Helen Bolderston

Dr Helen Bolderston

  • 01202 961456
  • hbolderston at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Senior Lecturer (Academic) in Psychology
  • Poole House P252, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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I graduated from the University of Exeter with a BSc(Hons) in Psychology in 1985. I went on to qualify as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Surrey in 1989. Since that time I have worked as a clinical psychologist, predominantly in NHS Adult Mental Health services. I managed the Adult Mental Health Psychology and Counselling service in Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust for several years.

In recent years, I have taken my career in a more academic direction, gaining a Research Methods MSc (2008) and a PhD (2013) from the University of Southampton. My PhD was entitled "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Cognitive Fusion and Personality Functioning." It consisted of a series of model building and intervention development studies, assessing the relevance of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to personality disorders.

I joined Bournemouth University as a Lecturer in Psychology in September 2014.


Research interests: Acceptance-based psychotherapies, particularly Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; mindfulness.

Processes implicated in the development and maintenance of mental health problems

Psychological wellbeing and burnout in health and social care students and professionals

I am always happy to hear from individuals - from the UK and from non-UK countries and backgrounds - who are interested in studying for a PhD in a topic relevant to my areas of interest.

Journal Articles

  • Richardson, T., Bell, L., Bolderston, H. and Clarke, S., 2017. Development and Evaluation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Delivered by Psychologists and Non-Psychologists in an NHS Community Adult Mental Health Service: a Preliminary Analysis. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 1-7.
  • Ainsworth, B., Bolderston, H. and Garner, M., 2017. Testing the differential effects of acceptance and attention-based psychological interventions on intrusive thoughts and worry. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 91, 72-77.
  • Turner, K., Johnson, C., Thomas, K., Bolderston, H. and McDougall, S., 2016. Response and resilience: Dealing with the impact of complications and errors on surgeons. Royal College of Surgeons Annals Journal and Bulletin Journal.
  • Clarke, S., Taylor, G., Bolderston, H., Lancaster, J. and Remington, B., 2015. Ameliorating Patient Stigma Amongst Staff Working With Personality Disorder: Randomized Controlled Trial of Self-Management Versus Skills Training. Behav Cogn Psychother, 43 (6), 692-704.
  • Clarke, S., Kingston, J., James, K., Bolderston, H. and Remington, B., 2014. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group for treatment-resistant participants: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 3 (3), 179-188.
  • Gillanders, D.T., Bolderston, H. et al., 2014. The Development and Initial Validation of the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire. Behavior Therapy, 45 (1), 83-101.
  • Clarke, S., Kingston, J., Wilson, K.G., Bolderston, H. and Remington, B., 2012. Acceptance and commitment therapy for a heterogeneous group of treatment-resistant clients: A treatment development study. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 19 (4), 560-572.
  • Bolderston, H., 1994. What they don’t teach you on clinical psychology training courses. A reappraisal of Chesler, P., Women and Madness. Feminism and Psychology, 4 (2), 261-267.
  • Stockwell, T., Bolt, L., Milner, I., Russell, G., Bolderston, H. and Pugh, P., 1991. Home detoxification from alcohol: its safety and efficacy in comparison with inpatient care. Alcohol Alcohol, 26 (5-6), 645-650.
  • Stockwell, T. and Bolderston, H., 1987. Alcohol and phobias. Br J Addict, 82 (9), 971-979.


  • Gregory, N., Wellaway, S., Antolin, J., Sapsford, P., Bolderston, H. and Baron-Cohen, S., 2016. Impaired reporting of social awkwardness in autistic spectrum condition in the presence of implicit eye movement recognition effects. In: British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Annual Conference 31 August-2 September 2016 Barcelona, Spain.
  • Orme, F., Gurr, B., Bolderston, H. and Ragab, S., 2016. Cognitive Change and its impact in Acute Stroke. In: South West NHS Stroke Conference (Joining Forces). 29 June 2016 Exeter, UK.
  • Gillanders, D. and Bolderston, H., 2016. Learning ACT from the inside out. In: ACBS World Conference IX 14-19 June 2016 Seattle, USA.
  • McCurry, S.M., Bolderston, H., Gillanders, D., McGowan, S.K. and Souza, A., 2016. Expanding the reach of contextual behavioral science to older adult populations. In: ACBS World Conference IX 14-19 June 2016 Seattle, USA.
  • Bolderston, H., Gillanders, D., Pistorello, J., Walser, R.D. and Holman, G., 2016. The Role of the Therapeutic Relationship in ACT. In: ACBS World Conference IX 14-19 June 2016 Seattle, USA.
  • Gregory, N. and Bolderston, H., 2015. Hypervigilance for faces, but typical gaze following in social anxiety. In: 18th European Conference on Eye Movements 16-21 August 2015 Vienna, Austria. 145.
  • Ainsworth, B., Garner, M. and Bolderston, H., 2015. The effect of focused attention and open-monitoring meditation on negative thought intrusions. In: British Association of Psychopharmacology Summer Meeting 26-29 July 2015 Bristol, UK.
  • Rothwell, T., Newman Taylor, K., Bolderston, H., Deveson, C. and Maguire, N., 2015. On decentering from psychosis: Do cognitive fusion and self-compassion mediate the relationship between psychosis-type experience and distress? In: BABCP Annual Conference 22-24 July 2015 Warwick, UK.
  • Gillanders, D., Bolderston, H. and Bond, F., 2015. The Development and Initial Validation of The Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire. In: ACBS World Conference XIII 14-19 July 2015 Berlin, Germany.
  • Jeffcoat, T., Bolderston, H., Gillanders, D. and Trompetter, H.R., 2015. Continuing Developments in Measuring ACT Processes. In: ACBS World Conference XIII 14-19 July 2015 Berlin, Germany.
  • Silberstein, L., Bolderston, H., Wright, L., Lloyd, J., Larsson, A. and Gillanders, D., 2014. Gender Diversity and Identity. In: ACBS/BABCP ACT/CBS UK and Ireland Conference 4-5 December 2014 Dublin, Ireland.
  • Bolderston, H., Newman Taylor, K. and Deveson, C., 2014. On Decentering From Paranoia: Do Cognitive Fusion and Self-Compassion Mediate the Relationship between Paranoia and Distress? In: ACBS/BABCP ACT/CBS UK and Ireland Conference 4-5 December 2014 Dublin, Ireland.
  • Bolderston, H. and Gillanders, D., 2014. Therapist use of self in ACT. In: ACBS World Conference XII 17-22 June 2014 Minneapolis, USA.

PhD Students

  • Stephen Richer (Ameliorating the impact of complications and errors on surgeons: Development of an evidence-based support toolkit)
  • Catherine Johnson (The impact of complications and errors on surgeons)


  • Ameliorating the impact of complications and errors on surgeons: Development of an evidence-based support toolkit. (Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/BU, 30 Jun 2016). In Progress
  • The impact of complications and errors on surgeons (Nuffield Health/BU, 21 Sep 2015). In Progress


  • PhD in Psychology (University of Southampton, 2013)
  • MSc in Research Methods for Psychology (University of Southampton, 2008)
  • MSc in Clinical Psychology (University of Surrey, 1989)
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology (University of Exeter, 1985)


  • Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, Member,
  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, Member,
  • British Psychological Society, Member,
  • Health and Care Professions Council, Clinical Psychologist,
The data on this page was last updated at 04:03 on August 21, 2017.