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Staff Profile

Dr Stephanie Petty

Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Senior Lecturer, Deputy Associate Head

Stephanie Petty profile image

I am a chartered Clinical Psychologist with two doctorate qualifications, in clinical practice (ClinPsyD) and research (PhD).

At York St John, I am a member of the Doctorate of Counselling Psychology programme team. As Deputy Associate Head of School, I lead strategic development and practitioner training in Psychology.
I have worked as a qualified clinician for ten years in a range of settings, including inpatient, hospital, outpatient, community and neurodiversity settings. I have held senior clinician and clinical lead roles. I was delighted to receive an award from the British Psychological Society for my professional practice.
Alongside clinical practice, I have maintained academic working and research with the University of Nottingham, University of York and York St John University. Please view my research pages for an overview of journal and chapter publications, including contribution to best practice guidance.

I thoroughly enjoy both academic and clinical approaches and think they are extremely complementary.
I am a member of the Neurodiversity, Wellbeing and Counselling research group at York St John University.


I am a doctor of Clinical Psychology, registered with the HCPC and chartered with the British Psychological Society, CPsychol. I completed my Clinical Psychology Doctorate, ClinPsyD, at the University of Hull. I was awarded a PhD in Medicine from the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. I thoroughly enjoy both academic and clinical approaches and have worked as a clinician for ten years in a range of clinical settings, including the NHS and private sectors, with a particular interest in mental health and neurodiversity. I am proud to mention a professional practice award from the British Psychological Society. 

Clinical practice training has included a Foundation Year Diploma in Groupwork Practice (Institute of Group Analysis), clinical supervisor training with the Yorkshire Psychologists Post Qualification Training Committee and EMDR.

  • PhD in Medicine, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, UK, 2020
  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (ClinPsyD), University of Hull, UK, 2013
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology (BSc Hons) 1st Class Degree, University of York, UK, 2009
  • Award: The inaugural Una Holden Award given by the Faculty of the Psychology of Older People, British Psychological Society, 2014, for outstanding commitment and professionalism.


I teach across BSc, MSc and DCounsPsy programmes and supervise student research projects at undergraduate and doctorate levels. 

As a member of the Doctorate of Counselling Psychology programme team, I lead clinical placements and theoretical and practical approaches to psychological assessment. I teach on wider topics of neurodiversity, psychosis, adulthood, integration of models, leadership and clinical supervision. I lead an advanced undergraduate Psychology module on clinical practice. 

I provide individual and group clinical supervision.

I am an academic, pastoral and year group tutor across undergraduate and doctorate courses.


My research interests include disentangling emotional distress and mental health conditions from neurodivergence, including understanding how emotion is experienced and expressed by autistic people, and how this relates to a person’s fit in their world. I explore how professional systems such as healthcare professionals and employers can best serve their clients. Methods of interest include ethnographic and mixed quantitative and qualitative approaches, including corpus-based and freelisting methods.

I am active as an undergraduate, postgraduate and clinical research supervisor, with interests in a wide range of applied clinical research topics, including neurodiversity, intersectionality, social justice, identity and mattering, emotional wellbeing, mental health and emotion-focused responsive care, including for people with dementia. I am interested in different therapeutic modalities and their application across the lifespan as a practitioner psychologist and researcher.

Current research 

Please get in touch if you think we share research interests.


A free resource for autism and emotional wellbeing

I am proud to share this wellbeing resource, to support the emotional wellbeing of autistic people. You can download it for free. It is an illustrated worksheet. The worksheet has come from many different viewpoints, including from autistic people and mental health clinicians and researchers working with them.

Please share the link with anybody who might benefit.

Peer-reviewed research publications


  • Petty, S., Lambarth, S., & Hamilton, L. G. (2023). Rethinking anxiety and depression for autistic adults through personal narratives: mixed-method analysis of blog data. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. doi: 10.1002/capr.12729
  • Petty, S., Eccles, N., Tunstall, L., & Richardson, H. (2023). Shortlists of workplace support for autistic employees: a freelisting study in the UK. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 59, 321-330. doi:10.3233/JVR-230040
  • Petty, S., Allen, S., Pickup, H., & Woodier, B. (2023). A blog-based study of autistic adults’ experiences of aloneness and connection and the interplay with wellbeing: corpus-based and thematic analyses. Autism in Adulthood. doi: 10.1089/aut.2022.0073
  • Hamilton, L. G., & Petty, S. (2023). Compassionate pedagogy for neurodiversity in higher education: A conceptual analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 14. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1093290


  • Petty, S., Donaldson, C., Whetton, J., Baxter, N. (2022). Recommended adaptations to therapy services for autistic adults from specialist clinicians. Current Psychology. 10.1007/s12144-022-04034-6
  • Petty, S., Richardson, H., Eccles, N., & Tunstall, L. (2022). Supporting autistic employees: Understanding and confidence in UK workplaces. Industry & Higher Education. doi: 10.1177/09504222221124505
  • Petty, S., Trickett, A., Thompson, K., Garbutt, R., & Saunders, M. (2022). Revising our understanding of emotional distress for autistic adults; call for research. Current Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s12144-022-03254-0
  • Petty, S., Tunstall, L., Richardson, H., & Eccles, N. (2022). Workplace adjustments for autistic employees: what is “reasonable”? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s10803-021-05413-x


  • Petty, S., Richardson, H., Eccles, N., & Tunstall, L. (In press). Short report: Understanding and confidence in making reasonable adjustments for autistic employees. Autism.
  • Petty, S., Bergenheim, M-L., Mahoney, G., & Chamberlain, L. (2021). Adapting services for autism: recommendations from a specialist multidisciplinary perspective using freelisting. Current Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s12144-021-02061-3 
  • Hobson, H., & Petty, S. (2021). Moving forwards not backwards: heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorders. Molecular Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01226-7 


  • Petty, S., Dening, T., Griffiths, A., & Coleston, D. M. (2020). Meeting the emotional needs of hospital patients with dementia: a freelisting study with ward staff. The Gerontologist, 60(1), 155-164. 
  • Petty, S., Coleston, D.M., Dening, T., & Griffiths, A. (2020).  Emotion-focused care requested by hospital patients with dementia: qualitative analysis of advance care planning documents using descriptive phenomenology. British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 16(1), 2-6. 
  • Petty, S., Griffiths, A., Coleston, D.M., & Dening, T. (2020).  Improving emotional wellbeing for hospital-based patients with dementia. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 22(1). doi: 10.1108/QAOA-05-2020-0019


  • Petty, S., Dening, T., Griffiths, A., & Coleston, D. M.  (2019). The importance of personal and professional experience for hospital staff in person-centred dementia care: a cross-sectional qualitative interview study using freelisting within a UK hospital ward. BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025655 
  • Petty, S., Dening, T., Coleston, D.M., & Griffiths, A. (2019).  Dementia: beyond disorders of mood. Aging & Mental Health, 23(5), 525-528.


  • Petty, S., Harvey, K., Griffiths, A., Coleston, D.M., & Dening, T. (2018). Emotional distress with dementia: a systematic review using corpus-based analysis and meta-ethnography. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33(5), 679-687. doi: 10.1002/gps.4870 
  • Gevaux, N. S., & Petty, S. (2018). Maximising resilience resources for mental healthcare staff. Mental Health Review Journal, 23(1), 37-53.


  • Petty, S., Dening, T., Griffiths, A., & Coleston, D. (2016). Where is the happiness in dementia? International Psychogeriatrics. 28(10), 1752-1753. 
  • Rankin, S., & Petty, S. (2016). Older adult recovery: "What are we working towards?” Mental Health Review Journal, 21(1), 1-10.


  • Blagg, R., & Petty, S. (2015). Sustainable staff well-being within older adult mental health. Mental Health Review Journal, 20(2), 92-104. 


  • Petty, S., Potts, M., & Anderson, D. (2020). Disintegration and integration in dementia care: mentalization as a means to keep whole. In S. Evans, J. Garner, R. Darnley Smith (Eds.), Psychodynamic Approaches to the Experience of Dementia: Perspectives from Observation, Theory and Practice (pp. 169-185). Oxon: Routledge. 
  • Lord, N., Petty, S., Harkness, L., & Dexter-Smith, S. (2017). Psychological formulation. In K. Ross., & S. Dexter-Smith (Eds.). Psychological best practice in inpatient services for older people. Leicester: The British Psychological Society. 

Other publications

Invited author:

  • Petty, S., & McFetridge, M. (2020). Traumatic memories rekindled by life stages. Faculty of the Psychology of Older People, FPOP, Bulletin. Leicester: The British Psychological Society. 

Selected presentations

  • Invited speaker at the 11th Annual UKPTS Conference, York, 28 February 2019. Trauma and Compassion in the context of Autism Spectrum Disorders. 
  • Petty, S., Dening, T., Griffiths, A., & Coleston, D. M. Addressing the emotional needs of individuals with dementia when in hospital. Alzheimer’s Europe, Barcelona. 29-31 October 2018. Poster presentation. 
  • Petty, S. (2018). Addressing the emotional needs of individuals with dementia when in hospital. Institute of Mental Health, Annual Research Day 22nd May 2018. Oral presentation. 
  • Petty, S., Harvey, K., Griffiths, A., Coleston, D. M., & Dening, T. (2017). Personal accounts of distress and dementia: a systematic review with corpus-based analysis and meta-ethnography. Alzheimer’s Europe, Berlin. 2-4 October 2017. Poster presentation.
  • Awarded travel grant by the Doctoral Programmes Committee and Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology for attendance at the 27th Alzheimer’s Europe Conference in Berlin, 2017. 
  • Invited speaker at the Faculty of the Psychology of Older People Annual Conference & AGM, Shrewsbury, 2014.  
  • Invited speaker at the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Practitioner's Day, 2014.

Professional activities

I am a chartered clinical psychologist and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I lead psychological and diagnostic assessments of neurodevelopmental conditions at The Retreat York, which is a specialist mental health care provider and registered charity.

I am an external examiner for a Doctorate Programme in Clinical Psychology in Ireland.

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