Personal profile

Biography

HEA Fellow, BPS Chartered Associate Fellow, HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist, and BACP Registered Accredited Counsellor. 

I have been a part time Lecturer for the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology Programme (D.Couns.Psych.) at Manchester Institute of Education since 2018. In this role I lead the Critical Perspectives on Distress module and the Working in Different Modalities and Across the Lifespan module. I provide supervision for qualitative doctoral research; and internal and external examinations for doctoral theses in Counselling Psychology. I am currently developing an Expert by Experience consultation panel for the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology programme. 

Beyond my University role, I am also Director of Oakwood Psychology Services, a social enterprise providing specialist community psychological therapies and behavioural health support under contract to the NHS. 

Extended work biography

Since qualifying in 1994 with M.Ed in Counseling Psychology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ, USA I have worked as a psychologist in hospital and community settings across the public, private and social sectors. From 1994 - 2000 I held staff psychotherapist positions on psychiatric units at St Clares Hospital, Boonton NJ and University Medical Center, Princeton NJ. During this time I also worked as an associate counsellor in a number of private practices, most notably the Center for Optimum Living in Kinnelon NJ.

Following my move to Manchester UK in 2002 I have principally worked in third sector clinical and operational lead roles as Owner/Director of Oakwood Psychology Services. Under my direction since 2006 the organisation has delivered a range of NHS contracts as a sole provider and within provider consortia.  In 2011 I was awarded a Northwest Regional Development Agency grant to undertake the LEAD SME management programme at Manchester Enterprise Business School. I subsequently wrote a BPS guidance document and counselling psychology textbook chapter on social entrepreneurship for practitioner psychologists. I have also delivered conference presentations on successful bidding for public sector tenders. Other publications to date are in the area of psychological treatments for eating disorders; and practice skills development for counselling psychologists and psychological therapists.

Research interests

I am a member of the Education and Psychology Research Group in MIE (https://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/education/research/groups/education-psychology/). The counselling psychology staff and student research focuses on the broad area of 'Education and Therapy' (EaT) including therapy in educational settings; applied psychologist education; and psychology, inequality and education.

My current research interests include developing qualitative concept analysis methods for applied psychology research. I am also working on research that centres people using therapy, and their social contexts, as the most salient change agents in psychological therapy. My overarching research interest is in mapping social and reflective learning processes in the course of recovery from mental and behavioural illness. 

I supervise professional doctorate researchers working on qualitative studies in a variety of topics related to counselling psychology. I have a particular interest in supporting researchers to develop novel/innovative qualitative research methods, and/or to use non-traditional qualitative data sources.  I am also interested in supervising investigations into lived experiences of individuals (and their families and friends) recovering from, or living with, severe mental illness.

Supervision information

Current D.Couns.Psych. supervision

2023: Robert Charles:  A fractured presence: A study of how white therapists approach black issues within the therapeutic dyad

2023: Emily Le Couteur: Gender, homelessness, and support: a qualitative exploration into the lives of single adult women experiencing homelessness in the North West of England

2023: Rosemary Hunt: Couple relationships of parents of people experiencing mental health difficulties

2024: King Yin Chan: How to equip trainee counselling psychologists to work with clients from racially minoritised backgrounds? An exploration of the experiences of trainers and trainees

2024: Emily Howarth: Bringing the outside in: How do therapists incorporate indoor nature-based techniquest when supporting individuals living with and beyond cancer?

2025: Christine Thumbi: Being the 'Other': Exploring how 'Black' trainee counselling psychologists make sense of their identity within UK psychology training

2025: Jake Maxwell Watts: Mental health in co-housing and intentional communities

 

Units taught

 

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 6 Dec 2018

Master of Arts, Counselling Studies, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 19 Nov 2010

Master of Education, Counseling Psychology, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey

Award Date: 1 Oct 1994

Bachelor of Arts, Art History, Drew University

Award Date: 1 May 1988

External positions

Director, Oakwood Psychology Services

1 Feb 2006 → …

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