Dr Alistair Ross

Profile details


Director of Studies in Psychodynamic Studies and Psychology

Course Director of the Master's Programme in Psychodynamic Counselling


Alistair Ross initially trained as a Baptist Minister and worked in South London, Kent and Birmingham.  He subsequently did an experiential therapeutic training at Claybury Psychiatric Hospital in Essex and worked as a pastoral counsellor and pastoral theologian.  Further training as a psychodynamic counsellor and supervisor followed and since 2002 he has led the MA in Psychodynamic Counselling at the University of Birmingham.  He is a BACP accredited counsellor and supervisor and is Chair of BACP’s Professional Ethics and Quality Standards Committee.

Research interests

His research interests include:

  • The work, ideas and letters of Oskar Pfister
  • The letters of Harry Guntrip
  • The development of sacred psychoanalysis
  • The emergence of spirituality in contemporary psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
  • Ethics in relation to counselling and psychotherapy
  • The evolution of psychodynamic counselling and therapy 

Dr Ross is not considering taking on graduate students at this time.



Recent books include:

Research Ethics for Counsellors, Nurses and Social Workers (with Dee Danchev, Sage 2014);

Counselling: A Practical Guide (Icon, 2014);

Sigmund Freud: Pocket Giants (History Press, 2016);

Introducing Contemporary Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Open University Press, 2019). 



  • Ross, A. (2011) ‘The writings of Peter Lomas’ in the European Journal for Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Green, C. & Ross, A. (2011) ‘Examining the lived experience of anorexia – a case study and narrative analysis’ in Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
  • Ross, A. (2010) ‘The relational: A postmodern meta-narrative’ in the European Journal for Psychotherapy and Counselling 

He regularly peer reviews articles for the following journals:

  • Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
  • European Journal for Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Practical Theology

Alistair regularly writes reviews for the European Journal for Psychotherapy and Counselling, as well as Practical Theology including:

  • Culliford, L. (2011) The Psychology of Spirituality. Jessica Kingsley
  • Hoffman, M. (2011) Toward Mutual Recognition: Relational Psychoanalysis and the Christian Narrative. Routledge
  • Lemma, A. (2009) Under the Skin: A Psychoanalytic Study of Body Modification. Routledge
  • Orange, D. (2010) Thinking for Clinicians. Philosophical Resources for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Humanistic Therapies. Routledge
  • Podmore, S. (2011) Kierkegaard and the self before God. Anatomy of the Abyss. Indiana University Press
  • Reeves. A. (2010) Counselling Suicidal Clients. Sage

Published interviews

‘Ethics and standards’ Therapy Today (July 2011)

‘Sacred Psychoanalysis’ Oxford Psychotherapy Society Journal (June 2011)