PhD withdrawn

Email sent Sunday 28 May 2017:

Strapline: giving up PhD quest

"To whom it may concern

I have decided to give up my PhD quest.  Realistically I can't afford to self fund doctorate study as I'm financially poor, being an unwaged Carer, no Carers Allowance, on a basic State Pension topped up by additional monies from my son's benefits and family support.  It pains me to do this, I'm not a quitter.  But DWP is targeting the disabled mentally ill and my son has had his benefits reduced, mobility payment taken away.  We share a house to reduce living costs and have had to give up running a car, not easy living in a NE Fife village.  

Congratulations to Prof Schwannauer and Dr Stenhouse, University of Edinburgh, for successfully undermining my academic aspirations, reinforcing the difficulty and virtual impossibility of getting project funding.  I'm being sarcastic and didn't appreciate the stress it caused me, over 9 months, and the physical health issues that resulted from being undermined.  I will continue to complain about this until getting it out of my system.  And as a warning to other would-be doctorate students who are also psychiatric survivor voices and financially poor.  Without whole-hearted academic support the PhD process would be, is, impossible.

However this does not mean I'm giving up the action research into Safe Haven Crisis Houses.  Rather I plan to undertake this research under my own steam, it will be less costly than paying for a PhD.  [since 2008 it has personally cost me greatly, in time and money, to promote mental health recovery]  I want to see alternative crisis houses for people experiencing psychosis that doesn't have to result in coercive drug treatment.  I've had enough of my family being abused in psychiatric settings and the system blaming me for it.  NHS Fife were awarded £4.4million by Scottish Government civil servants after abusing my son.  It doesn't pay to be a caregiver.  It's a daunting task, researching solo, I'd have preferred a supportive team, but it's preferable to being undermined.

I also mean to continue with being "meaningfully involved" in the DClinPsy training programmes at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities.  I have always wanted to teach trainees from my life and work experience, as a psychiatric survivor and carer, it's why I first got involved in September 2009, attending a meeting at the Mental Health and Wellbeing Unit, Glasgow.  I've already got 2 Postgraduate reflective practitioner awards in Community and Further Education, Care subjects, so am well qualified to teach. 

I'm sad about the PhD withdrawal for my sons' sake.  They were proud of their Mother's achievements.  I'm not a quitter so it's causing me pain to retreat.  But it would cause me more distress to continue without having the means or support to finish the job.  I have to be realistic.

Thank you for listening,

Regards, Chrys"


20 May 2017: embarking on a new PhD application process with a new Supervisor and new University, more details to follow.


PhD Clinical Psychology University of Edinburgh - Withdrawal of Offer 9May17
after last meeting 4May17 with PhD Supervisors


6Apr17: My application for the 'Principal's Career Development Scholarship - School of Health in Social Science' is now marked "unsuccessful" on the University of Edinburgh student portal. I have informed my academic supervisors and mentor.  They have responded supportively.  I will have to look elsewhere for PhD fees funding, being financially poor, an unwaged Carer, on basic State Pension, no Carers Allowance, and a voluntary mental health writer, activist and campaigner.


4Apr17: Mentoring Articles

Pallas Athene: Gustav Klimt
Mentoring: What’s in a Name? D Sambunjak,A Marusic; JAMA, December 16, 2009—Vol 302, No. 23

Walking alongside: a qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of academic nurse mentors supporting early career nurse academics; Jackson D, Peters K, Andrew S, Daly J, Gray J, Halcomb E

A Framework for Conceptualizing Competence to Mentor: W. Brad Johnson; (2003); Ethics & Behavior, 13:2, 127-151

Issues in the mentor-mentee relationship in academic medicine: a qualitative study: Straus SE, Chatur F, Taylor M


21Mar17: today was in Edinburgh at University Main Library receiving welcome instruction from the Academic Support Librarian in how to do systematic reviews, using Discover Ed and various databases on the system.  I found this very helpful, took notes. 

Meadow walk

University Main Library building ahead


16Mar17: have just Emailed my PhD supervisors suggesting Skype calls as a way for us to keep in touch.  I don't want to feel isolated by distance or start to feel negative about funding possibilities.  Although my PhD doesn't start proper until September I've to work on a research funding proposal and could do with discussing the process on occasion.  

I've applied for a University of Edinburgh 'Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarship' of which there are 45 to be awarded. This would cover fees and give an annual stipend of £14,500. 


14 March 2017: starting this diary page about my PhD journey, to discuss the procedures as they happen and my feelings along the way; it will be as much about the process as the outcome.  I hope it will be of use to others.  [recent posts at top of page]

Edinburgh University Library George Square 27Dec16
Edinburgh Teviot Place


25 December 2016: Unconditional Offer Accepted: Admission to PhD Clinical Psychology - 3 Years; University of Edinburgh

Today I accepted the unconditional offer of admission, undertaking a PhD in Clinical Psychology over 3 years at the University of Edinburgh, starting September 2017:

"PhD proposal title 'Investigating alternative crisis house and safe haven models from the perspective of lived experience: evidencing how the journey through psychoses and severe emotional states may be made safer and more secure by avoiding hospital treatment'

This action research PhD will employ a range of methods to investigate crisis houses and safe havens which exist in the UK and abroad, seeking good practice models and positive recovery outcomes, testimonies from people who have used alternative (to hospital) crisis services, hearing from staff working in these resources. To build up a picture, a map of what services exist, how they have been developed, any challenges along the way, the budgeting structure, the involvement of people with lived experience and their Carers or family members, collaborations and partnerships, and any other details which will help to evidence the benefits of safe haven crisis houses.

Co-supervisors: Professor of Clinical Psychology Matthias Schwannauer and Dr Rosie Stenhouse, Mental Health Nursing Researcher.  Academic Mentor: Professor of Psychological Therapy Andrew Gumley, University of Glasgow.


Letter received from Scottish Government regarding PhD funding: 


Letter received from Stephen Gethins MP wishing me good luck with PhD:

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