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Dr Tanya Beetham

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Professional biography

Tanya is a Lecturer in Psychology and Counselling based in the School of Psychology and Counselling, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). She joined the OU in 2020 as an Associate Lecturer, and joined as a central academic in 2022. Tanya is a chartered psychologist and a counsellor and psychotherapist. Her interests include trauma, social justice and inequalities, gender-based violence, narrative and feminist approaches, the interconnectedness of methodology and epistemology, and eating disorders/eating distress.

After training as a counsellor and psychotherapist, Tanya completed her MSc at York St John University and then gained her PhD from the University of Stirling in 2020. Her doctoral research used a feminist narrative methodology to explore women’s transitions to young adulthood after experiencing domestic abuse in childhood.

While completing her PhD, Tanya was also lecturing and working as a research fellow. Her research projects included exploring services and/or programmes for those experiencing domestic abuse, perinatal mental health difficulties, child sexual exploitation, child trafficking, and children and young people who are care experienced. Tanya has been involved in domestic abuse research since 2013, and is particularly interested in childhood and young adult experiences of domestic abuse, how people navigate transitions, and reflexive feminist methodologies that centre victim-survivor voices and stories and attend to personal-socio-political intersections.

In her counselling and psychotherapy practice, Tanya works primarily with people who have experienced trauma. She integrates humanistic, feminist, compassion-focused, and mindfulness and embodiment-focused ways of working in psychotherapy and counselling. Tanya is interested in power-sensitive and feminist approaches which attend to the broader socio-structural conditions which experiences of distress are located in and which can create and maintain distress. Tanya is also a certified trauma-informed yoga teacher, and is passionate about working with clients to ‘be’ in their bodies by integrating yoga philosophy and embodied practices.

Research interests

Tanya’s research interests include domestic abuse, gender-based violence, trauma, social inequalities and intersectionalities. Tanya has been involved in domestic abuse research since 2013, and is particularly interested in childhood and young adult experiences of domestic abuse, how people navigate transitions, and reflexive feminist methodologies that centre victim-survivor voices and stories. She is interested in approaches that attend to personal-political intersections taking a critical appraoch that attends to the socio-structural conditions that shape people's experiences of violence, the conditions that enable violence, and the conditions that shape how people make sense of violence and talk about it.

Tanya has worked on projects that have evaluated or explored services for domestic abuse, perinatal wellbeing, child sexual exploitation, care experienced children and young people, and child trafficking. She is interested in promoting and developing inclusive, accessible, and anti-oppressive practice, and developing services for people that aim to reduce barriers to access and that attend meaningfully to intersectionality and power, privilege and oppression. 

Currently, Tanya is working on projects exploring issues relating to gender-based violence. She is also working on projects that explore the impact of 'anti-obesity' public health initiatives on people who have eating disorders, and she is interested in the development of trauma-informed, power-sentivive and intersectionality-informed eating disorder treatment. 

Teaching interests

Tanya's current contributions are to the delivery of D241 Exploring Mental Health and Counselling and to the production of new module D120 Encountering Psychology in the Everyday. Tanya has also been tutoring at the OU since 2020 delivering teaching on DD310 Counselling and Forensic Psychology. Tanya is currently working on the production of short counselling courses.

Tanya's teaching interests include qualitative methods, particularly narrative methods, reflexivity, ethics, feminist methodologies, and participatory approaches. She is also interested in teaching critical approaches, critical mental health, and domestic abuse. In relation to counselling and psychotherapy and clinical practice, her teaching expertise is around person-centred, humanistic and trauma-sensitive approaches, relational working, ethics in practice, and the integration of embodiment practices in trauma focused counselling or psychotherapy. 

Impact and engagement

In collaboration with the Intersectional Violences Research Group (IVRG), Tanya has been involved in providing consultation for the UK government's recently published Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. Publications relating to this consultation work can be found in our article in The Coversation , in a BPS blog post as part of a media campaign, and in the BPS Psychology of Women and Equalities Section (POWES) blog post.

External collaborations

Tanya is a member of the BPS Psychology of Women and Equalities Section (POWES) Committee. She is also a founding member of the Intersectional Violences Research Group (IVRG), an international research group which takes a critical psychological approach using insights from feminist, queer, anti-carceral and trans approaches to the study of sexual and domestic violence.

Tanya was recently awarded the 2022 PCCS Books Research Award, in collaboration with the British Association for Counselling an Psychotherapy (BACP).

Publications

“It’s just kind of this thing that I need to navigate”: Young women’s stories of recoveries after domestic abuse in childhood (2022)
Beetham, Tanya
Violence Against Women ((Early Access))


Feminist listening and becoming: voice poems as a method of working with young women’s stories of domestic abuse in childhood (2022)
Beetham, Tanya
Qualitative Research in Psychology ((Early access))


An intersectional feminist response to the UK government’s Violence Against Women and Girls 2021-2024 Strategy consultation (2021)
Beetham, Tanya
Psychology of Women and Equalities Review, 4(2)


[Book Review] Deconstructing developmental psychology, 3rd ed (2021)
Beetham, Tanya
Qualitative Research in Psychology, 18(1) (pp. 126-128)


Young Children’s Narrations of Relational Recovery: a School-Based Group for Children Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence (2019)
Beetham, Tanya; Gabriel, Lynne and James, Hazel
Journal of Family Violence, 34(6) (pp. 565-575)


“Give me some space”: exploring youth to parent aggression and violence (2018)
Gabriel, Lynne; Tizro, Zahra; James, Hazel; Cronin-Davis, Jane; Beetham, Tanya; Corbally, Alice; Lopez-Moreno, Emily and Hill, Sarah
Journal of Family Violence, 33(2) (pp. 161-169)


Reflexive research with mothers and children victims of domestic violence (2017-06)
Gabriel, Lynne; James, Hazel; Cronin-Davis, Jane; Tizro, Zahra; Beetham, Tanya; Hullock, Ashley and Raynar, Alex
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 17(2) (pp. 157-165)


Sustaining selfhood and embracing ‘selves’ in psychology: Risks, vulnerabilities and sustaining relationships (2019-12-20)
Beetham, Tanya and Pope, Kirstie
In: Randall, James ed. Surviving Clinical Psychology: How to make the most of your journey to qualification (pp. 182-187)
ISBN : 9780429428968 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London


Intersectionality and Social Justice (2019-04)
Beetham, Tanya
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)