Charlotte O'Brien


Personal profile


Dr Charlotte O'Brien is an HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist and  lecturer within the School of Environment, Education and Development in the faculty of Humanities. Alongside this role, Charlotte also works as a chartered Counselling Psychologist within the NHS cancer service and in private practice. Charlotte is a keen author and researcher and is currently co-editing a training handbook in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Research interests

Charlotte's specialist area of interest in her research is embodied trauma. This includes topics such as working therapeutically with vulnerable groups including displaced individuals, refugees, asylum seekers and veterans, social justice, body mapping, creative methods and culturally-informed research and practice. Charlotte is currently writing about new integrative approaches to therapeutic practice, and is passionate about generating new ideas to decolonise the curriculum.


Charlotte is passionate about teaching the theory and skills required to become a competent, confident, and ethically sound Counselling Psychologist. As a practice and evidence-based practitioner herself, Charlotte enjoys helping trainees to develop hands on skills alongside their philosophical and theoretical underpinning. Charlotte currently teaches across the doctoral programme in Counselling Psychology and supervises doctoral theses.


Charlotte draws upon a pedagogy of discomfort and high support within a relational framework. Due to the challenging nature of our specialism in Counselling Psychology, it is important to enable trainees to go to places and spaces of discomfort, recognising the need for social justice, advocacy, and deep empathy for the clients we serve. Facilitating this learning in an environment of high support is also important, enabling trainees to feel safe, and to use a relational framework as the scaffolding within which to learn, develop, and grow into confident Counselling Psychologists. 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Charlotte is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society, Health and Care Professions Council, and is also a registered Psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Charlotte is also a member of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Charlotte is a RAAPS registered clinical supervisor with the British Psychological Society.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

The British Psychological Society: Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Committee Member (2021-2).

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 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Doctorate of Counselling Psychology: Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Practitioners' Perspectives of Embodied Trauma, York St John University

1 Sept 202018 Oct 2023

Award Date: 18 Oct 2023

Postgraduate Diploma, Counselling & Psychotherapy, Leeds Beckett University

Award Date: 13 Jul 2021

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, BSc Psychology (hons) Body Image and Evolutionary Cues to Female Bodily Attractiveness, The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

Award Date: 12 Jul 2021

External positions

Counselling Psychologist, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mar 2024 → …

Counselling Psychologist (Private Practice), Oak Tree Therapy Leeds

1 Oct 2023 → …

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology
  • Trauma
  • Social Justice
  • Integration
  • Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Counselling Psychology


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