Dr Kate Smith

Head of Division

School School of Applied Sciences

Department Division of Health Sciences

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8759


Kate received her BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, later receiving an MA, and completed her doctorate at the University of St Andrews.    She completed her DipPsych(Open) with the Open University, and a PGCert and PGDip in Counselling at Abertay, where she also completed her Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching.

Her doctoral studies at the University of St Andrews, examined the impact of narrative rehearsal on memories of autobiographical events in people experiencing low mood and depression, and she has been a therapeutic practitioner for ten years.

Kate joined the teaching staff at Abertay as a part-time lecturer in 2012, and later as a full-time lecturer, academic curriculum manager and became Head of Division in 2018.  She runs, along with Sally Lumsdaine, Julia McLeod and Mhairi Thurston, the Tayside Centre for Counselling, a large-scale project into the development of the pluralistic framework for counselling.  Through this she sits on the UK-wide Research and Training Clinic Consortium a collaborative research project with four central and two affiliated university research clinics.  She is involved in projects examining the role of counselling for people with long-term health conditions (both medical and psychological), and heads a research project into the emotional and psychological needs of people with diabetes.  She has published research on training for practitioners in mental health, and is co-author on chapters concerning pluralistic integration as a framework for counselling and psychotherapy, as well as an introductory text in the approach in 2021

Kate is a member of BACP,  BPS, a Senior Fellow of the HEA, and a founder member and chair of the Pluralistic Practioner Network and chairs the International Conference on Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy.  In 2020 she was elected on to the Governance Board of BACP as a trustee of the organisation

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Kate is the Head of Division for Health Sciences for the School of Applied Sciences.

Kate teaches on both undergraduate and post-graduate counselling and psychology courses.  Her teaching includes pluralistic integration in psychotherapy, mindfullnes, and cognitive behaviour therapy.  She also supervises professional practice in psychotherapy.

Kate has two current doctoral students, and is active in supervision of MbR and undergraduate research


Kate is carrying out research in to the development of pluralistic models for understanding the emotional and psychological needs of people with long-term health conditons.

Kate is involved in the running the Tayside Centre for Counselling as a focus for research in to the development of counselling practice and training within the pluralistic model developed by John McLeod and Mick Cooper.  

She formerly worked on research on the experiences of student nurses who report poor practice while on placement, and brings this experience in to her research on nurse experience and resiliance in training

Kate's doctoral research focussed on the role of narrative accounts on the subsequent recall of and understanding of autobiographical events.  She has carried out research in to the role of mood and mood-disorders on autobiographical memory.  

Students interested in post-gradaute study with Kate should contact her direct.

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More Information


Development and evaluation of a pluralistic practice competencies scale Futures Scholarship (PhD funding) Smith, K. & Cunningham, S.  2020-2024

Validating non-verbal indicators of emotion and rapport during communication (£99,753) Kempe, V., Chouliara, Z., McLean, J., & Smith, K.  DASA, 2019

Group work and Abertay Attributes (£6000) Simpson, E., Smith, K., & Szymkowiak, A. ATLEF 2017–2018

How inclusive is Abertay’s on-line learning environment? A student perspective (£1990) Smith, K. & Thurston, M. ATLEF 3 2016

Counselling for young people with Diabetes (£4830) Smith, K. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2015-2016

Counselling for Diabetes (£4850) Smith, K.  R-LINCS 2014-2015


Abertay University Court (staff elected 2018-Ongoing)

Abertay University Finance and Corporate Performance Committee (oversight of large and strategic spending and capital investments, sub-committee of University Court)

International Conference on Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, Abertay University 2018; Roehampton University 2019; IICP Dublin 2020 (online); University of South Wales 2021 (online).  Conference Chair

Trustee and governor of the BACP (2020-ongoing); research committee chair of BACP (2021-ongoing)

Scottish Government forum on Counselling in Schools (2021-ongoing)

Council of Deans of Health (2019-ongoing)

Research and Training Clinic Consortium (2018-ongoing)

Future nurse oversight group, a partnership between HEI, FE, & Health Boards involved in rolling out new NMC standards for nurse education (NMC, 2018) (2019-2021)

Glasgow University - External Examiner for Certificate in Counselling Skills (counselling skills, further steps in counselling and group counselling) 2014- 2018 

Newman University - External Examiner for Counselling Introductory Certificate; Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling and Graduate Certificate in Counselling 2015 - 2018 

External Reviewer for Leeds Beckett validation event.: Advanced Diploma in Counselling for Children and Young People using Creative Arts 2016

Reviewer for 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference: Inspiring excellence – transforming the student experience, Glasgow 2017

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Mhairi Thurston

Dr Mhairi Thurston

Division of Health Sciences | Senior Lecturer

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Dr Andrew Spiers

Dr Andrew Spiers

Division of Health Sciences | Reader

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