Department of Psychology
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Psychotherapy study develops a new way to measure relationship quality in counselling

A new scale has been developed to measure a vital quality of therapeutic relationships, “relational depth”, which is associated with positive effects on clients’ mental health.

This scale called the Relational Depth Frequency Scale can be used to study whether the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client leads to improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and other positive outcomes in counselling and psychotherapy. Dr Gina Di Malta from the Department of Psychology at the University of Roehampton, Professor Chris Evans from the University of Sheffield, and Professor Mick Cooper from the University of Roehampton have recently published an article where they describe the scale’s development. To read the full article, please click here.

Pioneering Roehampton research has demonstrated that people with schizophrenia can train themselves to control brain regions linked to verbal hallucinations.

The breakthrough, by brain imaging expert Professor Paul Allen, used an MRI scanner and a computerised rocket game and showed that people were able to alter activity and connectivity in the speech and language regions of their brain.

Dr Beatrice Allegranti, Choreographer and UKCP Reg. Dance Movement Psychotherapist has been awarded Arts Council England funding to develop her practice and research in collaboration with people living with the rare diagnosis of young onset dementia, their family carers and the artistic team Beatrice Allegranti Dance Theatre.

The work includes bespoke Participatory Dances as pathways for re-establishing cognitive connection, intimacy and creative communication for for people living with dementia and their families and, an internationally touring dance theatre production tackling social and medical taboos about loss, intimacy and embodied resistance.

Project blog | Media

Professor Mick Cooper is undertaking a £850,000 nationwide research project into the benefits of professional school counsellors.

The project has seen a professional counselling service established in 18 secondary schools, and is examining whether pupils in need of support improve after counselling from a professional. The project is analysing the cost-effectiveness of school-based counsellors in supporting young people.

Professor Cecilia Essau, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, has developed a new screening tool for schools and nurseries around, in the UK and overseas, to use to help identify signs of neglect in young children.

It was developed by a Europe-wide team of childcare and psychology experts and is believed to be the first protocol of its kind designed specifically for those working with children aged under three.

The University has established a therapy clinic for people in the local community, which is helping Roehampton staff develop their understanding of a range of conditions.

The Centre for Research in Social and Psychological Transformation (CREST) is based at the University’s Whitelands campus and offers up to 24 sessions of ‘pluralistic therapy’ for people in the community.

Elias Tsakanikos has led the first web-based randomized controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of two innovative mobile apps designed to treat agoraphobia - the fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult – and anxiety.

The groups participating in the trial showed significant improvements in symptom severity, and the research provides evidence which will help medical professionals treat patients suffering from agoraphobia.