Staff Profile


Dr Sue Holttum

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology

Campus: Salomons

Tel: 01227 927113

Profile summary

Dr Sue Holttum is based at the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology at the Salomons Campus. Having previously carried out research on depression, Sue's interests moved to personal growth and 'recovery'. Sue views recovery as individual to each person and as influenced by social context. Sue is interested in creativity in both science and arts, and has begun to research and write about art therapy, as well as being interested in training issues and learning and teaching.

Sue teaches research methods and statistics on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate at Canterbury Christ Church University, and regularly supervises clinical psychology doctorate research. Sue has acted as external examiner on clinical psychology and counselling psychology doctoral projects.

Research and knowledge exchange

Sue has supervised research projects on health psychology, professional development and training, autogenic training, post-traumatic growth, mental health recovery and art therapy. Sue meets regularly with members of the Salomons Advisory Group of Experts by Experience (SAGE), a service user group that advises the clinical psychology programme. Sue takes a special interest in discussion of issues around research and facilitating research consultation to clinical psychology trainees in relation to trainees' research.

In 2012 Sue won a Higher Education Innovation Fund grant to develop an app, initially for the i-Pad, called WhichTest the app. The app derives from Sue's years of experience teaching and supervising research in aplied psychology, and in particular the statistical element of this. WhichTest existed for a number of years as an open-access web site with sponsorship from the Higher Education Academy, and received thousands of hits per month, with very positive user feedback. The feedback enabled Sue to improve on the web site to develop the app. For applied psychologists who have received basic instruction in statistical analysis it is a relatively inexpensive user-friendly resource. Sue is grateful to Dr Jerry Burgess, clinical psychologist for his comments on a prototype build of the app, as well as for the input of staff and students who took part in focus groups during the app's development, and the many former users of the web site who gave their feedback.

Teaching and subject expertise

Sue is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the British Association of Behavoural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. Sue works with ResearchNet servivce users and volunteer workers and with the British Association of Art Therapists.

External activities

Sue writes a quarterly ResearchWatch feature for the journal Mental Health and Social Inclusion, highlighting new and recent research that has relevance to social inclusion of people who experiene mental health difficulties.

Sue is Chair of the steering group of ResearchNet, a network of service user researchers working in partnership with mental health staff to improve mental health services.

In addition Sue chairs the board of trustees of the British Autogenic Society (BAS), which trains people in a meditative approach to relaxation that has some similarities to mindfulness training but which developed through a separate route. BAS has run autogenic training groups on the National Health Service at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine for a number of years.

Publications and research outputs

Deboys, R., Holttum, S., & Wright, K. (2016). Processes of change in school-based art therapy with children: A systematic qualitative study. International Journal of Art Therapy (Inscape). Early online:

Huet, V., & Holttum, S. (2016). Art therapists with experience of mental distress: Implications for art therapy training and practice. International Journal of Art Therapy (Inscape). Early online:

Huet, V., & Holttum, S. (2016).Art Therapy-Based Groups for Work-Related Stress with Staff in Health and Social Care: An Exploratory Study. The Arts in Psychotherapy. 50, 46-57.

Lea, L., Holttum, S., Cooke, A., & Riley, L. (2016). Aims for service user involvement in mental health training: staying human.  Journal of Mental Health Education, Training and Practice, 11 (4), 208 – 219.

Levy, M.A., Holttum, S., Dooley, J., & Ononaiye, M. (2016). Predictors of IAPT psychological well-being practitioners’ intention to use CBT self-help materials routinely in their clinical practice The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, vol. 9, e11. doi:10.1017/S1754470X16000076

Richards, J., Holttum, S., & Springham, N. (2016). How do ‘mental health professionals’ who are also, or have been ‘mental health service users’ construct their identities? Sage Open, DOI: 10.1177/2158244015621348.


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00