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Gemma Perman

Teaching Fellow



After completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Bath, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Psychiatry Worker for several years. I worked in a team that contributed to the development of CBT based interventions for Generalised Anxiety Disorder by looking at the role that imagery and verbal worry played in maintaining symptoms associated with GAD. I next completed Clinical Psychology training at the University of Surrey (2011-2014). Since then I have worked as a Specialist Clinical Psychologist in a complex trauma service working with people who are reporting symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I recently joined the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Programme at the University of Surrey as a Teaching Fellow.

Research interests

My special interests include working with individuals and their families that have been affected by trauma, such as refugees, veterans and survivors of abuse. With this in mind, I am interested in research examining trauma-focused interventions, particularly compassion focused approaches, as well as understanding the role that shame plays in the development and maintenance of psychological difficulties more broadly. I am also interested in exploring veterans' experiences of the transition from military to civilian life and how these may relate to high levels of shame and self-compassion. I am also interested in the use of compassion focused approaches to promote well-being and self-compassion across a range of settings including in supervision and clinical psychology training.


I teach on various units on the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Programme, including in the attachment unit on shame and compassion focused approaches.

I also teach on the Undergraduate Programme (module in Clinical Psychology).


Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC; registration number PYL31504)

My publications


Eagleson, C., Hayes, S., Mathews, A., Perman, G., & Hirsch, C. R. (2016). The power of positive thinking: Pathological worry is reduced by thought replacement in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 78, 13-18.

Hirsch, C. R., Perman, G., Hayes, S., Eagleson, C., & Mathews, A. (2015). Delineating the role of negative verbal thinking in promoting worry, perceived threat, and anxiety. Clinical Psychological Science, 3 (4), 637-647.

Hirsch, C. R., Mathews, A., Lequertier, B., Perman, G., & Hayes, S. (2013). Characteristics of worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 44 (4), 388-395.

Hirsch, C. R., Hayes, S., Mathews, A., Perman, G., & Borkovec, T. (2012). The extent and nature of imagery during worry and positive thinking in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121 (1), 238.