Personal profile


Current research students

First generation Black women doctoral students: wellbeing and belonging in academic (Jana Hoyte, likely submission October 2023)

Fat stigma, therapist identity and practice, Rachael Jones, D Couns Psy thesis, likely submission March 2024

Narratives of migration, refugee identity and acculturation (Safa Ali, D Couns Psy thesis, likely submission March 2024)

Discourses of child protection under conditions of counter-terrorism (Zahra Alijah, registered part time PhD) – currently under interruption

Luan Cassal – Child as Method and Trans Rights: The Developmental Trap within Legal Gender Recognition (LGR) in the UK  (SEED scholarship funded, enrolled 2019, likely submission May 2024)

Mixed race therapists accounts of racialization processes in therapy (D Couns Psy thesis, Olivia Mohtady) (likely submission September 2024)

Gendered constructions of BPD (D Couns Psy thesis, Molly Nixon) (likely submission September 2024)

Muslim therapists, Islamic psychology and working with children, Kawthar Narudeen Alli (likely submission September 2024)

Therapeutic effects of liberation psychology participatory schools ((D Couns Psy thesis, Sarah Purcell, 2025)

Constructions of difference and diversity among Indian counsellors and psychotherapists ((D Couns Psy thesis, Saumya Singh, 2025)

Experiences of Black trainees in UK Counselling Psychology programmes (Christine Thumbi, 2025)



Previous supervisions

I have supervised over 80 doctorates, including:

Discourse Analysis of Education Case Conferences

Gendered Psycho-Technocomplexes: the dynamics of Boundary Objects

Exploring Black Women's Engagements in Referrals to and Participation in Clinical Psychology Services

The Process of Change in a Feminist Psychotherapeutic Group for Women with Eating Problems

The Use of Humour: a cultural psychoanalysis

The Impact of Pornography on Female Sexual Identity

Developmental Psychology and Fitness to Parent

Women in Special Hospitals and Constructions of Sexual Abuse

Socially Involved Women: accounts, experiences and explanations

The Single Parent Action Network UK: an organosational analysis of "grassroots, multi-racial, participatory practices"

Young Women, Girl Bands, Femininities and Feminisms

From Anarchy to Asylum: Paddington Day Hospital and Beyond

Gender, Drugs and the Social Imaginary

African Women's Experiences of War: a critical feminist analysis of the role of refugee women in South Africa in times of armed conflict

Group Analysis, Large Groups and the Internet Unconscious

Discourses of Transition in South Africa: a critical feminist analysis of Black women's life narratives within the cultural-political project of nation

Becoming a Psychologist in South Africa

Manchester, Migration and Culture

Treatment Accessibility and Provision for Substance-Misusing Sub-Populations: identifying needs and barriers to services

Gender and Migration Narratives and the Antiracist Movement in Athens

Emotionality and Motivations of the Sport Spectator: a Societal-Figurational Approach

Globalizing Disorders: psychiatric (mis)encounters in India

"Rape is..." A Feminist Analysis of the Production and Transformation of Rape Discourses

Writing Stories: Contemporary political constructions of social work

Critical Textual Analysis of Audre Lorde in Relation to the Constitutions of Embodied Difference

Gender and empowerment: community activism and participatory research (Hannah Berry, registration fulltime September 2009, awarded December 2013)

Disability and empowerment: a school-based participatory action research study (Anat Greenstein, registered 2009, submitted September 2013, awarded December 2013

Effects of introducing a minimum age for consent to marriage in Saudi Arabia as a deterrent to forced marriage (Husain Hakami) (registration fulltime September 2009, submitted October 2013, awarded May 2014)

A qualitative analysis of counselling psychologists' accounts of the use of exercise in therapy (Ruth Gordon, D Couns Psy, awarded November 2014)

Mindfulness in oncology care (Andrew Greaves, D Couns Psy, awarded November 2014)

Mental health needs of street-connected children accessing NGO support in India; a narrative thematic analysis (Parneet Chahal, D Couns Psy, awarded December 2014)

(Re-) considering the place of democracy in education: an ethnographic study (Gail Davidge, PhD registered fulltime 2011, awarded 2015)

Narratives of breast cancer (Emily Cudworth, D Couns Psy, awarded 2016)

A heuristic study exploring the experience of OCD (Kieran Nolan, registered part-time PhD, awarded 2015)

Helpfulness of therapy for women undergoing breast cancer treatment (D Couns Psy, Kate Harrison, awarded 2015)

Discourses of adult and child in a therapy with a young person (Keren Nowak, D Couns Psy, awarded 2015)

Orientalism, zionism and the academic everyday: Middle eastern studies in Israeli Universities (Eyal Clyne, full-time, PhD awarded 2016)

A narrative analysis of the psychosocial impacts of the ‘bedroom tax’ (Lauren McCoy, D Couns Psy, awarded 2016)

Coming out stories of young gay, lesbian and bi-people, and their parents: a narrative analysis (Glenn Mason, D Couns Psy, awarded December 2016)

A narrative analysis of Syrian refugees' coping strategies during the Syrian conflict: a UK-baed study (Raoom Qureshi, D Couns Psy, awarded December 2016)

Understandings of identies of students from forced migration backgrounds: a dialogical narrative analysis (Doireann Mangan, D Couns Psy, awarded November 2017)

Expatriates emotional challenges and coping strategies: a qualitative study (Panon Plantinitis, D Couns Psy, awarded January 2018)

What do women need? a qualitative analysis of the support needs of women accessing psychological support in domestic violence refuges (D Couns Psy, Nerys Owen, awarded January 2018)

Group analytic art therapy for people with Parkinsn's: a qualitative study (Sally Schofield, ESRC funded PhD, awarded May 2018)

A foucauldian, phenomenological analysis of rehablitation experiences following spinal chord injury (Esther Ingham, D Couns Psy)

Exploring the psychosocial needs of Syrian refugees in the UK: Accounts of Community Service Providers (Faten Sabouni, D Couns Psy)

Power and resistance: a Foucauldian analysis into workplace bullying in the NHS (Nancy Learver, D Couns Psy)

The subjective experience of Chinese counselling clients and the relationship with Chinese cultural identity (Feng (Davy) Guo, D Couns Psy)

Faithhealing at a Muslim shrine in Gujarat, India: exploring the Site, Subject and Ghost (Sabah Siddiqui, PhD)

Experiences of psychosis explored through published first person narratives: implications for counselling psychology (Lina Ethyvoulou, full-time D Couns Psy , submitted September 2018, awarded)

Counselling psychology in Hong Kong: a cultural-ethnographic exploration (Wing Sum (Tiffany) Leung, full-time D Couns Psy, submitted December 2018)

Community radio and empowerment: a participatory action research project (Annette Rimmer, part-time Ed D, awarded June 2019)

Childhood amidst gold mining and armed conflict: Agency, child labour and humanitarian response in Colombia (Linda Sanchez, fulltime PhD enrolled 2015 at Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute, 2nd supervisor, awarded October 2019)

Community radio and empowerment: a participatory action research project (Annette Rimmer, part-time Ed D, awarded November 2019.

Childhood amidst gold mining and armed conflict: Agency, child labour and humanitarian response in Colombia (Linda Sanchez, fulltime PhD enrolled 2015 at Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute, 2nd supervisor), A1- no corrections

Social Media and Schoolgirl Femininity: Power, Performance and Resistance’, Peer popularity and social media (Jess Heal, PhD part time), awarded Dec 2019.

Reflecting teams in psychotherapeutic and counselling psychological practice: an IPA study, Jaina (Yasmeen) Bharkdha, full-time D Couns Psy – awarded Jan 2020

The body in the group: Sexuality in group analysis (Dan Anderson, registered part-time PhD, 2014, awarded 2020)

A discourse analytical exploration of counselling psychologists’ experiences working with White clients’ prejudices: Implications for practice (Angelina Baslari, full-time D Couns Psy, awarded January 2021)

Counselling British Sign Language users: Exploring the perspectives of hearing UK based counselling psychologists on training issues and therapeutic experiences (Aliki Vasiliadou, full-time D Couns Psy, awarded February 2021)

Undertaking the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and its impact on romantic relationships , Aspasia Ftenou, full-time D Couns Psy, awarded July 2021)

The experiences of BME trainees in UK Counselling Psychology Programmes (Dashnye Daloye, full-time D Couns Psy, awarded July 2021), winner of the CPCAB Counselling Research Award 2022

Intercultural therapy with migrants from Post Soviet states: therapists perspectives (Tatsiana Stevens, full-time D Couns Psy, awarded July 2021)

Asia as method and the role of play in early educational learning provision: a transnational study across China, Singapore and Hong Kong (Luting Zhou, PhD full-time, enrolled 2016, awarded 2020)

Deaf students’ experiences of literacy practices in higher education (Cristián Iturriaga, holder of Chilean state scholarship, PhD full-time, enrolled 2017, awarded 2021)

Educational psychologists’ perceptions of and engagement with child rights (Laura Goodfellow, ESRC funded PhD fulltime, enrolled 2015, awarded 2021)

The politics of psychosocial support in the refugee camps of Greece: site – psychology - subject (Artemis Christinaki, SEED scholarship funded, PhD fulltime, awarded September 2022)

Datafication: from Doppelganger to Praxis A teacher’s story (Mandy Pierlejewski , PhD registered part time, awarded August 2022)

Student ‘voice’ within the educational system: complexities, challenges and possibilities for educational psychologists (Maria Stephanie Bugeja, part-time PhD, University of Malta, external supervisor) – awarded February 2023

Discourses of school exclusion, gender and racialization (Jane Johnson, D Couns Psy thesis, awarded December 2022)

Environmental education for climate and ecological sustainability: posthuman approaches (Raichael Lock, ESRC funded, enrolled 2018, 2nd supervisor) – awarded with no corrections July 2023.

Professional discourses as aiding or impeding mental health service users’ experiences of services (Natalie Day, D Couns Psy thesis, awarded January 2023)




Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Membership of organisations

British Psychological Society - Associate Fellow (member of Developmental, Psychotherapy, Psychology of Women and Sexualities Sections); from 2016 elected Honorary Fellow

(Chair of Psychology of Women Section, 2008-10)

College of Psychoanalysis

Group Analysis North (Full Member)

Institute of Group Analysis (Full Member)

United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists (UKCP) - accredited

International Society for Theoretical Psychology

Iyengar Yoga Association (Introductory level teacher)

Further information

Other Positions

Visiting Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2013-2015)

Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London, UK (2013-2015)

Visiting Professor at the Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brasil, 2013-

Visiting Professor at Cibersomosaguas, Facultad de Ciencias Politicas y Sociologia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 2013-

Adjunct Professor (0.2) , Oslo and Akershus Unversity College, Norway (2013-2017)

Research interests

Current Research

Post-human developmental psychology

Intersectionality and inequality: conceptual and methodological debates

Educational intimacies: emotions in education

Impacts of 'austerity' measures on children and families

Child as method: postcolonial approaches

Supplementary schooling: interrogating educational processes

Conceptualising pedagogical practices for sustainability

Emotions, learning and personal/political transformation: Frantz Fanon and education



Other research

Journal Editorial Responsibilities

Annual Review of Critical Psychology, Changes: International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, Childhood: a global journal of child research, Das Argument, Emotion, Space & Society, Gender, Place & Culture (1992-2002), Feminism & Psychology (Editorial Board, then International Advisory Board), European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, Journal of Health Management, International Journal of Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, International Journal of Children's Rights, Psicologias, Qualitative Research in Psychology, Teknokultura: Revista de Cultural Digital y Movimientos Sociales, Teoria y Critica de la Psicologia, Theory and Psychology, Yearbook of Research of the Faculty of Psychology, University of Buenos Aires

Other research

Recent Research Projects

2008-9 'Children and hearing voices: documenting accounts and developing educational resources' (£10,000, in partnership with the Hearing Voices Network)

2005-8 'Women Asylum Seekers from Pakistan Escaping Domestic Violence', Big Lottery Fund (£208,000) (Academic supervisor to the project, funded direct by BLF to South Manchester Law Cenntre)

2001-2 'From Violence to Independence: domestic violence and minoritisation' - European Social Fund Research Project (Policy Field 5, # 911164NW3) - £115,609

2000-1 'Attempted Suicide and Self Harm - South Asian Women' - Health Action Zone funded (£27,609)

Research interests

Recent Research Themes

Childhood studies, Child Rights and Developmental Psychology - addressing contested but fruitul relationship between recent developments in childhood-related research, policies and practices at international and national levels, and their relationships with and consequences for conceptual and methodological approaches and policy applications.

Beyond Women-And-Children: childhood, development and representation - focused on exploring intersections between gendered and childhood representations in relation to national identities and neoliberal subjectivities, as reflected in pedagogical practices inscribed within popular culture addressing mothers as well as children.

State, Culture and Gender: connecting structural and interpersonal violence - includes several major funded feminist antiracist projects on domestic abuse and minoritisation. These faciltiated alliances across different minoritised commuities as well as evaluating and prefiguring innovative forms of policy and service delivery response to domestic abuse. The projects connected mental health with public order and public health issues, and highlighted intersecting forms of marginalisation. The 30 month Women Asylum Seekers from Pakistan (WASP) research project (2005-8) was a transnational research project between Pakistan and the UK conducted under my supervision, hosted by South Manchester Law Centre, which continues to influence asylum decision-making. The final project Safe to Return? is available online.

Engendering and Educating Group Analysis - connected developments in social theory, especially involving perspectives on gender and sexuality. Group Analysis as a therapeutic, organisational and educational practice ahs longstanding connections with critical theory. This project juxtaposed contemporary social theory with group analysis to promote deeper engagement and mutual evaluation of each, and connected group analysis with other analytical modalities including exploring links with feminist pedagogies.

Professionalisation and 'Ethics' within Psychology and Psychotherapies -  addressed tensions arising through recent and rapid moves towards greater regulation and standardisation of psychotherapeutic trainings and practices, in a context of centralisation and competition marked by increasing (value accorded) academic accreditation. It explored transitions in understandings of policy and practice generated by professionalisation and associated technologies and bureaucracies.

Group Analysis and Feminist Practice in Japan. This explored cultural configurations of 'self', 'community' and 'group membership' as reflected in psychoanalytic and gropu analytic theory, juxtaposed with feminist therapies. An exploration of perspectives from individual and group analysts in Japan, including feminist counsellors and therapists, based around a 4 week research visit to Japan (part-funded by the Daiwa Foundation), with further visits in 2007, 2010 and 2012 (the latter funded by the Japanese Society for Social Psychology).

Research interests


Erica Burman is Professor of Education, at the Institute of Education, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, UK. She has published extensively in the areas of critical developmental psychology, feminist theory, childhood and educational studies, and state and interpersonal violence in relation to minoritised women and children. She is an activist researcher and methodologist, drawing on qualitative and discursive approaches to challenge normalizing and pathologising practices across developmental, educational and mental health arenas. She is a past Chair (2009-11) of the Psychology of Women of the British Psychological Society. She is also a Group Analyst (Full Member of the Institute of Group Analysis, London) and a registered member of the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists (UKCP).


Erica Burman's first degree was in Developmental Psychology with Cognitive Studies, from Sussex University. She came to Manchester to take up an SSRC PhD linked award, graduating in 1990 (with a thesis entitled 'Time, Language and Power in Modern Developmental Psychology'). From September 1986 to March 2013 she taught developmental psychology, educational psychology, psychology of childhood, counselling and psychotherapy, human development, and qualitative and discursive research methods at Manchester Metropolitan University (formerly Manchester Polytechnic), becoming Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies in 1998. She is co-founder (with Ian Parker) of the Discourse Unit (transinstitutional and transdisciplinary centre for the study of the reproduction and transformation of language and subjectivity -, and she co-convenes the Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix, and the Manchester Feminist Theory Network.

Research interests

As a feminist critical psychologist and psychotherapist, Erica has many interests, including critically evaluating the relations between different notions of development (child, human, social, national and international); exploring how representations of childhood function culturally in policies and across a range of media and memorial practices; critical approaches to models of mental health and therapeutic provision; intersectionalities of 'culture, gender, racialisation, class, age and (dis)ability as they function across sites of theory and practice; educational discourses within and beyond formal educational arenas; and emotional dynamics of educational processes and organisations. .She has been involved in various action research projects, working in partnership with community and activist organisations around child welfare and educational issues, asylum and refugee issues, mental health and violence. She works to support and generate politically engaged and analytical forms of qualitative inquiry, theoretically and methodologically. Most recently she has been engaged with extending the engagement between critical developmental psychological, educational and childhood studies debates via postcolonial theory, specifically with reference to the work of Frantz Fanon.

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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


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