I joined the University of Abertay in 2004 as a lecturer in counselling. Previously, I had spent some 20 years in clinical practice as a mental health nurse and counsellor/psychotherapist within the NHS, private and voluntary sectors.
My clinical experience spans a variety of in-patient and community based settings, working with diverse client groups including alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression and trauma.
I’m a trained Mental Health Nurse with professional qualifications in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and Counselling. My PhD – which I completed here at Abertay – is in Counselling.
I have completed accredited training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - an evidence-based psychological treatment for PTSD and trauma reactions. I have also undertaken residency training in Solution-Focused Therapy in Germany with Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg - the originators of this approach.
Over the years, I have developed a keen interest in integrative and collaborative forms of counselling/psychotherapy practice. To support my professional practice and development, I maintain a small client caseload in private practice.
I’m an honorary research fellow of NHS Tayside and co-founder of the Scottish Voluntary Sector Counselling Practice Research Network.
My current teaching includes subjects related to mental health, psychological therapies, research and evidence-based practice in nursing. I also act as a supervisor for students completing our Masters by Research degree, and undergraduate nursing students completing their honours year projects.
I have experience of programme leadership and have been held roles as Programme Leader for our PGDip/MSc in Counselling and the BA Mental Health and Counselling.
My research interests and activity have been focused on counselling in voluntary organisations. In particular, the development and effectiveness of volunteer counsellors, which I investigated during my Masters and PhD research. I co-founded the Scottish Voluntary Sector Counselling Practice Research Network (SVSC PRN) in collaboration with COSCA (the professional body for counselling in Scotland), which aims to enhance understanding and practice of voluntary sector counselling in Scotland.
The university offers the following research degrees: one year MSc by Research, two-year MPhil or three-year PhD.
Armstrong, J., Stenhouse, R. and Ion, R. (2016) Teaching counselling skills to undergraduate mental health students: A qualitative study. Paper presented at the Enhancing Nursing Through Educational Research (ENTER) Conference. Napier University.
Armstrong, J. (2016) Cognitive behavioural therapy for body dysmorphic disorder: A case report. Paper presented at the 4th Scottish Mental Health Nursing Research Conference. University of Abertay, Dundee.
Rouse, A., Armstrong, J. and McLeod, J. (2015) Enabling connections: Counsellor creativity and therapeutic practice. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 171-179.
Armstrong, J. (2012) Introducing the Voluntary Sector Counselling Research Network. Counselling in Scotland. Summer/Autumn 2012, pp.8-11.
Armstrong, J., Hawkins, A., Thurston, M. (2012) Practice research networks: Promises, pitfalls and potential. Pre-conference workshop. BACP Annual Research Conference, Edinburgh.
Armstrong, J. (2011) Introducing the Voluntary Sector Counselling Research Network: A new practice research network for voluntary sector counselling in Scotland. COSCA 8th Annual Research Dialogue, Stirling.
Armstrong, J. (2010) Characteristics of more and less effective volunteer mental health counsellors: A preliminary investigation. COSCA 7th Annual Research Dialogue, Stirling.
Armstrong, J. (2010) How effective are minimally trained/experienced volunteer mental health counsellors? Evaluation of CORE-OM data. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. Vol. 10, No. 4, pp 22-31.
Armstrong, J. (2009) Are minimally trained/experienced volunteer mental health counsellors equally effective? BACP Annual Research Conference, Portsmouth.
Armstrong, J. (2007) Paraprofessional counselling: evaluaiton of CORE Outcome data. COSCA 6th Annual Reserach Dialogue, Dunblane.
Armstrong, J. (2006) Finding a voice: a qualitative study exploring the meaning and experience of becoming a volunteer counsellor. Paper presented at the International Meeting of the Society of Psychotherapy Research. Edinburgh (& at the BACP Annual Research Conference, Glasgow)
Armstrong, J. & Mcleod, J. (2004) Counselling in the voluntary sector: research into the organisation, training and effectiveness of counsellors who work for free. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. Vol. 3, No. 4, pp 255-259.
Armstrong, J. (2004) Training paraprofessional counsellors: Evaluating the meaning and impact of a common factors approach. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. Vol. 3, No. 4, pp 270-277.
Armstrong, J. (2001) Becoming Solution Flexible. Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal. Vol. 12, No. 2, pp 15-17
Armstrong, J. (1999) Travelling Hopefully. The Therapist. Vol. 3, No 1, pp. 14-17.
Armstrong, J. & McKay, M. (1996) Occupational Stress: An interactional perspective. British Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation. Vol. 3, No 1, p. 25-29.
Armstrong, J. (1994) Establishing a shared language with clients. Mental Health Nursing. Vol. 14, No 6, p. 6-7.
Armstrong, J. (1986) Lending an ear. Nursing times Sep 3-9; 82 (36): 41-3.
2012-13 - 10k from COSCA in relation to establishment and operation of the Scottish Voluntary Sector Counselling Practice Research Network (SVSC PRN).
Co-founder and former Director of the Scottish Voluntary Sector Counselling Practice Reserach Network.
External Examiner - University of Dundee, Counselling Skills programme.
Honorary Reserach Fellow, NHS Tayside.