Psychology & Philosophy
Broadly, my main research interests are psychology of religion and existential philosophy. More specifically, I have spent several years researching how Christians, Pagans and atheists interact with sacred spaces; and I am interested in applying Kierkegaardian philosophy to non-Christian paths. I am fascinated by the concepts of solitude and silence, and how they can help people in their lives.
In 2007 I joined the Pilgrimage Project, a research initiative based at Oxford University’s Centre for Science and Religion. We studied groups of Catholics and Pagans on their journeys to sacred spaces, and compared their motivations for going and experiences of being there.
In 2018 I teamed up with some researchers at the University of South Wales to look at how increasing numbers of people are building their own belief systems. This research builds on the data gathered from the Pilgrimage Project, including interviews with Pagans in Glastonbury and with atheists and agnostics walking the Camino de Santiago, a traditionally Christian pilgrimage route that has seen a significant increase in non-Christian visitors in recent years.
I am currently training to be an existential psychotherapist at Regent’s University, London. Prior to this I have taken on a variety of roles related to trauma, listening and counselling. This included volunteering on the night shift at Childline, and spending seven years working as a computer crime investigator specialising in child protection.
My interest in talking therapies stretches back a long way: when I was a teenager, I set up a peer group listening scheme in which sixth formers would provide a space for pupils from the younger year groups to talk about things that were bothering them. I ran the service for two years; it continued after I left the school and is still running today.