Personal profile

Research interests

Health psychology: behaviour change; CBT/ACT/ Motivational Interviewing for the treatment of dental anxiety, adherence, empowerment in health-care settings, patient-health care professional communication, patients' and health care professionals understanding of risk, cognitive functioning in and self-management of type 2 diabetes and chronic illness in general, psychology as applied to dentistry.

Research interests (short)

Health psychology; behaviour change; adherence; person-centred care; understanding of risk; patient-provider communication, diabetes; empowerment.

Biographical details

A Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a Registered Psychologist with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), Koula completed her undergraduate training with a first class honours in Psychology in 1995, was awarded her doctorate (PhD) in Health Psychology in 2001 and has since undertaken further training to include qualifications in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Third Wave CBT therapies, such as Acceptance andn Committment Therapy (ACT) and Motivational Interviewing techniques. Koula is a qualified psychometric test assessor trained to administer, interpret and give people feedback on personality and ability (intelligence)  tests.

Koula’s work focuses on helping people take on behaviour change, deal with stressors, fears and phobias as well as supporting them in living with chronic conditions. She also works with healthcare and education professionals delivering patient-centred care in NHS and private settings.  Koula is one of three psychologists who set up and delivered the first ever NHS health psychology service designed to help people combat their fear of the dentist at Guy’s Hospital, London.

Koula has an extensive record of scientific publications and regularly presents at national and international conferences. She works with nuemours national and international professional bodies, delivering CPD acitivities to dentists, hygienists, therapists and other healthcare professionals and advises industry on behaviour change and psychological health initiatives. Recently, she led the development of joint guidance between the BPS and the Faculty of General Dental Practice on supporting the mental health of dental teams post-COVID.

She has been an examiner for several UK and international psychology programmes, as well as undergraduate, Masters and PhD students. She has served the BPS Division of Health Psychology Training Committee as a QA assessor for national postgraduate programmes in health psychology and has helped set up psychology programmes, validate them and quality assure them in the UK and abroad.

Koula is a passionate advocate of patient-centred care and part of her work involves looking after patient interests in her position of Chair of the Bromley NHS Research Ethics Committee.  Koula has just come to the end of her role as Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Division of Health Psychology Conference Committee. Koula is qualified to supervise the work of Health Psychology trainees seeking to obtain full membership of the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Neuropsychological functioning in type 2 diabetes; relationship to diabetes self-management, University of Surrey

Award Date: 1 Jan 2001

Bachelor of Science, University of Hertfordshire

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995


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