Psychological Helping & Support Research Group

Psychological Helping and Support Research Group: Current projects


"Women Helping Women": Peer support in gynaecological cancer

The Women Helping Women project is a collaboration with Dr Sue Gessler at the UCLH Gynaecological Cancer Centre. The study is examining the process and outcome of telephone-based peer support for women undergoing treatment for gynaecological cancer. The research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine what works and what does not in this kind of one-to-one peer support. The initial phase of the project was funded by Cancer Research UK.

Online support groups for depression and anxiety

Several projects are being done on the process and outcome of online support. See the online support group research website for a set of studies being carried out by Jeremy Dean for his PhD research on the outcome of online support groups for depression and anxiety. A related study, on predictors of engagement in online support for depression, is being carried out by Louise White for her DClinPsy project.

GP consultations for psychological problems

Qualitative research, funded by NoCLoR, on the process of GP consultations for psychological problems is being carried out in collaboration with John Cape and other colleagues nationally. It uses the tape-assisted recall method to examine instances of meaning making in general practice consultations.

Mentoring (befriending) for disadvantaged young people

In collaboration with Friends United Network (FUN) and other colleagues we are carrying out studies of the process and outcome of long-term befriending for disavantaged children and adolescents.

Community intervention for hard-to-reach young people

Music and Change, run by Dr Charlie Alcock, is a community-based project targeted at young people at risk of offending.

Research methodology

We have a continuing output of publications on research methods in clinical and community psychology, all of which elaborate the implications of our methodological pluralist stance. Three key ones are our clinical psychology research methods textbook, a paper on pluralism in community psychology research and a chapter on how to select a qualitative research method (the latter two are available on request).

Doctoral projects

Several clinical psychology doctoral projects are currently being carried out within the PHaS research group.

Measures available

The Opinions about Psychological Problems (OPP) questionnaire measures people's views on the causes of and treatment for psychological problems. It is freely downloadable for use in non-commercial research.

The Therapy Orientation and Experiences Survey (TOES) assesses the strength of therapists' preferences for a therapeutic orientation. It is also freely downloadable for use in non-commercial research.