Lecturer in Psychology; Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Psychology of Sport
Ailsa Parsons BSc MSc MA CPsychol RDMP fHEA is a Chartered Psychologist, wellbeing coach and Dance Movement Psychotherapist, who leads the BSc (Hons) Psychology of Sport programme at the University of Salford. Her areas of research interest include Dance Movement Psychotherapy, Arts therapies/other creative and embodied methods, depression, lifestyle behaviour change, obesity, eating disorders, physical activity, exercise and performance psychology. Clinically, Ailsa works with children, young people and adults using Dance Movement Psychotherapy, Motivational Interviewing, lifestyle coaching and other creative or embodied methods, to address issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obesity and sports/exercise-related issues. In researching towards a PhD by published works, her experiences in NHS, educational and Mental Health and Social Care settings continue to present new avenues for the application of creative, active and body-oriented approaches.
L4 Psychology of Exercise & Health
L4 Science of Psychology
L4 Intro to Sports Psychology
L5 Behaviour Change
L5 Practical Applications of Sport Psychology
L7 Evidence-Based Public Health
Counselling & psychotherapy
Body-oriented/embodied psychological therapies
Biopsychosocial interactions in lifestyle behaviours
Qualifications and Memberships
BSc (Hons) Exercise, Physical Activity and Health (University of Salford)
MSc Psychology (University of Chester)
MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy (University of Derby)
Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Salford)
Chartered Psychologist with BPS (CPsychol)
Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist with ADMPUK (RDMP)
Registered Psychotherapeutic Counsellor with UKAHPP (Ordinary Member)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (fHEA)
Haslam, S., Parsons, A. S., Omylinska-Thurston, J., Nair, K., Harlow, J., Lewis, J., Thurston, S., Griffin, J., Dubrow-Marshall, L. & Karkou, V., (2019). Arts for the Blues – a new creative psychological therapy for depression: A pilot workshop report. Perspectives in Public Health, 139(3), 137-146.
Parsons, A. S. & Dubrow-Marshall, L. (2018). ‘Putting themselves out there’ into the unknown: Dance movement psychotherapy as perceived by five educators and three pupils. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, DOI: 10.1080/17432979.2018.1508073
Parsons, A. S., & Dubrow-Marshall, L. (2019). “I’m able to put my thoughts into picturing them physically” – Phenomenological experiences of Dance Movement Psychotherapy in a Secondary School: Unexpected Empowerment over External Contingency. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 64, 1-8.
Parsons, A. S., Nair, K., & Dubrow-Marshall, L. (2019). Arts for the Blues – A New Creative Psychological Therapy for Depression. Paper presented at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference, Belfast, UK.
Parsons, A.S., Omylinska-Thurston, J., Karkou, V., Harlow, J., Haslam, S., Hobson, J., Nair, K., Dubrow-Marshall, L., Thurston, S. & Griffin, J. (2019). Arts for the Blues – A New Creative Psychological Therapy for Depression. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. DOI:
Parsons, A.S., Omylinska-Thurston, J., Karkou, V., Harlow, J., Haslam, S., Hobson, J., Nair, K., Dubrow-Marshall, L., Thurston, S. & Griffin, J. (2018). Dancing the Blues – A New Creative Psychological Therapy for Depression: Pilot workshop. ArtsEqual/Festival of Ideas, 12th June, 2018 at Edge Hill University.
Parsons, A. S. & Whelen, L. (2014). An Exploratory Pilot Investigation to Determine How Individual Traits, Screen-Watching and Nutrition Knowledge Predict Overeating in University Students. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.