Felicity is a Chartered Psychologist and academic Health Psychologist leading a programme of mixed methods research around complementary therapies and placebo effects in health care. Her interdisciplinary research has attracted funding from NIHR, Versus Arthritis, and others, and has been published in leading medical, health psychology, and social science journals. With an extensive network of national and international collaborations, Felicity has held visiting positions at Harvard and at the Australian Centre for Integrative and Complementary Medicine at UTS. Drawing on this expertise and experience, she provides research-led teaching and supervision to undergraduate and postgraduate students in health psychology and research methods modules.
- Placebo effects and context effects in healthcare
- Complementary and integrative medicine utilisation
- Treatment decision-making and adherence
- Mixed qualitative and quantitative methods
- Clinical empathy and expectations
Felicity leads an interdisciplinary programme of mixed methods research around contextual effects in health care, encompassing topics including: ethical, scientific and lay perspectives on use of placebos in clinical practice and research; uptake and adherence to treatments for back pain; applications and elaborations of the common-sense model of illness perception; utilisation of complementary and alternative medicines and psychosocial mediators of their effectiveness; mixing qualitative and quantitative methods. She has active grants and offers supervision to students on these topics.
Current PhD Students
Felicity has served as Programme Director on the MSc Health Psychology since 2015 and Director of Programmes in Psychology since 2020. She leads modules on psychological aspects of health care delivery, qualitative research methods, and apprenticeship in health psychology, and contributes sessions to other health psychology and research methods modules. Felicity is an experienced supervisor for final year undergraduate projects, MSc dissertations, Educational and Clinical Psychology Doctorates, and PhD theses.
External roles and responsibilities
Felicity has an MA in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford (The Queen’s College) and an MSc in Health Psychology from the University of Southampton. In 2006 she obtained her PhD in Psychology from the University of Southampton. Following some postdoctoral work Felicity moved to Primary Care and Population Sciences within the Faculty of Medicine to take up an Arthritis Research UK (now Versus Arthritis) Career Development Fellowship. Versus Arthritis also supported a short-term visit to Ted Kaptchuk's lab at Harvard, where she was also a visiting researcher developing a programme of work around lay perspectives on placebo effects. Back in Southampton, in 2012 Felicity took up a Lectureship in Health Psychology and in 2015 became Associate Professor in Health Psychology. Felicity's work on psychological aspects of complementary and integrative medicine led to her selection through international open competition as 1 of 12 inaugural international complementary medicine research fellows at the Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney.