School of Education

Image of Belinda Harris

Belinda Harris

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr. Belinda Harris is Associate Professor of Counselling and Education, and a member of the Centre for Human Flourishing. She teaches on a range of programmes, including the PG Cert International Student Support and Advice, the MA Trauma Studies and the MA Person-Centred Experiential Psychotherapy

A UKCP Registered Gestalt Psychotherapist, and ICF Professional Certified Coach, she is Chair of the UK Association for Gestalt practitioners, and sits on the European Association for Gestalt Therapy. She is a registered Training and Supervision Member off the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute, and recently completed eight years as Associate Editor of the British Gestalt Journal. Belinda received the Lord Dearing Award for Teaching in 2000 and is an accredited teaching member of the Higher Education Academy. She is also an Honorary Member of UKCISA, the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs. Belinda is Professional Associate of the Gestalt International Study Centre on Cape Cod, MA, where she co-teaches a programme for senior executives, Leadership for the 21st Century. Belinda has authored two books:

  • Harris B. (2007) Supporting the Emotional Work of School Leaders London: Sage
  • Harris, B & Pattison, S.(2004) Research on counselling children and young people: a systematic scoping review Rugby: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

and more recently, co-edited a key text in the field of school based counselling internationally:

Carey, J. Harris, B. Lee, S.M. & Aluede, O. (2017) International Handbook for Policy Research in School Counselling Springer Press

Belinda is currently supervising five doctoral students whose research areas cover the fields of school counselling internationally, educational leadership, teacher stress and mental health teaching in higher education.

Expertise Summary

Belinda has recently completed an International Handbook on Policy Research in School Counselling for Springer Press, drawing on her scoping review of school-based counselling in 105 countries, which she undertook for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) MindEd project, which was funded by the Department of Health. She has also conducted research into school-based social work services and is interested in the intersections between social work, education and counselling services. As a Gestalt therapist she co-leads an Education Initiative for the Gestalt International Study Center in Massachusetts, USA.

Teaching Summary

Experiential learning

Creative approaches to professional training and development

Developing reflective practice

Facilitating group work

Building learning communities in higher education

Student voice

Coaching staff

Research Summary

Research Interests

  • The emotional development of students, teachers, leaders and helping professionals
  • The affective experience of young people, helping professionals and school-based staff
  • The impact of cumulative trauma on individuals, families and schools
  • Multi-sensory teaching and experiential learning in Higher Education
  • Counselling Children and Young People
  • School-based counselling internationally

Current Research

  • The gestalt of education and school leadership ( with the Gestalt International Study Centre - Cape Cod)
  • Trauma in schools - implications for school leadership and extended services provision
  • The role of research in the education and development of professionals working in the field of psychological trauma (with Stephen Joseph and David Murphy)
  • Gestalt theory and practice in education

Recent Publications

  • HARRIS, B., 2017. Using Scoping Reviews to Document and Synthesize Current Practices in School-Based Counselling.. In: CAREY, J., HARRIS, B., LEE, S.M. and ALUEDE, O., eds., International Handbook for Policy Research in School Counseling Springer. (In Press.)
  • DAY, C and HARRIS, B., 2016. Understanding and Planning Emotions Research. In: ZEMBYLAS, M and SCHUTZ, P., eds., Methodological Advances in Research on Emotions and Education Springer. 55-67
  • HARRIS, B., 2015. Gestalt. In: S.PATTISON, M.A.ROBSON and A.BEYNON, eds., The Handbook for Counselling Children and Young People First. Sage. 64-79
  • 2015. In her own voice.: Belinda Harris interviews Gaie Houston British Gestalt Journal. 24(2), 38-45

Belinda is a member of the Centre for Research in Human Flourishing. Her research supervision areas include:

  • cultural issues in communication and counselling
  • experiential learning
  • personal development
  • professional development
  • promoting emotional development in organisations

Research proposals: please email Belinda if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of your research topic. See also: School of Education research supervision areas.

Future Research

  • Faith schools' engagement with extended services - key characteristics for optimal outcomes for vulnerable children and young people (in partnership with Faith in Families and Caritas UK)
  • Scoping review of school counselling (internationally) with Professor Mick Cooper, University of Strathclyde, ( BACP funded) - from January 2013
  • Children's commissioner - engaging children and families

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Contact us