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  1. Carla Willig
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Professor Carla Willig

Professor in Psychology

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Contact Information

Contact

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D433, Rhind Building

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Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Background

Professor Carla Willig graduated from the University of Manchester in 1986. She then embarked upon postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge where she was awarded an MPhil in Criminology in 1987. She stayed at Cambridge in order to conduct her doctoral research into the 'Social Construction of AIDS Knowledge' which she completed in 1991.

Professor Willig has held teaching positions at the University of Plymouth (1991-3) Middlesex University (1993-9) and City University London (1999 onwards). From 2001, she undertook additional training at Regents College, London, and qualified as an Existential Counselling Psychologist in 2005.

Specialisms: Qualitative Research Methods; Existential Counselling Psychology

Research

Professor Willig's research interests include qualitative research methodology and its application to health and counselling psychology research. She is interested in the relationship between discourse and health related practices. She is also interested in phenomenological research methods and the exploration of the meanings and quality of embodied experiences. This is linked to her interest in existential approaches to psychotherapy and counselling.

A major theme in her work to date has been a concern with research methodology. She has published empirical and theoretical papers and book chapters concerned with epistemological and methodological questions. She is the editor of 'Applied Discourse Analysis. Social and Psychological Interventions' (1999) published by Open University Press and the author of the best selling textbook 'Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology. Adventures in Theory and Method' (2001, 2008, Open University Press), a third edition of which is due to be published in 2013 (McGraw Hill/ Open University Press). She is the editor (with Wendy Stainton-Rogers) of the 'The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology' (2008).

Professor Willig's most recent book is concerned with the theoretical, practical and ethical challenges associated with the use of interpretation in qualitative research ('Qualitative Interpretation and Analysis in Psychology', 2012).

Professor Willig is an associate editor of the Journal of Health Psychology. She is a member of the British Psychological Society including full membership of the Division of Health Psychology and the Division of Counselling Psychology. She is also registered with the Health Professions Council and is a member of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology.

Publications

Books (7)

  1. Willig, C. (2012). Foreword. ISBN 978-0-203-82904-2.
  2. Willig, C. (2008). Introducing qualitative research in psychology. Open University Press. ISBN 978-0-335-22115-8.
  3. Willig, C. and Rogers, W.S. (2008). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in psychology. Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4129-0780-4.
  4. Marks, D., Murray, M., Evans, B., Willig, C., Woodall, C. and Sykes, C. (2005). Health psychology. Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4129-0337-0.
  5. Willig, C. (2001). Qualitative Research In Psychology: A Practical Guide to Theory and Method. Buckingham: OUP.
  6. Marks, D., Murray, M., Evans, B. and Willig, C. (2000). Health psychology. Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4129-0337-0.
  7. Willig, C. (1999). Applied discourse analysis. Open Univ Pr. ISBN 978-0-335-20226-3.

Chapters (14)

  1. Willig, C. and Billin, A. (2011). Existentialist-informed Phenomenology. In Harper, D. and Thompson, A.R. (Eds.), Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-66370-7.
  2. Willig, C. and Billin, A. (2011). Existentialist-Informed Hermeneutic Phenomenology. In Harper, D. and Thompson, A.R. (Eds.), Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners (pp. 117–130). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-66373-8.
  3. Willig, C. (2008). Discourse Analysis. In Smith, J.A. (Ed.), Qualitative psychology Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4129-3083-3.
  4. Willig, C. and Drury, J. (2004). Acting With: Partisan Participant Observation As a Social Practice Basis For Shared Knowledge. In Paré, D.A. and Larner, G. (Eds.), Collaborative practice in psychology and therapy Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7890-1785-7.
  5. Willig, C. (2004). Discourse Analysis and Health Psychology. In Murray, M. (Ed.), Critical health psychology Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-0-333-99034-6.
  6. Willig, C. (2003). Discourse Analysis. In Smith, J.A. (Ed.), Qualitative psychology Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7619-7231-0.
  7. Willig, C. (2002). A Discourse Dynamic Approach to the Study of Subjectivity. In Marks, D. (Ed.), The health psychology reader Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7619-7271-6.
  8. Willig, C. (2001). En Kritisk Realistik Ansats Pa Socialt Konstruktionistisk Arbete. Socialkonstruktionistisk psykologi ISBN 978-91-44-01587-3.
  9. Willig, C. (1999). Beyond Appearances: A Critical Realist Approach to Social Constructionist Work in Psychology. In Nightingale, D.J. and Cromby, J. (Eds.), Social constructionist psychology Open Univ Pr.
  10. Willig, C. (1998). Social Constructionism and Revolutionary Socialism- A Contradiction in Terms ? In Parker, I. (Ed.), Social constructionism, discourse, and realism Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7619-5377-7.
  11. Willig, C. (1997). Trust As Risky Practice. In Segal, L. (Ed.), New sexual agendas NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-8075-6.
  12. Willig, C. and Roiser, M. (1996). Marxism, the Frankfurt School and Working Class Psychology. In Parker, I. and Spears, R. (Eds.), Psychology and Society Pluto Pr. ISBN 978-0-7453-0879-1.
  13. Willig, C. (1994). Marital Discourse and Condom Use. In Aggleton, P. and Davies, P.M. (Eds.), AIDS: Foundations for the Future Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN 978-0-7484-0228-1.
  14. Willig, C. Perspectives on the Epistemological Bases for Qualitative Research. In Cooper, H. (Ed.), The Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology APA Handbook.

Conference Paper/Proceedings

  1. WILLIG, C. (1994). MARITAL DISCOURSE AND CONDOM USE. .

Journal Articles (42)

  1. Wardley, M.N.J., Flaxman, P.E., Willig, C. and Gillanders, D. (2016). 'Feel the Feeling': Psychological practitioners' experience of acceptance and commitment therapy well-being training in the workplace. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(8), pp. 1536–1547. doi:10.1177/1359105314557977.
  2. Willig, C. (2016). Constructivism and ‘The Real World’: Can they co-exist? QMiP Bulletin .
  3. Willig, C. (2016). Reflections on the Use of Object Elicitation. Journal Qualitative Psychology .
  4. Josselin, D. and Willig, C. (2015). Making sense of self-injury: A pluralistic case-study. British Psychological Society, Counselling Psychology Section: Counselling Psychology Review, 30(4), pp. 5–15.
  5. Willig, C. (2015). "My bus is here": A phenomenological exploration of "living-with-dying". Health Psychology, 34(4), pp. 417–425. doi:10.1037/hea0000176.
  6. Burbeck, R. and Willig, C. (2014). The personal experience of dysmenorrhoea: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. J Health Psychol, 19(10), pp. 1334–1344. doi:10.1177/1359105313490313.
  7. Kennedy, S., O'Higgins, S., Sarma, K., Willig, C. and McGuire, B.E. (2014). Evaluation of a group based cognitive behavioural therapy programme for menstrual pain management in young women with intellectual disabilities: Protocol for a mixed methods controlled clinical trial. BMC Women's Health, 14(1), pp. 1–10. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-107.
  8. Kennedy, S., O'Higgins, S., Sarma, K., Willig, C. and McGuire, B.E. (2014). Evaluation of a group based cognitive behavioural therapy programme for menstrual pain management in young women with intellectual disabilities: protocol for a mixed methods controlled clinical trial. BMC women's health, 14, p. 107. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-107.
  9. Josselin, D. and Willig, C. (2014). Layering the wounded self: Using a pluralistic qualitative approach to explore meaning-making around self-injury. QMiP Bulletin, 17(Spring) .
  10. Willig, C. (2014). Assisted dying - Choice and recognition. Psychologist, 27(11), p. 806.
  11. Willig, C. (2012). Escaping 'methodolatry' Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology: Combining Core Approaches Nollaig Frost. PSYCHOLOGIST, 25(5), pp. 373–373.
  12. Miller, E. and Willig, C. (2012). Pluralistic counselling and HIV-positive clients: The importance of shared understanding. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 14(1), pp. 33–45. doi:10.1080/13642537.2012.652391.
  13. Willig, C. (2011). Significant processes in Action Research with a group of physiotherapists. British Psychological Society, Counselling Psychology Section: Counselling Psychology Review, 26(4), pp. 31–40.
  14. Willig, C. (2011). Cancer diagnosis as discursive capture: phenomenological repercussions of being positioned within dominant constructions of cancer. Soc Sci Med, 73(6), pp. 897–903. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.02.028.
  15. Willig, C. (2011). The Ethics of Interpretation. Existential Analysis, 22(2), pp. 255–271.
  16. Spivack, A. and Willig, C. (2010). 'There is a Battle Within Yourself’: Exploring the Experience of a Split Sense of Self Among Inpatients with Eating Disorders. Counselling Psychology Review, 25(4), pp. 7–18.
  17. Willig, C. (2009). 'Unlike a rock, a tree, a horse or an angel ...': reflections on the struggle for meaning through writing during the process of cancer diagnosis. J Health Psychol, 14(2), pp. 181–189. doi:10.1177/1359105308100202.
  18. Willig, C. (2008). A phenomenological investigation of the experience of taking part in 'extreme sports'. J Health Psychol, 13(5), pp. 690–702. doi:10.1177/1359105307082459.
  19. Paulson, S. and Willig, C. (2008). Older women and everyday talk about the ageing body. J Health Psychol, 13(1), pp. 106–120. doi:10.1177/1359105307084316.
  20. Willig, C. (2007). Reflections on the use of a phenomenological method. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 4(3), pp. 209–225. doi:10.1080/14780880701473425.
  21. Willig, C. (2007). Qualitative research - The need for system [8]. Psychologist, 20(10), p. 597.
  22. Sims Schouten, W., Riley, S.C.E. and Willig, C. (2007). Critical Realism in Discourse Analysis: A Presentation of a Systematic Method of Analysis Using Women's Talk of Motherhood, Childcare and Female Employment as an Example. Theory & Psychology, 17(1), pp. 101–124. doi:10.1177/0959354307073153.
  23. Riley, S.C.E., Sims Schouten, W. and Willig, C. (2007). The Case for Critical Realist Discourse Analysis as a Viable Method in Discursive Work. Theory & Psychology, 17(1), pp. 137–145. doi:10.1177/0959354307073156.
  24. Mielewczyk, F. and Willig, C. (2007). Old Clothes and an Older Look: The Case for a Radical Makeover in Health Behaviour Research. Theory & Psychology, 17(6), pp. 811–837. doi:10.1177/0959354307083496.
  25. Lavie, M. and Willig, C. (2005). "I don't feel like melting butter": An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experience of 'inorgasmia'. Psychology and Health, 20(1), pp. 115–128. doi:10.1080/08870440412331296044.
  26. Gillies, V., Harden, A., Johnson, K., Reavey, P., Strange, V. and Willig, C. (2005). Painting Pictures of Embodied Experience: The Use of Non-Linguistic Data in the Study of Embodiment. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2(3), pp. 199–213.
  27. Gillies, V., Harden, A., Johnson, K., Reavey, P., Strange, V. and Willig, C. (2005). Painting pictures of embodied experience: The use of nonverbal data production for the study of embodiment. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2(3), pp. 199–212. doi:10.1191/1478088705qp038oa.
  28. Gillies, V., Harden, A., Johnson, K., Reavey, P., Strange, V. and Willig, C. (2004). Women's collective constructions of embodied practices through memory work: Cartesian dualism in memories of sweating and pain. Br J Soc Psychol, 43(Pt 1), pp. 99–112. doi:10.1348/014466604322916006.
  29. Sykes, C.M., Willig, C. and Marks, D.F. (2004). Discourses in the European Commission's 1996-2000 Health Promotion Programme. J Health Psychol, 9(1), pp. 131–141. doi:10.1177/1359105304036108.
  30. Roiser, M. and Willig, C. (2002). The strange death of the authoritarian personality: 50 years of psychological and political debate. History of the Human Sciences, 15(4), pp. 71–96.
  31. Willig, C. (2000). A discourse-dynamic approach to the study of subjectivity in health psychology. Theory and Psychology, 10(4), pp. 547–570. doi:10.1177/0959354300104006.
  32. Willig, C. (1999). Psychology and health promotion. J Health Psychol, 4(2), pp. 275–276. doi:10.1177/135910539900400202.
  33. Willig, C. (1998). Constructions of sexual activity and their implications for sexual practice. Journal of Health Psychology, 3(3), pp. 383–392.
  34. Harden, A. and Willig, C. (1998). An exploration of the discursive constructions used in young adults' memories and accounts of contraception. Journal of Health Psychology, 3(3), pp. 429–445.
  35. Willig, C. (1998). Constructions of sexual activity and their implications for sexual practice: lessons for sex education. J Health Psychol, 3(3), pp. 383–392. doi:10.1177/135910539800300307.
  36. Gillies, V. and Willig, C. (1997). 'You get the nicotine and that in your blood' - Constructions of addiction and control in women's accounts of cigarette smoking. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 7(4), pp. 285–301.
  37. Willig, C. (1997). The limitations of trust in intimate relationships: constructions of trust and sexual risk taking. Br J Soc Psychol, 36 ( Pt 2), pp. 211–221.
  38. Willig, C. (1997). The limitations of trust in intimate relationships: constructions of trust and sexual risk taking. The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society, 36 .
  39. Roiser, M. and Willig, C. (1995). The hidden history of authoritarianism. HISTORY OF THE HUMAN SCIENCES, 8(4), pp. 77–97. doi:10.1177/095269519500800405.
  40. AUBURN, T., DRAKE, S. and WILLIG, C. (1995). YOU PUNCHED HIM, DIDNT YOU - VERSIONS OF VIOLENCE IN ACCUSATORY INTERVIEWS. DISCOURSE & SOCIETY, 6(3), pp. 353–386. doi:10.1177/0957926595006003005.
  41. WILLIG, C. (1995). I WOULDNT HAVE MARRIED THE GUY IF ID HAVE TO DO THAT - HETEROSEXUAL ADULTS CONSTRUCTIONS OF CONDOM USE AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR SEXUAL PRACTICE. JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 5(2), pp. 75–87. doi:10.1002/casp.2450050202.
  42. WILLIG, C. (1992). ASSUMPTIONS IN PEOPLES TALK ABOUT AIDS. JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 2(3), pp. 217–221. doi:10.1002/casp.2450020306.

Education

Undergraduate

- Qualitative Research Methods

Postgraduate

- Existential Approaches to Counselling Psychology
- Qualitative Research Methods

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City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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