My research interests are in clinical and social psychology, with a focus on how social context influences the boundary between normality and pathology. I investigate social factors that might affect the onset of, and recovery from, mental illness. Currently, I am studying auditory verbal hallucinations, and I am particularly interested in examining the similarities and differences in hallucinatory experiences between clinical and non-clinical populations. Although research studies of voice hearing experiences in people without diagnosable disorders have been published for several decades, there is limited discussion of this literature in the media and in popular culture, which tend to associate voice hearing experiences with serious mental illness and criminality. My work addresses the way such an association might affect people who experience auditory hallucinations. In addition to public perceptions of voice hearing, I study the phenomenology of voice hearing in various social/cultural contexts, and the relationship between auditory verbal hallucinations and normal inner speech. I use both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
My previous research focused on the psychosocial experiences of women with metastatic breast cancer, particularly with respect to their participation in psychotherapy groups and online support groups.