Professor of Qualitative Inquiry and Director of the Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry
Jonathan trained as a counsellor, part-time, at the Isis Centre in Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, completing his MSc in 2001. For ten years, until July 2011, he worked one day a week in the NHS as a counsellor in primary care and, until moving to Edinburgh in September 2013, ran a small private counselling and supervision practice. He originally worked as an English teacher, then subsequently in youth and community work, before moving into staff development and training (most recently as Head of Professional Development at the University of Oxford).
He completed his doctorate at Bristol in narrative and life story research in 2008. Jonathan is an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a member of the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry, the Narrative Inquiry Centre at Bristol and the Centre for Arts Therapies Research, Roehampton.
EdD, MSc, MEd, PGCE, BA (Hons)
Responsibilities & affiliations
Accredited Member, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Board of Trustees, CRUSE Bereavement Care, Scotland
- Programme director - PhD in Counselling Studies, MSc Counselling Studies, Master of Counselling, and Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling
- Between Counselling and Research, parts 1 & 2
- Professional Accreditation and Personal Development
- Autoethnographic Research Methods in the Social Sciences
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
Areas of interest for supervision
Jonathan is interested in PhD proposals that involve one or more of the following:
Writing as inquiry; collaborative writing as inquiry; autoethnography ('assemblage/ethnography'); Deleuze and Guattari; post-structural, post-humanist, new materialist, and 'post-qualitative' inquiries; the experience of loss; the therapeutic encounter
Current PhD students supervised
Jason Holmes, DPsychotherapy, What is the experience of being inside, outside and in-between gay worlds?
Elise DeFusco, DPsychotherapy, Ways we game: An exploration of the relationship experienced by a gamer and the Massive-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, World of Warcraft
Jan Bradford, PhD, Family secrets: Keeping the home fires burning
Christina Sachpasidi, PhD, Exploring how psychotherapist in the free-of-charge services of Athens understand and respond to political dimensions of their work
Karen Serra, PhD, Performing meaning
Melissa Dunlop, PhD, The relationship between contemporary psychotherapy and fiction: An exploration
Katherine Porter, PhD, The learner-teacher relationships of looked-after children considered using the concepts and processes described in the writings of Wilfred Bion
Jay Myles, PhD, Soul-searching: Autoethnographic exploration of transformational change in and through therapy
Gabriel Soler, PhD, to be confirmed
Susan Mackay, PhD, to be confirmed
Jenn Reed-Wagner, DPsychotherapy, to be confirmed
Audrey MacFarlane, DPsychotherapy, to be confirmed
Nicky Haire, PhD, to be confirmed
Sue Chapman, PhD, to be confirmed
Past PhD students supervised
Pat Bond, PhD, Wound meets wound in the counselling room, January 2018
Edgar Rodriguez, PhD, Understanding gay men’s identities, December 2017
Natasha Thomas, DPsychotherapy, Between dissociation and oneness: Shifts in consciousness in the therapeutic encounter, October 2017
Carrie Applegath, DPsychotherapy, Remembering, reclaiming, re-remembering: An autoethnographic exploration of professional abuse, October 2017
Krista Ann Hilton, PhD, Georgia State University, A nodal ethnography of a (be)coming tattooed body, December 2016
Zoi Simopoulou, PhD, Reveries of the existential: a psychoanalytic observation of pre-school children’s existential encounters at their nursery, November 2016
Hsin-Shao Chang, DPsychotherapy,“If We Hug? A Counsellor’s Exploration into Her Perceptions of Hugging a Client”, January 2016
Jonathan’s research examines the entanglement of self and other within and beyond the therapeutic encounter; and it troubles what we mean by ‘self’ and ‘other’. He undertakes this research through autoethnography (or, better, 'assemblage/ethnography'), collaborative writing as inquiry and through bringing these together with performance, including stand-up comedy, dance/movement, and film. His work connects the dots between collaborative inquiry in the context of research and collaborative inquiry in the context of therapy, searching for – and doubting – the transformative resources in each.
He grapples with the ethics of what is his to tell: how to write stories of the counsellor – and the son, husband, father, brother, friend – ‘becoming’ in and with relationships and spaces. He’s working at an approach to theorizing experiential accounts without depersonalizing them.
His research examines the links between research and therapeutic practice, provides exemplars to write with and against, and makes explicit some methodological possibilities and limitations.
Current research interestsJonathan is Director of the Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry. One current primary research interest concerns the links between counselling, stand-up, and writing, and he has a book on this theme coming out with Routledge in early 2019: 'Therapy, Stand-up, and the Gesture of Writing: Towards Creative-Relational Inquiry'. He has made a few forays into stand-up, some more successful than others, at The Stand in Edinburgh and elsewhere, mostly as part of 'Bright Club', an occasional evening of academics doing stand-up about their research. Jonathan is involved in a number of current and recent research collaborations: with Anne Harris (RMIT) and Stacy Holman Jones (Monash) bringing together concepts of movement, machine and affect; with colleagues and students at Edinburgh on collaborative writing in the academy; with Alecia Jackson (Appalachian State University, USA) on a special issue of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research on 'affect'; with Ken Gale (Plymouth) in a continuation of their work on Deleuzian collaborative inquiry, including a recent special issue of the journal, Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies; and with Ken Gale, Susanne Gannon and Bronwyn Davies on a chapter on collaboration for the 2017 Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research.
Affiliated research centres
Deleuze and collaborative writing in the dance of activism
Deleuze and intimacy
Meditations on a Green Light Bulb
Moving, shaking and tracking
Article 50 and beyond
Therapy, Stand-Up, and the Gesture of Writing
An experiment in writing that flows
International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
Keynote speaker at 2018 National Annual Conference of India Association of Clinical Psychologists
Keynote speaker at 2017 UK Council for Psychotherapy annual research conference
Keynote speaker at 2017 British Conference of Autoethnography
The Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry is hosting the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in February, 2019: https://kuleuvencongres.be/ecqi2019