School of Health

MA Psychotherapy students' research success

Staff and students from the School of Health will present at the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) conference in May.

Our professional Counselling awards are accredited by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy.  As the largest professional body for this work they hold an annual research conference where researchers and practitioners come together to exchange ideas.  Taking place on-line in May, we have staff and students whose abstracts have been accepted for presenting at the conference. 

Course Leader Dr John Hills said “This year we are very proud that two of our students will present at one of the UK's premier national conferences in counselling and psychotherapy research.  It is a testament to their hard work and deep engagement in their subjects and specialisms that they now go on to make their own contributions to knowledge in the field.”

Congratulations in particular to Andrew Kidd and Chris Hodgson. 


MA Psychotherapy student Andrew’s paper ‘The nature of the relationship between face masks and relational depth within therapy’ gives voice to individuals impacted by mask wearing in therapeutic relationships, alternate healthcare settings and in wider society.   Andrew said “Masks are recommended as a public health measure to decrease airborne transmission of COVID-19. Due to socio-cultural impacts of masks on client/patient care, this study is timely to explore relationships between masks and relational depth within therapy sessions.

MA Psychotherapy alumnus of 2020 Chris Hodgson’s work ‘People of Faith: An Exploration of How Christian Counsellors Reconcile Belief in God’s Influence with the Principle of Personal Autonomy explored how counsellors of a Christian faith squared their Christian beliefs (about God’s influence) with their humanistic counselling philosophies, and looked at how these beliefs helped the counsellors in their client work. Chris hopes his research will “benefit other humanistic Christian-faith counsellors in developing their practice rationales”.

John will also be presenting a methodological paper: ‘Dialogical research and social worlds: Considering the application of duoethnography in counselling and psychotherapy research’. The particular inquiry proposed is responsive to emergent theory on the social determinants of mental health and how therapists encounter and work within the social worlds their clients inhabit.

Congratulations to all involved for their success.

Dr John Hills

Senior Lecturer / School of Health & Community Studies

John Hills is a senior lecturer in Counselling and Mental Health across courses offered by the School in Psychological Therapies and Mental Health. He is a BACP accredited psychotherapist and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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