The Breaking Free team

Breaking Free has built its market leading reputation through our team combining high levels of individual expertise with the shared qualities of integrity, dynamism, enthusiasm and a commitment to innovation.

Dr Jonathan Ward

Dr Jonathan Ward

Managing Director

BA (Hons), MSc, Clin.Psy.D.

Jonathan is Managing Director of Breaking Free, responsible for overall strategy and business performance, with a specific focus on programme design and development. He founded the company in 2010 to realise his vision of harnessing digital technology to increase people’s access to evidence-based psychological interventions. He has led the development of the Breaking Free Online and Breaking Free Pillars of Recovery programmes.

He worked in various roles in industry before undertaking a Master of Science degree in Psychology. He was then part of a leading research group at the University of Manchester Department of Clinical Psychology before completing his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology there.

Having qualified as a Clinical Psychologist, Jonathan practised in the NHS in the adult mental health services of Salford and Trafford. In 2004 he founded CPA, which is now one of the UK’s leading psychological consultancies ( He continues to serve as a Non-Executive Director of CPA.

Glyn Davies

Glyn Davies

Service Development Director

BSc (Hons), MSc (Econ)

Glyn is Service Development Director at Breaking Free, responsible for forging new relationships with commissioners and service providers and liaising with key stakeholders such as Public Health England and the Ministry of Justice.

He has been with Breaking Free since its inception in 2010, and has played an instrumental role in the development of the Breaking Free Online and Breaking Free Pillars of Recovery programmes. He has an academic background in criminology and criminal justice, and extensive experience of both the commissioning and delivery of substance misuse and criminal justice services.

Dr Sarah Elison

Dr Sarah Elison

Director of Research

BSc (Hons), MSc, MPhil, PhD, C.Psychol.

Sarah is Director of Research at Breaking Free, responsible for developing and disseminating the ongoing programme of research into the efficacy of the Breaking Free Online and Breaking Free Pillars of Recovery programmes. Integral to her role is building partnerships with leading academic institutions.

Following an undergraduate degree in Psychology, she undertook her Master of Science degree at King’s College London, specialising in the philosophy of mental disorder. She then completed her Master of Philosophy research degree in Psychology at St George’s Medical School, University of London, and her PhD in Psychology at the University of Salford, having conducted her research at the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre. She joined Breaking Free in January 2013.

Sarah has been trained and accredited by the Cochrane Collaboration, the world's leading independent network of healthcare practitioners and researchers (, and has co-authored a Cochrane Review. She has also been accredited as a Chartered Psychologist by the British Psychological Society.

Kingsley Pinto

Director IT

B.Eng, MBA

Kingsley is Chief Technology Officer at Breaking Free, with overall responsibility for designing and developing our digital treatment programmes, leading our in-house web development team and implementing our long-term technical strategy, including risk mitigation.

He has completed an undergraduate degree in Engineering at the University of Goa, a MBA at the University of Warwick, and the Foundation training in the PRINCE2 project management methodology.

Before joining Breaking Free, Kingsley worked in a diverse range of technical and team leadership roles at Alvares Infotec (Goa), Cosme Farma Labs (Mumbai), AFS Plc (UK), and Holiday Extras (Munich). Most recently, he was Product Director at Corso, where he designed and implemented a proprietary cross-platform enterprise architecture and innovation management solution.

Kingsley joined Breaking Free in November 2015.

Stephanie Dugdale

Stephanie Dugdale

Research Associate

BSc (Hons), MSc

Stephanie is Research Associate at Breaking Free, helping to develop the evidence base for the Breaking Free Online and Breaking Free Pillars of Recovery programmes.

Following an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Manchester, she undertook a Master of Science degree in Health Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. Her dissertation focused on the impact of mindfulness-based meditation on stress and mental wellbeing, and evaluated an intervention that she developed herself.

Stephanie joined Breaking Free in January 2015. Prior to this, she spent nine months working as a volunteer in a Computerised Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CCBT) service in Manchester. In this role she helped people achieve behavioural change by facilitating structured sessions of computerised treatment for anxiety and depression.

Emma Hilton

Emma Hilton

Marketing & Customer Service Executive

Emma is Channel Marketing Manager at Breaking Free, responsible for interfacing with our clients, maintaining our reputation for outstanding customer service and satisfaction, and overseeing our external communications.

She worked previously as Campaign Marketing Executive in a fast-moving commercial environment at the Fragrance Shop, and before that in the public sector as a Quality Assurance Assistant at Blackpool Social Services.

Emma joined Breaking Free in July 2015.