Doctorate in Clinical Psychology : Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Can a transdiagnostic approach be applied when working therapeutically with adults who have long term neurological conditions? A systematic review of third wave therapies ; 2) Can training improve the confidence and skills of staff in the assessment and treatment of Complex PTSD in an inpatient setting? ; 3) Injury attributions, self-criticism and psychological distress in ABI and TBI survivors.

  • Paula Robinson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


People with brain injuries frequently experience anxiety and depression that may be underpinned by high levels of self-criticism. It has been suggested that attributions of responsibility for the injury may play a role in the development of self-criticism and thus contribute to psychological distress. Attributional style may be different in acquired brain injury (ABI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors due to hypothesised phenomenological differences linked to the circumstances in which they both tend to occur. Twenty-one ABI and 22 TBI survivors completed measures of 1) beliefs about brain injury (attributional style); 2) self-criticism; 3) anxiety; 4) depression; and 5) satisfaction with life. In addition, a general population sample of 23 participants completed the latter four questionnaires as a comparison group. ABI and TBI survivors did not differ in terms of scores on mood measures and measures of self-criticism/self-compassion, satisfaction with life and, crucially, attributional style in relation to their brain injury. This study found no evidence to suggest that ABI and TBI survivors psychologically react or respond differently, regardless of the circumstances, cause and type of brain injury sustained. 
Date of Award26 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Salkovskis (Supervisor), Emma Griffith (Supervisor) & Ailsa Russell (Supervisor)


  • brain injury
  • attributions
  • self-criticism
  • psychological distress
  • complex trauma
  • abuse
  • training
  • service improvement
  • systematic review
  • third wave
  • neurological condition

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