An interview with Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall

2nd year psychology student Ryan McGrath interviewed Dr. Linda Dubrow-Marshall who is Programme Leader in Applied Therapies (MSc) at the University of Salford.

HowDSCF0574 did you get into Psychology?

 I was probably born a psychologist because I am naturally a very curious person and there were many interesting characters in my family to observe and negotiate with! But I got into psychology when I went to Temple University in Philadelphia and took an introductory psychology module. We saw a film on ‘Reinforcement Therapy’ (Behavioural) with demonstrations of its application for psychotic adults, autistic children, and learning disabled, and I was ‘hooked’ even though these were not populations that I focused on in my clinical work. But I loved the idea of applying theory to helping people in a practical way.

Who is your favourite Psychologist and why?

I would have to say my husband Rod Dubrow-Marshall who is a social psychologist and I love doing research with him, particularly on undue influence, cultic abuse, and extremist groups. But I also love Piaget and even read some of his theories in French! Piaget made me think about being a developmental psychologist, but clinical and counselling psychology won me over.

What psychological concept/topic/issue are you most passionate about?

I would have to say that it is group pressure, undue influence, cultic and abusive relationships and groups. I love doing research in this area, and also helping individuals and families who have been harmed by these experiences. This work is closely aligned to my interest in the long-term effects of trauma.

What makes the Psychology Department at Salford unique?

 I would have to say the people – both staff and students – very diverse and interesting and have broadened my understanding of psychology.

If you could work anywhere, which University would you pick and why?

 A university which would allow me to work in the States half the time and in the UK half the time, to reflect my dual nationalities!

What was the most fascinating research/project you were involved in/conducted?

I conducted research on the influence of group pressure on the expression of anti-Semitic views. My interest in cultic groups was inspired by the recruitment of ‘ordinary’ people into the Nazis and the conversion to committing atrocious deeds.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working with colleagues to revise a submitted article on “A randomized feasibility study of group cognitive behavioural therapy for severe asthma” and with Kelly Birtwell, a graduate of the MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) programme to revise a submitted article on “Psychological support for people with dementia”. I am working on two book chapters related to my work on cults, and I am editing a special issue on “Recovering your sexual self after the cult” for an International Cultic Studies Association publication. I have several other articles in progress, and I am preparing a proposal for a research monograph on single session therapy. I like to have many irons in the fire!

If you could choose another Profession, what would it be?

Stand-up comedy.

Do you have a favourite quote?

“We have to accept life on life’s terms”.

What benefits do you find in using Twitter?

 It keeps me current on research, news, and people and it’s a way of communicating with so many people at once!

Which book is a must have for Psychology students?

Westbrook, D., Kennerley, H., & Kirk, J. (2011, but a new edition is forthcoming). An introduction to cognitive behavior therapy: skills and applications.

What advice would you give to SalfordPsych students?

Make time for your studies, try to choose some seminal texts and consider buying them, ask questions and don’t think any of them are stupid, and learn how to ‘sell yourself’ with the marketable skills that you acquire – build your self-confidence!

What do you hope for Psychology in the future?

I hope for psychology to take a lead in action based research to help improve people’s lives, and I hope for more people and policy makers to take notice of our research and theories.

Follow Linda on Twitter: @DrLindaDM

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanmcgrath1

About Dr. Linda Dubrow-Marshall

 I am a clinical and counselling psychologist (HCPC Registered) and a BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist. I am a programme leader for the  MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) programme, and I am a psychology lecturer who teaches at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Previously, I designed and managed the new Counselling and Wellbeing Service at the University of Salford, and I taught for the MSc in Counselling (Professional Training).

I am an integrative psychotherapist, and I incorporate hypnotherapy and EMDR into my practice. I have extensive clinical and counselling experience in a variety of settings, including universities, prisons, addiction agencies, psychiatric hospitals, veteran agencies, and private practice. I obtained my PhD in Counselling Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and did my PhD dissertation on “Marital relationships of children of Holocaust survivors”.

My current research interests include: Psychology of undue influence and coercive persuasion (e.g. cults and extremist groups), group dynamics and family systems, ethical psychotherapy and psychotherapy outcome, practitioner self-care, CBT and physical health, and single session psychotherapy. I am a peer reviewer for the Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal, published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and Wiley, the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, SAGE Open, and the International Journal of Cultic Studies, published by the International Cultic Studies Association. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.