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Dr John Hills

About Dr John Hills

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.

As a practitioner John has delivered therapy as part of cancer care, in hospice settings, in prison, student counselling and the third sector, and is now in private practice. He is a pluralistic therapist with particular theoretical interests in existentialism, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (a 3rd wave CBT), psychodynamic and humanistic approaches.

Current Teaching

John is the course leader for the MA in Psychotherapy and is the link tutor for the MA Psychotherapy as delivered by the College of Allied Educators in Singapore. In addition John provides lectures, seminars and other learning support across the BSc Counselling and Mental Health, BSc Therapeutic Counselling, and the professional Diploma courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

John leads the following modules:

  • Dissertation (MA)
  • Theory and Practice of Research (BSc)
  • Contemporary Mental Health Perspectives (BSc)
  • Therapeutic Practice (BSc)

Research Interests

John's PhD centres upon the meanings and patterns of therapeutic change. He is currently interested in the social determinants of mental health and their implications for the work of counselling and psychotherapy. He is also interested in positive psychology and its intersections with humanistic and existential approaches to psychotherapy.

Methodologically, his passion is in innovating in practitioner research, through autoethnography, duoethnography, participatory or co-produced designs, and in the generation of theory through meta-synthesis of qualitative research.


Selected Publications

Journal articles (2)

Conference contributions (7)

  • Hills J (2020) Doing practitioner research: A case study in the use of subjectivity and the self as research instrument in theory building 16/05/2020.
  • Hills J (2019) On psychosomatics and the maps in our hands: modelling change over twelve months of counselling practice Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland 19/09/2019.
  • Hills J; Cahill J; Lees J; Freshwater D (2019) Interweaving Timelines: Longitudinal patterns of change over twelve months of a counselling practice and multi-case research study Belfast .
  • Hills J; Cahill J; Lees J; Freshwater D (2018) Reflective Practice in Many Voices: Encountering multiple versions of self in psychotherapy case study research Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam .
  • Hills J; Cahill J; Lees J; Freshwater D (2018) Archetypes in Reflective Practice: Courting multiple selves in psychotherapy case study research University of Leuven .
  • Hills J; Cahill J; Lees J; Freshwater D (2017) Case study reporting of psychotherapies for people who presented with physical symptoms: A qualitative synthesis University of Oxford .
  • Hills J (2017) Indices of Change: Analysing the indexical properties of data from psychotherapy case work to discern patterns of therapeutic change over time Salamanca .

Conference proceedings (1)

Theses or dissertations (1)

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