About Nick Barton


NICK BARTON BLUE BKNick received his first degree in History from the University of Warwick before changing to psychology. He was awarded a Masters’ degree in Clinical Psychology by Antioch University, California where he was also licenced by that state as a Marriage Family and Child Counsellor.

Having helped run a busy out-patient psychotherapy clinic in Los Angeles and in New York that attracted a wide demographic of clients from all over the world for 10 years, he returned to the UK in the mid-80’s and chanced upon the addiction field, in which he was to spend the next 30 years of his working life as clinician, management executive and leader.

From helping out as a psychologist on a very part-time basis at Clouds House, the internationally respected treatment centre, he went on to run that service before being asked to assume the leadership of the charity to whom it belonged. He renamed and re-directed the charity and lead pioneering work that encompassed support for families (including children), professional training for addictions counsellors, research and community-located recovery programmes.

Nick was one of the principal architects of the merger of three charities that resulted in the launch of Action on Addiction in 2007. After a spell as Joint-Chief Executive, he was appointed as Chief Executive in 2008, the same year that he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bath in recognition of his services to addiction treatment. The charity continued to expand its contribution, further enhancing its role and profile as a beacon of innovation and quality in a number of vital areas and was awarded the patronage of the Duchess of Cambridge in 2012. Nick stepped aside as CEO in September 2015 and retired from Action on Addiction in December 2015. He is now working as a freelance consultant.

Nick has been an adviser to numerous government and non-governmental bodies and organisations. He has been a trustee of several charities (including the Nelson Trust, the European Association for the Treatment of Addiction, Substance Misuse Management in General Practice) but his current trusteeship is with the national domestic abuse charity, Safe Lives. He also co-chairs the Opioid Painkiller Dependence Alliance. He provides informal advice to the Balsam Centre, an innovative health and wellbeing charity in Wincanton, Somerset. He has written many articles and a number of book chapters.

Nick is happy to provide references from people he has worked for or with in one capacity or another.
See Interests and Expertise