Edgar Rodriguez-Dorans

Lecturer in Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Applied Social Science


Edgar Rodriguez-Dorans is interested in the study of LGBTQIA+ lives, identities, sexualities, and the use of performing arts in research. He has presented his work in Mexico, Canada, U.K., Malta, France, and New Zealand. He works from an integrative approach to counselling, and his work has centred on people living with chronic conditions.

Edgar is currently a Lecturer in Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Applied Social Science, a Volunteer Counsellor at Arkordia – a Scottish Charity offering low cost, psychotherapy, art therapy, and counselling services to those on low incomes – and a playwright and theatre director interested in exploring how real-life experience is transformed and represented through theatre and performance.

He has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for Universidad Iberoamericana, Universidad del Valle de Mexico, and the University of Salford. Two of his most recent projects are the books 'The Everyday Lives of Gay Men, Autoethnographies of the Ordinary', which explores what it means to be gay through 'the ordinary' to better understand the grand narratives that shape their (our) existence; and 'Narrative Portraits in Qualitative Research', which invites a close-up into a person’s narrated and embodied experience and argues that one of the main research findings in qualitative research is the person themselves; their circumstances, and their life story.



Ph.D. Counselling Studies │ University of Edinburgh Research project: Understanding gay men’s identities through narratives of their erotic and romantic relationships

M.A. Counselling │ Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City Research project: The use of performing arts in counselling, a qualitative study on a theatre group

B.Sc. Psychology │ Universidad Intercontinental, Mexico City Research project: Relationship styles in Mexican gay men from three different generations, a comparative study

Responsibilities & affiliations

Practitioner member of COSCA, Scotland's professional body for counselling and psychotherapy

Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of LGBTQ issues in Counseling

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD projects on the everyday lives of LGBTQIA+ populations; experiences of living with chronic conditions; loss, death, and dying; narrative, creative, and arts-informed research methodologies; diversity and social inclusion; and theatre and performance at the intersection of mental health, identity, and sexuality.

Current PhD students supervised

Sylvia Hillman (current) The Lived and Embodied Experience of Mothering with and Through ADHD from Teenage Mothering to Menopause

Augustus Reid (current) History, trauma and survival in Black British Afro-Caribbean experience: An autoethnographic exploration of the inaccessibility of therapeutic and mental health care for British Black men

Alice Yendle-Parsons  (current) Working with issues concerning sexual intimacy with Second/multi-generation ex-cult members: An autoethnography of the complexities in relational counselling/psychotherapy

Lindsay Hayes (current) A longitudinal narrative inquiry of a polycule: A proposal

Mia Livingston (current) Who am I? An autoethnographic window on humanity 

Xinyi Yang (current) Exploring Chinese international students’ experiences of mental health, well-being and accessing mental health services in Scotland

Beril Ozturk (current) Visualising Dreams in Counselling: A Photo-elicitation Study to Understand How Counsellors and Counselling Trainees Make Sense of Their Dreams in Therapy

Tianmu Nie (current) Chinese boarding school experiences: Configuring relationships in changing environments

Research summary

I am a researcher with knowledge of qualitative data generation, analysis, and interpretation and an interdisciplinary view of research approaches at the intersection of health, inequalities, arts, and social science. I have a growing teaching and research portfolio featuring research approaches such as narrative, autoethnography, reflexivity, and interview- and arts-based research specialising in mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues, and community work. I have conducted and published several qualitative studies of various types - phenomenological, narrative, and case study -comprising approaches such as interviews, focus groups, ethnography, and autoethnography.

Conference details

2024,  Delegate at the 7th European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ECQI) in Helsinki, Finland with the papers: 'He kept me safe – a dream team to think with performance in qualitative inquiry and tackle intimate partner violence amongst LGBTQIA+ communities' and 'The conceptualisation of the ethnic person: a Foucauldian discourse analysis of how race and ethnicity are constructed in the literature of digital psychotherapies for depression'. 

2022, ‘Social justice counselling, a narrative portrait of life with HIV’. Research paper presented at the 28th Annual BACP Research Conference.

2021, ‘My friend Giovanni: an autoethnography of shared mourning through queer community performance’. Research paper presented at the International Conference of Autoethnography. 

2017, Speaker at the ‘Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities Research Showcase’, for which I got a research grant to present my work ‘Understanding gay men’s identities’.

2016, Winner of the People’s Choice Award for delivering a compelling spoken presentation on my research topic and its significance at the University Final of the ‘Three Minute Thesis Competition’. Video available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKnnSn1Uttk

2015, Winner of the ‘Festival of Creative Learning Grant’, organising the knowledge exchange event ‘Purple’, a theatre of debate session based on a tragic-magic play of a gay couple.

2014, Winner of the ‘Universitas 21 Research Grant’ to give a talk on my research at the ‘Graduate Research Conference, Celebrating Ageing Research’ at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

2014, 2012, University delegate at the ‘International Conference of Arts and Sciences’ (IJAS) at the University of Malta.

2007, 2008 and 2012, Speaker at the International Conference ‘Hope: Probing the Boundaries and The Erotic: Exploring Critical Issues’ (Interdisciplinary Net) University of Oxford, U.K.

2007 and 2008, Speaker at the international conference on ‘The Verge Art Symposium Series: Art as Social Action’ at Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Canada.

Invited speaker

With Our Clipped Wings’, a narrative performance based on the main findings of my doctoral research. Presented as part of the LGBT History Month Scotland (February 2018) and as a keynote performance at the Postgraduate Research Conference, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh (May 2019). 

‘When a Kiss is an act of resistance: counselling with gay men and men who feel attracted to other men’ delivered at Universidad Iberoamericana (September 2018), University of Edinburgh (November 2018), and Universidad de Granada (March 2019). 

Keynote Speaker at the 3rd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry with the project 'Heavier than Air' in collaboration with Anne Harris and Stacy Holman Jones (2019).


Co-organiser of the 'First Thursday Seminar Series' 2023-2024, University of Edinburgh.

Organiser of the 'Friends of Arkordia Seminar Series' 2018-current, Arkordia (Scottish Charity).

Part of the organising committee of the 3rd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (2019),  University of Edinburgh.