New Publication

From Helping to Hating – Critical Social Justice From a Social Psychological Perspective

Published in Cynical Therapies: Perspectives on the Antitherapeutic Nature of Critical Social Justice 

I am very proud to have contributed to a seminal book which highlights the dangers of critical social justice for the therapeutic professions. The volume, which consists of contributions from professionals within the fields of counselling, psychology and therapy, is long overdue, not least due to a number of hold-ups that our editor Dr Val Thomas details here

My own chapter draws upon my background in social psychology to demonstrate how critical social justice can encourage hatred and even justification of harm toward certain groups. Obviously, this behaviour is very concerning wherever it occurs, but it is especially so when mental health professionals are encouraging and embodying such actions. 

We hope that our book helps to draw attention to these unethical practices, and that others will join the fight-back to ensure that everyone will get the appropriate mental health support that they need. 

An overview of the book chapters is included below. Ebook purchases can be made through KoboBarnes and Noble, and Apple Books and Paperbacks are available on Amazon and Book Depository.

More details can also be found on Critical Therapy Antidote.

Teaching Award

I am delighted to announce that I have been nominated for a teaching award in the category of ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ for my work with junior honours students at the University of Dundee last semester. Teaching has always been the favourite part of my job, so this award means a great deal to me and I am truly honoured to have been nominated.

The Brilliant Club launch

Yesterday was the Scottish launch trip for The Brilliant Club. The aim of the charity is to increase access to university for children from under-represented backgrounds, and after a very successful pilot last year, the Brilliant Club is now extending into Scotland. We are going to be working with three schools in Glasgow and one in Dundee. The children are going to be sitting courses in physics and biochemistry as well as my own social psychology course.

I’m hoping my course will give the youngsters some insights into their own relationships, but also some of the events they are currently witnessing in the wider world.





The Brilliant Club

I am delighted to have been employed by The Brilliant Club to help them with their expansion into Scotland. The Brilliant Club is a charity that aims to improve access to higher education for children from under-privileged backgrounds. Previously the charity has been working only in England and Wales, but as of January, we will be working with schools in Scotland too. As part of this, we are teaching courses in our areas of specialism to 3rd and 4th year pupils. I’m very excited to be involved in this project, and will report back regularly.

Below are a few pictures from my first training weekend in Manchester.

Addiction, Behavioral Change and Social Identity

A chapter that my colleagues and I wrote has been published today in a book entitled ‘Addiction, Behavioral Change and Social Identity: The path to resilience and recovery’ . The book ‘explores the social and cognitive processes that enable people who join recovery groups to address their addictive issues. In an era of increasing concern at the long-term costs of chronic ill-health, the potential to leverage group identity to inspire resilience and recovery offers a timely and practical response.’

It ‘examines the theoretical foundations to a social identity approach in addressing behavior change across a range of contexts, including alcohol addiction, obesity and crime, whilst also examining topics such as the use of online forums to foster recovery’ and promises to be essential reading for students, researchers and policy makers across health psychology, social care, as well as anyone interested in behavioural change and addiction recovery.

The chapter that I wrote with my colleagues Juliet Wakefield (Nottingham Trent University) and Fabio Sani (University of Dundee) considers the impact of group identification on addictive health behaviours amongst an adolescent population. We hope you find it interesting and informative!




Publication in Psychiatry Research

I am delighted that my first paper from my PhD research has been accepted for publication in Psychiatry Research. I must extend thanks to my colleagues and co-authors Fabio Sani and Juliet Wakefield, for their expertise, help and support.

Our paper entitled ‘Identification with Social Groups is Associated with Mental Health in Adolescents: Evidence from a Scottish Community Sample’, investigates whether there is a link between mental health symptoms and identification with a variety of groups (family, school and friends) in an adolescent sample.

Higher identification with each group predicted better mental health. There was also an additive effect of group identification, with the odds of reporting psychiatric disturbance decreasing for every additional group with which participants identified strongly. These effects held even when age, gender, and group contact were controlled for.

Our findings have implications for the prevention and treatment of mental problems, offering an alternative to traditional ways of viewing mental illness in adolescence and beyond.

To view the paper in full, please see:

Miller, K., Wakefield, J. R. H, & Sani, F. (2015). Identification with Social Groups is Associated with Mental Health in Adolescents: Evidence from a Scottish Community Sample. Psychiatry Research, 228, 340-346. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.088.

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