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Dr Sarah Helps

Academic Tutor - Systemic

Research interests

  • Arts
  • Child & Family
  • Psychology
  • Neuroscience


Sarah is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist. She holds clinical, academic and leadership roles in the NHS and works as a scientist-practitioner/ practitioner-researcher.

Her clinical work is with children with health-related challenges and their families and caring groups. Sarah's research is practice-related and process-related. She is particularly interested in using post-qualitative research methods and in incorporating visual research methods to broaden accessibility and participation.

Sarah is a tutor on the doctorate in Clinical Psychology where she supports trainees to develop systemic knowledge and skills. She is interested in approaches, methods and techniques to go about decolonising the curriculum.

Outside of King's, Sarah is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Family Therapy and completing professional training in using photography as part of clinical practice and research.


  • Family therapy practice and process
  • Systemic family therapy in medical settings
  • Embodiment in therapeutic practice
  • Therapeutic photography
  • Conversation analysis
  • Autoethnography
  • The interface between neurosciences and psychotherapy
  • Growing compassionate leadership, self-compassion in leaders and compassionate workplaces

Sarah's initial doctoral research examined staff experiences of stress in emergency departments. Her recent systemic doctorate examined the experience of families coming to a CAMHs service with a worry that their child might have autism.

Sarah is currently involved in a multi-site study to explore how conversation analysts and therapists might work together to improve communication in therapy. She is also completing a review of family and systemic interventions in healthcare settings for an upcoming book to be published by Palgrave in 2025.

Further details

See Sarah's research profile