In 2010, curious about my own successful corporate and consulting career and the results I’d seen mentoring others, I signed up part-time for an Open University Psychology degree, fascinated to understand how working on self-concept could have such an meteoric impact on results. This was meant to be a hobby.
In 2015, I graduated with a First-Class Honours degree and more questions than I had answers for.
For two years, I did my own research alongside full -time consulting contracts and some identity mentoring. In 2017, realising how much more we need to understand about identity, I started a part-time research PhD at Aston University.
At a high level, my PhD research looks at the relationship between identity/ self-concept and mental health. I believed, from my own experiences in coaching and mentoring, and from conclusions drawn from previous research in psychology and sociology, that how we see and portray ourselves has a profound impact on our mental health and our life results.
At the present time, I have collected data for my first three studies and I’m currently working on papers for publication.
Study 1: Relationships between positive and negative autobiographical memories and mental health.
Study 2: Relationships between self-defining memories, goals and mental health.
Study 3: Relationships between central objects/roles and mental health.
I use a mixed method approach, as I believe that qualitative, phenomenological experience is vital to expand on what we can learn from quantitative studies.
My specific areas of interest are self-defining memories, autobiographical narrative, semantic self-knowledge, motivation, self-aspects, central roles and objects, identity disruption and self-concept clarity.
Ultimately, I hope that my work around identity can help to inform a number of interventions in different fields that are used with affective disorders; and potentially, also to develop identity-based interventions for the clinical community.