Helen Murphy profile

Dr Helen Murphy

Programme Leader

Department of Psychological Sciences , School of Psychology

Areas Of Interest

Helen is currently working with national practitioners and international scholars on a range of projects that highlight the significance of psychological wellbeing in service delivery and the factors that impinge upon the good psychological health and wellbeing that we can enjoy. With Jess MacKinnon, Helen is examining the experiences of IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) in the NHS and with Joanna Strong, understanding the psychological needs of women who experience posttraumatic stress as a result of giving birth. Helen is continuing to work with Dr Marika Lahtinen on mindfulness and compassion, understanding how this is useful for individuals with generalised anxiety disorder. Internationally, Helen is collaborating with Dr Maura Sellars on the psychological and educational needs of Sudanese-Australian refugee children. Helen continues her work in peace psychology, collaborating with Professor Marie Breen-Smyth on the particulars of NHS service delivery during times of conflict.

On This Page


Helen is a Social Psychologist in the School of Psychology at the University of East London. Helen gained her BA (Hons) in Psychology from the Queen's University of Belfast and then studied at the London School of Economics & Political Science for her MSc in Social Psychology. Helen returned to Northern Ireland to take up a PhD scholarship at the University of Ulster where she completed her thesis in feminist social psychologies. Helen's research interests concentrate on the psychological health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and populations. Helen has recently conducted research on mental health service delivery, specifically the lived experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and client violence against NHS staff. Helen has published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry, in the Journal of Mental Health and in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory Research and Practice.


Helen's research and scholarly activity fall under main three themes: psychological health and wellbeing for individuals; psychological health and wellbeing for groups; and psychological health and wellbeing for populations.


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • Jussab, F., & Murphy, H. (2015). 'I just can't, I am frightened for my safety, I don't know how to work with her': Practitioners' experiences of client violence and recommendations for future practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46(4), 287–297. doi:10.1037/pro0000035|
  • Murphy, H., & Lahtinen, M. (2015). 'To me, it's like a little box of tricks': Breaking the depressive interlock as a programme participant in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 88(2), 210–226. doi:10.1111/papt.12041|
  • Murphy, H., & Perera-Delcourt, R. (2014). 'Learning to live with OCD is a little mantra that I often repeat', Understanding the lived experience of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the contemporary therapeutic context. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 87(1), 111–125. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.2012.02076.x|
  • Hefferon, K., Murphy, H., McLeod, J., Murtie, N., & Campbell, A. (2013). Understanding barriers to exercise implementation 5 years post breast cancer diagnosis: A large-scale qualitative study. Health Education Research, 25(5), 843–856. doi:10.1093/her/cyt083|  
  • Murphy, H. (2008). 'The Troubles', geographies of mental health in Northern Ireland and re-conceptualizing social capital. Critical Public Health, 18(1), 51–64. doi:10.1080/09581590600602161|
  • Murphy, H., & Lloyd, K. (2007). Civil conflict in Northern Ireland and the prevalence of psychiatric disturbance across the United Kingdom: a population study using the British Household Panel Survey and the Northern Ireland Household Panel Survey. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 53(5), 397–407. doi:10.1177/0020764007078340
  • Murphy, H., & Murphy, E. K. (2006). Comparing quality of life using the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL-100) in a clinical and non-clinical sample: Exploring the role of self-esteem, self-efficacy and social functioning. Journal of Mental Health, 15(3), 289–300. doi:10.1080/09638230600700771
  • Murphy, H., & Roopchand, N. (2003). Intrinsic motivation and self-esteem in traditional and mature students at a post-1992 university in the north-east of England. Educational Studies, 29(2–3), 243–259. doi:10.1080/03055690303278
  • Murphy, H. (2003). Exploring leisure and psychological health and wellbeing: some problematic issues in the case of Northern Ireland. Leisure Studies, 22(1), 37–50. doi:10.1080/02614360306570

Non-peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • Riley, S., Evans, A., Griffin, C., Morey, Y. , & Murphy, H. (2015). Crossing into the digital realm. The Psychologist, 28, 652–655.|

Conference Papers

  • Murphy, H. (2014, June). Understanding experiences of civil violence against the emergency services: The paramedics’ story. On the Receiving End of Intervention: Methods in Human Security, The Centre of International Intervention, School of Politics, University of Surrey, Guildford, England.|
  • MacKinnon, J., & Murphy, H. (2013, July). Seeking discourses of care: The next challenge for improving access to psychological therapies. Paper presented at the 8th Biennial Conference of International Society of Critical Health Psychology, Bradford, England.|
  • Murphy, H., & Lahtinen, M. (2013, July). "To me, it's like a little box of tricks'": The experience of programme participants in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. Paper presented at the 8th Biennial Conference of International Society of Critical Health Psychology, Bradford, England.|
  • Murphy, H., & Jussab, F. (2012). Experiences of client violence: The psychologists' story. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of Violence in the Health Sector, Vancouver, Canada.|


BSc (Hons) Psychology

You will develop a good knowledge of the influences on, and factors involved in, human functioning in all the core areas of psychology.

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BSc (Hons) Clinical and Community Psychology

Clinical and Community Psychology is all about learning from, and initiating positive change with, vulnerable and marginalised people and groups.

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MSc Psychology

A conversion course for students with a first degree in another subject area. It means you could go on and train to be a professional psychologist.

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Prof Doc Clinical Psychology

The Prof Doc in Clinical Psychology provides a training programme with academic teaching and clinical work placements based mainly in the NHS.

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Prof Doc Counselling Psychology

Study counselling psychology and get professional training to become a clinician in the NHS, the voluntary sector or in private practice.

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MPhil PhD Psychology

Studying for a PhD with UEL's School of Psychology will push you to the limit - and you'll be supported all the way by our world-class academic staff.

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Helen is a reviewer for the following journals.

  • British Journal of Psychiatry
  • International Journal of Social Psychiatry
  • Journal of Health Psychology
  • Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
  • Psychology & Health
  • Social Science and Medicine