Dr Fiona Ashworth

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Psychology

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Applied, Social and Health Psychology

Fiona’s main areas of interests are the psychological interventions and cognitive rehabilitation aimed at alleviating the emotional and cognitive consequences of acquired brain injury.

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fiona.ashworth@anglia.ac.uk

Background

Fiona’s main area of interest is in the role of compassion focused therapy in mental health and wellbeing following brain injury. She aims to make more sense of the emotional experiences (such as shame) and psychological responses to brain injury (such as self-criticism) and whether interventions with a compassion focus are likely to be a useful tool to alleviate these difficulties.

Fiona has a particular interest in the application and utility of Professor Gilbert's compassion focused therapy with people with acquired brain injuries and their relatives. This is one of her main areas of research, although her focus on the role of compassion in wellbeing extends beyond brain injury and into other mental health groups, as well as non-clinical groups.

Fiona is also interested in the role of compassion in adolescents with potential mental health problems. Her interests not only span psychosocial aspects but also biological and neural substrates. For example, she's interested in exploring hormonal responses to stress in people with acquired brain injury. Additionally Fiona is interested in outcome following brain injury including the health economy of neuropsychological rehabilitation.

Research interests

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  • Compassion focused therapy following acquired brain injury
  • Self-criticism and shame following acquired brain injury
  • Biological responses to stress following acquired brain injury
  • Cognitive problems and sleep disorders following brain injury
  • Mental health in clinical and non-clinical groups
  • The health economy of neuropsychological rehabilitation

Fiona is a member of our Emotion and Well-Being Research Area which forms part of our Applied, Social and Health Psychology Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

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  • The emotional experience of men following traumatic brain injury
  • The role of attachment in psychological distress and quality of life following brain injury
  • Self-criticism and shame following acquired brain injury
  • Compassion focused therapy following acquired brain injury

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.

Qualifications

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Oxford
  • Masters in Cognitive Neuropsychology, Oxford Brookes
  • Post-qualification Diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology, Glasgow
  • Postgraduate Teaching Certificate in Higher Education

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Honorary Clinical Psychologist in the Evelyn Community Head Injury Service, Cambridge Community Services
  • Honorary Clinical Psychologist at the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Holistic Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
  • Registered Clinical Psychologist, Health Professions Council UK
  • Chartered Clinical Psychologist, British Psychological Society
  • Associate Fellow, British Psychological Society

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Consultancy

  • Training for professionals in the use of compassion focused therapy for clients with clinical health problems, including acquired brain injury
  • Teaching on Oliver Zangwill Centre courses for clinicians working with people with acquired brain injury
  • Reviewer for Neuro-disability and Psychotherapy
  • Reviewer for Stress and Health

Selected recent publications

Wilson, B., Winegardner, J. and Ashworth, F., submitted. Life after brain injury: survivors stories. Hove: Psychology Press.

Wilson, B., Ashworth, F. and Winegardner, J., 2013. Holistic Neuropsychological Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury: Two cases influenced by a theoretical model. In: Muenchberger, H., Kendall, E. and Wright, J.J., in press. Health and Healing After Traumatic Brain Injury.

Ashworth, F., Clarke, A., Jones, L., Jennings, C. and Longworth, C., 2014. An exploration of compassion focused therapy following acquired brain injury. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.

Ashworth, F., 2014. Soothing the injured brain with a compassionate mind: Building the case for compassion focused therapy following acquired brain injury. In: Neuro-Disability and Psychotherapy: A Forum for the Practice and Development of Psychological Therapies for Neurological Conditions, 2(1), pp.41-79). London: Karnac Books Ltd.

Freeman, A., Adams, M. and Ashworth, F., 2014. An exploration of the experience of self in the social world for men following traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychological rehabilitation, (ahead-of-print), pp.1-27.

Ashworth, F., Gracey, F. and Gilbert, P., 2012. Compassion focused therapy after traumatic brain injury: theoretical foundations and a case illustration. Brain Impairment, 12(2), pp.128-139.

Recent presentations and conferences

Ashworth, F., 2014. The realities, challenges and tribulations of conducting a randomised controlled trial of compassion focused therapy for mental health problems following acquired brain injury. Conference Program and Abstracts of the 11th Annual Conference of the Special Interest Group in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR). Brain Impairment.

Ashworth, F., Bundock, K., Psaila, K., Moss, S. and Allanson, J., 2014) An evaluation of a compassionate mind relatives group. Conference Program and Abstracts of the 11th Annual Conference of the Special Interest Group in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR). Brain Impairment.

Ashworth, F., Wilson, B.A. and Rose, A., 2014. The case of diogenes and disgust: deficit or denial? A clinical puzzle. Conference Program and Abstracts of the 11th Annual Conference of the Special Interest Group in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR). Brain Impairment.

Ashworth, F., Clarke, A., Jones, L., Jennings, C. and Longworth, C., 2013. An Exploration of Compassion Focused Therapy following Acquired Brain Injury. Invited Talk at the Compassion Conference, December 2013, London.

Ashworth, F., 2013. Compassion Focused Therapy following Acquired Brain Injury. Invited Talk at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust Annual Conference, September 2013, London.

Ashworth, F., Clarke, A. and Longworth, C., 2012. Soothing the Injured Brain with Compassion: Is the compassionate mind approach an effective intervention for psychological difficulties after acquired brain injuries within a holistic neuropsychological programme? Poster presentation at the Compassion Conference, October 2012, Manchester. Conference award: greatest contribution to the development of the field of compassion.