Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Writing as inquiry, collaborative writing as inquiry, or autoethnography ('assemblage/ethnography')
Deleuze and Guattari
Post-structural, post-humanist, new materialist, and 'post-qualitative' inquiries
The experience of loss
The therapeutic encounter

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Personal profile

Biography

I have taken a circuitous route to being here. I was originally an English teacher and youth worker before moving into counselling, staff development and training. I trained as a counsellor at the Isis Centre, Oxford, and worked for ten years as a counsellor in primary care; and was Head of Professional Development at the University of Oxford alongside my NHS counselling role.

I completed my doctorate at Bristol (supervised by the wonderful Jane Speedy) in 2009, with a thesis (co-authored with Ken Gale) about Deleuze and collaborative writing that became a book, Between the two: A nomadic inquiry into collaborative writing and subjectivity. I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a member of the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry, the Arts and Narrative Inquiry Network at Bristol and the Centre for Arts Therapies Research, Roehampton. I chair the committee of the annual ICQI Qualitative Book Award

I am director of the Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry

My research in a nutshell

My research examines the entanglement of self and other within and beyond the therapeutic encounter; and it troubles what we mean by ‘self’ and ‘other’. I undertake this research through autoethnography (or, better, 'assemblage/ethnography'), collaborative writing as inquiry, and, latterly, through bringing these together with performance, including stand-up comedy, dance/movement, and film. My work connects the dots between collaborative inquiry in the context of research and collaborative inquiry in the context of therapy, searching for – and doubting – the transformative resources in each.

I grapple with the ethics of what is mine to tell: how to write stories of, for example, the therapist - but also client, son, partner, father, brother, friend, colleague - ‘becoming’ in relationship with the human, material, and more-than-human other. I'm working at an approach to theorizing experiential accounts without depersonalizing them.

My research examines the links between research and therapeutic practice, provides exemplars to write with and against, and makes explicit some methodological possibilities and limitations.

Current Research Interests

I am working on a new book project, 'Writing, the Everyday, and Creative-Relational Inquiry', to be published by Routledge in 2023 or 2024, that will explore how the everyday is not (only) mundane but replete with possibility, not (only) a given but riven with politics and contingencies, not (only) prosaic but imbued with the poetic. To some extent this new book will build upon a previous book, also published by Routledge, 'Therapy, Stand-up, and the Gesture of Writing: Towards Creative-Relational Inquiry', reviewed by Nini FangTatiana Chemi, and Dave Clarke, which won the 2020 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Book Award. I made a few forays into stand-up, some more successful than others, in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, mostly as part of 'Bright Club' - an occasional evening of academics doing stand-up about their research.   

Both books and my other work puts theory - Deleuze and Guattari, poststructural, new materialist, and affect theory - to work through, with and against 'assemblage/ethnography', (collaborative) writing as inquiry and other embodied practices.

I'm part of a number of recent and current writing and editing collaborations: with Anne Harris (RMIT), Stacy Holman Jones (Monash), Brooke Hofsess (Applalachian State Univiersity), and Fiona Murray (Edinburgh) in bringing together concepts of movement and affect; with Edgar Rodríguez-Dorans (Salford) on a special issue of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research on 'creative-relational inquiry'; with Fiona Murray (Edinburgh) on a special issue of Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies on Deleuze and intimacy; with Marisa de Andrade, Fiona Murray, Edgar Rodríguez-Dorans, and Rosie Stenhouse (all Edinburgh) on two special issues of International Review of Qualitative Research on qualitative inquiry and activism; with Jane Speedy (Bristol), Sue Porter (Bristol) and Davina Kirkpatrick (Plymouth) on 'Artful Collaborative Inquiry'; with Katie Fitzpatrick (Auckland) on 'whimsy'; and with Ken Gale (Plymouth) in our continuing work on and with collaborative writing

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Education, University of Bristol

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008

External positions

Member of editorial board, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research journal, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (mBACP), Leicestershire, UK

2016 → …

Board member, CRUSE Bereavement Care Scotland

20162019

Keywords

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Narrative
  • Deleuze
  • Loss
  • Autoethnography
  • Poststructuralism
  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy

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