Psycho-social studies and Therapeutic Practices research theme

Research theme within Social Science Research Group (SSRG).


The newly formed Association for Psychosocial Studies gives the following introduction to this field:

"Psychosocial Studies is a vibrant field of academic inquiry that has been emerging in the UK since the 1990s, and that is increasingly attracting international interest. It studies the ways in which psychic experience and social life are fundamentally entangled with each other. Psychosocial Studies are characterised by its:

  • explicit inter- or trans-disciplinarity
  • development of non-positivistic theory, method and praxis, and
  • orientation towards progressive social and personal change."

Research inspiration

Psychosocial research draws inspiration from a range of sources including:

  • sociology
  • psychoanalysis
  • critical psychology
  • critical theory
  • post-structuralism
  • process philosophy
  • feminism
  • post-colonial theory
  • queer theory
  • affect theory.

Various “dialects” are in the process of emergence.

UWE Bristol has been active in this field since its inception and our theme members aim to build on and further develop strong areas of research such as methodological innovations, community and identity, affective and group dynamics, resilience, work with looked after children, disability and therapeutic practices, while fostering an applied approach that is both informed by and informing theory.

The Association official journal started its life at UWE Bristol and many publications, some now occupying the role of classics, were generated from members of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies. 

The Research and Knowledge Exchange culture in the theme has fostered and nurtures many Postgraduate students past and present and this has encouraged an applied perspective alongside theoretical and methodological innovation. 

Areas of research expertise

Members of the theme are experts in:

  • psycho-social methodologies, including visual and other innovative methods
  • group relations, psychoanalysis and continental philosophy applied to a variety of research areas and topics. 

Research areas include:

  • work with children and young people, particularly looked after children
  • social pedagogy, disability and therapeutic practices
  • music therapy
  • counselling and social work
  • mental health
  • troubled families
  • community conflict and co-operation
  • intergenerational trauma
  • intergenerational dynamics.

External partners

External Advisor

  • John Diamond (CEO Mulberry Bush Organisation and International Centre for Therapeutic Care)

Visiting Fellows

  • Dr Sally Sales
  • Karen Izod

Other partners

  • Helen Lucey (Bath)
  • David Jones and Angie Voela (UEL)
  • Tamara Bibby and Claire Cameron (IOE)
  • Professor Michael O’Loughlin (Adelphi, New York)
  • Professor Lynne Layton (Harvard, USA)
  • Professor Dr Burkard Sievers (Emeritus)

Organisational links, partners and networks

  • Association for Psychosocial Studies
  • Association for Psychoanalysis
  • Culture and Society (APCS)
  • Organisation for the Promotion of an Understanding of Society (OPUS) 
  • National Centre for Therapeutic Residential and Foster Care
  • Mulberry Bush School
  • Crossfields Institute
  • Fostering Together Ltd
  • Five Valleys Counselling Centre
  • Climate Psychology Alliance
  • Jacaranda Development
  • Social Pedagogy Network
  • Thempra

The Hyphen newsletters

Past editions of The Hyphen newsletters

Contact the theme leader

For further information about this theme, please email Dr Lita Crociani-Windland (

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