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Dr Anna Robinson



Personal statement

I joined the University in 2013 and I am a Lecturer in Autism and Course Leader for the MSc in Autism. I am a Chartered Psychologist and a member of the Counselling Psychology Division. I am a Person-Centred Experiential Therapist and a Member of British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy. I received my PhD in Counselling from University of Strathclyde (2014) entitled 'Enhancing Emotion Processing within Emotion-Focused Therapy for People with Autism Spectrum' resulting in the development of a group psychotherapy method Emotion-Focused Therapy for Autism Spectrum. This research received the Outstanding Research Award by The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2017). 

Prior to joining the University I was the lead of Autism Expertise and Knowledge Exchange for Scottish Autism, as the Head of Center for Education & Training in Autism and the Autism Advisory & Consultancy Service. I was a member of the Senior Management Team responsible for the design of the first Autism School in Scotland (New Struan School: A Centre for Autism) and an author for 'The Autism Toolbox: A Resource for Scottish Schools'.  In 1997 I developed a counselling service for clients with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) working individually, with couples and small groups.  


Has expertise in:

    • Making counselling and psychotherapy accessible to clients with Autistic Process 
    • Exploring the relational encounter within Group Therapy 
    • Empathy, Self-Other understanding; Emotional Processing within self-representation
    • Autism and Mental Health including Trauma-Related Difficulties and Emotional Injuries
    • Task Analysis as research Methodology; Grounded Theory Analysis; Ethnography; Case Study; Participatory research; Interpersonal Process Recall

Prizes and awards

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Outstanding Research Award

more prizes and awards


Scottish teachers' experiences of the effectiveness of nurture groups in supporting autistic children
Symeonidou Christina, Robinson Anna
The International Journal of Nurture in Education Vol 4, pp. 45-56, (2018)
Emotion-focused therapy for autism spectrum disorder : a case conceptualization model for trauma-related experiences
Robinson Anna
Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, (2018)
Client emotional processing scale for autism spectrum
Robinson Anna
Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum DisordersEncyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, (2017)
Categorizing qualitative outcomes in person-centred-experiential therapy for social anxiety
Elliott Robert, Jimenez Micaela, Shearer Joan, Robinson Suzanne, Robinson Anna
Society for Psychotherapy Research, (2017)
Emotion-focused therapy for ASD : a sequential model for trauma
Robinson Anna
International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy, (2017)
Emotion-focused therapy for clients with autistic process
Robinson Anna, Elliott Robert
Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies Vol 16, pp. 215-235 , (2017)

more publications


I am a Lecturer in Autism with a teaching focus around affective theories, factors that contribute to social exclusion and how to promote emotional wellbeing. I predominantly teach conceptual frameworks around the autism profile, where I strive to make complex affective theories accessible to students, and more importantly, show how to translate these into good autism practice. 

I am the Module Leader for:

X3963: Emotional Wellbeing in Autism

X3958: Counselling Skills in Autism

X3960: Becoming an Autism Trainer 

I aim to enhance student experience by presenting leading autism experts and expert experiential accounts from parents and autistic people. 

I supervise Masters research projects with particular focus on autistic participation; emotional wellbeing and stress; gender differences; pre-therapy and counselling and the impact of autism training.

I supervise PhD in Counselling and would be interested to discuss proposals from prospective PhD students in Counselling or PhD students in Autism.

Research interests

My research mainly focuses on autism and mental health issues, specifically issues around social exclusion, emotional resiliency and wellbeing. This includes accessibility of counselling and psychotherapy to explore self-representation, trauma-related difficulties and how to work with emotional injuries. I am interested in giving voice to clients’ experiences as well as tracking experiential movement across psychotherapy. Of particular interest is empathic relating of self-other, sexual self-identity, gender differences and the mechanisms that facilitate change within group therapy. 

PhD Supervision:

McGill, O. 'Experiences of Autistic Women in Custodial Settings' (primary supervisor)

Nicolaou, T. ‘The Personal Presenting Meaning of Physical and Psychological Symptoms: Their Function and Implications for Therapy’ (second supervisor)


Jimenez Borja, M. B. ‘Examination of changes that occur in client's emotion narrative schemes and emotion productivity in social anxiety clients during Emotion Focused Therapy EFT, and how these variables relate to therapy outcome’ (second supervisor)


Potential PhD Supervision: I can supervise PhD candidates in both Autism and Counselling. Of particular interest are areas outlined in my profile related to counselling, wellbeing and autism.

Therapy Research Study:

If you are an autistic adult (16 years plus) and are seeking emotional peer support with other autistic adults. I am conducting a research study that is free to access.

If you would like to participate in this research project:

An Exploration of Group Emotion-Focused Therapy on Wellbeing of Autistic Adults

Please contact me for more information on: 

Professional activities

Society for Psychotherapy Research
International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy
Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Journal)
Peer reviewer
World Association for Person-Centered Experiential & Psychotherapy & Counselling
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Gendering Autism: Identity and Practice
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Taylor, Yvette (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Dec-2017 - 30-Apr-2018
Investigation into the Efficacy of Yoga on Wellbeing of Autistic Children with Additional Learning Disability
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator)
Period 03-Oct-2016 - 31-Jul-2017
A Qualitative Outcome Study for Social Anxiety
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2016 - 01-Aug-2017
Online-Line Lifeline: Impact of Right Click on Wellbeing
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2015 - 10-Mar-2016
RU:Teen and emerge: Training 4 Trainers Project
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator)
Training 4 Trainer's in RU:Teen (Robinson & Hamilton, 2004) and emerge. Training project for Local Authority professionals in two autism specific parent training programmes. The (RU:Teen) for parents of adolescents and 'emerge' for parents of young children with an Autism Spectrum.
Period 03-Sep-2007 - 07-Sep-2009
Autism Trainers Accreditation System
Robinson, Anna (Co-investigator)
A collaborative Autism Education & Training Project
Period 01-Oct-2007 - 01-Oct-2009

more projects