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I joined the university in 2007 as Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Counselling Studies. My brief at that time was to develop a new undergraduate degree in Counselling Studies which recruited its first cohort in September of that year. Since then the course has increased its numbers and has an excellent employment record. Completing the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development (Higher Education Practice) enabled me to consolidate my skills and knowledge as an educator in higher education.
Prior to joining the university I undertook postgraduate courses in counselling and careers counselling and worked in these roles and as a trainer in a local authority, universities and a voluntary organisation for young people. During this period I also offered consultancy services to a number of organisations. I pursued my interest in psychology via an MSc in Occupational Psychology.
Research & Scholarship
My present research, which is qualitative in nature, focuses on the impact of student/tutor working relationships on the quality of the learning experience on counselling training courses. Initially I focused on the student perspective, finding that there were a number of qualities and relational factors which students particularly valued in their tutors and which they considered to significantly enhance their learning. I am now investigating the tutor perspective, which so far shows some similarities with and some interesting differences from the student point of view.
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Smith, V., Collard, P., Nicolson, P. and Bayne, R. (2012) Key Concepts in Counselling and Psychotherapy: A critical A-Z Guide. . Maidenhead: Open University Press . ISBN 9780335242214
Smith, V., Collard, P., Nicolson, P. and Bayne, R. (2012) Core Concepts in Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Critical A-Z Guide . Milton Keynes: Open University Press . ISBN 9780335242214
Smith, V (2011) ‘It's the relationship that matters: a qualitative analysis of the role of the student/tutor relationship in counselling training’ Counselling Psychology Quarterly , 24 (3), pp. 233-246. ISSN 0951-5070
Smith, V (2011) ‘Its the relationship that matters: a qualitative analysis of the role of the student/tutor relationship in counselling and psychotherapy training in the UK.’. In: 14th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology , 27th June - 1st July 2011, Thessaloniki, Greece
Smith, V (2011) ‘It's the relationship that matters: a qualitative analysis of the role of the student/tutor relationship in counselling training’. In: 17th Annual BACP Research Conference, 6-7 May 2011, Liverpool Marriott Hotel City Centre
Smith, V (2011) ‘It's the relationship that matters: a qualitative analysis of the role of the student/tutor relationship in counselling training’. In: Health, Wellness and Society Inaugural International Conference , 20-22 January 2011, University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco, USA. , pp. 1-30
I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and following my publications in Counselling Psychology Quarterly and with the Open University Press, have been asked to provide feedback to other prospective authors in these publications.
Research Degree Supervision
While teaching on the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance in a London University, I supervised work at postgraduate level. Since joining Huddersfield, I have so far been engaged in undergraduate supervision. However, I have just taken on supervision of a PhD focusing on working mothers experiences of combining childcare and work commitments in Kuwait.
The other areas I would be interested in supervising include: anything related to the impact of student/tutor relationships on learning; factors which effect the quality of the HE learning experience; most subjects related to counselling and psychotherapy, careers counselling and occupational psychology.
The majority of my contact with external organisations took place whilst working at the University of the Southbank in London in the 1990s. This focused around consultancy and training in areas such as assertiveness, interview techniques and use of personality inventories in staff training.
Teaching and Professional Activities
I am presently module leader for the following modules:
- HFK2001; Counselling Concepts and Skills (a 40 credit module taught on BSc (Hons) Psychology with Counselling and BSc (Hons) Counselling Studies
- HIK1014; Counselling in Context and HHK1015; Personal Development and Career Planning.
I supervise third year students on the Critical Study module (HHK101 ) and undertake counselling skills training on HIK101; Counselling Skills and Process. I am also a tutor on Concepts in Psychology (HFB2028), supervisor for and a personal tutor for students in all year groups of the Counselling Studies degree.