Dr Jamie Bird

Jamie Bird

Position: Head of Department of Therapeutic Practice

College: College of Health and Social Care

Department: Therapeutic Practice

Subject area: Counselling and Psychotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Therapeutic Practice

Research Centre: Centre for Society, Religion and Belief

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I lead the Department of Therapeutic Practice, which is located within the College of Health and Social Care and includes the following subjects: the arts therapies - including art, drama and dance; creative and expressive therapies; counselling and psychotherapy - including Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy and Compassion Focused Therapy; Occupational Therapy - which includes both pre and post registration qualifications, Hand Therapy and advanced practice in OT.

The department is focused on meeting the rapidly changing market of higher education and of health and social care by fostering a cohesive and agile subject area that embraces diversity and collaboration.

I am responsible for following:

  • Setting the culture and climate of the department in order to foster a dynamic and flexible team that can respond to changes within health, social care and higher education
  • Maintaining high standards of education and ensuring that the student experience is at a consistently high level
  • Representing and advocating for the whole subject area within the faculty and beyond.
  • The setting and monitoring of budgets to ensure sustainable growth
  • Keeping abreast of external factors within health, social care and education that have an impact upon the subject
  • Leading the growth of the subject area through the setting of staff development agendas and targets.

Professional interests

Art Therapy; Economic Development and Employment; Domestic Violence research

Research interests

For my PhD research (successfully completed and examined in January 2015) I worked with women who had experienced domestic violence, using visual media to explore what home, relationships and support meant for them in the past, the present and the future. 

The research shows that the home has special significance for women as they transition away from domestic violence and plan for their future. The home becomes a physical manifestation and container for women’s hopes and fears for a harmonious future that often incorporates the desire for the return to the idea of a complete family. Relationships with family, friends and services are shown to be both enablers of women’s agency and resistance. Those same relationships are also shown to be capable of acting as barriers to women’s positive transitional journeys. The findings show that attention needs to be placed upon the appearance of women’s agency within the everyday tasks of creating and maintaining a home and managing relationships as they move away from domestic violence. The findings also point to the need for services to work harder on empowering women, both by adequately listening to the stories told about their pasts and hopes for the future, and by helping them to achieve their plans through challenging the limitations imposed by policies and economics.

I am at the stage now of disseminating this work, both via traditional academic routes and via means accessible to a wider audience. I would welcome the opportunity to come and talk to organizations and services that support people who have experienced domestic violence about this research.

Membership of professional bodies

I am registered with the Health Care Professions Council (as an Art Therapist since 2004) and I am a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (Region 9).


Undergraduate Qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Arts Therapies, University of Derby

Postgraduate Qualifications

  • PG Dip Art Therapy, University of Derby - 2004
  • MA Art Therapy, University of Derby - 2006
  • PG Cert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, University of Derby - 2008
  • PhD, University of Derby - 2015

Recent publications

  • Bird, J. (2010) Domestic Violence and the Male Researcher (conference paper) In: Response. Issue 7. http://www2.derby.ac.uk/response/issue-7-new-horizons-pgr-conference-2010/71-cp/154-dv.
  • Bird, J. (2011 ) Towards Babel: Language and Translation in Art Therapy. In: Burt, H. (ed.) Creative Healing Through a Prism: Art Therapy and Postmodernism. Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Bird, J. (2011) Student perceptions of the emotional and academic outcomes of participation in a group process module In: Innovative Practice in Higher Education. Vol.1, no.1. Staffordhsire University. http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/2Pink
  • S. Hogan, S. & Bird, J. (2011) Intersections and Inroads: Art Therapy's Contribution to Visual Methods. In: International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape. Vol.16, No.1, pp.14-19. ISSN: 1745-4832

Recent conferences

  • Imagining the Past; Remembering the Future: Using Visual Methods to Understand Domestic Violence at Visual Insights Conference, Newcastle University, 26th-27th June 2014
  • Bird, J. & Bullen, H. (2014) Exploring Employment Opportunities with Women Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence, poster presentation at COHEHRE, April 9th-11th, 2014
  • Bird, J. & Bullen, H. (2013) Exploring Employment Opportunities with Women Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence, poster presentation at College of Occupational Therapy Annual Conference, Glasgow, Jun 19th, 2013

International experience


October 2014, Tallinn University, Estonia – Lecture and workshop around the theme of Transitional Stories of Domestic Violence

May 2007, HAMK University, Finland - Workshops based around the theme of Introduction to Art Therapy

August 2006, HAMK University, Finland - Workshops based around the theme of Art and Language 

August 2005, Hämeenlinna Polytechnic, Finland – Workshops based around the theme of Art & Identity 

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