The Cognacity Story
Whilst working in London as a private psychiatrist in 2007, I met Gary Bell, a fellow psychiatrist. He introduced me to his colleague Pieter Kruger, a Clinical Psychologist, who had an impressive record working in elite sport performance. We had a common interest in sharing best practice. At that time most private clinicians in our field worked independently in separate locations. Our experience in the NHS and elite sport emphasised the importance of a team approach to the quality of patient care. As a result Cognacity was born in 2008. Our vision was to create a team of outstanding experts to deliver top class clinical services, with an emphasis on personal empathy. Given our backgrounds, we had an early focus on elite sport and corporate clients that we retain to this day.
Rob Archer, an Occupational Psychologist and former management consultant joined us in 2010. Rob brought a valuable business perspective to the preventative programme that Pieter was developing. Around this time an existing client needed expert help to address the impact of a major crisis on their workforce. We were tasked with designing and delivering a resilience programme which could enable c.1,000 employees to ‘survive’ this period of intense pressure whilst continuing to perform effectively. Our training enabled a number of employees at high risk of burn out to cope and return to impressive performance levels. Since that time we have become a global leader in the field of corporate resilience, performance and wellbeing. Companies are increasingly asking us to deliver training as part of their wellbeing and personal development / leadership programmes.
Filippo Passetti joined us in 2012 to help meet the demand for our excellent clinical care to individuals, organisations and elite sport. Sam Rogers joined us in 2020, bringing his experience of operations and strategy to further support the businesses growth.
We are proud to work with some of the world’s leading organisations from sport, business and charity. In 2012 we were chosen as the specialist psychiatry and psychology team at the London Olympics and Paralympics. Today we support athletes and teams competing in Premier League Football and Rugby, Formula 1, Olympic and Paralympic sports and many others.
Dr Phil Hopley
- Dr Rob ArcherChartered Psychologist
- Dr Gary BellConsultant Psychiatrist
- Dr Phil HopleyConsultant Psychiatrist
- Prof Pieter KrugerConsultant Psychologist
- Dr Filippo PassettiConsultant Psychiatrist
Dr Rob Archer
Rob is Cognacity’s UK and European Director. He is a Chartered Psychologist specialising in helping organisations and individuals build resilience, improve mental health and sustain high performance.
Having trained at the University of London and Ashridge Business School, Rob now provides training, coaching and consultancy for a wide range of clients including within financial and professional services and elite sporting teams.
He is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, with recent clients including the Royal Bank of Canada, 3M, Mars, PwC, BP, Standard Chartered, Bain & Co, as well as a host of Magic Circle law firms.
Rob has also worked extensively in elite sport, working with both athletes and managers in Premiership soccer, cricket, tennis and Formula 1.
A published researcher, Rob focuses on the importance of developing psychological flexibility, which research data suggests has a major impact on performance, health and resilience. He has just led the largest research trial of its kind in this area and speaks regularly at international conferences on these topics.
Rob is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Chartered member of the Divisions of Occupational and Coaching Psychologists.
Rob lives with his young family on the Olympic Park in London. He is also a former Schools and University cricket international, and fast deteriorating runner.
Dr Gary Bell
Dr Gary Bell is an experienced Consultant Psychiatrist and Executive Coach. He read Oriental Studies followed by Medicine at the University of Queensland. He came to the UK to specialise in psychiatry. He became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1985 and a Fellow in 2000.
His main areas of clinical interest are perinatal mental health, complex anxiety and depressive disorders and ADHD and co-existing physical ill health such as chronic pain and cancer. He is currently the Mental Health Lead for St Luke’s Healthcare for the Clergy. He was previously a Lecturer at UCH and a Senior Lecturer at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical Schools and an Examiner for the University of London and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He has published widely in the fields of medical education and liaison psychiatry.
His work as an Executive Coach draws upon years of clinical experience but focuses on helping individuals identify a greater sense of purpose within and find the motivation to implement the necessary changes in their life to achieve this.
Away from medicine, Gary enjoys rugby (as a spectator!), music, including relearning the piano and spending time with family and friends.
Dr Phil Hopley is a Medical Doctor and Consultant Psychiatrist. After 19 years working with the NHS, he founded Cognacity and is now Managing Director.
Phil’s training in forensic, general and sport psychiatry combined with a career playing Premiership rugby enabled him to develop his passion for the mental health of elite performance in sport and business. In recent years Phil has worked as the mental health advisor to a number of blue chip organisations and sport bodies guiding mental health strategy development and providing coaching / crisis support. Phil is also nationally recognised as an accomplished expert witness in a wide range of medico-legal areas including high profile sport disciplinary matters.
In his downtime, mindful dog walking, watching sport, playing golf and trying to keep up with the next generation of Hopleys helps to keep him balanced.
- Strategic Advisory
- Board Level Leadership & Performance Coaching
- Crisis Management
Prof Pieter Kruger
Prof Pieter Kruger is a HCPC and HPCSA registered consultant psychologist and professor of clinical psychology. He has been working as a psychologist since 2003 in both the public and private sectors and is currently the Director of International Operations. Pieter is also the Director of the Centre for Health & Human Performance (CHHP) at North-West University in South Africa and a visiting professor at the UCL Medical School in London (since 2011).
Pieter is specialising in elite performance (business and sport), as well as anxiety disorders in clinical practice. He has a special interest in the design and implementation of high-performance strategies to optimise wellbeing and performance in high pressure environments on a systemic, team and individual level.
He has been working with various Olympic athletes, elite sports people and elite teams in England, Ireland, Australia and South Africa for over two decades.
Pieter is currently a double Masters national track cycling champion, but is also a keen recreational mountain biker, enjoys playing squash and spending time outdoors with his family.
Dr Filippo Passetti
After studying medicine in Florence (Italy), Dr Filippo Passetti went to Cambridge to study towards a PhD in Experimental Psychology. He then trained in clinical psychiatry in Cambridge and London, including lectureships at the Royal Free & UCL and at St. George’s Medical Schools.
He worked as consultant psychiatrist at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust and at the Cambridge community alcohol services before starting in private practice. His main academic interests have been in the neuropsychological changes associated with addictive disorders and the neuropsychological/ functional MRI predictors of clinical outcome in addiction treatment.
Since joining Cognacity, Filippo has become increasingly interested in resilience and stress-related disorders, particularly in the context of parental separation and divorce. At Cognacity, Filippo leads on the development of the addiction treatment services, including the residential gambling treatment services based at Leon House in Manchester.
In his mid-life, Filippo has taken up kitesurfing and anything resembling it (skateboarding, snowboarding and sliding on slippery floors).