School of Education

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David Murphy

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



David is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and is on the Register of Psychologists Specializing in Psychotherapy. David first joined the School of Education, University of Nottingham in 2004 as a tutor on the BA Humanistic Counselling Practice, in 2008 he joined the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the Centre for Trauma, Resilience, and Growth (CTRG) before taking his current position in the School of Education in 2010.

David's interests are in developing Person-Centred Experiential Psychotherapy and working with people affected by trauma. David has an Honorary contract with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Centre for Trauma as Psychologist Specializing in Psychotherapy.

David acts as consultant in the field of trauma counselling and psychotherapy and has provides therapeutic and psychological services to the Leicestershire police and support staff following major incidents. Following the South East Asia Tsunami David developed and provided therapeutic support to promote psychological wellbeing for officers and staff from the east midlands that were involved in disaster victim identification and repatriation processes. As a result of this work he was awarded an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) certificate of recognition.

Teaching Summary

David is currently the Programme Leader for the MA Person-Centred Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling course. His interests are in approaches to experiential learning and education in the… read more

Research Summary

I am currently collaborating on an exciting research project with partners at the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Newcastle. Together we are developing a software system to… read more

Selected Publications

David is currently the Programme Leader for the MA Person-Centred Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling course. His interests are in approaches to experiential learning and education in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy and the psy professions.

Current Research

I am currently collaborating on an exciting research project with partners at the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Newcastle. Together we are developing a software system to support the development and learning of counselling skills by integrating technology with reflective and experiential learning methods. See here ( ) for a sample or here ( for a recent Radio 4 prgramme where I am talking about the development of the software.

Within the area of psychotherapy process research I am interested in relational processes. I am currently working with colleagues at University of Wisconsin ( carrying out a systematic review and meta-analysis on mutuality in psychotherapy. This study builds of my previously published research on the theme of mutuality within the therapeutic relationship and the association between mutuality and successful psychotherapy outcome. I am keen to continue to research the topic of mutuality in psychotherapy and would welcome contact from potential students or researchers looking to study this or closely related topics.

I enjoy supporting my students to publish research and I am currently completing a systematic review of literature on the topic of mandatory personal therapy during counselling and psychotherapy training.

I am currently in the process of setting up a psychotherapy and counselling research clinic in partnership with students. This itself is a form of action research project. My interest in the area of psychotherapy outcome is generally motivated by the observation that despite decades of psychotherapy research only small gains appear to have been made in improving its effectiveness. Similarly, despite overwhelming evidence for the relative equivalence of effectiveness of different approaches, some are preferred by policy makers and others are preferred by service users. The politic of psychotherapy is something that also interests me.

Past Research

I have recently completed research funded by NHS Nottingham City CCG as Principal Investigator that explored the equity of access to psychological therapies through primary care psychological therapies services. The results of this study will be available soon. The Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group are currently exploring the potential impact of this study for their future commissioning strategy.

Together with colleagues in the School of Nursing I was a Co-Investigator for a research project investigating the potential use of person-centred counselling within community cardiac rehabilitation services. For this project I developed a manual for person-centred therapy for cardiac patients. We are currently working on a funding application for a feasibility randomised control trial of the manual.

Woman's Trust in London provides interventions for survivors of domestic abuse. In 2014 I was commissioned to conduct an evaluation and review of their services over a three year period. This work is ongoing and is having a direct impact on the services available for survivors of domestic abuse.

Future Research

I am always really keen to hear from potential research students, practitioners of psychotherapy or counselling, or colleagues with interests in any aspect of relational process within psychotherapy, education or the helping professions. I enjoy working on collaborative projects and would be happy to hear from potential research students to supervise doctoral study in the area of psychotherapy process/outcome, person-centred psychology, the effects of trauma on individuals, families, groups or communities. Person-centred education and the education of person-centred experiential psychotherapists.

  • MURPHY, D., JOSEPH, S., DEMETRIOU, E. and KARIMI-MOFRAD, P., 2017. Understanding positive self-regard, intrinsic aspirations and authenticity: pathways to well-being Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
  • ROGERS, A. and MURPHY, D., 2017. Person-Centred Therapy and the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. In: Person-Centred Therapy and Mental Health: Theory, Research and Practice Second Edition. PCCS Books. 376-390
  • MURPHY, D. and JOSEPH, S., 2016. Client-centred therapy and posttraumatic growth. In: P. WILKINS, ed., Person-Centred and Experiential Therapies: Contemporary approaches and issues in practice Sage. 119-132
  • MURPHY, D., 2016. Relational depth: theory, research and practice. In: C. LAGO and D. CHARURA, eds., Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy: Origins, developments and contemporary applications
  • JOSEPH, S., MURPHY, D. and PATTERSON, T., 2016. Mindfulness and person-centered therapy. In: I. IVTZAN and T. LOMAS, eds., Mindfulness in positive psychology: The science of meditation and wellbeing Routledge.
  • HOOK, L and MURPHY, D, 2016. Related but not replaceable: A response to Warner's reworking of person-centered personality theory. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies. 16(4), 285-299
  • JOSEPH, S., MURPHY, D. and REGEL, S., 2015. Posttraumatic growth in police officers: Guidelines for facilitating posttraumatic growth. In: S. M. FREEMAN, L. MILLER and A. FREEMAN, eds., Beyond the Badge: A psychological treatment handbook for law enforcement officers. Routledge.
  • MURPHY, D. and JOSEPH, S., 2015. Person-centered therapy: past, present and future orientation. In: D. CAIN, K. KEENAN and S. RUBIN, eds., Handbook of Humanistic Psychotherapies (second edition). American Psychological Association.
  • MURPHY, D. and HAYES, C., 2015. Person-Centered Therapy. In: H. E. A. TINSLEY, S. H. LEASE and N. S. GIFFIN WIERSMA, eds., Contemporary theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy. Sage. 295-322
  • SLOVAK, P., THIEME, A., MURPHY, D., TENNENT, P., OLIVIER, P. and FITZPATRICK, G, 2015. On becoming a counsellor: Challenges and opportunities to support interpersonal skills training. In: CSCW 2015.
  • TICKLE, E. and MURPHY, D., 2014. A journey to client and therapist mutuality in person-centered psychotherapy: A case study. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies. 13(4), 337-351
  • MURPHY, D. and JOSEPH, S., 2014. Person-centred approach: Understanding posttraumatic stress and facilitating posttraumatic growth.. In: P. PEARCE and L. SOMMERBECK, eds., Person-Centred Practice: Working at the difficult edge PCCS Books.
  • MURPHY, D., DUGGAN, M. and JOSEPH, S., 2013. Relationship-based social work and its compatibility with the person-centred approach: principled versus instrumental perspectives British Journal of Social Work. 43(4), 703-719
  • JOSEPH, S. and MURPHY, D., 2013. Person-centered approach, positive psychology and relational helping: building bridges Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 53(1), 26-51
  • MURPHY, D. and JOSEPH, S., eds., 2013. Trauma and the therapeutic relationship: approaches to process and practice Palgrave MacMillan.
  • JOSEPH, S. and MURPHY, D., 2013. Trauma: a unifying concept for social work British Journal of Social Work. n/a(n/a), n/a
  • JOSEPH, S. and MURPHY, D., 2013. Person-Centered Theory encountering mainstream psychology: Building bridges and looking to the future. In: J. H. D. CORNELIUS-WHITE, R. MOTSCHNIG-PITRIK and M. LUX, eds., Interdisciplinary handbook of the Person-Centered Approach. Springer.
  • JOSEPH, S., MURPHY, D. and REGEL, S., 2012. An affective-cognitive processing model of post-traumatic growth Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 19(4), 316-325
  • MURPHY, D., 2012. Mutuality and relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy. In: R. KNOX, D. MURPHY, S. WIGGINS and M. COOPER, eds., Relational depth: Contemporary perspectives and developments Palgrave MacMillan.
  • MURPHY, D. and JOSEPH, S., 2012. Facilitating post traumatic growth through relational depth. In: KNOX, R., MURPHY, D., WIGGINS, S. and COOPER, M., eds., Relational depth: Contemporary perspectives and developments Palgrave MacMillan.
  • KNOX, R., MURPHY, D., WIGGINS, S. and COOPER, M., eds., 2012. Relational depth: Contemporary developments and perspectives Palgrave MacMillan.
  • MURPHY, D., ARCHARD, P.J., REGEL, S. and JOSEPH, S., 2012. A survey of specialized traumatic stress services in the United Kingdom Jounral of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing.
  • MURPHY, D., CRAMER, D. and JOSEPH, S., 2012. Mutuality in person-centered therapy: a new agenda for research and practice Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies. 11(2), 109-123
  • GIBBONS, S, MURPHY, D and JOSEPH, S., 2011. Countertransference and positive growth in social workers Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and Community. 25(1), 17-30
  • JOSEPH, S. REGEL, S, HARRIS, B & MURPHY, D., 2010. What to expect when being counselled for post-traumatic stress Lutterworth: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • MURPHY, D., 2010. The value of multidisciplinary work in responding to trauma Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal. 10(2), 6-9
  • MURPHY, D and CRAMER, D., 2010. Mutuality as relational empowerment In: Paper presented in Relational Depth Symposium. Symposium at the World Association for Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling. Rome, Italy, July..
  • MURPHY, D, JOSEPH, S and DURKIN, J., 2010. Growth in Relationship: A post-medicalised vision for positive transformation. In: N TEHRANI, ed., Managing trauma in the workplace London: Routledge.
  • MURPHY, D., 2009. Engaging trainee social workers in trauma related research In: British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy 15th Annual Research Conference, Portsmouth, May.. (In Press.)
  • MURPHY, D and CRAMER, D., 2009. The relationship conditions, relational depth and outcome In: 2nd Relational Depth Research Conference, University of Nottingham, July..
  • MURPHY, D, TAPLIN, S, REGEL, S and JOSEPH, S., 2009. Thinking outside the local authority box Professional Social Work. 4-6
  • MURPHY, D., 2009. Client-centred therapy for severe childhood abuse: A case study Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 9(1), 3-10
  • SHORROCK, S.T and MURPHY, D., 2008. Empathy: A humanistic take on human factors The Ergonomist. 480(October), 8-9
  • MURPHY, D., 2008. Client and Counsellor perceptions of each other and the relation to outcome In: Researching Relational Depth Conference, University of Strathclyde, February..
  • MURPHY, D., 2008. Counselling and Psychotherapy: A mutual encounter? In: British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy 14th Annual Research Conference, Cardiff, May..
  • MCGAHEY, P and MURPHY, D., 2008. Notes on the Increasing Access to the Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme Person-Centred Quarterly. 6-8
  • SHORROCK, S.T. & MURPHY, D., 2007. The role of empathy in ergonomics consulting. In: P. BUST, ed., Contemporary Ergonomics Taylor and Francis.
  • MURPHY, D, 2005. A qualitative study into mandatory personal therapy during training Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal. 5, 27-32
  • SHORROCK, S.T. & MURPHY, D., 2005. The ergonomist as a skilled helper. In: P. BUST AND P.T. MCCABE, ed., Contemporary Ergonomics Taylor and Francis..
  • MURPHY, D. & SULLIVAN, J., 2004. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing in a County Police Force: Lessons Learned for Future Practice. Counselling Psychology Review. 19, 13-20
  • MURPHY, D., 2003. A qualitative study into mandatory personal therapy for trainee counsellors In: British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy 9th Annual Research Conference, Leicester, May.
  • MURPHY, D. and RADFORD, J., Person-centred counselling following an adverse cardiac event: Integrating person-centred counselling into cardiac rehabilitation programmes

School of Education

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

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5559