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Personal profile


I joined the School of Health in Social Sciences in 2014 as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. I am an HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist, Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society.  I also work with NHS Grampian as an Honorary Principal Clinical Psychologist in Adult Mental Health.

My PhD research was completed at the University of Glasgow with Professor Andrew Gumley, investigating attachment and mentalisation in First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Subsequently, I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Glasgow. From 2012 – 2014 I was an NRS Career Research Fellow, funded by NHS Research Scotland; and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, working with the Psychiatry Research Group and the Centre for Rural Health.Prior to coming to Edinburgh I worked as a Clinical Psychologist with NHS Grampian, working in adult mental health, in the rural setting of Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin. In addition, I am an Associate Editor for Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.

Within the University of Edinburgh I am a member of the Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology, Edinburgh Neuroscience and the Global Mental Health Research Network.

My research in a nutshell

My research focuses on social determinants of mental health, specifically how mental health risk and resilience factors are transmitted intergenerationally, and how these can inform idenfication, treatment and recovery from mental health difficulties, from depression and anxiety through to complex difficulties such as psychosis/schizophrenia and personality disorder.


I take a lifespan approach to mental health, but focused particularly on the perinatal period, from antenatal to infancy, and how it can inform our understanding of the development of risk and resilience factors both in the parental and offspring generation.


This has the potential to lead to preventative or early intervention paradigms for mental health and wellbeing. In doing so, my research focuses on global health priorities and sustainable development goals, given the growing burden of mental disorder across the world.

I use different methods including observational cohort studies, linkage of routine and 'big' data, treatment studies and data synthesis to better understand the impact of parental mental health during pregnancy - both for parents and their children. I am also interested in how developmental perspectives can inform our understanding of existing mental health conditions.

From a clinical perspective, my work is also concerned with how we can better integrate psychological approaches to mental health into health and social care, incorproating consideration of global mental health challenges and priorities in both high and resource settings.

Research Interests

  1. Perinatal mental health and developmental psychopathology.  I am interested in how early development and developental theories can inform our understanding of risk and resilience in psychiatric disorder. The current focus of this work is on understanding pregnancy and perinatal mental health as windows of opportrunity for identifying how biological and environmental (psychological) factors interact to potentiate optimal and suboptimal outcomes for mothers, their infants and the broader family/support network. My work includes data linkage, use of routine data, cohort studies and meta-analysis, reviews work. I am also involved in evaluation of infant and perinatal mental health interventions, In this regard I am increasingly interested in infant mental health as a focus for primary prevention of mental health difficulties.
  2. Global Mental Health. I have an interest in how perinatal and infant mental health is delivered across middle and resource settings. In this strand of my work I currently have active collaborations with colleagues in Malawi, India and Chile.
  3. Psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorder and complex psychopathology. I have a long-standing interest in psychological frameworks, treatment models and the psychological management of psychotic disorders. My research has mainly been with early intervention and recovery in psychosis. More recently I have broadened this focus into other complex mental health difficulties including borderline personality disorder and Cluster C personality disorders. My work uses developmentally-informed theoretical frameworks, particularly attachment, mentalization and metacognition.
  4. Evidence-based mental health. I also am interested in applying multiple methodologies to improve the use of research methodologies in the development and evaluation of routine psychiatric care, and particularly psychological interventions. These include data-linkage strategies for optimising use of routine data, use of small-scale research designs to measure pathways into care and service delivery, and using meta-analysis to inform health care delivery.

Collaborative Activity

Alongside collaborations within University of Edinburgh I have external collaborations with the University of Aberdeen (Professor Philip Wilson, Professor David St Clair, Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, Dr Lucy Thompson), University of Glasgow (Professor Andrew Gumley, Dr Hamish McLeod, Dr Helen Minnis), University of Copenhagen Dr (Dr Susanne Harder), University of Southern Denmark (Dr Kirstine Davidsen), the Centre for Metacognitive Therapy, Rome (Dr Giancarlo Dimaggio), and the Pontifica Unversidad Catolica de Chile (Dr Chamaritta Farkas). I have a number of NHS collaborations, particularly in NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian; and with the Mellow Parenting NGO.

Administrative Roles

I am the current Director for the MSc Applied Psychology of Children and Young People.

From 2018 - 2020 I was the Postgraduate Research Director for the School of Health in Social Science.

I am also the Quality Assurance Director for the School of Health in Social Science

From 2014 - 2018 I was the Ethics and Integrity Lead for Clinical and Health Psychology

Current Research Interests

  • Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health
  • Complex mental health disorders - Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Personality Disorder
  • Global Mental Health
  • Psychological interventions and frameworks
  • Data-linkage and analysis of routine/'big' datasets
  • Intervention evaluation, cohort studies, observational studies, data synthesis and meta-analysis

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), The function of attachment theory in First Episode Psychosis: A Theoretical and Clinical Investigation, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2009

Master of Arts, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

External positions

Honorary Principal Clinical Psychologist, NHS Grampian

1 Dec 2014 → …


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