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 developmental psychologist and person-centred experiential therapist. I received my PhD in Counselling and Psychotherapy 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:

    • Autism, Disability and Mental Health
    • Trauma, Emotional Injuries, Stress and Coping
    • Counselling, Group Psychotherapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy
    • Expressive and Creative Arts for Self-representation
    • Accessibility, Rights, Inclusion
    • Task Analysis; Grounded Theory Analysis; Ethnography; Community-based participatory research

Prizes and awards

North Lanarkshire Community Learning and Development Partnership: Celebration of Learning: Transformative Skills
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Outstanding Research Award

more prizes and awards


Enhancing empathy in emotion-focused group therapy for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder : a case conceptualization model for interpersonal rupture and repair
Robinson Anna
Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy (2019)
A model of emotion transformation for problem anger in Emotion-Focused Group Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Robinson Anna
International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy (2019)
Pre-therapy as a therapeutic task : a workshop for EFT practitioners
Robinson Anna, Carrick Lorna
ISEFT Conference 2019 (2019)
A model of emotion transformation for rupture and resolution in a course of emotion-focused group therapy for autism spectrum : a case study
Robinson Anna
Society for Psychotherapy Research - 50th International Annual Meeting (2019)
Lived experiences of applied behaviour analysis : adult autistic reflections of childhood intervention
Robinson Anna, McGill Owen
50th Anniversary Conference (2018)
Emotion-focused therapy for autism spectrum disorder : a case conceptualization model for trauma-related experiences
Robinson Anna
Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy Vol 48, pp. 133–143 (2018)

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, disability and mental health issues, specifically issues around social exclusion, emotional resiliency and wellbeing. This includes accessibility of counselling, group psychotherapy and the use of expressive and creative arts to explore self-representation, trauma-related difficulties and how to work with emotional injuries. I am interested in giving voice to clients’ experiences and use creative methods to aid those who have difficulties speaking, exploring non-verbal strategies of expression and narration. Of particular interest is empathic relating of self-other, sexual self-identity, gender differences and the mechanisms that facilitate change within group therapy. 

PhD Students: 


  • Micaela Jimenez Borja (Ecuador PhD Scholarship, 2013-2016) On Measuring client modes of engagement in humanistic experiential psychotherapy


  • Mert Ozakca (Turkey PhD Scholarship, 2019-2022) On Exploring Cross-Cultural Analysis of Parenting Styles and Emotional Wellbeing in Autstic Children
  • Charlotte Wilson (Social Work, University of Strathclyde, 2019 -) On Security of Diagnosis in Looked After Children 
  • Gillian McConnell (Education, University of Strathclyde, 2019 -) On Epilepsy, Autism and Learning Disability: An explorative enquiry of life trajectories 
  • Owen McGill (Education, University of Strathclyde, 2017-) On Autstic Girls Reflections on Early Education
  • Thalia Nicolaou (Counselling, University of Strathclyde, 2012-2015) On The Personal Presenting Meaning of Physical and Psychological Symptoms: Their Function and Implications for Therapy

EdD Students:

  • David Duncan (2019-) On Capturing the voice of bereaved children through a participatory and arts based approach


PhD/EdD Recruitment:

Please contact me if you would like to pursue a PhD/EdD in Education, with focus on areas related to autism, disability, mental health, trauma and creative or expressive methods supporting voice in promoting self-representation, self-narratives, inclusion, rights and emotional wellbeing.

Selected Masters Supervision: 

Selected Alumni:

  • Caseman, Rony (MEd 2019) on Investigating whether a strength based mentoring facilitated from within the autistic community promotes holistic wellbeing for autistic women 
  • Highcock, Kerrie (MEd 2019) on Young Autistic Activists Use of Art for Self-Expression 
  • Friedman, Samantha (USA Fulbright Scholarship MSc 2019) on Exploring Outdoor Learning Environments on Emotional Processing Skills in Students with Autism
  • McConnell, Leona (MEd 2019) on an Autoethnographic exploration of creative practice experiences of autistic artists and designers
  • Yong, Ennie (Chevening Scholarship MSc 2019) on Developing an Emotion-Focused Skills Training for Parents from Experiences of Expert Trainers 
  • Cross, Sheila (MSc 2018) on Experiences of Peer Relationships and Self-Identity of Young Autstic Girls in Mainstream Schools in Northern Ireland 
  • Galbraith, Ian (MSc 2018) Practitioners Experiences of Applying Person-Centred and Pre-Therapy Counselling Skills with Clients with Autstic Process
  • Mitsakou, Georgia (MSc 2018) Teachers Expriences of Learning and Applying Person-Centred and Pre-Therapy Counselling Skills with Children with Autism
  • Scott, Rachael-Anne (MEd 2018) Leisure Pursuits and Happiness in Autistic and Typical Development (TD) Adolescents

Emotion-Focused Group 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: anna.robinson@strath.ac.uk 

Professional activities

Emotional Processing Differences in the autism population and Working with Trauma-Related Experiences
MSc in Autism and Related Conditions
External Examiner
Promoting Autistic Adult Mental Health with Group Emotion-Focused Therapy
Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Gendering Autism
Gendering Autism

more professional activities


Gendering Autism: Identity and Practice
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Taylor, Yvette (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 30-Jan-2018
Investigation into the Efficacy of Yoga on Wellbeing of Autistic Children with Additional Learning Disability
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Margerison, Mr A (Co-investigator) Fisher, Ms R (Co-investigator) Thomson, Ms K (Post Grad Student)
03-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2017
A Qualitative Outcome Study for Social Anxiety
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Rogers, Mr B (Co-investigator) Elliott, Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2017
Online-Line Lifeline: Impact of Right Click on Wellbeing
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 10-Jan-2016
Action on Autism Research seminar series
Robinson, Anna (Co-investigator) Dunlop, Aline-Wendy (Principal Investigator) Marwick, Helen (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 16-Jan-2014
Exploring the Impact of Practitioners Accessing a Post Graduate Autism Module on Raising Autism Outcomes across Scotland
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator)
Scottish Government funded Project
28-Jan-2012 - 25-Jan-2015

more projects