I am professor of clinical and health psychology. I have previously worked as an academic at the Universities of Cardiff and Bristol and as a clinical psychologist in the NHS. The primary focus of my research is on how people respond to, and cope with, significant threats to health; and how brief psychological interventions may mitigate any associated problems. More broadly, I am interested in applying experimental approaches to the study of health psychology. I have (co-) authored three major textbooks on clinical and health psychology.

  • BA, Psychology, University of Plymouth
  • MSc, Clinical Psychology, University of Plymouth
  • PhD, Birmingham University

Areas of Expertise

  • trauma
  • health anxiety
  • CBT and third wave interventions
  • brief psychological interventions
  • cardiac and thrombotic conditions
  • coping

Publications

  1. & Psychological interventions for coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  2. & Using Brief Cognitive Restructuring and Cognitive Defusion Techniques to Cope With Negative Thoughts. Behavior Modification 40(3), 452-482.
  3. & Understanding the relationship between breastfeeding and postnatal depression: the role of pain and physical difficulties. Journal of Advanced Nursing 72(2), 273-282.
  4. & Living with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator: The patients' experience. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care 45(1), 34-40.
  5. & “Post-thrombotic panic syndrome”: A thematic analysis of the experience of venous thromboembolism. British Journal of Health Psychology

See more...

Teaching

  • PS-M15 Special Research Skills

    Specialists from a variety of fields in psychology discuss the methods used in their own research area. The subject areas will vary from year to year depending upon the current research interests and activities of the staff. Each seminar is grounded by showing the application of these methods to a particular theory or issue in psychology. Students select two options from those presented (one in TB1 and TB2) and write an essay after consultation with the presenter on a topic geared to their own research interests.

  • PS-M65 Psychotherapy

    This module will focus on the key skills required in the practice of psychotherapy and their use in clinical contexts. It focuses on the development of theory-based clinical formulation and interventions using cognitive behavioural and third wave strategies of change. It also provides practice in the use of core skills involved in formulation development and treatment. The module will translate a theoretical understanding of psychological disorders to a more clinical case relevant understanding. Students will learn about the key elements of second and third wave cognitive behavioural therapies both from a theoretical and practical perspective. This module is appropriate for students wishing to pursue a career in clinical, health or other abnormal psychological fields.

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY320 Dissertation

    This optional module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an extended literature review to discover what is currently known about an interesting, but less well known, area of psychology that is not taught as part of the psychology curriculum in Level 5 or 6. Students work independently, guided by their dissertation supervisor, to research a topic of their choice. In recent years students have written dissertations about `political psychology¿, `positive psychology¿ `why people take part in extreme sports¿, `does cannabis use cause schizophrenia¿ and many other diverse lines of enquiry.

  • PSY325 Independent Research Project - Joint Honours

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society.

  • SHHM52 An Introduction to Sociology and Psychology for Physicians Associates

    This module will introduce students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and MSc Physician¿s Associate Studies to the core concepts in sociology and psychology that will underpin holistic practice.

Supervision

  • 'The Impact of Attachment styles, Religious Beliefs and Coping Strategies in the Context of Emotional Responses to Exclusion: Cross-Cultural Study' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe
  • ''The predictive nature of Illness beliefs, Emotions and Action tendencies on coping and recovery in Cardiac Surgery patients: Why do people cope in the way that they do?'' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe
  • Separation of diagnosis of Autism and Attachment disorders (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Phil Reed
  • ''The psychosocial impact of Venous Thrombeombolism (VTE)'''''''' and developing and testing a brief cost-effective intervention to minimise distress'' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Gabriela Jiga-Boy
  • An exploration of the emotional impact following experience of sudden, unexpected death of an emotionally close individual (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
  • Health Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Impact of Venous Thromboembolism (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Head of Department - Department of Psychology

    2017 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2006 2009 Research Professor School of Nursing and Midwifery studies, Cardiff University
2003 2006 Head of clinical psychology services University of Wales Swansea Swansea NHS Trust
2002 2003 Research director/senior clinical lecturer Bristol Clinical Psychology Training Programme
1999 2002 Senior lecturer University of Wales College of Medicine
1998 1999 Head of Clinical Health Psychology Specialty United Bristol Healthcare Trust
1992 1998 Consultant Clinical Psychologist Gwent Community NHS Trust
1990 1992 Lecturer University of Cardiff
1988 1990 Senior Research Officer Health Promotion Authority for Wales
1986 1988 Senior Clinical Psychologist South Birmingham DHA
1984 1986 Basic Grade Psychologist South Glamorgan DHA

Key Grants and Projects

  • Thrombosis Research Alliance 2013 - 2017

    Developing and testing a brief cost-effective intervention to minimise distress following venous thromboembolism, £74,631

  • British Heart Foundation 2014 - 2019

    The psychological and health impact following failed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation of an emotionally close individual, £83,818

External Responsibilities

  • Member, ABMU Psychological Therapies Board

    2014 - 2017

  • Deputy Chair, BPS Division of Health Psychology & Member of BPS Research Board

    2014 - 2015

  • Chair, BPS Division of Health Psychology

    2013 - 2014

  • Member of BPS Practitioner Board, BPS Division of Health Psychology

    2013 - 2014

  • Chair elect, Division of Health Psychology

    2012 - 2013

  • Joint lead editor, British Journal of Health Psychology

    2006 - 2013

  • Associate editor, British Journal of Health Psychology

    2000 - 2005

  • Treasurer, BPS Division of Health Psychology

    2009 - 2012

  • Member of editorial board, Psychology, Health & Medicine

    1998 - Present