Dr Kathryn Gardner

Dr. Kathryn Gardner

Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Director/Course Leader, MSc Applied Clinical Psychology

School of Psychology

Darwin Building, DB206

+44 (0) 1772 89 4463


Subject Areas: Psychology

Kathryn’s research interests stem from her interest clinical psychology and mental health.

Areas of Research Specialisation:

  • Borderline personality disorder and emotional/social cognitive processes (e.g., emotion perception/identification, mentalisation)
  • Self-harm, particularly non-suicidal self-injury and its functions and mechanisms
  • Personality and assessment

Kathryn is the Programme Director for the MSc Applied Clinical Psychology, working alongside a team of HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologists, expert academics in specialist fields, clinicians across a wide range of specialities, and experts-by-experience.

Kathryn's ResearchGate Profile 
Kathryn's Twitter: @KathrynJGardner

Full Profile

Kathryn's research examines self-harm, particularly non-suicidal self-injury and its functions/motivations, including the non-affective drivers of self-harm such as eliciting care from others. Kathryn’s work focuses also on mechanisms (moderators and mediators) of self-harm; theoretical models of self-harm; staff (e.g., clinician's, teachers) understanding and management of self-harm; help-seeking for self-harm; and self-harm within the school environment.

Other areas of expertise include borderline personality disorder (BPD) and associated emotional/social cognitive processes (e.g., facial emotion perception/identification, mentalisation); emotion dysregulation; mechanisms of change in therapy; personality, and assessment. Kathryn’s interests in the social-cognitive aspects of BPD traits has resulted in collaborations with clinicians delivering Mentalisation Based Treatment (MBT), a highly effective treatment for BPD. Kathryn works alongside a team of Clinical Psychologists, expert academics in specialist fields, clinicians across a wide range of specialities, and experts-by-experience.

Kathryn’s earlier work concentrated on emotional intelligence (EI), with some of this work lying at the forefront of debate around whether the construct can be measured validly.

Kathryn is primarily a quantitative researcher but also utilises qualitative methods (e.g., thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis) alongside advanced statistical methods (e.g., structural equation modelling) to provide a mixed-methods perspective of the phenomena under study.

Given Kathryn’s research expertise and passion for mental health research, in 2015 Kathryn worked with colleagues and stakeholders (students, experts-by-experience and carers) to develop UCLan’s MSc Applied Clinical Psychology, which saw its first intake of students in September 2016. Kathryn continues to work as the Programme Director/Course Leader for this MSc, alongside a team of HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologists, expert academics in specialist fields, clinicians across a wide range of specialities, and experts-by-experience.

Teaching activities and responsibilities 

Main teaching and learning activities:

  • Module/course design, assessment, curriculum design/development, and quality assurance, at a variety of different levels (Undergraduate and Postgraduate).
  • Teaching, learning and assessment activities are mainly in the following areas: research methods/advanced research methods and statistics; clinical psychology, individual differences, applied/clinical psychology, psychometrics.
  • Doctoral, MSc and BSc supervision for a broad range of mental health/clinical psychology topics, utilising both quantitative and qualitative methods

Key Roles:

  • Module leader for a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate modules.
  • Course leader/programme director for MSc in Applied Clinical Psychology.

Quality Assurance:

  • Internal member of the University Review Panel.
  • External Examiner for MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology, Bournemouth University, UK.


Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638, Dodsworth, Jo and Klonsky, E David (2016) Reasons for non-suicidal self-harm in adult male offenders with and without borderline personality traits. Archives of Suicide Research, 20 (4). pp. 614-634. ISSN 1381-1118 …

Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638, Dodsworth, Jo and Selby, Edward (2014) Borderline personality traits, rumination and self-injurious behavior: An empirical test of the emotional cascades model in adult male offenders. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 14 (5). pp. 398-417. ISSN 1522-8932

Selby, Edward and Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638 (2015) A Latent Profile Analysis of Suicidal and Self-Injurious Behavior, Other Dysregulated Behaviors, and Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 6 (4). pp. 356-368. ISSN 2043-8087

Porter, Carly, Ireland, Carol Ann ORCID: 0000-0001-7310-2903, Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638 and Eslea, Mike J ORCID: 0000-0003-1273-0302 (2016) Exploration of emotion regulation experiences associated with borderline personality features in a non-clinical sample. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 3 (8).

More publications

British Psychological Society, British Psychological Society: Division of Clinical Psychology, Chartered Psychologist: British Psychological Society, Fellow: Higher Education Academy

External Affiliations and Roles


Journal Reviewing

  • Addiction Research and Theory
  • Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Australian Journal of Psychology
  • British Journal of Psychology;
  • Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Current Psychiatry Reviews
  • Eating Behaviors
  • European Journal of Personality Assessment
  • Frontiers in Psychology
  • Health Behaviours, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion
  • Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
  • Journal of Personality Disorder
  • Mindfulness
  • Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
  • Personality and Individual Differences
  • Psychiatry Research
  • Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

Grant Reviewing

  • NIHR Research for Patient Benefit


Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West (SSHaRE NoW)

Co-founder of Suicide and Self-Harm Research North West, or SSHaRE NoW, a collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire, Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Manchester, the Manchester Self-Harm Project, the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust and the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs). SSHaRe NoW, was launched in June 2017 with the aim of bringing together a wide range of stakeholders with a shared interested in suicide and self-harm research, from across the north west of England. We hope to encourage and support links and collaboration between researchers, clinicians, health services, third sector organisations, service users, and the public, by raising awareness of high quality suicide and self-harm research and initiatives in the local area. We also want to create a positive collaborative space where we can share knowledge, expertise, and experience of all kinds, to help identify and develop key areas of research that may help improve services and reduce suicide and self-harm in the future.


  • British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder (BIGSPD)
  • International Society for the Study of Self-injury (ISSS)
  • The International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (ISSPD)
  • Chartered member of the British Psychological Society
  • Chartered member of the British Psychological Society – Division of Clinical Psychology.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


On-going research projects

Gardner, K. J., Bickley, H., Turnbull, P., Kapur, N., Taylor, P., & Clements, C. (Under Review). The significance of site of cut in self-harm in young people. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Gardner, K. J., Wright, K. M., Elliot, A.., Graham, S., Paker, L., & Fonagy, P. (In Preparation). The experience of therapists who deliver mentalisation-based therapy for borderline personality disorder. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.

Gardner, K. J., & Banks, G. (In Preparation). How do teachers and other school professionals understand, experience, respond to and manage self-harm within their School?

Gardner, K. J., Smith, R., & Rayner, G. (In Preparation). Mental health professional’s perceptions of the significance of concealed and visible self-Harm.

Saini, P., Clements, C., Gardner, K. Chopra, J., Latham, C., Kumar, R., & Taylor, P. (In Preparation). Identifying suicide and self-harm research priorities in North West England: a Delphi study. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.

A feasibility randomised-control trial for an integrated school-wide self-harm prevention programme
Collaborators: Pooja Saini (Liverpool), Mark Gabbay (Director of NIHR CLAHRC NWC, Liverpool); Peter Taylor, Pamela Qualter (Manchester); Katie Henderson (Education Liaison Officer, Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board LSCB)


Doctoral supervision

Past doctoral students:

  • Carly Porter: Emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder: an exploration of the features of emotion regulation associated with borderline personality features.
  • Hissah Al Zahrani: Mental health among young women in Saudi Arabia: a mixed methods approach.

Current doctoral students:

  • Olga Theodoropoulou: Advancing understanding of the role of nonphysical childhood abuse in adult eating disorder patients: a mixed methods approach.
  • Samira Ghanchi: Assessment and Development of Facial Composite Construction in Children, Adolescents and Adults using the EvoFIT Holistic System
  • Heidi Tranter: Experiences of Childhood Abuse and or Neglect, Coping Mechanisms, Prevalence of Psychopathic Traits and Turning Points in a Sample of Veteran Offenders and Non-Offenders