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UOA 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies

Goldsmiths College, University of London

RA5a: Research environment and esteem






The Unit of Psychotherapeutic Studies is integral to the Department of Professional and Community Education, which is a UK leader in the fields of professional development and widening participation whose academic scope includes a major focus in the areas of health, social care, social policy and community engagement. The Unit contributes to and benefits from the lively teaching and research culture of its parent department, sharing departmental-wide research interests, in, for example, the impact of migration, the construction of identity and the exploration of social inclusion and exclusion. The Unit’s research, however, is specifically focused on psychotherapy, counselling, cognitive-behavioural therapies, and the arts therapies - on their socio-historical context, theoretical base and role in the care and treatment of vulnerable groups. Research leadership is provided by Waller and Dryden. The contribution to health care of Waller, a distinguished international figure, was recognised by the award of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2007. Dryden is a leading academic and public presence in psychotherapeutic studies and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).

Following the grade of 3A awarded in RAE 2001, the Unit received Research Capability Funding (RCF). The strategic aims then presented emphasised the need to strengthen the Unit’s research foundations by building on existing work and prioritising perceived needs for investigations within the professions represented in the Unit. A comprehensive strategy was devised to strengthen the sustainability of the research base and its impact by: identifying clearly thematic research priorities; encouraging collaborative ventures with other universities and service providers; welcoming associate lecturers to the research arena; improving staff development procedures to encourage early-career researchers; providing funding for visiting fellows; increasing research student numbers and providing bursaries for them to work alongside experienced colleagues.

With the committed support of the College and Department, as well as the innovation enabled by RCF funding, the Unit has increased its research scope and influence in all these directions. We have succeeded in enhancing our diversity, interdisciplinarity and creativity without compromising our focussed mission.

Research Groups

Research is organised into four groups spanning the clinical, professional and theoretical specialisms of the Unit and linked in mutually reinforcing ways.

1 Clinical Research and Practice

Dudley, Gilroy, Hobart, Sheppard, Tipple, Waller

This research group has taken as its strategic focus areas highlighted by national inquiries and the need to improve service provision, especially for client groups liable to social exclusion:

1.1 Dementia, progressive illness, and the elderly

A Health Foundation project, led by Waller in collaboration with
Sheppard and Rusted, investigated the way that art therapy may impact on the psychological well-being of people with moderate to severe dementia. The outcomes have been extensively disseminated. Guidelines for Art Therapists Wishing to Work with Older People With Dementia (2006) have been distributed to 750 practitioners and stakeholders to date. A related project, supported by RCF, is investigating if and how art therapy helps clients with Parkinson’s and their carers (Waller and Sheppard).

Following production of two reports from the Age Concern’s Inquiry into Older People’s Mental Health and Well Being (where
Waller and Sheppard were members of the advisory board), the issue of social exclusion of elderly people with mental health problems, and particularly Black and Ethnic Minority elders, is the focus of a new Unit project.

1.2 Schizophrenia

This is another client group particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, for whom psychosocial interventions are much needed. A consortium headed by Waller, Crawford (Imperial College) and Killaspy (UCL) was awarded £809,000 from Health Technology Assessment (2006), plus matched funds from four NHS trusts, to conduct a multi-site control-group study over three years, using group interactive art therapy against a control of activity groups. The project (MATISSE) has already stimulated several parallel qualitative investigations, jointly supervised by Waller and Crawford. Closely related to this project is the production of Guidelines for Art Therapists Working with People Prone to Psychotic States (2007), an output stemming from the work of a consortium of art therapists chaired by Gilroy at Oxleas NHS Trust.

1.3 Borderline Personality Disorder

This client group has attracted much negative media attention, as well as more constructive attention from NICE’s preparation of guidelines on effective, evidence-based interventions. Dudley, a consultant art psychotherapist in the NHS and the art therapy profession’s advisor to NICE on these guidelines, has developed criteria for referral and assessment in art therapy and has analysed the integration of group analysis with art therapy for patients with this diagnosis, as well as for those with both long-term and acute mental health problems (2004). In September 2007, a bursary was awarded to a Unit research student to join Dudley in evaluating art therapy for BPD patients.

1.4 Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism

Tipple works with adults with moderate and severe learning difficulties and with children with Asperger’s syndrome and autism. He investigates the use of art therapy in assessment and diagnosis, taking into account the social context in which assessment is carried out. His research has led to a re-evaluation of assessment procedures in his NHS Trust, and contributed to multidisciplinary seminars and conferences concerning childhood autism.

Other areas of research into clinical practice include the testing of methods to produce new hypotheses, for example Dryden et al (2006), ‘An Experimental Test of a Core REBT Hypothesis’; explorations of tactile graphics for blind people (Sheppard, 2001); studies of the way that art therapy may help cancer sufferers (Waller and Sibbert, 2005); and the critical evaluation of evidence-based practice when applied to arts therapies (Gilroy, 2006).

1.5 Anti-Stigma

A common concern running through the above is the exclusion and stigmatisation of certain groups for reasons of age and/or mental health problems. Hobarts and Wallers work on new models of psychotherapy, which prioritises cultural diversity and identity, has been taken up in the context of the World Health Organisation/World Psychiatric Association project on Art for Anti-Stigma. Waller has produced several publications in this field (2003, 2006) and given keynote papers at Istanbul (WPA World Congress 2006), and in Berlin (2006), which have had considerable impact in taking this area forward.

2 Professional Education and Training
Brown, Dryden, Dudley, Gilroy

The Unit contributes significantly to research into teaching, learning, practice, supervision, and assessment, and to the philosophy of arts therapies, psychotherapy and counselling in the UK and elsewhere. Dryden’s contribution is particularly important. The fifth edition of Dryden’s Handbook of Individual Therapy (2007) is one landmark in a prodigious publications output, much of it concerned with professional education and training.

Dudley’s work on the pervasive influence of assumed norms of sexuality in the relationships between co-therapists and groups (2001); Brown’s work on supervising art therapists (2007); and Gilroy’s on the supervision of research students (2007) are important contributions to
debates concerning the core curriculum in pre- and post-registration training in the arts therapies.

3 Interdisciplinary, Theoretical and Historical Studies
Adams, Hauke, Hobart

The Unit is particularly innovative in its
spanning of the arts, anthropology, psychotherapies and psychoanalysis, film and cultural studies.

Hauke, well received for the originality that brings together Jungian psychoanalysis, cultural studies and film, has produced internationally respected films based on Jungian approaches to cinema. Examples include Losing Dad, shown at the XVth Congress of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, Barcelona, where Hauke was a keynote speaker (2004).

Adams’s work on psychoanalysis and gender is similarly interdisciplinary and includes investigations on image consciousness and how it secures belief systems and discourses (2003). Her work on the importance of gender in the formation of new theories of psychoanalysis is indicative of the Unit’s continued engagement with cultural diversity and equality issues. Other outputs from Hauke (2002) and Adams (2003) participate in contemporary philosophical debates concerning the practice of counselling and psychotherapy in postmodernity.

Hobart’s anthropological research into art and healing across cultures has brought a particular quality to the Unit’s work. Her expertise in ritual, drama and masks of Bali and elsewhere and her experience of developing intercultural therapy services at the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture, has enabled the Unit to move forward confidently in supporting research projects that are challenging to the whole area of psychotherapy training.

4 Socio-historical Studies
Dryden, Hauke, Waller

A strong element of the Unit’s research, linked with the examples above, examines the socio-historical background of therapy disciplines and its influence on current practice. Responding to government policies on the health and social services, the Unit continues to lead on such issues as the role of voluntary and statutory regulation in the development of arts therapies and psychotherapy in the UK and elsewhere. Waller’s three volumes of Arts-Therapies-Communication, edited with Kossolapow and Scoble (2001, 2003, 2005), following international congresses of the European Consortium of Art Therapy Educators, demonstrate the complexities of the social, political and legal positions of the arts therapies throughout Europe, providing analysis of why there is such variation in their definition and scope of practice. Dryden has made important contributions to the history of therapy concepts and discourses (Dryden and Still, 2003 and 2006).

Mechanisms for Promoting and Sustaining Research

Goldsmiths, a member of the 1994 Group and part of the University of London, places high-quality research at the centre of its mission. Research performance is prioritised through policies on appointments, probation, staff development, and travel and conference allowances.

The College Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee is the primary strategic planning group, setting policy across the College. The department’s Research Committee and Postgraduate Research Committee set strategy for the department and its Units within that overall framework. Goldsmiths Research Office and Business Development Office support staff by disseminating information about funding opportunities, assisting in preparing applications for grants and contracts and monitoring the outcome of projects and the appropriate reports to funders. At the heart of the department’s approach to building capacity and sustaining a research culture are the strategic aims for the use of RCF as referred to above. Its Research Committee distributes RCF funding directly to support projects approved as fitting the department’s strategy for the use of this resource, and
scrutinises and advises on applications for external research funding, while the Graduate School Board ensures effective supervision and monitors the progress of research students.

Research Infrastructure and Facilities for Research Students

With its distinguished reputation for cutting-edge and cross-disciplinary research and teaching in the arts, humanities and social sciences, Goldsmiths has a rich research culture, to which our staff and students contribute fully. Its excellent research facilities include access to the Institutes of the School of Advanced Study and Senate House Library, as well as such specialist laboratories as the Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture. The department organises regular seminar series and conferences for staff and research students. Such forums provide a supportive environment for the development of new researchers in the field and for our fractional members of staff who combine working in the unit with working in the NHS and elsewhere.

Research students are located jointly in the Graduate School and the department. The former gives students 24-hour access to computing facilities and research training
courses and hosts a number of interdisciplinary seminars and conferences, giving research students the opportunity to work with such internationally renowned figures as Gayatri Spivak (2007) and Pierre Levy (2008). The recently launched Virtual Graduate School provides additional online research training and research support.

Policy and Practice in Relation to Research Governance

The departmental Research Committee, responsible for monitoring all aspects of research in the Unit, scrutinises all projects involving human subjects, before referring them to College Research Ethics Committee. That Committee advises on all ethical matters and reviews College guidelines on ethics involving research on human and animal participants. It ensures that College research complies with the ethical standards of professional bodies and research councils and may withhold approval from projects where ethical standards are not met.

Relationships with Research Users and Uptake of Research

The involvement of service users and stakeholders is a high priority in the Unit. All projects described here directly involve users so as to improve services, with every effort being made to disseminate findings among potential service users and colleagues in multidisciplinary teams. We ensure that our findings are easily accessible through professional networks including the Art Therapy Practice Research Network, the Allied Health Professions Forum and the UK Council for Psychotherapy,

Gilroy’s Guidelines for Art Therapists Working with People Prone to Psychotic States (2007) are currently being implemented at the Birmingham and Solihull Health Trust. Research on BPD is contributing to the formation of clinical guidelines for those with a diagnosis of BPD; research on the elderly has informed the Age Concern inquiry into older people’s mental health. Tipple’s work has informed new models of art therapy practice at the Harper House Children’s Unit. Waller and Sheppard’s research with older people with moderate to severe dementia (2006) has informed practice across a range of services for the elderly in the UK and Europe.

The Unit’s research has played a significant role in the formation and advancement of professional practice and self regulation in the psychological therapies. Waller’s research into the sociology of professions has contributed to the development of strategies in the Health Professions Council (HPC), where she has actively engaged in the setting of standards for all HPC professions. She chaired the QAA’s subject benchmarking group for arts therapies. Her research on emergent professions and their regulatory needs has led to involvement with the regulation of complementary and alternative medicines coordinated by the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health; with regulation of psychological therapies (Department of Health and HPC); and with setting national occupational health standards in psychotherapy and counselling (Skills for Health). Dudley, as the art psychotherapy national advisor to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), has led on the profession’s response to calls for evidence on setting of guidelines.


The RCF has enabled us to increase the number of students enrolled for MPhil and PhD from eight (2001) to 19 in 2007, with eight upgrades to PhD and three completions expected in 2008. The majority are part-time and employed in health and social care; many have completed one of the professional training Masters within the Unit. Research students from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds are increasingly attracted to the Unit, their participation being particularly important to developing provision of culturally sensitive mental health services.

In support of this strategy, the RCF has enabled provision of bursaries for one whole cohort of research student fees (2005-6); the appointment of visiting fellows and a visiting reader; and provided 5 new research fellowships/ bursaries in 2007-08. The latter are focussed in priority areas for the Unit
, for example, progressive neurological illness and stroke (also recently prioritised by the Department of Health) and patients in acute psychotic states.


In addition to the RCF income (see Structure, above), we have prioritised collaborative initiatives to attract external funding, acknowledging that our specialist focus requires the additional capacity and expertise of medical/neuropsychology departments elsewhere to mount projects of a sufficiently large scale to give significance to findings. We have built on the experience of such collaborative projects as Waller, Sheppard and Rusted (2000-2002), a Control Group Study looking at the effectiveness of art therapy groups for older people with dementia (funded by the Health Foundation); and the 18-month qualitative study, An Analysis of 160 Art Therapy Sessions, headed by Waller with Sheppard and colleagues at the University of Oxford. The current £809,000 collaboration, Project MATISSE – a consortium involving colleagues from Departments of Psychological Medicine at Imperial and UCL, researchers in the field of psychiatry and NHS Trust Directors of Research and Development – is the most ambitious yet in the arts therapies field.


Based around the international research strengths of Adams, Dryden, Waller, Hauke and Gilroy (all entered in RAE 2001), the Unit has adopted a vigorous policy of recruitment of part-time researchers from professional practice (Brown, Dudley, Sheppard and Tipple) to enhance the research relationship with the user community. Research has been prioritised in selection procedures: strong connections are made between research and teaching in all academic departments at Goldsmiths, and the Unit’s commitment to research-led professional practice makes it a flagship in this regard. Part-time staff are vital to helping the Unit fulfil its research aims. They combine teaching with clinical practice, enabling user groups to benefit from research and students to benefit from practice-based knowledge in the field.

The College attaches the highest priority to the allocation of resources for research development. Staff are eligible for study leave one term in six. Mentoring arrangements are central to Departmental staff development strategy. Annual performance reviews have a research focus and new staff are supported by senior academics. Goldsmiths Research Office and Graduate School provide training programmes in research project management, grant applications and doctoral supervision. Regular seminars connect new researchers with the established research community, offering opportunities to advance new ideas.

The departmental Research Committee supports conference attendance, prioritising ensuring opportunities for early career researchers. RCF has been provided to staff who can demonstrate that they will be presenting a paper of direct relevance to their RCF-funded project; staff are encouraged to seek external sponsorship where appropriate.


The RAE 2001 submission prioritised consolidating and strengthening the Unit’s research framework. As indicated in the Introduction and substantiated under Research Structure, much has been achieved with the support of the RCF and College research strategies, as well as from the creation of strong networks in the UK and overseas. Over the next five years our strategy will continue to be informed by institutional drivers, policies of professional associations and funding councils, and by political and social agendas that impact on health and social care and on the psychological and arts therapies in particular. Future projects, all RCF supported, include:
  • Waller’s research on the role that art therapy can play in the management of social change, with particular emphasis on Eastern Europe and the enlarged EU
  • Drydens new work on the representation of REBT in Counselling and Psychotherapy textbooks
  • Haukes work on the creative use of photographic imagery in psychotherapy

Projects which help to strengthen the evidence base for our disciplines will be prioritised. Capitalising on our reputation for interdisciplinary research, we will continue to shape professional education and training and the development of clinical and practice based research.


Editorial and related academic work
  • Editor: Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • General editor: Counselling in Action; Counselling and Psychotherapy in Focus
  • Member editorial board: Counselling Psychology Quarterly; The International Journal of Psychotherapy; The Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

  • Member advisory board: Inscape (The International Journal of Art Therapy); The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art Therapy

  • Member editorial board: The Journal of Psychotherapy and Politics
  • Deputy editor (2001-2006): Harvest, The International Journal for Jungian Studies

  • Member editorial board: Inscape

  • Member advisory board: Learning in Health and Social Care; Inscape; The International Journal of Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy; Russian Journal of Art Therapy; Spanish Journal of Art Therapy
Staff regularly referee manuscripts four such major publishers as Sage, Routledge, Palgrave-Macmillan and McGraw-Hill.
Conference contributions

DrydenRegular invitations to speak at events in USA and Europe,
including in Prague and New York.
Gilroy Keynote papers: University of Western Sydney (2003, 2006); Long Island University, New York; University of Krakow, Poland (both 2006)

HaukeKeynote papers: Zurich and New York Jung Institute (2001-2005); the International Congress of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, Cambridge (2001); the Jung Society of Ireland (2003); the Centre for Object Relations, Seattle (2003); New York University Film School (2006)

TippleSheffield University; Royal Holloway College; Great Ormond Street Hospital (2004-2006)

WallerKeynote papers in the UK and abroad throughout the period: in the past two years, at universities and congresses in Australia, USA, Brazil, Israel, Korea, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, and Germany

Impact on policy and practice
As has been demonstrated above, the Unit’s work is widely influential both in the policy arena and in professional practice. Highlights in the assessment period include:
DrydenHandbook of Individual Therapy, 5th edition

DudleyArt therapy advisor to NICE on evidence-based intervention guidelines

GilroyGuidelines for Art Therapists Working with People Prone to Psychotic States with Oxleas NHS Trust
WallerGuidelines for Art Therapists Wishing to Work with Older People With Dementia; Chair of Education and Training Committee, (HPC); registrant member of the HPC; chair, QAA subject benchmarking group for arts therapies
Awards, honorary positions and other indicators of esteem
AdamsOfficer of the Guild of Psychotherapists; member and trainer, Site of Contemporary Psychoanalysis

DrydenVisiting Professor, Birmingham, East London and London Metropolitan Universities; Honorary DSc, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
GilroyVisiting research fellowships in Australia and New Zealand; Member, Research Committee, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre; member, Narrative, Discourse and Pedagogy Research group, University of Western Sydney
HobartHonorary consultant, British Museum; Visiting Professor, University of Lugano

WallerOBE for services to healthcare; Professor Robert Volmat medal, International Society for the Study of Psychopathology of Expression and Art Therapy; Honorary Life President, BAAT;
council member, World Psychiatric Association’s Section on Art and Psychiatry; Visiting Professor, Imperial College, Queen’s University Belfast, Universities of Ulster and Brighton
External PhD examining
Adams Middlesex, East London
GilroyMaine (USA), Hertfordshire, Portsmouth
HaukeCentre for Psychoanalytic Studies, Essex
WallerDurham, Edinburgh, Sussex, UCL, Queen Margaret

Other media and translation into other languages
WallerFrench, Italian, German, Greek, Spanish, Hebrew and Chinese
DrydenItalian, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese
Hauke Bulgarian, Italian, Korean, Russian and German
Hauke e.g. Radio 4’s All in the Mind