My research interests focus on psychological processes in reproductive health with a current emphasis on perinatal mental health. However the ambit covers psychological aspects from menarche to menopause and all phases of reproductive health between. My focus is on understanding adaptation to adverse events and difficulty and also in developing effective interventions and workable systems of care to improve mental health and wellbeing.
There are 4 strands to my work 1) understanding how psychological factors such as attachment patterns and interpersonal processes may influence perception of and response to trauma in relation to childbirth and its associated difficulties 2) considering how we can best prepare women and couples psychologically for childbirth and the transition to parenthood 3) developing ways of training health professionals to identify psychological distress and deliver simple psychological care in the service context and 4) an interest in the experiences of care givers working in potentially traumatic circumstances.
These areas all require close liaison with staff in health care services and service user groups. I am also a consultant clinical psychologist and continue to be involved in clinical service provision . Some of my research is driven initially from theoretical perspective and whilst other work develops from direct clinical observations.
I am currently involved or have completed joint projects with Universities of Sheffield, Nottingham, UCLAN and Leicester and service user groups such as the Birth Trauma Association.
I am strongly associated with the British Psychological Society Perinatal Faculty and the International Society for Psychsomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The latter involves links with 18 countries via, their national groupings of psychologists and medical and nursing specialists involved in reproductive health care.