Dr. Helen Griffiths

Senior Teaching Fellow

  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Clinical Psychology

Contact details

Address

Street

Room 2.14, Doorway 6, Medical Quad, Teviot Place

City
Edinburgh
Post code
EH8 9AG

Background

Helen Griffiths studied Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford University before coming to Edinburgh for clinical psychology training, qualifying in 1997.  Subsequently, she worked in an adult mental health service in West Lothian, specialising in psychological interventions for individuals distressed by their psychotic experiences for 13 years, before joining the academic team at the University of Edinburgh in 2010 as a Senior Teaching Fellow.  She now also works half-time as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Early Psychosis Support Service, CAMHS, Edinburgh.

Postgraduate teaching

I am course co-ordinator for the adult mental health first year course on the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Training Programme as well as the Advanced Practice Seminar for Psychosis.   I primarily teach CBT, Working with Psychosis and critical psychology sessions on this programme, although also contribute to the other courses available within the department. 

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT)

Research summary

Her clinical and research interests focus on adolescents and adults experiencing psychosis and other complex psychological disorders.   She is interested in how the theoretical framework of attachment can offer new clinical perspectives on difficulties previously believed to be intractable (e.g. regarding negative symptoms in psychotic presentations), and how the application of mentalisation based approaches can improve service provision for these populations.

She works as an investigator on randomized controlled trials to develop psychological interventions for complex mental health problems such as treatment-resistant psychosis and self-harm in adolescents.

Research Activity

Helen belongs to the Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology which is focused on investigating developmental trajectories of mental health and well being in children and young people and the development of current psychological models of emotional distress and mental health.  The Centre is also concerned with the development and evaluation of psychological interventions for young people with significant mental health difficulties and emotional distress.

She is also a member of the Edinburgh Child and Adolescent Research Network (ECAP), which brings together child psychologists based in Clinical Psychology, Psychology and Education.

Current trial work includes:

  • Focusing On Clozapine Unresponsive Symptoms (FOCUS): a randomized controlled trial - funded by the National Institute for Health Research via the Health Technology Assessment program for four years.
  • Efficacy of Mentalization-Based Group Therapy for Adolescents: a pilot randomized controlled trial – funded by Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation

Research themes

  • Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology
  • Risk and Resilience
  • Developmental Psychopathology and Wellbeing.

Research groups

  • Psychological Interventions
  • Psychosis