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Dr Naomi Moller

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Psychology
  • Psychology
  • naomi.moller

Professional biography


PhD, CPsychol, MA, BSc, BA


I started at The Open University in July 2014 as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Currently I am Qualification Director of the BSc Psychology with Counselling  (Q84) and co-chair of a new 120-credit PG module currently in production which is going to form a key part of the new MSc Psychology. I am also a member of the level 2 course Counselling: exploring fear and sadness (D240). 

My previous job was at the University of the West of England (UWE).

Professional affiliations

British Psychological Society - Chartered Psychologist and Member of Division of Counselling Psychology
Journal Editorial Board member:

  • British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy ‘Counselling and Psychotherapy Research’ –since 2013.
  • Counselling Psychology Quarterly  - since 2013.
  • BPS Division of Counselling Psychology ‘Counselling Psychology Review ‘– since 2008.

Recent Publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.


Vossler, A. & Moller, N.P. (2014) (Eds.). The Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Handbook. London: Sage.

Chapters in edited books:

Clarke, V., Hayfield, N., Moller, N. & Tischner, I. (in press) Story completion tasks. In V. Clarke & V. Braun (Eds.), ‘Resource-lite’ qualitative research: Harnessing the potential of textual and virtual methods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vossler, A., Moller, N. & Cooper, M. (2014). Setting the scene - Why research matters. In A. Vossler & N. Moller (eds.), The Counselling & Psychotherapy Research Handbook. London: Sage.

Vossler, A. & Moller, N. (2014). Attitudes to and perceptions of research. In A. Vossler & N. Moller (eds.), The Counselling & Psychotherapy Research Handbook. London: Sage.

Stratton, P., Moller, N. & Vossler, A. (2014). Next steps – Building on and using research in training and practice. In A. Vossler & N. Moller (eds.), The Counselling & Psychotherapy Research Handbook. London: Sage.

Journal articles:

Smith, H., Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (in press) Family Therapy ‘lite’?  How Relate family counsellors conceptualise their primary care family work. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. Impact factor 0.75 

Moller, N. P., Burgess, V., & Jogiyat, Z. (in press). Barriers to counselling for British South Asian Women.  Submitted to Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 

Rance, N., Moller, N. & Clarke, V. (in press) “Eating disorders are not about food they’re about life”: Client perspectives on anorexia nervosa treatment. Journal of Health Psychology. Impact factor 1.748 

Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (2015). Defining infidelity in research and couple counseling: A qualitative study. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 41(5), 487-497. Impact Factor 1.667 

Vossler, A. & Moller, N. (2015). “We argue a lot and don’t talk with each other”: How distressed are families when seeking Relate family counselling? Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15(1), 12-20. 

Topham, P., Moller, N. P. & Davies, H. (2015). Social anxiety in learning: Stages of change in a sample of UK undergraduates. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 40(1), 125-145

Vossler, A. & Moller, N. P. (2014). “The relationship past can’t be the future”: Couple counsellors’ experiences of working with infidelity. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 29(4), 424-435. Impact Factor 0.692 

Rance, N. M., Clarke, V. & Moller, N. P. (2014). “If I See Somebody …. Therapist or Anything, I’ll Immediately Scope Them Out”: Anorexia Nervosa Clients’ Perceptions of Their Therapist’s Body. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 22 (2), 111-120. Impact Factor: 1.484 

Moller, N. P. & Rance, N. (2013): The good, the bad and the uncertainty: Trainees' perceptions of the personal development group, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Linking research with practice, 13 (4), 282-289.

Brown, E., Moller, N. & Ramsey-Wade, C. (2013). Recording therapy sessions: What do clients and therapists really think? Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Linking research with practice, 13 (4), 246-253. 

Topham, P. & Moller, N. P. (2011). New students’ psychological well-being and its relation to first year academic performance in a UK university. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 11 (3), 196-203. 

Moller, N. P. (2011). The identity of counselling psychology in Britain is parochial, rigid and irrelevant but diversity offers a solution. Counselling Psychology Review, 26 (2), 8-16.

Moller, N. P. & Hanley, T. (2011). Editorial: Counselling psychology and theory: From Immanuel Kant to Charlie Brown. Counselling Psychology Review, 26 (2), 1-7. 

Rance, N. M. & Moller, N. P., Douglas, B. A. (2010). Eating disorder counsellors with eating disorder histories: A story of being “normal”. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, 18 (5), 377-392. Impact Factor: 1.484 

Moller, N. P., Allilovic, K.,  & Timms, J. (2009). Risky business or safety net? Clinical psychology, counselling psychology and counsellor trainee perceptions of personal therapy in training: A qualitative thematic analysis. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 11 (4), 369-384 

Moller, N. P., Alilovic, K. & Mundra, N. (2008). Requirements for personal development in British Counselling Psychology programmes. Counselling Psychology Review, 23 (4), 100-103. 

Fouladi, R. T., Moller, N. P. & McCarthy, C. J. (2006). Examination of Internal Consistency and Construct Validity of Scores on the Parental Attachment Scale: Preliminary Psychometric Results. Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development. 39(1), 2-30.  

McCarthy, C. J., Lambert, R. G. & Moller, N. P. (2006). Preventive Resources and Emotion Regulation Expectancies as Mediators Between Attachment and College Students' Stress Outcomes. International Journal of Stress Management. Vol 13(1), 1-22. 

Moller, N. P., Fouladi, R. T., McCarthy, C. J. & Hatch, K. D. (2003). Relationship of attachment and social support to college students' adjustment following a relationship breakup. Journal of Counseling & Development. Vol 81(3), 354-369. 

McCarthy, C. J., Moller, N. P., & Beard, L. M., (2003). Suggestions for training students in using the Internet for career counseling. Career Development Quarterly. Vol 51(4), 368-382. 

Jacobvitz, D., Curran, M. & Moller, N. (2002). Measurement of adult attachment: The place of self-report and interview methodologies. Attachment & Human Development. Vol 4(2), 207-215. 

Moller, N. P., McCarthy, C. J., & Fouladi, R. T. (2002). Earned attachment security: Its relationship to coping resources and stress symptoms among college students following relationship breakup. Journal of College Student Development. Vol 43(2), 213-230. 

Fouladi, R. T., McCarthy, C. J., & Moller, N. P. (2002). Paper-and-pencil or online? Evaluating mode effects on measures of emotional functioning and attachment. Assessment. Vol 9(2), 204-215. (20% contribution). 

McCarthy, C. J., Moller, N. P., & Fouladi, R. T. (2001). Continued attachment to parents: Its relationship to affect regulation and perceived stress among college students. Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development. Vol 33(4), 198-213. 

Professional Publications/Practitioner Output /Letters

Moller, N. P. & Clarke, V. (2016). New frontiers of family. Journal article published in: The Psychologist, magazine of the British Psychological Society, 29 (3), 204-208.

Moller, N. P. (2015). The Therapy Relationship: Key Ideas in Therapy 1/3. [Video file]. Retrieved from:

One of three short films (The Therapy Relationship, Being Present, Beyond the Individual) made with Dr. Andreas Vossler, Dr. Meg John Barker, OU media staff and Damn Fine Media. At April 5 2016, The Therapy Relationship had accrued over 4,800 views on YouTube.

Moller, N. P. (2015) Body weight and the credibility of psychologists: What might fat stigma mean for overweight practitioners? Invited Letter in: The Psychologist, magazine of the British Psychological Society, February, Vol. 28.

Moller, Naomi (2014). Too fat to practise? Journal article published in Therapy Today, magazine of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, December edition.

Conference papers (last five years only):

Moller, N., Wilcox, R. & Vossler, A. (2016). The impact of a grief intervention with bereaved families: a thematic analysis of therapy transcripts. The Society for Psychotherapy Research, Jerusalem, Israel, June 23-25.

Braun, V., Clarke, V., Hayfield, N., Moller, N.  & Tischner, I. (2016). Exploring the possibilities of story completion methods for experiential and critical qualitative research. Qualitative Methodology Forum, University of Bath, March 23.

Braun, V., Clarke, V. & Moller, N. (2015). Researching meanings, perceptions or constructions using story completion: An introductory workshop. BPS Qualitative Methods in Psychology Conference, Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge, September 2-4.

Moller, N. P. & Clarke, V. C. (2015). Embryo donation for family building: Perceptions of family in the context of fertility treatment: Using a story stem technique. BPS Psychology of Women Annual Conference, Windsor, July 8-10.

Moller, N. P. (2015). Embryo donation for family building – troubling understandings of kinship. Troubling Families: A FaRComm Symposium, Open University, Milton Keynes, , June 29.

Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (2015). Perceptions and experiences of Internet infidelity: views of the general public. Society for Psychotherapy Research annual conference, University of Pennsylvania, USA, June 25-27.

Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (2015)  Why are therapy transcripts important for counselling & psychotherapy research? Researching Therapy Talk: Qualitative methods for analysing Counselling and Psychotherapy transcripts, London, OU Camden, 22 May 2015.

Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (2015): Perceptions and experiences of Internet infidelity: views of couple counsellors and members of the general public. British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, annual research conference, Nottingham, May 15-16.

Moller, N. P. (2014). Using the story stem method to examine understandings of fat in the counselling room. ‘Appearance Matters 6’, Bristol, July 1-2.

Vossler, A. & Moller, N.P. (2014). Assumptions about overweight counsellors. The ‘Fourth International Conference on Health, Wellness and Society’, Vancouver, Canada, March 15.

Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (2013). Assumptions about fat counsellors: findings from a story-completion task. British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, annual research conference, Birmingham, May 10-11.

Clarke, V. & Moller, N. (2013). Exploring the pitfalls and possibilities of the story completion technique as a method for feminist qualitative research. British Psychological Society Psychology of Women Section Annual Conference, Windsor, 10-12 July.

Clarke, V. & Moller, M. (2012) “Brian rubs his nipple and then David Beckham appears in the smoke”: The joys and challenges of the story completion method. Qualitative Research in an Age of Austerity: Exploring the Pitfalls and Possibilities of ‘Resource-lite’ Methods. British Psychological Society Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section one-day seminar, University of the West of England, October 25.

Moller, N. P. & Vossler, A. (2012). Story completion in Counselling and Psychotherapy research: the benefits of a qualitative projective method. British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, annual research conference, Edinburgh, May 11-12.

Vossler, A. & Moller, N. P. (2012). Infidelity in counselling and psychotherapy literature: The power of metaphors. British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, annual research conference, Edinburgh, May 11-12.

Burgess, V. & Moller, N. P. (2012): Trainee Perspectives on Integration. BPS Division of Counselling Psychology annual conference, Bristol, July 15-16.

Research interests

As a counselling psychologist by training I am interested in research with relevance for therapeutic practice. This has led to work focussed in three broad areas:

Firstly, I have a long history of interest in relational dynamics in therapy and more broadly, with my doctoral work focussed on using experimental methods to elucidate attachment dynamics related to attention and memory. Subsequently I have conducted work focussed on family and couple therapy; a more recent interest is how individuals and couple counsellors understand, experience and work with infidelity, in particular internet infidelity. Additionally I interested in the impact of assisted reproduction, embryo donation for family building in particular, on family identity and functioning. These projects, alongside a committment to understanding how broad social changes are impacting family life, will lead in 2016 to a grant-funded series of workshops on New Frontiers of Family.

Secondly I have an interest in how both therapists and clients in a therapeutic space enact, negotiate and experience their identities, especially when part of their identity may be stigmatised. Mental health diagnoses are often stigmatising thus I have an interest in how those who have been assigned a particular mental health diagnosis experience their symptomology, make sense of their identity and cope with their lives. Past work in this area has focussed on eating disorders and social anxiety. I am also interested in how stigma and prejudice impact the therapeutic process and the therapy relationship as well as in the broad social justice agenda and its implications for therapeutic practice. In this area I am currently engaged in work focussed on ethnicity and body size.

Thirdly, due a history of training counsellors and counselling psychologists I have a long-standing interest in therapy training and how to better this; past work has focussed on the role of personal therapy and personal development groups in training as well as the ethical debate over taping therapy sessions for training purposes.

My research is productively widening the methodological as well as theoretical remit of these core areas and adding applied relevance. I work quantitatively and qualitatively, depending on the research question, and have a strong commitment to promoting in the therapy discipline a better understanding and stronger competencies in a diverse range of research methodologies suitable for examining therapeutic practice. I am also concerned to promote methodological innovation, mostly recently becoming interested in qualitative story completion methods and promoting qualitative analysis of transcripts of therapy sessions.

Teaching interests


I have a long history of doctoral supervision with to date seven completions; I am currently supervising Counselling Psychology doctoral students. I have also been an External Examiner for both Counsellign Psychology Professional Doctorates and PhDs. If you are interested in doing a PhD with me, please do email me.

Programme Leadership

At the OU, I am Qualification Director for the BSc Psychology with Counselling.

At the University of the West of England, I was Acting Programme Leader for the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology from 2012-2013 and Co-Acting Programme Leader for the Diploma in Counselling in 2010-2011. I have been module leader for a variety of modules at various levels.

Courses on which I teach or have taught:

At the Open University, current modules that I am involved with are D803: Evaluating Psychology: Research and Practice (Production) and D240 (co-Chair) (Presentation).

At the University of the West of England I taught on:

Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology: Research Methods in Counselling Psychology, Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology, Years 1, 2 & 3, Professional and Ethical Issues in Counselling Psychology, Working with Common Presenting Problems in Counselling Psychology, Working with Mental Health Issues in Counselling Psychology, Personal and Professional Development 1 and 3, Working with Diversity in Counselling Psychology, Counselling Psychology Thesis and Viva.

Diploma in Professional Studies in Counselling: Theory & Practice Year 1 and 2, Personal and Professional Development Year 1 and 2

Undergraduate Honours in Psychology: Counselling Theory and Practice, Developmental Psychology 1 & 2, Atypical Development, Advanced Developmental Psychology, Undergraduate Project Module, Introduction to Psychology, Mental Health, Human Sexuality


Impact and engagement

In 2016, I am co-organising two free seminar series for researchers and practitioners:

'New Frontiers of Family: The psychological implications of emerging family forms’ - a BPS funded 4-day serminar series organised with Dr. Victoria Clarke and Dr. Nikki Hayfield (University of the West of England) & Dr. Fiona Tasker (Birkbeck, University of London).

Relational Intimacies research group seminar series, Couple and Sexual Relationships in the 21st Century: New challenges for partners and practitioners. This CCIG-funded series of 4 evening seminars is organised with Dr. Andreas Vossler (OU).

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