Dr Cristina Harnagea

Programme director, PsychD Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology
CPsychol, PhD

Academic and research departments

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.



Research interests


This portfolio presents the research component of my work during my five-year training for the Practitioner Doctorate in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology at the University of Surrey. It comprises of a literature review and two qualitative research studies. My literature review explores the professional and ethical issues in the therapeutic relationship between clients who meet the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and trainee counselling psychologists. My first qualitative study then follows on from this review. This empirical research, is an Interpretative-Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of trainee counselling psychologists? lived experience of working therapeutically with clients who meet the DSM-5 criteria for BPD. Lastly, my final research project is a Thematic Analysis (T.A.) of how therapists use their own embodied experiences in the therapeutic process.
This research dossier represents the completed research works towards the fulfilment of the Practitioner Doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Psychology (PsychD). It offers an overview of my research journey followed by a literature review, and two qualitative studies: one Thematic Analysis (TA) and one Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The literature review explored the role of the therapeutic alliance when working with children and adolescents. The first qualitative research study explored therapist?s perspectives of how parents impact the therapeutic alliance when working with children and employed a TA methodology. The second qualitative research study analysed parents? experiences of their child accessing psychological therapy and utilised an IPA methodology.

Additional publications