Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Guidance for Authors, Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders; 2) Service Responses to Findings and Recommendations 3) T-test comparisons of participants in eating disorder group with and without comorbid depression on questionnaire measures, and VAS ratings before and after experimental tasks.

  • Graham Thew

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Main Research Project:Self-critical thinking and overgeneralisation in depression and eating disorders: An experimental studyThis study investigated the hypothesis that self-critical thinking plays an important role in ‘overgeneralisation’ where specific negative experiences result in more global negative self-views (sometimes known as ‘core beliefs’ or ‘schemas’). Two experimental tasks, one involving word puzzles of varying difficulty, and one focused on body image, were used to elicit self-critical thoughts in participants with depression (n=26), eating disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia and ED-NOS; n=26) and nonclinical participants (n=26). As predicted, following failure experiences on the word puzzle task, the clinical groups showed greater global negative self-views, controlling for baseline scores, compared to controls. Both habitual and increases in state self-critical thinking was associated with overgeneralisation while negative perfectionism was not. As predicted from Barnard and Teasdale’s (1991) Interacting Cognitive Subsystems model, increased global negative self-views were more strongly associated with post-task lowering of mood than self-criticism. Unexpectedly, participants with eating disorders did not report significantly more appearance-related self-criticism or greater global negative self-views after the body image task than the other groups. Overall, the findings are consistent with the suggestion that self-criticism may play an important role in the activation of global negative self-views after a specific negative experience, and this overgeneralisation may in turn result in low mood.Keywords: Self-criticism, depression, eating disorder, overgeneral, failure, perfectionismService Improvement Project:Service user perspectives on the use of outcome measures in psychological therapyDespite much research into the benefits of outcome measurement, service user opinions on this as part of the therapy process have not been investigated. This study aimed to assess service users’ experiences of completing measures during psychological therapy, with a view to exploring how therapists can maximise how helpful measures are in therapy. Fifteen participants completed surveys about the use of measures in their current episode of care. Results showed that despite mixed experiences in how measures were explained and used, service users showed generally favourable attitudes towards their use in therapy, with them being perceived as most helpful when well integrated into sessions by their therapists. Implications for clinical practice, service development, and further research are discussed.Keywords: outcome measures, service user views, questionnaires, therapy, routine outcome measurementCritical Literature Review:Hoarding among older adults: An evaluative reviewThis article presents an evaluative review of the literature on hoarding in older adult populations. Interest in hoarding is growing rapidly, with significant media attention and the inclusion of ‘hoarding disorder’ in DSM-5. Studies are now beginning to examine the phenomenon within particular client groups. This article aims to synthesise and examine research findings regarding older adults with hoarding problems. Database and journal searching revealed a small but growing body of work in this area, which was reviewed with respect to a number of theoretical issues. The reviewed studies tended to rely on purely descriptive methodologies, meaning that typical case presentations and circumstances are well documented but underlying causal and maintenance mechanisms are less well understood. There is a clear need for longitudinal work and cross-sectional designs comparing age groups, utilising appropriate control groups where possible. Directions for future research in this area are suggested, along with consideration of how the current findings might inform generic theories and models of hoarding.Keywords: Hoarding, ageing, older adults, review
Date of Award3 Sept 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAilsa Russell (Supervisor)

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