Dr Susannah C. Johnston (PhD)

Teaching Fellow and Laboratory Demonstrator

Background

I joined Clinical and Health Psychology in 2017 as a Teaching Fellow primarily associated with the M.Sc. Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion) programme. For this programme, I am the Course Organiser for both the Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Disorders course and the Empirical Dissertation module. I provide additional research training and supervision for postgraduate students across the department and also manage the Clinical and Health Psychology laboratory. In 2019, I was appointed to the School of Health in Social Science's Learning and Teaching Strategy Committee as the Clinical and Health Psychology Lead.

I studied my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh (2017) in collaboration with NHS Lothian, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Previous degrees were awarded from University of Glasgow: B.Sc. Psychology (Hons, 2011) and M.Sc. Research Methods of Psychological Science (2012). During this time, I also held employment as an Assistant Psychologist in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and as a Relief Support Worker with a third sector organisation supporting children and young people with a range of disabilities and mental health issues. 

Currently, I am interested in researching the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to address unhealthy perfectionism. Additionally, I am part of the FLOURISH Research Team, working with partners in Malawi to address mental health and developmental issues in rural Malawi. My past research has explored perfectionism, socio-emotional processing, and sleep in relation to mental health. I enjoy employing innovative research methodologies and have experience with experimental design, large-scale surveys, structured and semi-structured interviewing, intervention development, and systematic reviews. During my research career, I have worked with a range of professionals and with adolescent and adult participants in various health and education settings. 

Qualifications

  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology - University of Edinburgh (2017)
  • M.Sc. Research Methods of Psychological Science (Merit) - University of Glasgow (2012)
  • B.Sc. Psychology (Honours), Upper Second Class (2:1) - University of Glasgow (2011)

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Clinical and Health Psychology Lead - Learning and Teaching Strategy Committee
  • Research Member - Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology (CADP)
  • Research Member - FLOURISH Research Group
  • Laboratory Demonstrator - Clinical and Health Psychology Laboratory
  • Course Organiser - Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Disorders
  • Course Organiser - Empirical Dissertation

Undergraduate teaching

Teaching

M.A. Health, Science, and Society. (2014-2015)

  • Mapping Health and Illness Across Societies
  • Identify and Experience in Health.

Postgraduate teaching

Course Coordinator

Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Disorders

Empirical Dissertations

Teaching

M.Sc. Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion) (2015-present)

  • Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Disorders
  • Empirical Dissertation - Research Skills
  • Research Methods of Applied Psychology
  • Psychological Research Methods: Data Management and Analysis
  • Conceptual and Theoretical Psychology

M.Sc. Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological Practice (Online Distance Learning) (2016-2017)

  • Applied Developmental Psychopathology.

MOOC. The Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People. (2014-2016)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Past PhD students supervised

M.Sc. Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion) Projects

  • Experiences of Syrian refugees in Scotland
    • Keely Boyle (2017)
  • Perfectionism, attachment, and dysfunctional eating attitudes.
    • Bethan Brown (2018) 
  • Emotional face processing in the OCD population.
    • Chiara Causier (2018)
    • Fion Chan (2018) 
    • India Hopkins (2018) 
    • Sara Mackey (2018) 
  • Perfectionism, social and academic comparison, and common mental illness.
    • Brittny Hamilton (2018)
  • Perfectionism, cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, and common mental illness.
    • Christopher Hardy (2018)
  • Perfectionism, parental psychological control, and eating disorders.
    • Ruoxi Yu (2018)
  • Perfectionism, self-compassion, and help-seeking attitudes.
    • Alice Coulson (2019)
    • Mairi Macfarlane (2019) 
    • Megan O'Brien (2019) 
    • Rabiatul Adawiyah Binti Rahman (2019)
    • Kuan-Ju Tao (2019) 
  • Perfectionism, psychological flexibility, and mental health.
    • Nirupama Inchalmath (2019)
    • Anna McNairney (2019)
    • Yingyue Yang (2019)
  • Development of the iPIPS for use in rural Malawi.
    • Jamie-Lee Cronje (2019)
    • Aneurin Howorth (2019) 

M.Sc. Children and Young People's Mental Health and Psychological Practice (CYPMHPP)

  • Perfectionism, temporal focus, and common mental illness.
    • Phillis Fu (2018)
  • Perfectionism, emotion regulation, and mental health.
    • Kirsty Nisbet (2018)
  • Perfectionism, parental styles, and culture.
    • Emilie Aas (2019)
    • Yan Chen (2019)
    • Sabrina Choi (2019) 
    • Chuanyao Wang (2019) 

M.Sc. Psychological Research (PPLS)

  • Perfectionism, self-esteem, locus of control and depression.
    • Jake Gallegos (2019)

Research summary

Broad interested in clinical and cognitive psychology.

Current research interests

The use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to address unhealthy perfectionism. Mental health and developmental issues in rural Malawi.

Past research interests

The construction of adolescent perfectionism and its relevance for clinical contexts. Development of evidence-based intervention programmes for first-time fathers transitioning into parenthood. Deficiencies in socio-emotional processing in people with insomnia - research utilising dynamic face avatars.

Affiliated research centres

Conference details

Presentations

(2016) Clinical Adolescent Perfectionism: A Grounded Theory Study. 3rd Perfectionism Network Conference. University of Kent, England.

(2016) First-Time Fathers Returning to Work: A Workshop Intervention.  Poster at Year of the Dad Conference. Edinburgh, Scotland.

(2015) Adolescents’ Theories of Perfectionism. School of Health in Social Science Postgraduate Research Conference. University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

(2014) Adolescent Clinical Perfectionism. School of Health in Social Science Postgraduate Research Conference. University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

(2014) Adolescent Perfectionism and Eating Disorders: A Focus Group Study of Clinician Perspectives. Poster at British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

(2013) Emotional Face Processing in People with Insomnia. Poster at British Sleep Society 25th Anniversary Scientific Meeting. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Symposium Participation

(2014) Perfectionism in the Adolescent Clinical Population. Part of symposium “Risk and Resilience for Mental Health Difficulties: A Critical Reflection from a Developmental Perspective” at 44th Congress of European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies. Den Haag, Netherlands.

(2014) A Systematic Review of the Clinical Adolescent Perfectionism Literature. Part of symposium “Perfectionism” at 9th International Conference on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. London, England.

(2014) A Focus Group Study of Clinician Perspectives of Adolescent Perfectionism. Part of symposium on “Perfectionism” at 9th International Conference on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. London, England.