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News article

CEO of UK Council for Psychotherapy to join York St John as a Visiting Professor 

Published: 23 June 2021

  •   Research
  •    Staff
A woman sitting at a table in a cafe and smiling at the camera

The School of Education, Language and Psychology at York St John University is delighted to announce that Professor Sarah Niblock has been awarded an Honorary Visiting Professorship. 

Journalist, broadcaster and academic, Professor Sarah Niblock is head of the leading membership, training and regulatory body for psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Sarah became CEO of UK Council for Psychotherapy in September 2017, an organisation which plays a leading role in the mental health sector.    

Professor Niblock’s involvement in the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, as a Visiting Professor, will provide input on the Research Methods and Doctoral Thesis modules, and on the professional practice module. She will bring expertise from her practice, influencing a focus on inclusivity, public engagement and helping students to engage with research and practice-based evidence to bring about real impact.   

Her own background is not “average” for a chief executive. From a working-class family in Merseyside, she was raised solely by her mother from the age of two years old when her father left. She worked first as a journalist in the North-West reporting on stories like Hillsborough and the murder of Jamie Bulger. She then moved into university lecturing, training students in journalism, before relocating to London in the mid-1990s.   

Before joining UKCP, she was professor and associate dean at University of Westminster’s School of Media, Arts and Design and she has published research on media, trauma and ethics. She is also an Academic Fellow of the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University – and blogs on media ethics, specifically trauma and journalism, for a range of outlets including the BBC. She has presented to public audiences on pop culture at Latitude, the Southbank and the ICA.   

For the last few years Sarah has supported development of research and education of psychologists and psychotherapists, and formulated two professional groups that have been instrumental in changing practice and research attitudes in the field of psychotherapy. These are the Research Strategy group and Education strategy of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.  

Professor Sarah Niblock, Chief Executive of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), says: "I am incredibly honoured to work with Professor Charura and his distinguished colleagues at such an important centre for teaching and research. I am excited about cultivating future leaders who can work with policymakers to find effective, sustainable ways to mitigate the mental health pandemic. I am also passionate about bringing the psychological professions together on key projects to ensure mental health truly achieves parity with physical health."  

Professor Divine Charura, Professor of Counselling Psychology and Programme Director, Doctorate of Counselling Psychology said: “Sarah Niblock is an accomplished, influential and successful Chief executive, public intellectual, and journalist with a global reach. Within the field of psychotherapy, Sarah has influenced social change not only in government, but also in the heart of psychological professions that have been deeply entrenched in traditional ways of working.  Her contribution to the School and York St John will be rich.  Sarah has gravitas, influence, warmth and the ability to bring together disparate voices in a unifying way, all of which align with the values and vision of York St John University.” 

Read more about the UKCP here 

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