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Kate Smith

PhD, Head of Division

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Kate received her BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, later receiving an MA, and completed her doctorate at the University of St Andrews.    She completed her DipPsych(Open) with the Open University, and a PGDip in Counselling at Abertay, where she also recently completed her Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching.

Her doctoral studies at the University of St Andrews, examined the impact of narrative rehearsal on memories of autobiographical events in people experiencing low mood and depression, and she has been a therapeutic practitioner for ten years.

Kate joined the teaching staff at Abertay as a part-time lecturer in 2012, and later as a full-time lecturer, academic curriculum manager and latterly has taken the role of interim head of Division for Mental Health Nursing and Counselling.  She runs, along with Sally Lumsdaine, Julia McLeod and Mhairi Thurston, the Tayside Centre for Counselling, a large-scale project into the development of the pluralistic framework for counselling.  She is involved in projects examining the role of counselling for people with long-term health conditions (both medical and psychological), and heads a research project into the emotional and psychological needs of people with diabetes.  She has published research on training for practitioners in mental health.

Kate is a member of BACP, COSCA, BPS, a Senior Fellow of the HEA, and a founder member of the Pluralistic Practioner Network and chaired the 1st International Conference on Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2018 


Kate is the Head of Division for Mental Health Nursing and Counselling for the School of Applied Sciences.

Kate teaches on both undergraduate and post-graduate counselling and psychology courses:

Kate has a PGCert in Higher Education Teaching, and she also teaches mindfullnes theory and practice.

Research interests

Kate is carrying out research in to the development of pluralistic models for understanding the emotional and psychological needs of people with long-term health conditons.

Kate is involved in the running the Tayside Centre for Counselling as a focus for research in to the development of counselling practice and training within the pluralistic model developed by John McLeod and Mick Cooper.  

She formerly worked on research on the experiences of student nurses who report poor practice while on placement, and brings this experience in to her research on nurse experience and resiliance in training

Kate's doctoral research focussed on the role of narrative accounts on the subsequent recall of and understanding of autobiographical events.  She has carried out research in to the role of mood and mood-disorders on autobiographical memory.  

Students interested in post-gradaute study with Kate should contact her direct.


Graduate Attributes: developing the Abertay model with Eddie Simpson SET.  ATLEF, £4000 March 2017

How inclusive is Abertays on-line learning environment?  with Mhairi Thurston SHS ATLEF, £1850 May, 2016

Counselling for Diabetes, Abertay University pump-priming, £4950 May, 2014

Evaluation of Counselling for Diabetes in Young Adults:  An open-trial and case-analysis, BACP, £4827, 2014


2014- 2018 Glasgow University - External Examiner for Certificate in Counselling Skills (counselling skills, further steps in counselling and group counselling)

2015 - 2018 Newman University - External Examiner for Counselling Introductory Certificate; Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling and Graduate Certificate in Counselling

2016 - External Reviewer for Leeds Beckett validation event.: Advanced Diploma in Counselling for Children and Young People using Creative Arts

2016 - Reviewer for 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference: Inspiring excellence – transforming the student experience, 6-8 June 2017 Glasgow

Knowledge Exchange

June 2016 'Working with vulnerable groups' workshop for Scottish Graduate School for Social Science

April 2016 'Counselling for Diabetes' training workshop for Pluralistic Counsellors Network

February 2015 - 'Collaborative conversations' Workshop for NHS Fife

September - December 2015 - 'Problem solving with patients' Workshops for NHS Fife

May 2013: University of West of England, Bristol.  Day workshop entitled Pluralistic Counselling for Research.

August 2012 - present.  Member of the COSCA Training for Trainers panel


April 2016 - Invited talk at Innovations event, St Andrews


February 15th 2016Dundee Courier article on keeping well with Diabetes


February 10th 2016 Presentation to Scottish Parliament cross-party panel on diabetes 'Emotional and psychological impact of diabetes'


January 2016 Diabetes UK Scotland presentation on the emotional impact of living with diabetes        doi 10.13140/RG.2.1.3684.8729


13th March 2015 STV News: Interview promoting Tayside Centre for Counselling and the Counselling for Diabetes Project


16th March 2015 Wave 102 (Tayside and Fife local radio) Interview for news programme and promotion of Counselling for Diabetes Project

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 11 Nov 2016

Education, PGCert, Abertay University

Award Date: 17 Jul 2014

Psychology , DPsych, The Open University

Award Date: 18 Nov 2010

Counselling , PGDip, Abertay University

Award Date: 15 Jul 2009

Counselling, PGCert, Abertay University

Award Date: 16 Jul 2007

Natural Sciences, MA, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 17 Jul 2003


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