I am an experienced mental health nurse with specific expertise in working with clients with complex needs, cognitive behaviour therapy and non medical prescribing. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am an experienced qualitative researcher and completed my Doctoral thesis on how community mental health nurses construct the identity of people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality using an ethnographic approach. Findings from the study led to the development of a model to explain and inform the process of therapeutic ruptures with this client group with recommendation for how they can be managed by the practitioner.

I also have experience of quantitative research and for my MSc thesis I investigated the effects of the diagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder on mental health workers' helping, empathy and anger reactions. Eight vignette were constructed around attribution dimensions of controllability and stability as well as the diagnoses. Results revealed that when the same clinical information was shown across the two diagnoses that mental health workers expressed less helping and empathy and more angry responses for the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder compared to Major Depressive Disorder. The role of clinical supervision and case conceptualisation was explored as a way of mediating these emotional reactions and promoting therapeutic engagement with people with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Qualifications and memberships

PhD, MSc, BA

Academic and research interests

Academic Interests

  • Mental health nursing
  • Qualitative research methodologies
  • Building collaborative relationships with stakeholders

Research Interests

My main areas of research in relation to practice include the exploration of factors which affect therapeutics alliances with people with complex needs who present to mental health services. I am also interested in service evaluation of innovative approaches within mental health services.

From a methodological perspective, I am an experienced qualitative researcher with specific expertise in ethnographic research and thematic analysis. 


Forsyth, A. S., & Trevarrow, R. (2018). Sensory strategies in adult mental health: A qualitative exploration of staff perspectives following the introduction of a sensory room on a male adult acute ward. International journal of mental health nursing27(6), 1689-1697.

Forsyth, AS & Janner, M (2017) Admission of a person in acute distress. In Chambers, M (Ed) The Craft of Caring, London, Taylor & Francis. 

Ebrahim,S; Robinson, S; Crooks,S; Harenwell,S, Forsyth,A.S (2016) Evaluation of Awareness Level Knowledge and Understanding Framework Personality Disorder Training with Mental Health Staff: Impact on Attitudes and Clinical Practice. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice. volume 11 no3, pp133-143. ISSN1755-6228

Howard, A; Forsyth, AS; Spencer, H; Wisniewska Young E; Turkington,D (2012) Do voice hearers naturally use focussing and metacognitive techniques? Psychosis: psychological, social and Integrative approaches. pp 1-8. 
Forsyth, A & Torn,C (2012) Recovery-focussed care planning in an acute mental health ward. Cumbria Partnership Journal of Research, Practice and Learning, vol 2, No 1.pp 52-57. 

Forsyth, A (2008) Implementing Cognitive Behaviour Therapy approaches in adult acute in-patient settings. Mental Health Practice. Vol 11 (5). Pp24-27 

Forsyth, A (2007) The effects of diagnoses and non-compliance attributions on therapeutic alliance processes in adult acute in-patient psychiatric settings. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, vol 14, pp 33 -40.

Forsyth, A S (2006 ) Development of care pathway for clients with self-harm. In Hall,J; Howard, A (Eds) Integrated Care Pathways in Mental Health. Elsevier. 

Forsyth AS (2002) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Desperately Seeking Understanding. Mental Health Practice, Vol6,No4, pp34-38.

Recent external roles

I am a Clinical Adviser to the Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).