Dr Debora Antoniottide Vasconcelos E Sa


Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

Department:School of Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Applied, Social and Health Psychology

Debora is a clinical psychologist and lecturer in psychology.



Before joining ARU in September 2017, Debora worked as a post-doctoral trial coordinator of a mindfulness-based intervention project for people with Parkinson’s disease at City, University London. Her PhD explored the role of behavioural control, controllability and self-blame attributions in High and Low-Expressed Emotion carers of clients with psychosis, and examined the impact of these beliefs and behaviours on clients’ and carers’ outcomes.

Before moving to the UK, she joined the Depression and Anxiety Disorders Research Programme (Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she coordinated clinical psychiatry research trials with individuals with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders.

Research interests

  • Carers' attributions and their impact on client outcome
  • Expressed emotion
  • Psychosis
  • Interpersonal/family interactions
  • Experience sampling methodology
  • Family interventions


Module leader for Critical Issues in Health Psychology and Mental Health and Distress. Debora also teaches in the following modules: Clinical Psychology, Psychopathology and Diagnosis and Treatment in Clinical Child Psychology.


  • PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Manchester, 2014
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Systemic family therapy, Autonoma University of Lisbon, 2003
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology (clinical cognitive-behavioural and systemic therapy), University of Lisbon, 2001

Selected recent publications

Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Barrowclough, C., Hartley, S., Wearden, A. (2017). Self-blame attributions in relatives of people with recent-onset psychosis: associations with relatives’ distress and behavioural control. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjc.12132

Bogosian A., Hurt C., Vasconcelos e Sa D., Hindle J., McCracken L., Cubi-Molla, P. (2017). Distant delivery of a mindfulness-based intervention for people with Parkinson’s disease: the study protocolo of a randomised pilot trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 3:4. doi: 10.1186/s40814-016-0117-4

Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Wearden, A., Hartley, S., Emsley, R., Barrowclough, C. (2016). Expressed Emotion and behaviourally controlling interactions in the daily life of dyads experiencing psychosis. Psychiatry Res. 245:406-413. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.060

Hartley, S., Haddock, G., Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Emsley, R., Barrowclough, C. (2015). The influence of thought control on the experience of persecutory delusions and auditory hallucinations in daily life. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 65:1-4. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2014.12.002

Hartley, S., Haddock, G., Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Emsley, R., Barrowclough, C. (2013). An experience sampling study of worry and rumination in psychosis. Psychological Medicine, 19: 1-10

Hartley, S., Varese, F., Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Udachina, A., Barrowclough, C., Bentall, R. P., Lewis, S. W., Dunn, G., Haddock, G., Palmier-Claus J. (2013). Compliance in experience sampling methodology: the role of demographic and clinical characteristics. Psychosis 1-4. doi: 10.1080/17522439.2012.752520

Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Wearden, A., Barrowclough, C. (2013). Expressed emotion, types of behavioural control and controllability attributions in relatives of people with recent-onset psychosis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 48(9): 1377-88. doi: 10.1007/s00127-013-0659-1

Berry, K., Gregg, L., Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Haddock, G., Barrowclough, C.(2012). Staff-patient relationship and outcomes in schizophrenia: the role of staff attributions. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50(3): 210-4. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.01.004

Kinrys, G., Vasconcelos e Sa, D., Nery, F. (2007). Adjunctive Zonisamide for treatment refractory anxiety. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 61(6): 1050-105