Research at Leeds Beckett
Professor David Carless
About Professor David Carless
David's professional background spans physical education, health and the performing arts. He has worked as a primary school teacher, musician, freelance researcher, and educational consultant. His current role is conducting and disseminating research alongside postgraduate teaching and supervision.
As a Professor in Narrative Psychology, David uses stories - in various forms - to understand human experience and behaviour. Stories are used both as a way of accessing critical aspects of human experience and as a way of sharing the understandings that ensue with others. The theoretical foundations for this work draw from psychology, sociology, and the performing arts.
A specialist in qualitative research, David is one of a growing number of academics pioneering storytelling, autoethnographic, song writing, poetic, and performance methodologies. He has used these approaches in peer-reviewed journal publications, books and book chapters, commissioned evaluation reports and activity guides, as well as during lectures, CPD workshops, academic conferences, on audio CDs, and in live performances. Through this work he has contributed to methodological innovation, not only in sport and physical activity, but also in interdisciplinary contexts that include education, counselling and psychotherapy, and health.
David teaches qualitative research methods and gives research-informed lectures on a number of postgraduate modules. He supervises doctoral and masters students working on diverse projects such as psychosocial rehabilitation of injured military personnel, anabolic steroid use in sport, and physical activity promotion in mental health settings.
David is currently part of a team funded by The Royal British Legion to research the role of sport and adventure in the psychosocial rehabilitation and personal development of wounded, injured, and sick military personnel. The outcomes of this work directly impact course development, helping ensure provision meets the needs of service personnel.
Other projects include physical activity for people with mental health problems; the psychosocial outcomes of a theatre project for military personnel; gay and bisexual experience in sport; and the effects of sport culture on the lives of elite and professional athletes. The outcomes of this work inform intervention development and are publicly available on stakeholder websites.