Dr Michael Larkin BA PGCert Phd


Senior Research Tutor for Clinical Psychology
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Course Director MRes Clinical Psychology

School of Psychology

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


My main roles involve teaching, supporting and supervising research on the clinical psychology doctorate, and organising the MRes Clinical Psychology course. I also supervise PhD students using qualitative research methods to explore experiences of psychological distress, recovery, relatedness and caring. My research interests are in these same areas.


BA (Joint Hons) English Literature & Psychology; PGCert (Social Science Research Methods); PhD (Psychology).

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, MBPsS, Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research.


I teach on the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, the MRes Clinical Psychology program, and the MSci Applied Psychology program.

Postgraduate supervision

I have previously supervised PhDs by Michelle Palmer, Kuljit Heer and Rita Meneses to completion. I am currently working with the following PhD students: Tara Morrey, Jalix Lees, Sara Tookey, Divya Chadha, Phil Bushell, Jenny La Fontaine, Stephanie Kewley, and Fiona Lerigo. I also co-supervise some other docotoral students within the University, supporting them on phenomenological aspects of their wider projects (e.g. Meltem Budak, Emma Clarkson, Margaret Amankwah-Poku, Chris Wagstaff, Juliane Kloess). In addition, I supervise MRes placements and projects, and DClinPsy doctoral research projects.


I currently run a funded project for the NIHR School for Social Care Research. I am also involved in funded projects for Epilepsy Action, NOTA, and an action research project on hospitalisation in early psychosis, conducted in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. I am involved in several of the University’s interdisciplinary Institute of Applied Studies research initiatives (‘Interpersonal Narratives and Recovery,’ ‘Communicating Mental Health,’ and ‘Health and Happiness.’) These programs build on links to colleagues in other Schools, notably Prof Lisa Bortolotti (whose AHRC ‘Epistemic Innocence’ project I will be contributing to) and Prof Heather Widdows in the School of Philosophy, and Dr Jerry Tew in the School of Social Policy. From next year, I will also be contributing to Lisa Bortolotti's PERFECT project. I am a member of the local Mental Health Research Network’s new Clinical Research Group on ‘Mental Wellbeing, Public Mental Health and Recovery,’ the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, and the University’s service-user research group, Suresearch.

The topics and approaches which link these activites are:

Phenomenology and psychological methods; Relatedness & recovery; Culture & wellbeing (esp. re: psychological distress); Making sense of embodied experiences (e.g. empathy); Making sense of anomalous experiences (e.g. loss of control); Young people & families coping with distress & change; Experiences of psychological interventions & services; Working with interpreters.

Other activities

I edit a webpage about Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).

I host this twitter feed: @ipanalysis

I am the West Midlands representative for the IPA network. Email me to find out about Experiential Psychology meetings in the West Midlands Group.

Find details of IPA training events.


My H-index is currently 14.


Dennis, N. L., Larkin, M. and Derbyshire, S. W. G. (2013), ‘A giant mess’ – making sense of complexity in the accounts of people with fibromyalgia. British Journal of Health Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12020

Vincent, F., Jenkins, H.M., Larkin, M. Clohessy, S. (2012). Asylum-seekers' experiences of trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: A qualitative study. Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy. 41:5, 579-593. Published online: 16 July 2012 dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1352465812000550

Larkin, M. & Willott, S. (2012). Editors: Special Issue on Qualitative Research in Clinical Psychology; Qualitative Research in Psychology. 9:1.

Willott, S. & Larkin, M. (2012). Introduction to the Special Issue on Qualitative Research and Clinical Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 9:1, 1-4.

Meneses, R & Larkin, M. (2012). Edith Stein and the psychological study of empathy. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 43, 151-184.

Oke, N., Rostill-Brookes, H., Larkin, M. (2012) Against the odds: Foster carers’ perceptions of family, commitment and belonging in successful placements. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi: 10.1177/1359104511426398

Holt, N., Larkin, M., Christian, J. (2012). Maintaining connectedness. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/casp.1130

Vincent, F., Jenkins, H., Larkin M., & Clohessy, S. (2012). Asylum-Seekers' Experiences of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Qualitative Study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,. doi:10.1017/S1352465812000550.

Heer, K., Larkin, M., Burchess, I. & Rose, J. (2012). The cultural context of care-giving: qualitative accounts from South Asian parents who care for a child with intellectual disabilities in the UK. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 6:4,179 – 191.

Heer, K., Rose, J., & Larkin, M. (2012). Understanding the experiences and needs of South Asian families caring for a child with learning disabilities in the United Kingdom: an experiential–contextual framework. Disability & Society, 27:7, 949-963.

Flowers, P., Davis, Larkin, M., Church & Marriott, C. (2011) Understanding the impact of HIV diagnosis amongst gay men in Scotland: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Psychology and Health, 26:10, 13781391. dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2010.551213

Hollin, G. & Larkin, M. (2011). ‘The language and policy of care and parenting: understanding the uncertainty about key players' roles in foster care provision.’ Child and Youth Services Review. 33:11, 2198-2206.

Dexter, G., Larkin, M., Newnes, C. (2011). A qualitative exploration of Child Clinical Psychologists’ understanding of user involvement. Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1177/1359104511400970

Larkin, M. & Thompson, A. (2011). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. In ‘Qualitative research methods in mental health and psychotherapy: An introduction for students and practitioners’. Eds. Harper, D. & Thompson, A. Oxford: Wiley.

Rouf, K. Larkin, M., & Lowe, G. (2011). Making decisions about Parental Mental Health: an exploratory study of Community Mental Health Team staff. Child Abuse Review, 20: n/a. doi: 10.1002/car.1172 

Larkin, M., Eatough, V., & Osborn, M. (2011). Interpretative phenomenological analysis and embodied, active, situated cognition. Theory and Psychology, 21:3, 318 – 337. DOI 10.1177/0959354310377544

Rostill, H., Larkin, M., Toms, A., Churchman, C. (2010). A shared experience of fragmentation: making sense of foster placement breakdown. Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry. doi:10.1177/1359104509352894

Fox, A.P. Larkin, M., Leung, N. (2010). The personal meaning of eating disorder symptoms: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Health Psychology. DOI: 10.1177/1359105310368449

McManus, F., Peerbhoy, D., Larkin, M., Clark, D. (2010). Learning to change a way of being: An interpretative phenomenological perspective on cognitive therapy for Social Phobia. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24, 581-589. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.03.018 

Palmer, M., Larkin, M., De Visser, R.., Fadden, G. (2010). Developing an interpretative phenomenological approach to focus group data. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 7:2, 99 – 121. DOI: 10.1080/14780880802513194 [BPS QMiP Early Career Prize for MP]

Redmond, C., Larkin, M., Harrop, C. (2010). The personal meaning of romantic relationships for young people with psychosis. Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 15:2, 151-170. DOI: 10.1177/1359104509341447

Penny, E., Newton, E., Larkin, M. (2009). British Pakistani families’ experiences of support from an Early Intervention Service for first-episode psychosis. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 40, 969-986. DOI: 10.1177/0022022109347967

Green, A., Larkin, M., Sullivan, V. (2009). ‘Oh stuff it!’ The experience and explanation of diet failure: an exploration using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 14:7, 997-1008. DOI: 10.1177/1359105309342293

Smith, J.A., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Research, Practice. London: Sage.

Wane, J., Larkin, M., Earl-Gray, M. Smith, H. (2009). Understanding the impact of an Assertive Outreach Team on couples caring for adult children with psychosis. Journal of Family Therapy, 31 1-26..

Larkin, M., Clifton, E. & De Visser, R.. (2009). Making sense of ‘consent’ in a constrained environment. International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, 32, 176-183. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2009.02.003

Darker, C.D., Larkin, M. & French, D.P. (2007) An exploration of walking behaviour – an interpretative phenomenological approach. Social Science and Medicine, 65, 2172-2183.

Newton, E., Larkin, M., Melhuish, R. & Wykes, T. (2007) ‘More than just a place to talk: young people’s experiences of group psychological therapy as an early intervention for auditory hallucinations.’ Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, 80,127-149.

Larkin, M., Watts, S., Clifton, E. (2006). Giving voice and making sense in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3:2,102-120.

Larkin, M., Rostill, H., O’Shea, M., & Howard, R. (2006). Learning from experience about a competency-based placement system for clinical psychology. Clinical Psychology Forum, 167, 14-20.

Larkin, M. (2006) Book review. [‘A Companion to Qualitative Research.’ Edited by Uwe Flick, Ernst von Kardorff & Ines Steinke. Translated by Bryan Jenner. London: Sage.] Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3:1, 71-74.

Larkin, M., Wood, R.T., Griffiths, M. (2006) Towards addiction as relationship. Addictions Research and Theory 14:3, 207-215.

Reid, K., Flowers, P. & Larkin, M. (2005) Exploring lived experience: An introduction to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The Psychologist, 18:1, 20-23.

Griffiths, M.D. & Larkin, M. (2004) Conceptualising addiction: the case for a ‘complex systems’ account. Addictions Research and Theory, 12:2, 99-102.

Larkin, M. & Griffiths, M.D (2004) Dangerous sports and recreational drug-use: rationalizing and contextualizing risk. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 14, 215-232.

Larkin, M & Griffiths, M.D (2002) ‘Experiences of addiction and recovery: the case for subjective accounts.’ Addiction Research and Theory. 10:3, 281-311.

Larkin M (2001) Social Psychology Section Annual Conference (Review). Social Psychological Review.  vol. 3 (2), September, 3-4.

Larkin, M & Griffiths, M.D (1998) 'Reply to Shaffer (1996) - the case for a 'complex systems' conceptualisation of addiction.' Journal of Gambling Studies 14, 73-82.

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