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About Penn Smith

Penn has worked therapeutically with children, young people, and adults, and has worked as a counsellor for the third sector and emergency services, as well as an advocate for homeless young people and their families. She has worked as a University lecturer since 2016 and has an interest in understanding the meaning individuals give to their experiences, relational ways of working, and the use of creativity in teaching and research. This informs her understanding and delivery of theory, research interests, and counselling practice.

Penn is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Current Teaching

Penn teaches on the Dip HE Therapeutic Counselling and BSc Counselling in Mental Health as a module leader and tutor. Penn is also course lead for the Dip HE Therapeutic Counselling. Penn’s interest in mental health recovery, understanding lived experience, and use of creativity enhances her approach to teaching. Penn is experienced in delivering theory lectures, supporting students in skills practice and supervision, and facilitating personal and professional group work. She is also interested in ways in which students can enhance their learning using a variety of teaching methods.

Research Interests

Penn has a variety of research interests including mental health rehabilitation and recovery, bereavement and loss, as well as the use of photo elicitation, reflexivity, and qualitative methodologies in research. She recently completed an NHS funded PhD, where her research followed a phenomenological approach exploring staff and service users’ experiences of an NHS Rehabilitation and Recovery Service for people with severe and enduring mental health issues. Photo elicitation, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), and reflexivity were used to explore and make sense of participant experience. 

Selected Publications

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