exceptionally well received by our target group and acknowledged by our funders as an innovative approach to PPI. Alongside her expertise and wealth of experience, Seonaid is exceptionally generous with her time and support and very easy to communicate with. I would not hesitate to recommend her and we look forward to continuing to work with Seonaid in future studies.

Michele Dunlap

Chairwoman, German Tourette Association (TGD)

Since meeting Seonaid first in 2012 at ESSTS conference in Catania I have been privileged to work with her within the European Patients Advocacy Group, also known as ESSTS Patients Group. This group currently consists of nineteen countries, represented by sixty-two patient representatives. A subset gathers annually within the umbrella of ESSTS conference to discuss, brainstorm and decide on patients’ collective issues. Seonaid has tremendously supported the mainly non-academic group of patient representatives to better understand in-depth the scientific domain of Tourette Syndrome as well as address and patients’ issues towards the ESSTS researchers’ community. More so she has helped to enhance communication and dialogue with clinicians and researchers attending the conference and beyond as well as the ESSTS board itself. Over the years, Seonaid has extensively contributed and helped shape this group with in valuable knowledge of the area, professionalism, compassion and on going motivation for the cause as well as being the caring, empathic, generous and sweet-hearted person she is. I wish her well on her new endeavours!

Dr Tara Murphy

Consultant Paediatric Neuropsychologist & Clinical Psychologist | Great Ormond Str

Jolande van de Griendt

Healthcare psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist

We have travelled the world with Seonaid for more than 10 years on many projects. She has developed, led, and evaluated workshops on behavioural therapy for tics since 2015. While Seonaid organised all necessities around the workshops and trainings, all we had to do was teach. As part of this, we set and sustained a tri-annual clinical supervision session in teaching hospitals in London. The trainings were always well attended and efficiently organised, down to excellent communications and successful marketing and liaison. Seonaid also facilitated and advised on research projects from Tourette action grants to write-up and dissemination of the findings. It has been a pleasure to co-write articles, posters and presentations with Seonaid at international conferences and local events. Seonaid is professional, passionate, and very well informed. She has an excellent appreciation of clinically-informed research and has the rare of skill of being able to communicate this to professional and lay audience. The aspect of working with Seonaid that is most remarkable is her capacity to engage and work with people from many backgrounds and with different levels of understanding. She is always polite, takes time to answer questions and solve problems, and gives you the feeling that you really matter. We look forward to many future working projects together.

Liz Murray

British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered psychologist

I’ve known Seonaid since 2012 for the eight years she was employed as Research Manager for Tourettes-Action (TA UK). She has a sound research background, psychology doctorate and a comprehensive range of key social media skills which are much in demand in today’s world.  I’ve always enjoyed working with Seonaid, just always felt comfortable.  I’ve always marvelled that here’s an international lass from the West of Scotland, working for Tourettes-Action in London, living in Belgium and plugged in to the rest of Europe and the World in terms of Tourettes syndrome (TS) work.  TS includes a range of accompanying neurological conditions such as Autism and ADHD. Seonaid has helped make a huge difference for people living with tics and Tourettes. There’s so much more information about TS now which is easily accessible. Over 12 years ago in 2008, behavioural therapy for tics and Tourettes was virtually non-existent in the UK, the implementation of therapist training is one of the big steps forward with the NHS now starting to take this on board thanks to successful work with T-A. We were part of a team of health professionals who produced ‘At Ease with Your Tics: A Guided Relaxation’ released in early 2018. Seonaid has gone on to run research surveys on the recording with a research poster publication in May 2019. Seonaid arranges anything neuro-related to conferences, research, surveys, therapist training and chairing behavioural therapist peer supervision meetings. She has been involved in UK and European conferences. These are the parts of Seonaid’s work with which I am most familiar, I know she has been involved in so much more with other TS events and adults and young people. Wishing Seonaid every success in launching

Dr Maria Hadji-Michael

Senior Clinical Psychologist, Great Ormond Street Hospital

I could not recommend Seonaid highly enough! Her genuinely caring nature, generosity of time and her expertise in the area of neurodiversity is incredible. I have known Seonaid for a number of years and she has set up supportive networking events where professionals have the opportunity to meet other colleagues and discuss current topics relevant to neurodiversity and share clinical experiences. She is always extremely well organised and thoughtful when it comes to organising these get-togethers.

Furthermore, Seonaid recently coordinated a big training event for professionals from allover the world to learn new skills to support children and adults with neurodiversity, even thinking to invite a service user who spoke directly and poignantly of their experience of therapy. Seonaid is always familiar with the latest research in neurodiversity and conducts great quality research herself into service users’ experiences.

I was privileged to hear her present last year at an international conference and was impressed not only by her knowledge of the area but also the sensitivity in which her research was conducted. I would not hesitate to recommend Seonaid to other professionals and organisations who require expert consultation and training in the area of neurodiversity.

Andreas Hartmann, MD

ESSTS Chair, 2017-2020

I got to to know Dr Seonaid Anderson first through her work as Research Manager at Tourettes Action (TA) where she was in charge of the grant applications and reviews in which I then took a modest role. Then, after I became more involved in the dealings of the European Society for the Study of Tourette syndrome (ESSTS), Seonaid was instrumental in helping with the organization of the patient advocacy group meetings, which play a historical and essential part in our annual conferences. Quite naturally, this led us to co-author (with Annet Heijerman, cheers to her!) a chapter for the 2nd edition of “Tourette Syndrome” (eds. Davide Martino & James Leckman) – the “bible” in our field – on the role of patient advocacy groups in TS. It was, as before, a wonderful, fluid, good-spirited and highly efficient collaboration of which I will retain fond memories. So, for everyone planning to work with Seonaid, I can only say: lucky you! She’s a great professional and a great human being, a not-so frequent combo, and I wish her all the very best for her new adventures in the world of neurodiversity. And I hope to be one of the lucky people continuing to work with her...🙂

Kevin J. Black, MD

Professor, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Director, TAA Center of Excellence at Washington University in St. Louis

I have worked with Dr. Seonaid Anderson on and off for several years now in her role as Research Manager at Tourettes Action UK. I have been uniformly impressed. Her social media presence has been frequent but always useful and informative rather than intrusive. Her contributions to the TA web site similarly are very appropriate both for people with Tourette and for professionals, and she has really raised the prominence of TA among Tourette researchers here in the US. She added to the TA web site interviews with a number of Tourette specialists and researchers, answering practical, patient-oriented questions. Additionally, Seonaid’s work finding and supporting worthy grant applications has been very helpful. She was very helpful fostering our recent international collaborative proposal to NIH. In all our interactions she has been unfailingly professional and pleasant.