The members of the counselling team in the OU’s School of Psychology all have their own pages, listing their research interests and recent publications. Some of our research publications are available online through Open Research Online (ORO). You can find us below and using this link to the School of Psychology staff webpage:
Research interests: counselling and psychotherapy, community psychology and systemic theory, individual and collective health and well-being, intimate relationships. Completed research on child guidance and family counselling, health psychology, psychiatry, media pedagogic and social work. Current research examines infidelity – in a face-to face and online contexts, its impact on couple and family relationships, and therapeutic work with infidelity. As a trained systemic couple and family psychotherapist, also interested in examining couple and family therapy practice using innovative qualitative methods. Recent research grants include an ESRC Impact Acceleration Award to study ‘Internet infidelity: Creating partnerships’ in partnership with Naomi Moller (OU), Oxford University and Tavistock Relationships, London. Public engagements activities include a video drama on OpenLearn I-Spy: Internet infidelity and its impact on couple relationships.
Research interests: counselling and psychotherapy practice and mental health and wellbeing; relationship functioning for couples and families and the therapy experiences of stigmatized populations. Current research projects include: understandings of mental health in the workplace, online infidelity and the impact of digital communication technologies on intimacy, embryo donation for family building, ‘fat’ in the therapy space, and the qualitative story completion method. Current research funding (as Co-investigator) from the NIHR for the project ‘Before, During and After Adult Gender Identity Specialist Services: Improving the integration of care’ (Principle Investigator Richard Holti, OU).
I am a Lecturer at the School of Psychology and a psychodynamic psychotherapist in private practice. I am also Deputy Director of the newly formed Culture and Social Psychology (CuSP) Research Collaboration at the Open University. The result of all this (or the other way round?) is that my research interests are located at the crossroads between the individual and the cultural; between theory and practice; and between social psychology and psychotherapy; and between the conscious and the unconscious. My current research projects include: understanding emergent morality and agency in the Milgram experiments; and the status of interpretation and non-interpretation in psychoanalysis/psychodynamic therapy.
I have long standing research interests in psychiatry and mental health. I started my career examining the impact of the closure of the old asylum hospitals, such as Friern Hospital. My PhD was a study of the impact of serious mental illness on families.
For a number of years I have been interested in the the psychosocial dimensions of criminal behaviour. I am currently writing a second edition of Understanding Criminal Behaviour: A Psychosocial Approach to Violence. The interest in offending led to specific interest in the overlaps between issues of mental health and crime – in particular the controversial category of personality disorder. I have written a book on the history of efforts that have been made to describe criminal types: Disordered Personalities and Crime: A History of Moral Insanity.
I have been involved in research on personality disorder, and the history of innovative treatments that have involved group and social interventions. I have also been involved in research into intervention strategies that aim to help children who exhibit very disturbed behaviour.
I am currently training in group work practice at the Institute of Group Analysis.
Research interests: The main focus of my work is educating and informing the general public in the areas of sex, gender and relationships, and mental health, mindfulness and therapy. I’m the author of a number of popular books in these areas including Queer: A Graphic History (with Julia Scheele), How To Understand Your Gender (with Alex Iantaffi), Enjoy Sex (How, When, and IF You Want To) (with Justin Hancock), Rewriting the Rules, The Psychology of Sex, and The Secrets of Enduring Love (with Jacqui Gabb). I also blog at rewriting-the-rules.com and podcast at megjohnandjustin.com. I have a track record of internationally recognised research in the areas of sex, gender and relationships, and in counselling and psychotherapy which I draw upon in my more popular writing. I was co-founder of the Taylor and Francis journal Psychology & Sexuality. I have published numerous books, chapters, and academic papers including seminal edited collections on BDSM (Langdridge & Barker, 2007) and non-monogamous relationships (Barker & Langdridge, 2010) as well as an international handbook of the psychology gender and sexuality (Richards & Barker, 2015) and a co-authored monograph on sex advice (Barker, Gill & Harvey, 2018). I have also produced several well-regarded texts on counselling and psychotherapy, particularly in my specialist areas of mindfulness, sex therapy, and gender, sexual and relationship diversity (Barker, Vossler & Langdridge, 2010; Barker, 2013; Richards & Barker, 2013; Brotto & Barker, 2014).
Dr Anastasia Economou
Dr Troy Cooper