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Professor Darren Langdridge

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am Professor of Psychology and Sexuality at the Open University. I am also a UKCP accedited existential psychotherapist and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. I was Head of Department from 2011 - 2014.

Research interests

  • Phenomenological methodology, in particular the role of power and politics in developing a psychosocial phenomenological perspective
  • Existential psychotherapy and mental health, notably work advancing theory and practice when working with sexual and gender minorities
  • Psychology of sexualities, including work on BDSM, ethical non-monogamies and understandings of sex, gender and sexuality
  • Psychology of health and well-being, including work on infertility and assisted conception, HIV/AIDS, and most recently anti-microbial resistance (AMR)
  • Affective evaluation and the use of art as a means of communicating research findings with publics

I have completed qualitative (hermeneutic phenomenological) research on young gay men’s expectations of fatherhood and research on families where there is sharing of genetic origins information following third-party assisted conception. I have also previously carried out research on the construction of sadomasochistic sexual identities, the motivation for parenthood, and also on HIV/AIDS. I am currently working on a project on anti-microbial resistance funded by NHS Health Protection Scotland with Prof Paul Flowers and other colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University.

I also have interests in psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic research and am a UKCP accredited existential psychotherapist maintaining a small private practice in London as Existenz Psychotherapy. This enables me to bring together my theoretical work on existentialism, phenomenology and hermeneutics with people practically engaged in constructing and reconstructing their identities.

I am particularly interested in supervising doctoral students wishing to conduct research on sexualities and/or who wish to employ phenomenological methodologies (particularly those informed by Ricoeur) in their work.

I founded and was co-editor of the Taylor & Francis journal Psychology & Sexuality with Dr Meg John Barker until the end of 2016 where we handed over the editorial responsibilities.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

I have been a leading figure in the production of the counselling programme at the OU, opening up a new teaching area for the institution. I was previously Director of the Foundation Degree in Counselling (X09) and involved in the production of Counselling: exploring fear and sadness (D240). I was chair of production for Social psychology: critical perspectives on self and others (DD307) and Introduction to counselling (D171). I also have made production and presentation contributions to a number of other modules and am now responsible for the presentation of the module (D240) Counselling: exploring fear and sadness.

Impact and engagement

Most recently, I have been leading on the project The Art of Relationships, which explores the power of art to communicate social science findings to the general public, and I am now exploring the utility of this impact framework within a research project on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Citizenship, Identifies and Governance (CCIG)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences
Social Psychology Research GroupGroupFaculty of Social Sciences