Research project

Attachment based psychological interventions for people with psychosis

Project overview

People with psychosis see, hear or believe things that others don't. These experiences can be compelling, highly distressing, and disrupt people’s lives.

We are working with people with psychosis, their family and friends, and NHS clinicians, to develop attachment based interventions and therapies.

Our 'attachment style' is informed by early relationships, and describes the way that we cope with difficult feelings and interact with others. Many people with psychosis report adverse early experiences and develop an insecure attachment style. This makes it hard to cope with their unusual experiences or access treatments that may beneficial.

Our work aims to support people to live well with psychosis – to feel safe, manage their distress, and access recommended treatments if they so choose.


Lead researcher

Professor Katherine Newman-Taylor

Professorial Fellow-Education

Research interests

  • CBT and mindfulness for psychosis
  • Attachment based interventions for psychosis
  • Recovery approaches to living well with severe mental ill-health
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Other researchers

Dr Kathy Carnelley

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • My research area is personal relationships. I investigate the ways in which attachment experiences with parents and romantic partners influence how people view the self, others and relationships. My research focuses on how models of self and others influence people's thoughts, emotions, and behaviours in romantic relationships, for example relationship functioning and caregiving. I am co-founder of the UK Attachment Network.
  • One stream of my research focuses on moving people toward felt security. Attachment security is associated with better relationship quality and well-being. I examine the extent to which temporarily activated attachment security (via priming) can lead to these positive outcomes in a series of studies.  With my colleagues and students, for example, I have investigated the effects of priming attachment security on self-views and relationship-views, feelings of vitality and energy, pain sensitivity, mental health, and therapy attitudes. In addition, I have tested ways to increase the impact of a security prime via repeated priming in the lab, online, or via text messaging.
  • Other streams of research focus on attachment networks (e.g., who serves as attachment figures, how they change over time). Recently I’ve investigated the role of partners in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, examining personal and relational wellbeing and goals. I’m also interested in close relationships and technology use (e.g., technoference).
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Dr Tess Maguire

Principal Teaching Fellow
Connect with Tess

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups