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Our Clinic Research

Anger Management Research

The anger management course was run by Dr Gary Sheperd. The group anger management intervention combined Transactional Analysis and Mindfulness and ran for 10-weeks. Results from previous years showed a statistically significant improvement in anger symptoms from the course. Two research papers were published in 2019. Any expressions of interest should be sent to 


Bereavement Counselling

The bereavement research project is based around the Assimilation of Grief Experiences Scale, AGES, a sequence of phases that clients commonly describe on their journey of recovery. My doctoral research developed the model, which can now be used as an observational tool in the second, post-doctoral phase.

In the second phase I am exploring the relationship between attachment style and grief recovery. The facts are well established. Insecure people find grief recovery harder that secure people. They struggle in adapting to their new situation, deny the reality of the loss, and may not seek professional help. My aim is to observe if a client's attachment style is reflected in their language, in a one-to-one counselling context.

So far, the results reveal some surprises. A bereavement that requires counselling is seldom without complicating factors, and these complications appear to override the effects of moderate insecurity. A securely attached client is struggling with a sudden, traumatic and premature death of a close relation, and has made little progress in 12 months. A moderately insecure client whose loss was a good death imbued with positive meaning, completed her journey through the entire AGES sequence in 6 sessions. The results highlight the importance of open-ended counselling in this research.

We need to find ways of recruiting and identifying highly insecure clients who have avoided bereavement counselling, so as to conduct structured interviews. I suspect that a high level of insecurity will begin to override other complicating factors in its salience.

Alongside this research, we are about to embark on testing a self-report outcomes measure based on AGES. Such a measure will provide a useful clinical and research tool. We have enough material for a PhD or several Master's dissertations, should anyone be interested please contact


Children and Young People

The clinic facilitates a children and young people's research project, ran by Grace Holland. This looks into building mental resilience, healthy relationships and emotional regulation. This is through the use of group work, play and physical activity.


Counselling and Disability

Richards current research explores the clients experience of working with a physically disabled counsellor in chronic pain and seeks to investigate the impact physical disability has on both the therapeutic relationship and the counselling process. 

His PhD proposal looks at furthering this initial Masters research, in looking deeper at the concept of the wounded healer. Specifically, when the wounded healer is physically wounded by means of physical disability and chronic pain. This looks beneath these factors and  explores motivations, implications, ethical issues, considerations for practice and existential issues by means of a qualitative autoethnography research design. 

This will also further explore personal efficacy and seek to clarify whether previously cautiously offered suppositions are correct in that clients prefer to work with disabled counsellors by analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. This will be further considered by evaluating the attitudes / opinions of colleagues in the field. This he hopes will both allow further development of his professional practice and substantially contribute to the research field of an area that has limited literature. He hopes through his congruent, lived experience to motivate and encourage others to develop their own ways of being to provide purpose / development and thus benefit to self, others and bring further diversity to the profession. 


Domestic Violence and Relational Regulation

Lynne is engaged in research on practice and process ethics, domestic and relational abuse, grief and trauma, and the development of resilience, emotional and behavioural regulation in young people through group interventions.

Lynne also works with Grace Holland, CMHC children and young people's group project lead, to develop evidence-based interventions for 8-13-year olds.  

She works with the CMHC Director of Bereavement Services on therapy interventions for loss and bereavement and tracking of client change over time.  

Lynne founded the Research & Training Clinic Consortium, bringing together York St John, Salford, Abertay and Newman University Clinics to work together to build capacity for shared minimum datasets for humanistic therapies and to build research capacity across the clinics.


Eating Disorders

What is the research about?

Often research into the experience of eating disorders focuses on the thoughts and feelings that people go through. However recent research suggests that problems with how people perceive their own bodies may also influence body dissatisfaction. As eating disorders can be incredibly difficult to treat and people frequently experience problems in recovery and periods of relapse, the possibility of treating an underlying body perception error might help improve therapy options. This experiment will use virtual reality to investigate how people living with disordered eating experience their bodies when seen from another person’s point of view, and how this contributes to feelings of body dissatisfaction and judgments of body size. Our results will help us learn more about the experience of the body in eating disorders with a view to inform future treatments that may more effectively help to alleviate the distressing symptoms of eating disorders.

What will happen in the experiment?

Participants will undergo a body-swap illusion in which they view their own body from another person’s point of view. Judgments of body size and body satisfaction will be taken before and after the illusion to see if viewing their own body as an observer will influence the experience of the body. There will be two experimental sessions, one before beginning counselling and one after finishing counselling. In between these sessions participants will undergo a course of ten sessions of counselling at CMHC.

Who is doing the research?

This experiment is a collaboration between CMHC at York St. John and the Psychology department at University of York. NHS and university departmental ethical approval has been gained for this experiment.

How do I get involved?

Please contact for more information.


Clinic Research & Outputs

Beetham, Tanya, Gabriel, Lynne and James, Hazel (2019) Young Children’s Narrations of Relational Recovery: a School-Based Group for Children Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence. Journal of Family Violence.

Britten, D. (2015) Felt sense and figurative space: Clients' metaphors for their experiences of coaching. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring. pp. 14-29.

Donachie, Tracy, Hall, Howard, Hill, Andrew P. and Gabriel, Lynne (2015) Perfectionism and perfectionistic cognitions in footballers. In: World Congress on Science and Football, 20-23 May 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark. (Unpublished)

Donachie, Tracy, Hill, Andrew P., Hall, Howard and Gabriel, Lynne (2016) The relationship between perfectionism, perfectionistic cognitions, and pre-match emotions in adolescent footballers. In: British Society for Personality and Individual Differences Annual Conference 2016, 8 April 2016, Nottingham Trent University. (Unpublished)

Gabriel, L. & James, H. (2016) York St John Counselling and Mental Health Clinic. Documentation. York St John. (Unpublished). 

Gabriel, L. (2005). Speaking the Unspeakable: The Ethics of Dual Relationships in Counselling and Psychotherapy. London: Routledge.

Gabriel, L. (2017) Reflexive research with mothers and children. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. (In Press).

Gabriel, L., Tizro, Z., Cronin-Davis, J., James, H. & Beetham, T. (2015) Creative conversations: creating research dialogues with mothers and their children. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. (In Press).

Gabriel, L., Tizro, Z., James, H., Cronin-Davis, J., Beetham, T., Corbally, A., Lopez Moreno, E. & Hill, S.(2015) Give me some space: young person to parent aggression and violence. Journal of Family Psychology. (In Press)

Gabriel, Lynne (2018) Professorial Inaugural. Professor Gabriel. (Unpublished)

Gabriel, Lynne and Wilson, John (2017) Researching One’s Own Clients: Rich Data from an Ethical Minefield. In: BACP International Research Conference, 11-12 May 2018, University of Roehampton. (Unpublished)

Gabriel, Lynne, Tizro, Zahra, James, Hazel, Cronin-Davis, Jane, Beetham, Tanya, Corbally, Alice, Lopez-Moreno, Emily and Hill, Sarah (2018) “Give me some space”: Exploring young person-to-parent aggression and violence.Journal of Family Violence, 33 (2). pp. 161-169.

Pendle, A. (2015) Pluralistic coaching? An exploration of the potential for a pluralistic approach to coaching. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring. pp. 1-13. 

Pendle, A. Rowe, N. & Britten, D. (2017) Coaching in a non-clinical setting with coachees who access mental health services. International Journal of Evidence Based coaching and Mentoring, 15 (1). pp. 78-93.

Roddy, Jeannette K. and Gabriel, Lynne (2019) A competency framework for domestic violence counselling.British Journal of Guidance & Counselling.

Roddy, Jeannette and Gabriel, Lynne (2017) Building a competency framework for domestic abuse counselling practice. In: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference 2017 (18th-19th May) Chester, UK., May 2017, Chester University. (Unpublished)

Saxon, D., Ashley, K., and Bishop-Edwards, L., Connell, J., Harrison, P., and Ohlsen, S., and Hardy, G. E.,Kellett, S., Mukuria, C., Mank, T., Bower, P., Bradburn, M., Brazier, J., Elliott, R., Gabriel, L., King, M., Pilling, S., Shaw, S., Waller, G. & Barkham, M. (2017) A pragmatic randomised controlled trial assessing the non-inferiority of counselling for depression versus cognitive-behaviour therapy for patients in primary care meeting a diagnosis of moderate or severe depression (PRaCTICED): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials.

Saxon, David, Ashley, Kate, Bishop-Edwards, Lindsey, Connell, Janice, Harrison, Phillippa, Ohlsen, Sally, Hardy, Gillian E., Kellett, Stephen, Mukuria, Clara, Mank, Toni, Bower, Peter, Bradburn, Mike, Brazier, John, Elliott, Robert, Gabriel, Lynne, King, Michael, Pilling, Stephen, Shaw, Sue, Waller, Glenn and Barkham, Michael (2017) A pragmatic randomised controlled trial assessing the non-inferiority of counselling for depression versus cognitive-behaviour therapy for patients in primary care meeting a diagnosis of moderate or severe depression (PRaCTICED): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials.

Seamark, D. & Gabriel, L. (2016) Barriers to Support: A Qualitative Exploration into the Help-Seeking and Avoidance Factors of Young Adults. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling.    

Shepherd, Gary and Cant, Matthew (2019) Difficult to change? The differences between successful and not-so-successful participation on anger management groups. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. (Submitted)

Shepherd, Gary (2019) Do therapists ever get lonely? In: Alone Together Symposium, 10th-12th April 2019, York St John University

Shepherd, Gary (2019) An anger management programme as an action learning setAction Learning: Research and Practice.

Shepherd, Gary (2017) ‘From where I'm looking it just seems like two people have missed the boat…’: Understanding set behaviour from a socioanalytic perspective. Educational Action Research.

Shepherd, Gary (2016) Developing Deep Group Reflection within a Critical Reflection Action Learning (CRAL) Set. Action Learning : Research and Practice, 13 (3). pp. 252-262.

Shepherd, Gary (2016) How a small family run business adopted Critical Reflection Action Learning using hand drawn images to initiate organisational change. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 13 (1). pp. 69-78.

Wilson, J., James, H. & Gabriel, L. (2016) Making sense of loss and grief: the value of in-depth assessments. Bereavement Care, 35 (2). pp. 67-77.

Wright, Claire and Gabriel, Lynne (2018) Perspectives of Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: An Exploration of the Adjustments to Self-Structure through Meaning-Making in Therapy. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 27 (6). pp. 663-681.

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