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Sarah Fishburn

01642 384932
Job title:
Lecturer in Mental Health/PWP
School of Health & Social Care
Health & Social Care research

About Sarah Fishburn

Sarah Fishburn

Sarah Fishburn
Lecturer in Mental Health/PWP, School of Health & Social Care
T: 01642 384932
Research: Health & Social Care research

I joined Teesside University in December 2016 as a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health, after 12 years of working within a range of clinical roles with individuals with a vast array of mental health difficulties. I primarily work on a postgraduate programme enabling students to become qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners within an IAPT service. 

My academic background is within Psychology, with a specific interest in Developmental Psychology/Psychopathology, and mental health. I completed my degree in Psychology and Masters degree in Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Durham, whilst also working within the field of mental health. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Mental Health Care at Teesside University, before undertaking a PhD in Psychology at the University of York. I continue to work clinically within an IAPT service, alongside lecturing. 


Research interests

My research interests are relatively diverse; my primary research interest is in the quality of the parent-child relationship, specifically parental mind-mindedness, and it's role in predicting children's developmental outcomes, including children's social cognition. I am particularly interested in non-normative groups such as adoptive parents/foster carers, and families that differ from the typical 'nuclear' set-up. 

I am also interested in the delivery and effectiveness of psychological interventions within 'hard to reach' groups, specifically offenders, and the factors that may contribute to the effectiveness of these interventions, including how many offenders gain 'recovery' from their symptoms during treatment. 

Research projects & external funding

Current active research projects: 

Mind-Mindedness in Research and Practice

IAPT within the North East Prisons: Evidencing Mental Health 'Recovery' within a Prison Setting 

External roles and professional activities

Member of the British Psychological Society and the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists 

Learning and teaching interests

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Assessment and Treatment of Common Mental Health Problems 

Psychological Therapies

Clinical and Case Management Supervision

Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

Dialectic Behaviour Therapy 

Delivering Psychological Therapies to 'Hard to Reach' Groups 

Offender Mental Health 


Fishburn, S., Meins, E., Greenhow, S., Jones, C., Hackett, S., Biehal, N., Baldwin, H., Cusworth, L., & Wade, J. (2017). Mind-Mindedness in Parents of Looked After Children. Developmental Psychology, 53(10), 1954-1965.

Meins, E., Munoz-Centifanti, L., Fernyhough, C., & Fishburn, S. (2013). Maternal mind-mindedness and children's behavioural difficulties: Mitigating the impact of low socioeconomic status. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 543-553.