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Visual and Creative Methods Research Group

Visual and creative methods encompass a wide range of methodologies such as photo production and elicitation, videos, art, spatial interviews and emotion maps. We use visual methods to engage with the material, embodied and social context of people’s experiences within qualitative research. Our research reflects the long-established significance of visual forms of communication and expression, and visual methodologies as a participatory and co-produced form of research.

Our work includes:

  • Co-created films with people experiencing mental illness, coercion and restraint in Ghana and Indonesia
  • Emotion maps of couple’s daily life at home during the COVID-19 lockdowns
  • The role of street art in sustainability and social change
  • Objects representing couples’ memories of taking MDMA (‘ecstasy’) together
  • Photos of couple relationships when they become parents for the second time
  • Ethnographic documentaries on topics related to mental health, human rights and traditional and faith-based healing
  • Participatory videos and Digital stories about severe mental illness and suicidal behaviour in Low-and-Middle-Income countries and among people from migrant and refugee backgrounds

Get in touch

We are social, developmental, and cultural psychologists influenced by many other disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. We are always open to collaborate with new researchers and students from any discipline with a passion (or curiosity!) for visual methods and are available to hold (University fee-based) seminars, workshops and CPD.

If you would like to find out more about the work we do, enquire about CPD opportunities, join the group or are interested in opportunities to work with us as a Research Assistant, Supervisor or MSc/MA or PhD student, please contact Erminia Colucci and Susan Hansen.

  • Our people

Prof Erminia Colucci

Prof Colucci specialises in Cultural and Global Mental Health, focusing on low-middle income countries, immigrants, and refugees. Her research interests include human rights, suicide prevention, domestic violence, child neglect, spirituality, and first-hand accounts of mental illness. She is passionate about using arts-based and visual methods, particularly photography and ethnographic film-documentary, in her research, teaching and advocacy activities. Erminia is the founder of movie-ment.org.

Associate Prof Susan Hansen

Dr Hansen is an expert in qualitative methods such as ethnomethodology, discursive psychology, and conversation analysis. She applies these methods to the analysis of visual data, focusing on everyday sense-making processes. Dr Hansen's research interests include forensic topics like sexual consent negotiation, disputed diagnostic categories in psychology, and the psychology of sexualities. She also explores communities' engagement with street art and graffiti, studying their material interactions and emotional responses

Dr Deborah Bailey-Rodriguez

Dr Bailey-Rodriguez specialises in attachment theory, family and couple relationships, as well as mental health and well-being. Her research has focused on the use of multi-dimensional (such as pluralistic methods) and multi-modal (such as visual and creative methods) qualitative approaches. Dr Bailey-Rodriguez’s research has incorporated the use of photo- and object-elicitation and emotion maps, and she is currently interested in expanding to digital technologies.

Dr Katie Anderson

Dr Anderson is an interdisciplinary psychologist whose research focusses on interpersonal relationships, evaluation of mental health services, mental wellbeing and how drugs, especially MDMA, can alter mental health and relationships. Her expertise lies in qualitative and visual methods, such as emotion maps, objects and relationship timelines, and she has a developing interest in mixed methods studies.

Jude Smit

Jude has been involved with various research projects in both the health and education sectors over the last 18 years, using mixed methods approaches. She has a particular interest in under-represented voices, trauma, suicidality and suicide prevention. Jude actively promotes the value of the arts as a way of engaging and facilitating unspoken narratives and uses the arts and visual methods in her research and teaching.

Tilbe Nur Aslan

Tilbe is an international PhD student and musician with interests in psychology, sociology, art, and philosophy. Her research interests include existentialism, music therapy, autism, suicidal ideation and suicide, couple relationships, cultural impacts on mental health, psychodynamic approaches, and attachment theory. Tilbe has used phenomenological research approaches and thematic analysis for her master’s dissertation, and she will be using visual methods and object elicitation in her PhD research.

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