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Personal profile

Research interests

I research relational experience in the context of mental health and wellbeing, as such I am interested in themes such as care, reciprocity, in/exclusion, belonging and intimacy. My recent research focuses on LGBTQ+ relational experiences and their role in distress and recovery.

I typically take a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach and use qualitative methodologies especially creative and visual interview methods. I developed the Relational Mapping Interview (2019, 2020) to capture subjective experience of the complexities of social networks.

I am particularly interested in developing interdisciplinary research. I have a background in the performing arts and also have a masters in Gestalt psychotherapy. I wish to collaborate with researchers and artists from a wide range of backgrounds in order to humanise and enrich our understanding of mental health challenges.

Recent and current projects:

  • 2020-21: Pathways between LGBTQ migration, social isolation & mental distress: The temporal-relational-spatial experiences of LGBTQ mental health service-users (funded by UKRI via the 'Loneliness, social isolation & mental health' network; PI Zoë Boden-Stuart)
  • 2019-20: Intimacy, medication and mental health (pilot funded by University of Brighton; PI Zoë Boden) 
  • 2018-19: Feeling sexual inside and out: Bodies and boundaries in forensic mental health (funded by Wellcome; PI Paula Reavey)
  • 2017-18: Relationships and relationality in mental health (funded by ISRF; PI Zoë Boden) 
  • 2017-18: Psychosis, connectedness and emerging adulthood (funded by Richard Benjamin Trust; PI Zoë Boden)

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising projects that explore what-it-is-like to live and love at times when there is a challenge to mental health or wellbeing. I am also interested in understanding what it is like to care for, live with, and love someone at these times. Exploring relationality in the context of mental health incorporates themes of social exclusion, belonging, marginalisation and community, as well as intimacy, sexuality and connectedness. Projects exploring the impact of services and interventions (e.g. medication, psychotherapy) on relational networks are also of interest.

I supervise projects that use qualitative research methods and that take an experiential approach, typically phenomenological. I have specialist expertise in creative, visual and embodied approaches and also welcome coproduced or codesigned projects. I have also examined over 20 doctoral theses (PhD, DClinPsy, DCouns etc.)

Current PhD projects:

  • Social in/exclusion and suicidal distress in LGBTQ+ communities in Brighton and Hove: A case study with reference to suicide prevention and loneliness policies (Rowan Davis, Brighton, ESRC)
  • Intimacy, sexuality and desire in early 'psychosis' (Annie Whilby, Brighton, University studentship)
  • Suicide prevention and social networks (Helen Mulholland, Liverpool)
  • Intimacy and sexuality in early parenthood (Amy Middleton, Brighton, ESRC)
  • The psychosocial impact of antipsychotic use in early 'psychosis' (Sarah Bögle, LSBU, University studentship)
  • Experiences of space in secure forensic mental health settings (Katharine Harding, LSBU)
  • Taking part in mental health interventions on TV (Hannah Selby, Brighton)

Completed PhDs and Professional Doctorates

  • Deep Flow: A tentacular worlding of dance, biosensor technology, lived experience and embodied materials of the human and non-humankind (Jeanette Ginslov, PhD 2021)
  • Navigating intimacy with ecstasy: The emotional, spatial and boundaried dynamics of couples’ MDMA experiences (Katie Anderson, PhD 2019)
  • Mothers' Decision-Making About Medication for Mental Health Difficulties: A Grounded Theory Study (Sara Holloway, DClinPsy, 2019)

Knowledge exchange

Keywords: Coproduction and codesign approaches for mental health; reflexive practice; qualitative methodologies


  • BF Psychology
  • mental health
  • emotion
  • relationality
  • phenomenology
  • Qualitative Methods
  • visual methods
  • hermeneutics
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • psychosis
  • suicide and suicide prevention
  • social networks
  • LGBTQ+ health
  • intimacy
  • sexuality
  • relationships


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