Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
I joined the School of Health in Social Sciences in 2014 as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. I am a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society. I also work with NHS Grampian as an Honorary Principal Clinical Psychologist in Adult Mental Health. Prior to coming to Edinburgh I worked as a Clinical Psychologist with NHS Grampian, working in adult mental health, in the rural setting of Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin. Prior to this my PhD research was completed at the University of Glasgow with Professor Andrew Gumley, investigating attachment and mentalisation in First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Subsequently, I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Glasgow. From 2012 – 2014 I was an NRS Career Research Fellow, funded by NHS Research Scotland; and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, working with the Psychiatry Research Group and the Centre for Rural Health. In addition, I am an Associate Editor for Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice and a member of the Steering group for the NHS Scotland Perinatal Mental Health Managed Care Network.
Responsibilities & affiliations
I am the current Postgraduate Research Director for the School of Health in Social Science.
I am also the Quality Assurance Director for the School of Health in Social Science
From 2014 - 2018 I was the Ethics and Integrity Lead for Clinical and Health Psychology
- Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Research 1 and 2; Advanced Practice Seminars on psychosis.
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
Current PhD students supervised
I am Lead Supervisor for the following DClinPsychol and PhD students:
- Lived Experience of Mental Health difficulties in Pregnancy and contact with Perinatal Mental Health Services (Student: Alison Reddish)
- Engagement, Attachment and Metacognition in Psychosis (Student: Caroline Reid)
- Psychological factors in the perinatal mental health of women with substance misuse issues (Student: Imogen Marsh)
- Psychological correlates of PTSD in relation to stressful life events (Student: Erifili Efthymiadou)
Past PhD students supervised
I have supervised numerous DClinPsychol theses and MSc dissertations, including the following:
- ICD-11 Complex Trauma in a male Prison sample (Student: Richard Browne)
- Mixed methods evaluation of MBT for Borderline PD (Student: John Flood)
- Depression, hopelessness and psychological factors in older adults (Student: Shri Cameron)
- PTSD and psychological factors in paramedics: an SEM approach (Student: Katie Davis; co-superivsed with Stella Chan)
- Attachment and eating disorders in an adolescent sample (Student: Laurie Siddell; co-supervised with Fiona Duffy)
- Pilot RCT of metacognitive training in psychosis (Student: David Turner)
- Self-stigma, recovery and capacity in psychosis (Student: Helen Lynch)
- Psychological Factors in Cluster C Personality Disorder (Student: Vicky Honeyman)
- Evaluating the HUB programme for Borderline Personality Disorder (Student: Jennifer Perrin)
- Distress during pregnancy, an exploration of protective factors and offspring outcomes. (Student: Fiona Ram)
I joined the School of Health in Social Sciences in 2014 as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. I am an HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist, Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society. I also work with NHS Grampian as an Honorary Principal Clinical Psychologist in Adult Mental Health.
My PhD research was completed at the University of Glasgow with Professor Andrew Gumley, investigating attachment and mentalisation in First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Subsequently, I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Glasgow. From 2012 – 2014 I was an NRS Career Research Fellow, funded by NHS Research Scotland; and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, working with the Psychiatry Research Group and the Centre for Rural Health.Prior to coming to Edinburgh I worked as a Clinical Psychologist with NHS Grampian, working in adult mental health, in the rural setting of Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin. In addition, I am an Associate Editor for Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.
Within the University of Edinburgh I am a member of the Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology, Edinburgh Neuroscience and the Global Mental Health Research Network.
My Research in a Nutshell
I am interested in how mental health risks and resilience are transmitted intergenerationally, and how this impacts on the development and maintainance of mental health disorders from common mental disorders through to complex difficulties such as schizophrenia/psychosis and personality disorder. My research focuses on how developmental factors and paticularly the perinatal period (from antenatal to infancy) can inform our understanding of the development of risk and resilience factors both in the parental and offspring generation. This has the potential to lead to preventative or early intervention paradigms for mental health and wellbeing. In doing so, my research focuses on global health priorities and sustainable development goals, given the growing burden of mental disorder across the world.
In particular, my work explores the value of the perinatal period as a window of opportunity for engaging families in effective treatment and prevention of mental health difficulties. My research uses observational cohort studies, linkage of routine and 'big' data, treatment studies and data synthesis to better understand the impact of parental mental health during pregnancy - both for parents and their children. I also have a long-standing interest in how developmental factors and theory can inform how we identify, treat and sustain recovery in complex disorders such as psychosis and personality disorder.
From a clinical perspective, my work is broadly concerned with how we can better integrate psychological approaches to mental health into health and social care, incorproating consideration of global mental health challenges and priorities in both high and resource settings.
- Perinatal mental health and developmental psychopathology. I am interested in how early development and developental theories can inform our understanding of risk and resilience in psychiatric disorder. The current focus of this work is on understanding pregnancy and perinatal mental health as windows of opportrunity for identifying how biological and environmental (psychological) factors interact to potentiate optimal and suboptimal outcomes for mothers, their infants and the broader family/support network. My work includes data linkage, use of routine data, cohort studies and meta-analysis, reviews work. I am also involved in evaluation of infant and perinatal mental health interventions, In this regard I am increasingly interested in infant mental health as a focus for primary prevention of mental health difficulties.
- Psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders and complex psychopathology. I have a long-standing interest in psychological frameworks, treatment models and the psychological management of psychotic disorders. My research has mainly been with early intervention and recovery in psychosis. More recently I have broadened this focus into other complex mental health difficulties including borderline personality disorder and Cluster C personality disorders. My work uses developmentally-informed theoretical frameworks, particularly attachment, mentalization and metacognition.
- Evidence-based mental health. I also am interested in applying multiple methodologies to improve the use of research methodologies in the development and evaluation of routine psychiatric care, and particularly psychological interventions. These include data-linkage strategies for optimising use of routine data, use of small-scale research designs to measure pathways into care and service delivery, and using meta-analysis to inform health care delivery.
- Global mental health. I have an interest in how perinatal and infant mental health is delivered across middle and resource settings. In this strand of my work I currently have active collaborations with colleagues in Malawi and Chile.
Alongside collaborations within University of Edinburgh I have external collaborations with the University of Aberdeen (Professor Philip Wilson, Professor David St Clair, Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, Dr Lucy Thompson), University of Glasgow (Professor Andrew Gumley, Dr Hamish McLeod, Dr Helen Minnis), University of Copenhagen Dr (Dr Susanne Harder), University of Southern Denmark (Dr Kirstine Davidsen), the Centre for Metacognitive Therapy, Rome (Dr Giancarlo Dimaggio), and the Pontifica Unversidad Catolica de Chile (Dr Chamaritta Farkas). I have a number of NHS collaborations, particularly in NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian.
Current research interestsPerinatal and Maternal Mental Health Complex mental health disorders - Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Personality Disorder Global Mental Health Psychological interventions and frameworks Data-linkage and analysis of routine/'big' datasets Intervention evaluation, cohort studies, observational studies, data synthesis and meta-analysis
Affiliated research centres
- Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology
Changing embodied dialogical patterns in Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy
Metacognitive interpersonal mindfulness-based training for worry about interpersonal events
Antenatal caregiving representations and perinatal behavior in mothers with severe lifetime psychopathology
Antenatal caregiving representations among expectant mothers with severe mental illness
Effects of therapeutic alliance and metacognition on outcome in a brief psychological treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder
Mini-Reviews For Iterative Scoping Review Protocol Development
Disentangling genes, attachment, and environment
Posttraumatic stress symptom severity, prevalence and impact in ambulance clinicians
Hair cortisol in the perinatal period mediates associations between maternal adversity and disrupted maternal interaction in early infancy
Mellow babies and mellow toddlers
Metacognitive interpersonal therapy in group
The effect of reducing the ‘jumping to conclusions’ bias on treatment decision-making capacity in psychosis
Metacognitive interpersonal therapy in groups for over-regulated personality disorders
Self-compassion and psychological distress in adolescents
Metacognitive interpersonal therapy in group (MIT‐G) for young adults with personality disorders