Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Jonathan Wyatt

Personal Chair of Qualitative Inquiry

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Education, University of Bristol
Between the two: a nomadic inquiry into collaborative writing and subjectivity

Professional Qualifications

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Accredited Member, BACP (Accred.)
MSc in Counselling Practice

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseCollaborative writing, Poststructural, posthumanist, new materialist theory, Deleuze and Guattari, Autoethnography, writing as method of inquiry, Counselling and psychotherapy


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 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 have been working on the links between therapy, stand-up, and writing-as-inquiry and have completed a book on this theme, which was published by Routledge in early 2019: 'Therapy, Stand-up, and the Gesture of Writing: Towards Creative-Relational Inquiry'. The book has been reviewed by Nini FangTatiana Chemi, and Dave Clarke, and won the 2020 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Book Award. I have 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.   

This book and 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 involved in a number of 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 (Edinburgh) 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 a special issue of International Review of Qualitative Research on qualitative inquiry and activism; and with Ken Gale (Plymouth) in our continuing work on and with collaborative writing. 

Research activities & awards

  1. International Review of Qualitative Research (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

  2. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  3. 'Creative-relational inquiry': What work can it do?

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

View all (19) »

Research projects

  1. Research-Led Initiative Fund

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

  2. Beyond the Fields We Know: Enhancing interdisciplinary learning

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

  3. Performing Loss: Broadening Therapeutic Range

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

View all (4) »

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