Helen is a Clinical Psychologist interested in attachment theory, anxiety, psychological treatment development, clinical practice and public mental health. Within these contexts, Helen investigates the role of Intolerance of Uncertainty – a dispositional aversion to situations where the outcome is as yet unknown; including manifestations in everyday life, developmental origins and trajectories, therapeutic interventions and implications for classification and diagnosis.
Before joining Cambridge in 2016 Helen trained in the North East working in a variety of mental health and clinical research settings, specialising in family therapy and systemic practice in child and family services. She now works in a community mental health team for adults with complex health and social care needs, promoting psychological understandings of distress and wellbeing.
Helen’s current research is funded by the Wellcome Trust in connection with Dr. Robbie Duschinsky’s New Investigator Award in the Applied Social Science Group. Specifically, Helen is concerned with current applications of attachment theory in clinical practice and resulting implications for the public understanding of attachment-related difficulties and disorders that drive policies of care around the world. This project explores practice across primary, secondary and tertiary services and is supported by funds from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.
Helen is trained in gold-standard classification assessments of infant and adult attachment. Her previous research examined the central tenets of attachment theory and contribution of early experiences to the development of later life anxiety problems. She continues to study transdiagnostic anxiety mechanisms; and contributes to research within her clinical role regarding obsessive-compulsive symptoms in psychosis with second-generation anti-psychotic medication, and psychological processes underpinning hoarding disorder.
Helen teaches on the Psychology and Behavioural Sciences programme, supervising undergraduate students reading medicine and psychology.
Helen is currently working in collaboration with Steedon Productions Ltd. towards the production of STOP The Musical, providing psychological consultation regarding the portrayal of four characters with mental health problems.