Amy Woodward

PhD Student


Amy Woodward holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Gloucestershire, an MSc in Psychological Well-being from De Montfort University and is currently completing her PhD in Applied Transpersonal Psychology at the Alef Trust.

Previously, Amy worked within community and forensic mental health services, teaching mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to those with a range of mental health conditions in various facilities. She has volunteered for domestic violence charities and adolescent support services and is currently in the process of achieving certification from the National Hypnotherapy Society, whereby she intends to offer the healing modality of transpersonal hypnotherapy for the purpose of post traumatic transformation and growth. Amy is an active member of the British Psychological Society and the Complementary Medical Association and is an accredited meditation and crystal healing practitioner.

PhD research

Amy’s PhD research aims to explore how a reframed sense of self can be utilised as a psychological and spiritual healing factor in those who have experienced a distinct form of interpersonal abuse, coercive control. The research consists of a mixed method, exploratory sequential design that involves three studies with participants who identify as survivors of coercive control; an intuitive inquiry to explore survivor’s experiences, the development and implementation of a psycho-spiritual intervention workbook, and a randomised control trial to assess the effectiveness of the intervention amongst survivors.

The research questions being explored are whether coercive control influences survivor’s sense of self, as well as their spiritual and/or psychological well-being, whether it is feasible for survivors of coercive control to participate in a psycho-spiritual intervention workbook, and whether participation in a psycho-spiritual intervention workbook can effectively lead to improvements in sense of self, psychological and/or spiritual well-being in survivors of coercive control.

Amy’s research is unique in three aspects: it explores coercive control as a unique form of interpersonal abuse; it focuses on the under researched spiritual well-being of survivors of coercive control; and it sets out to design a modern intervention based on empirical data and psycho-spiritual principles.

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