Honorary Fellow and Tutor in Clinical Psychology
I am an applied linguist and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology, and a member of the Division of Counselling Psychology.
My research focuses on the intersection of language, discourse and mental health; health communication/medical humanities. I use both qualitative and quantitative approaches (e.g, discourse analysis, corpus linguistics) to explore the language of individuals affected by mental health problems and healthcare professionals, as well as the presentation and phenomenology of mental health in the media and literature. My research is to large extent applied as it seeks to inform the development of policy guidelines and interventions to improve provision of healthcare. Hence, my research can be divided into two core themes:
1) Language-based methods to inform the development of policy guidelines and interventions to improve provision of healthcare.
2) Language-based approaches to explore presentations and phenomenology of mental health problems.
My Ph.D. project at Lancaster University explored the mind-body paradigm by analysing how individuals construct self and object boundaries through the use of language and mental imagery in autobiographical memory recall and psychotherapeutic dialogues. I also hold an M.A. in Applied Linguistics - Sociocultural Approaches from Goldsmiths College with a focus on rhetorical strategies that underpin the construction and reproduction of identity and power in discourses and talk-in-interaction.
Recently I obtained a prestigious research fellowship bursary at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh to use in-depth corpus-assisted discourse analysis to identify how complex mental illnesses are presented in UK newspaper articles and medical case studies. Currently I am writing a monograph entitled "Presentations of Borderline Personality Disorder in the UK press: A corpus-assisted study" (due summer 2019, University of Exeter Press).
During my postdoctoral appointments at the School of Health in Social Science of the University of Edinburgh, I was involved in numerous projects that used language-based data to develop policy guidelines and interventions. For example, I explored the online sharing of self-produced nude images by young people (‘sexting’), and also deterrents to viewing indecent images of children online. The results of these studies were implemented in policy frameworks and guidelines, such as the Scottish Government, the Home Office and the National Crime Agency. Another project developed a policy framework for perinatal mental health, which informed the Mental Health Strategy for Scotland. I also contributed to the development of a patient-centred brief alcohol intervention for remand prisoners and patients presenting with alcohol-related traumatic brain injuries.
Ph.D. in Linguistics (2015) — Lancaster University, UK
Pg.Dip. in Psychology (2008) — London Metropolitan University, UK
M.A. in Sociocultural Linguistics (2006) — Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
B.A. (Hons) in Fine Art (2003) — Chelsea College of Arts and Design, UK
Responsibilities & affiliations
I am the co-founding editor-in-chief of two journals and a research network, I am also the lead editor of a book series:
Language and Psychoanalysis is a fully peer reviewed online journal that publishes twice a year. It is the only interdisciplinary journal with a strong focus on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of language and psychoanalysis. The journal is also inclusive and not narrowly confined to Freudian psychoanalytic theory.
Language and Mind Research Network is an international and interdisciplinary network and blog for knowledge exchange within the field of language and the psychological sciences and humanities, ranging from psychotherapy, psychoanalytic theories, philosophy, literature and the arts as well as social phenomena. Our aim is to create an open environment for academics, practitioners and students to share news and resources related to teaching, development and research in the field of language and the mind.
Social Science Protocols is a peer reviewed online journal platform. It is the only platform with a focus on publishing study protocols in the social sciences, including the disciplines of archaeology, the arts, communication studies, economics, education, geography, history, law, literature, linguistics, philosophy, politics, psychology, religious studies, sociology and social work.
Book series "Language, Discourse and Mental Health" (University of Exeter Press). This book series is a unique resource to further knowledge and understanding of mental health from a pluralistically informed linguistic perspective. Using qualitative and quantitative approaches to language-based analysis, the empirical and theoretical contributions will provide a compelling insight on mental health from a range of perspectives and contexts, including psychotherapeutic communication, public presentations of mental health, literary accounts of lived experiences, and language features associated to specific mental health problems. This interdisciplinary book series will be an essential reference for students, researchers and practitioners in linguistics and communication, education, cognitive science, psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, special needs, medicine, nursing, and medical anthropology.
I supervise M.Sc. students in clinical psychology at the School of Health in Social Science, where I also facilitate postgraduate workshops on qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyse language-based data.
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
For list of publication follow this link:
Affiliated research centres
As a part of ongoing work that explores mental health in discourses, I have obtained a prestigious research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studie in the Humanities where I am focussing upon ‘Presentations of complex mental illness in media and medical discourses: A corpus‐assisted study’. Collaborators include academics across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, such as clinical psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, anthropology, social work and medicine. My mentor is Prof. Matthias Schwannauer, Head of Clinical and Health Psychology at the School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh. As a part of my research, currently, I am writing a monograph entitled "Presentations of Borderline Personality Disorder in the UK press: A corpus-assisted study" (University of Exeter Press).
Past project grants
Postdoctoral Bursary (£12,500) (October 2017), “Presentations of complex mental illness in media and medical discourses: A corpus-assisted study”, University of Edinburgh, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.
Researcher-Led Initiative Fund (£562.50) (July 2016), “Language and Psychotherapy — Knowledge Transfer Group” with Dr. Laura A. Cariola, Prof. Matthias Schwannauer, Dr. Billy Lee, Dr. Seamus Prior, Dr. Lorena Georgadiou, Dr. Jonathan Wyatt. University of Edinburgh, Institute of Academic Development.
ESRC Social Sciences Festival Grant (£989.90) (June 2016), “Let’s talk about sexting” with Dr. Laura A. Cariola and Dr. Ethel Quayle. University of Edinburgh, School of Health in Social Sciences.
ESRC Social Sciences Festival Grant (£978.50) (June 2016), “Journeys through pregnancy and mental health” with Dr. Laura A. Cariola, Prof. Matthias Schwannauer and Dr. Angus MacBeth University of Edinburgh, School of Health in Social Sciences.
Travel Grant (£150) (April 2014), Lancaster University, Faculty of the Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster.
Travel Grant (£250) (April 2012), Lancaster University, Faculty of the Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster.
Cariola, L. A., Gillespie, D., & Littlewood, P. (2018). Improving services for people with co-morbid problematic alcohol use and traumatic brain injury: A qualitative exploration of staff experiences in the Acute Neuroscience Unit. Research Conference for Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professions, Pharmacists, Psychologists and Healthcare Scientists (NMAHPPS), NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, March 2018.
Holloway, A., Ferguson, J., Lansdale, S., Cariola, L. A., & Newbury-Birch, D. (2017). What does an ABI look like when delivered in the prison setting: Perspectives and experiences of male remand prisoners and relevant stakeholders. INEBRIA 2017 Conference, New York, United States, September 2017.
Cariola, L. A. (2016). Exploring the language of body boundaries in person-centred psychotherapy. 47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, Jerusalem, Israel, June 2016.
Cariola, L. A. (2015). Introducing the Cyber Security Corpus (CySeC) — The use of semantic prosody in cyber security discourses. Social Networking in Cyberspace Conference, Wolverhampton, September 2015.
Cariola, L. A. (2015). From social grooming in primates to body boundary cognition in humans. 3rd Cognitive Futures of the Humanities, Oxford, UK, April 2015.
Cariola, L. A. (2014). Body boundary changes in person-centred psychotherapy. 13th IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Informatics & Cognitive Computing (ICCI*CC), London, UK, August 2014.
Cariola, L. A. (2014). Exploring the cognitive motivations in the language of individuals with high and low body boundary finiteness. 5th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Lancaster, UK, July 2014.
Cariola, L. A. (2014). Embodied cognition in barrier personalities. 2nd Cognitive Futures of the Humanities, Durham, UK, April 2014.
Cariola, L. A. (2013). Exploring the embodied basis of political discourses and figurative language. 5th Corpus-based approaches to figurative language. 7th International Corpus Linguistics Conference (CL2013), Lancaster, UK, July 2013.
Cariola, L. A. (2013). Exploring body boundary imagery and affect regulation in Hitler's Mein Kampf. 1st Cognitive Futures of the Humanities, Bangor, UK, April 2013.
Cariola, L. A. (2012). A narrative pattern analysis of primary process language and body boundary imagery in discourse of religious-mystical and psychotic altered states of consciousness. The 16th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, Brighton, UK, July 2012.
Cariola, L. A. (2012). Body boundary imagery and point of view in narratives of everyday and nocturnal dreams. The 29th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Berkeley, California, June 2012.
Cariola, L. A. (2012). Assessing the inter-coder reliability and construct validity of the Body Type Dictionary (BTD). Postgraduate Conference-Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University, London, UK, June 2012.
Cariola, L. A. (2011). Analysing the latent linguistic structure of American-English and German dream narratives. The 28th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Kerkrade, Netherlands, June 2011.
Cariola, L. A. (2011). Body imagery and primary process language in discourse of religious-mystical and psychotic altered states of consciousness. The 42nd Poznań Linguistic Meeting, Poznań, Poland, May 2011.
Complex mental illness in the media. University of Edinburgh, November 2018.
Corpus-based discourse analysis of borderline personality disorder in UK newspapers. Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, June 2018.
Introducing ‘Social Science Protocols’: Benefits of publishing study protocols in the social sciences. Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, April 2018.
Framing of borderline personality disorder in the UK press: A corpus-assisted qualitative frame analysis. Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, April 2018.
Using corpus-based methods in the social sciences and humanities. Digital Scholarship. College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh, March 2018.
Victim-centred consensus approach to youth-produced sexual images. “Love Me, Love Me Not - Sexting, Honour-Based Violence and Young People”. Shakti Women’s Aid, Glasgow Women’s Library, March 2018.
Using qualitative content analysis to explore young people’s views on sexting. Discourse and Health Research Group. School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, February 2018.
Discourse analysis of health (Guest lecture). School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, January 2018.
Presentations borderline personality disorder in the UK press: a corpus-assisted discourse study. CAHSS Digital Scholarship, University of Edinburgh, November 2017.
Presentations of borderline personality disorder in the UK press: A corpus-assisted discourse analysis. Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Antisocial Personality Disorder, London, May 2017.
Social contexts of teenagers sending nude-images. Holyrood’s Online Safety for Children and Young People event. Edinburgh, October 2016.
Organizer of “Corpus Linguistics in Scotland” network meeting, November 2018, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh.
Founder and Organiser “Discourse and Health Research Group”, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh.
Organisation and delivery (jointly with Dr. Ethel Quayle and Mr. Nikolaos Koukopoulos) of Kickstart Summer School Workshop for pupils, “Digital Technology and Public Health”, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh.
In the press
Bedford Today, Thames Gazette, Milton Keynes Citizen, Banbridge Leader, Aylesbury Today, The Bucks Herald, Luton Today, Banbury Guardian, Northamtonshire Telegraph, Biggleswade Today, Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette, Lutterworth Mail (2016, November 7). Youngsters taking naked selfies despite knowing the risks.
IOL, South Africa (2016, November 4). ‘Sexting’ now normal behaviour for UK teens.
Lurgan Mail, Londonderry Today, Banbridge Leader, The Newsletter Belfast, Tyrone Times, Ulstar Star, Larne Times, Newtownabbey Today (2016, November 3). Youngsters taking naked selfies despite knowing the risks.
Blackpool Gazette, Wigan Today (2016, November 3). Children as young as 12 sharing nude images.
The Sun (2016, November 3). Nude pic ‘OK’ at 12.
Edinburgh Evening New (2016, November 3). Sex selfies ‘normal and fun’ for kids.
The Sheffield Star, Sheffield Telegraph. (2016, November 3). ALERT: Kids take “normal” naked selfies despite knowing risks.
Daily Mail, (2016, November 3). Youngsters say sending naked photos is ‘fun’ despite knowing the risks.
ESRC (2016, November 2). Why are young people sharing nude selfies? Press release for ESRC Festival of Social Science.
Wyse, P. (2012, December 7). Mind your language – Do your words give you away? Psychologies Magazine, 12, 60-63.