Dr Mark Hoelterhoff (PhD)

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Programme Director for Staff Learning and Teaching Development

Contact details



School of Health in Social Science
Medical School, Doorway 6
Teviot Place

Post code


  • Please contact via email


I have been working in the field of mental well-being for over 20 years. My clinical experience includes settings within private practise and third sector organisations in the USA and UK. I’ve provided individual and family psychotherapy to clients who have wide-ranging experiences; I promote developing strengths to enable individuals and communities to thrive. My work is based on positive psychology which is founded in the belief that people want to find meaning, develop their potential and live fulfilling lives.  In addition to health care settings, I’ve worked at several higher education institutions before coming to the University of Edinburgh. 


PhD Psychology at University of Plymouth

MA Psychology at Alliant University

MA Counselling Psychology at Trinity International University

BA Psychology at University of Dayton

Responsibilities & affiliations

British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist

Health and Care Professioal Council Registered Practitioner Psychologist (Counselling Psychology)

Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow

Undergraduate teaching

Psychological Therapies for the BSc in Psychology

Postgraduate teaching

Psychological Therapies for the MSc in Psychology of Mental Health

Trauma Across the Lifespan for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

I am interested in why resilience matters and how can we develop it through an agentic strengths-based education strategy that promotes well-being among young people at risk of vulnerability in a global context.

My current projects tend to focus on the following vulnerable populations of interest:

  1. Young people in low and middle-income countries/communities (LMIC)
  2. Students and new career professionals in demanding settings
  3. Individuals and communities affected by trauma

Current research interests

I collaborate and supervise projects on: • Can strengths-building education be used as a strategy of promoting resilience and intrapersonal growth? • Understanding the risk and protective factors that enable positive re-settlement among refugees. • Does mental well-being education link to outcomes of well-being in Lower Middle Income Countries/Communities? • Do agentic perspectives lead to professional engagement and flow in vocations with high burn-out? • Which agentic protective factors contribute to greater resileince in PTSD and psychiatric-comorbidity resulting in post-traumatic growth?

Current project grants

2019 (£80,500) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences SFC Official Development Assistance Global Challenges Internal Fund
Project Title: Leadership in Ethics, Integrity and Research Conduct in Complex LMIC-UK partnership projects

2018-2019. Erasmus+ KA2 – Strategic partnership for innovation in the adult field
Project: Support potential entrepreneurs with a migrant/refugee background to start and develop business initiatives in the Blue Growth economy on behalf of the Scottish Islands Federation.

Past project grants

2019 (£50,000) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences SFC Official Development Assistance Global Challenges Internal Fund
Project Title: Strong minds, strong lives: Building enduring partnerships through co-design of a rural mental health service and research strategy in Malawi.

2018 (£14,981) The Global Academies and Edinburgh Global Research and Partnership Fund (LMIC).
Project: Growing strong kids in Malawi: A collaborative needs analysis between a Scottish research team and MamaLita School in Namwera, Malawi.

2018 (£9123). The College of Radiographers
Project: Studying resilience among newly qualified radiographers

2016 (£5,000) University of Cumbria Research and Development Funding
Project: Exploring the role of social capital in the Storm Desmond flood.

2012 (£1200) University of Cumbria Research and Development Funding
Project: The impact of sustainable development activities on health and well-being in a Senegalese population..

2005-2010 (£21,075) University of Plymouth PhD Scholarship funding

2006 ($25,000) Lions Club International Start Up Grant
Project: Lions Quest well-being pilot programme for Lithuanian primary school children.

View all 21 publications on Research Explorer