Dr Candela Sánchez-Rodilla Espeso

Teaching Fellow

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Science
  • School of Health in Social Science

Contact details



Room G.1
Doorway 6, Elsie Inglis Quad (Old Medical School)
Teviot Place

Post code


I am currently a Teaching Fellow in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Science. Prior to this, I worked as a Research Fellow in the AHRC placed-based project: Art Is Everywhere, and as a Research and Impact Fellow for REALITIES, a follow-up AHRC health disparities project. Both of these projects investigated and mapped health-improving community assets in communities across Scotland. In both, we sought to move beyond traditional understandings of health and illness, and also traditional methodologies.

My academic training started as a human geographer and my interest in place and space has remained central to most of my research. My research expertise and interest fall within three areas: a) the concepts of place, space and landscape and their relationships to health; b) phenomenological and embodied approaches to mental health; and c) creative methodologies in place-based health research. 

Outside of my academic work, I am a digital artist and illustrator. 


PhD in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Science, The University of Edinburgh

MRes Human Geography, The University of Edinburgh 

MA Geography and Economic and Social History, The University of Edinburgh

Undergraduate teaching

Teaching Fellow in the MA Health in Social Science

Course Organiser for Identity and Experience in Health and Society 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

  • Relational theories of space and place
  • Therapeutic landscapes 
  • Emotional geographies
  • Geographies of anxiety and panic 
  • Phenomenology of health and illness
  • Creative methodologies

Past research interests

Participatory action research / Participatory mapping / Volunteered Geographical Information / Citizen Science

Project activity

Boundary making as meaning making: Reimagining Space and Place in Public Health (Big Ideas Accelerator Fund, The University of Edinburgh, 2023)

This project seeks to radically challenge how space and place are conceptualised in the field of public health. Place, in public health, is traditionally understood as fixed in terms of the distribution and access to health resources and community assets.  

Research into the role of place in shaping health inequalities has largely focused on examining individualised and/or localised drivers; in other words, that the health of an area depends on the people who live there (in terms of demographics, individual behaviour, and socio-economic factors) and/or characteristics of the place itself (such as environmental pollution, access to services, or neighbourhood quality. Whilst this body of work has considerably advanced our understanding of the effects of local neighbourhoods on health and re-established an awareness of the importance of place for health, the pathways between health and place, as well the ways in which place is understood have often been under-theorised and poorly specified. 

In light of this, this project seeks to develop an innovative place-based methodology for public health. We will ask: What does it mean to research space and place when these are understood relationally? Can we develop a participatory, creative-relational methodology of place that can be deployed in practice within the field of public health?

Conference details

  • Sanchez, C., 2019. Voice-Centred Relational Method for exploring the ‘relational place’. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry 2019 Edinburgh
  • Sanchez, C., 2017. Transforming safe spaces into phobic places and back again: Exploring therapeutic (relationships to) landscapes for panic disorder sufferers. RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2017 London
  • Sanchez, C., 2017. Other Psychotherapies: Therapeutic relationships to landscapes for panic disorder sufferers. Other Psychotherapies Conference 2017 Glasgow.
  • Mackaness, W. A., Bartie, P, and Sanchez, C. 2014. The ‘when, how and what’ of Text Based Wayfinding Instructions for Urban Pedestrians. GISRUK Conference 2014 Glasgow
  • Sanchez, C. and Mackaness, W. A. 2014. Empowerment or Disenfranchisement: VGI and the Politics of Place among Vulnerable Communities. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2014 Tampa, Florida
  • Sanchez, C., Mackaness, W. A., and McLaren, R. 2013. Sustainable Mapping Projects: Missing Ingredients in the Kibera Formula? GISRUK Conference 2013 Liverpool Awarded Prize for ‘Best Paper Using Open Source Software’
  • Sanchez, C. 2012. Socio-technical issues in the use of OpenStreetMap to map slum communities in Pune (India) State of the Map Scotland Conference 2012 Edinburgh