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Contact Information


Visit Sally O'Keeffe

M107, Myddelton Street Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Sally is Programme Manager for the ASsuRED project, which aims to develop and test a brief psychological intervention in Emergency Departments to improve outcomes for people who present with self-harm.

Sally's research focuses on developing the evidence base for psychological interventions for mental health problems. She is particularly interested in patient experience, treatment engagement and the therapeutic alliance. Prior to joining City University, Sally worked as a researcher at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, investigating psychological therapies in the treatment of depression. She completed her PhD at University College London which was a mixed-methods investigation into treatment dropout in adolescents receiving psychotherapy for depression.


  1. PhD Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, United Kingdom
  2. MSc Research Methods in Psychology, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  3. BSc (Hons) Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom


  1. Programme Manager / Research Fellow, City, University London, May 2019 – present
  2. Research Tutor, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families / University College London, Oct 2017 – Jun 2019
  3. Trials Coordinator, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Dec 2013 – Oct 2017
  4. Senior Research Assistant, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, May 2012 – Aug 2015


  1. Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) (2018) Counselling Research Award
    Counselling Research Award winner for paper presented at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Research conference: “A qualitative study exploring types of dropout in adolescents receiving therapy for depression”, May 2018



  1. Parkinson, S. REDIT-CT: Improving Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Primary Care: An Evaluation Study of Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) in a High-Intensity Comparator Sub-study.

Journal articles (15)

  1. O'Keeffe, S., Martin, P. and Midgley, N. (2020). When Adolescents Stop Psychological Therapy: Rupture- Repair in the Therapeutic Alliance and Association With Therapy Ending. Psychotherapy. doi:10.1037/pst0000279.
  2. O'Keeffe, S., Martin, P., Goodyer, I.M., Kelvin, R., Dubicka, B., Reynolds, S. … Fonagy, P. (2019). Prognostic Implications for Adolescents With Depression Who Drop Out of Psychological Treatment During a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(10), pp. 983–992. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.11.019.
  3. Grossfeld, M., Calderon, A., O'Keeffe, S., Green, V. and Midgley, N. (2019). Short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a depressed adolescent with Borderline Personality Disorder: an empirical, single case study. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 45(2), pp. 209–228.
  4. Fonagy, P., Lemma, A., Target, M., O'Keeffe, S., Constantinou, M.P., Ventura Wurman, T. … Pilling, S. (2019). Dynamic interpersonal therapy for moderate to severe depression: A pilot randomized controlled and feasibility trial. Psychological Medicine. doi:10.1017/S0033291719000928.
  5. O'Keeffe, S., Martin, P., Target, M. and Midgley, N. (2019). 'I just stopped going': A Mixed Methods Investigation Into Types of Therapy Dropout in Adolescents With Depression. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(FEB). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00075.
  6. Midgley, N., Reynolds, S., Kelvin, R., Loades, M., Calderon, A., Martin, P. … O'Keeffe, S. (2018). Therapists' techniques in the treatment of adolescent depression. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 28(4), pp. 413–428. doi:10.1037/int0000119.
  7. Dunn, V., O’Keeffe, S., Stapley, E. and Midgley, N. (2018). Facing Shadows: working with young people to coproduce a short film about depression. Research Involvement and Engagement, 4(1). doi:10.1186/s40900-018-0126-y.
  8. O’Keeffe, S., Martin, P., Goodyer, I.M., Wilkinson, P., Consortium, I. and Midgley, N. (2018). Predicting dropout in adolescents receiving therapy for depression. Psychotherapy Research, 28(5), pp. 708–721. doi:10.1080/10503307.2017.1393576.
  9. Midgley, N., O’Keeffe, S., French, L. and Kennedy, E. (2017). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents: an updated narrative review of the evidence base. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 43(3), pp. 307–329. doi:10.1080/0075417x.2017.1323945.
  10. Parkinson, S., Dunn, V., Stapley, E. and Midgley, N. (2017). 003 BP: SERVICE USER PARTICIPATION IN QUALITATIVE MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH: SHARING ADOLESCENTS' EXPERIENCES OF DEPRESSION THROUGH FILM. BMJ Open, 7(Suppl 2). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016492.13.
  11. Midgley, N., Parkinson, S., Holmes, J., Stapley, E., Eatough, V. and Target, M. (2017). “Did I bring it on myself?” An exploratory study of the beliefs that adolescents referred to mental health services have about the causes of their depression. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 26(1), pp. 25–34. doi:10.1007/s00787-016-0868-8.
  12. Parkinson, S., Eatough, V., Holmes, J., Stapley, E. and Midgley, N. (2016). Framework analysis: a worked example of a study exploring young people’s experiences of depression. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 13(2), pp. 109–129. doi:10.1080/14780887.2015.1119228.
  13. Midgley, N., Holmes, J., Parkinson, S., Stapley, E., Eatough, V. and Target, M. (2016). “Just like talking to someone about like shit in your life and stuff, and they help you”: Hopes and expectations for therapy among depressed adolescents. Psychotherapy Research, 26(1), pp. 11–21. doi:10.1080/10503307.2014.973922.
  14. Midgley, N., Parkinson, S., Holmes, J., Stapley, E., Eatough, V. and Target, M. (2015). Beyond a diagnosis: The experience of depression among clinically-referred adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 44, pp. 269–279. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.08.007.
  15. O'Keeffe, S., Weitkamp, K., Isaacs, D., Target, M., Eatough, V. and Midgley, N. Parents’ understanding and motivation to take part in a randomized controlled trial in the field of adolescent mental health: A Qualitative Study. Trials.