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


  1. Novel ACT-based eHealth psychoeducational intervention for students with mental distress: a study protocol for a mixed-methodology pilot trial. BMJOpen
  2. & Long-term psychosocial impact of venous thromboembolism: a qualitative study in the community. BMJ Open 9(2), e024805
  3. & Insight from the consideration of REM dreams, non-REM dreams, and daydreams.. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice
  4. & Living with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator: partners' experiences. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing 13(6), 279-285.
  5. & Psychological interventions for coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

See more...


  • PS-M64 Coping with Chronic Disease

    The module addresses the psychology associated with vulnerability to and protection from chronic physical disease. The narrative across the module begins with consideration of motivational issues associated with health-related behaviors. It then considers issues of adaptation to illness such as stress and coping, and psychological interventions for reducing distress and promoting wellbeing. This module is particularly suited to students who want to pursue a career as a health professional.

  • PS-M79 Empirical Projects

    This is a central teaching component of the Masters programme. It involves the practical application of skills acquired in the other components of the course. Across TB1 and TB2 students design, execute, analyse, and provide a written report on 2 projects of their own choosing, drawing on their own interests. The students experience working in: (a) a small group of three to four; and (b) individually. Each project is supervised by a member of staff, with appropriate research interests. Throughout TB1 and TB2, students attend a weekly one-hour seminar/workshop, where they discuss all aspects of research design, data analysis and interpretation, and the project write-up.

  • PSY307 Psychosocial factors in chronic disease

    This module will consider the psychosocial (including gender, culture and socio-economic status) contributors to a range of long term physical illnesses, including cancer and coronary heart disease. It will then consider how individuals adjust to the onset and then longer term course of these conditions. Finally, it will address a range of interventions designed to either prevent the onset of a range of chronic illnesses, or reduce the stress associated with them, their severity, and potentially reduce mortality. Case examples including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and thrombosis will be considered in some depth. There will be a significant emphasis on the application of psychological theory and practice to specific health issues.

  • 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.

  • PSY355 Psychopathology: Anxiety Disorders

    The module will address the cognitive model of anxiety in order to understand how anxiety, the emotion we feel every day, start causing problems. The module will also look at cognitive models and empirical studies for range of anxiety disorders including panic, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, cognitive treatment strategies for anxiety disorders are presented and demonstrated.

  • 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.


  • Mindful Future Thinking: how mindfulness affects emotions and behaviours linked to thinking about the future (current)

    Student name:
    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:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
  • Separation of diagnoses of Autism and Attachment Disorders. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Phil Reed
  • Promoting psychological wellbeing among visually impaired individuals, following a recent diagnosis and experience of sight-loss (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe
  • Health Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Impact of Venous Thromboembolism (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe
  • FULL/LONG TITLE OF THE STUDY: A person-centred, theory-based self-management interventions specific to Young Adults (YAs) living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) stages 1 to 5 in Wales. A systematic review and mixed-methods study«br /» «br /» SHORT STUDY TITLE/ACRONYM: Self-management for YAs with CKD«br /» (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
  • Motivating women to participate in a cardiovascular exercise programme in pregnancy: what works? (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Louise Condon
  • Uncertainty and Anxiety During the Pre-Diagnostic Period for People with Neuroinflammatory Syndromes (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe
  • Preventing and reducing parental burnout: mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy randomized control trials. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
  • The Predictive Nature of Illness Representations, Emotions and Action Tendencies on Coping and Recovery in Cardiac Surgery Patients: Why do people cope in the way that they do and how does this impact on health-related outcomes?«br /» (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Rob Lowe
  • 'The Impact of Attachment styles, Religious Beliefs and Coping Strategies in the Context of Emotional Responses to Exclusion: Cross-Cultural Study' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    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