Placeholder image for staff profiles

Dr Laura Simonds

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
+44 (0)1483 686936
41 AD 02



I am a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have provided research supervision and research methods and statistics teaching to doctoral students on clinical psychology training programmes since May 2003, first during employment on the Salomons Clinical Psychology programme and subsequently, from January 2008, at the University of Surrey Clinical Psychology training programme. During this period, I have held the roles of admissions tutor, examinations officer, convenor of research methods and statistics teaching, and coordinator of clinical psychology research degree examinations. I have been external examiner for the UCL, Liverpool, Essex, UEA, Staffordshire and Hertfordshire Clinical Psychology programmes. Prior to posts in clinical training, I taught social and clinical psychology and research methods to undergraduate psychology students.

Research interests

My PhD work focused on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I studied how people with a diagnosis of OCD make sense of and seek help for this condition. I also examined the occurrence of obsessive-compulsive problems in different health attenders (e.g. dermatology patients, expectant mothers). At the heart of this work were issues of shame, stigma and concealment. Over time, I have extended this work to look at mental contamination and shame, the role of shame in non-disclosure during therapy for obsessive-compulsive and eating problems, and interventions to assist people to manage unacceptable thoughts and memories. With Mary John, Chris-Fife Schaw and several clinical psychology doctoral students, I developed a novel semi-idiographic of shame-proneness for use with adolescents. More broadly, I am interested in how people manage the identity consequences of having mental health problems, particularly those associated with moral conflict and violations. I am also interested in mental health recovery and particularly the identity changes involved in this process.

Research collaborations

With Mary John (Psychology, Surrey) I am evaluating the effectiveness of 'recovery colleges' for young people with mental health problems. We previously received NHS funding to develop and understanding and measures of mental health recovery in young people.

With Mark Cropley (Psychology, Surrey), I am collaborating with the charity Rosetta Life to assess the effectiveness of song and movement interventions in increasing the psychological wellbeing of stroke survivors and their carers. This work is funded by Guys and St Thomas Charitable Fund.


Research Methods, PsychD Clinical Programme.

Departmental duties

Examinations Officer, PsychD Clinical Programme.


Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Journal Editorial and Reviewer Activity

Editorial Board Member (Statistical Consultant) for Arts and Health Consulting Editor for Archives of Scientific Psychology (American Psychological Association) I have reviewed manuscripts for Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Mental Health Religion and Culture, Arts and Health, Dementia, and Nursing Ethics

My publications


Journal Articles:

Jackson, S., Simonds, L.M., & Smith, R.M. (2015). Pancreas and islet transplantation: psychological themes pre and post-transplant. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation, 20, 211-215.

John, M., Jeffries, F.W. Acuna-Rivera, M., Warren, F. & Simonds, L.M*. (2015). Development of measures to assess personal recovery in young people treated in specialist mental health services. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 22, 513-524. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1905 (*Corresponding author)

Simonds, L.M., John, M., Fife-Schaw, C., Willis, S., Taylor, H., Hand, H., Rahim, M., Winstanley, H. & Winton, H. (2015, in press). Development and validation of the Adolescent Shame Proneness Scale. Psychological Assessment. doi: 10.1037/pas0000206

South, R., Jones, F., Creith, E. & Simonds, L.M. (2015, in press). Understanding the concept of resilience in looked after children: A Delphi Survey. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi:10.1177/1359104515577485

Simonds, L.M., Pons, R.A., Stone, N.J., Warren, F. & John, M. (2014). Adolescents with anxiety and depression: is social recovery relevant? Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21(4), 289-298.

Kollinsky, L., Simonds, L.M. & Nixon, J. (2013). A qualitative exploration of the views and experiences of family court magistrates making decisions in care proceedings involving parents with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 86-93.

Futh, A, Simonds, L.M*. & Micali, N. (2012). Obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents: parental understanding, accommodation, coping and distress. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26, 624-632. (*Corresponding author).

Newman, S., Simonds, L.M. & Billings, J. (2011). A narrative analysis investigating the impact of first episode psychosis on siblings' identity. Psychosis, 3(3), 216-225.

Hepworth, M., Simonds, L.M. & Marsh, R. (2010). Catholic priests' conceptualisation of scrupulosity: a grounded theory analysis. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 13(1), 1-16.

Simonds, L.M., Demetre, J.D. & Read, C. (2009). Relationships between magical thinking, obsessive-compulsiveness and other forms of anxiety in a sample of non-clinical children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27, 457-471.

Rendall, M.J., Simonds, L.M. & Hunter, M. (2008). The Hot Flush Beliefs Scale: A tool for assessing thoughts and beliefs associated with the experience of menopausal hot flushes and night sweats. Maturitas, 60, 158-169.

Simonds, L.M. & Thorpe, S.J. (2003). Attitudes towards obsessive-compulsive disorders: an experimental investigation. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 38, 331-336.

Thorpe, S.J., Patel, S.P. & Simonds, L.M. (2003). The relationship between disgust sensitivity, anxiety and obsessions. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 1397-1409.

Simonds, L.M. & Elliott, S.A. (2001). OCD patients and nonpatient groups reporting obsessions and compulsions: Phenomenology, help-seeking, and access to treatment. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 74, 431-449.

Lewis, A., Maras, P. & Simonds, L.M. (2000). Young school children working together: A measure of individualism/collectivism. Child: Care, Health and Development, 26(3), 229-238.

Simonds, L.M., Thorpe, S.J. & Elliott, S.A. (2000). The Obsessive Compulsive Inventory: Psychometric properties in a nonclinical student sample. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 28(2), 153-159.

Maras, P., Lewis, A. & Simonds, L.M. (1999). Young children co-operating to co-operate and co-operating to compete in two primary schools. Educational Psychology, 19(3), 245-258.

Book Chapters:

Simonds, L.M., Camic, P.M. & Causey, A. (2012). Using focused ethnography in psychological research. APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology. American Psychological Association.

Conference Papers and Invited Talks:

Rahim, M., John, M. & Simonds, L.M. (2014). Do shame and self-compassion predict variance in substance use in young people? BPS Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference, Glasgow, 5 December 2014.

John, M. Jeffries, F. & Simonds, L.M. (2013). Measuring recovery for young people with anxiety and depression. Recovery Conference, Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, Bournemouth, 6 September 2013.

John, M., Jeffries, F. & Simonds, L.M. (2012). Conceptualising and measuring personal recovery in young people. BPS Division of Clinical Psychology Annual Conference, Oxford, 7 December 2012.

John, M. & Simonds, L.M. (2010). Measuring 'recovery' in young people. Recovery Research Network Meeting, London, 21 October 2010.

John, M. & Simonds, L.M. (2010). Development of a psychometric tool to measure 'recovery'. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust CAMHS Research and Development Seminar, Hove, 27 September 2010.