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Professor Heather O'Mahen

Professor Heather O'Mahen

Professor in Perinatal and Clinical Psychology


 Washington Singer 118


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


 Orcid ID:

I am a Research Clinical Psychologist. My research focuses on improving equitable access to psychological interventions, particularly during the perinatal period.

I completed my PhD at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia (USA), (APA accredited) where my research was focussed on interpersonal factors in women's mental health. Clinically I specialised in CBT for depression and anxiety and Behavioural Couples Therapy. I then undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in perinatal psychology at the University of Michigan, Department of Psychiatry (APA accredited), where I also trained clinically in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).  From 2005-2007 I was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  I joined the Mood Disorders Centre (MDC) and Psychology Department at the University of Exeter in 2007.

I am currently seconded to .2 WTE to NHS England as a National Clinical Advisor to the Perinatal Mental Health Policy team. 


In addition to conducting clinical research, I am involved in translating clinical research into policy and practice.

I am a member of the NHSE Perinatal Clinical Reference Group, and I co-lead the research sub-group with Dr. Giles Berrisford.I am an executive member of the British Psychology Society's Perinatal Faculty and a NICE - Expert Adviser for the Centre for Clinical Practice. I  was a member of the Guidelines Development Group (GDG) for the 2014 NICE revised Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health Guidelines, the Perinatal Access and Waiting Time Expert Reference Group (ERG), the Department of Health Perinatal Quality Standards ERG, and the Perinatal Outcomes ERG. 

Together with colleagues from the University of Liverpool and the University of Exeter's CEDAR group, I am leading the NHSE Worforce, Training and Education (formerly Health Education England) funded national Perinatal Clinical Psychology Continuing Professional Development training programme. I also co-lead the SW regional NHS Talking Therapies Perinatal Champion and Supervisors training programme with CEDAR colleagues.

Together with Dr. Sarah Healy, I led the revision of the NHS Talking Therapies Perinatal Positive Practice guide, chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/

and the NHS Talking Therapies Perinatal Competencies framework:  

I regularly provide training in psychological treatments for perinatal mental health, including online clinician training through the FutureLearn Platform 

I was fortunate to work with Elizabeth Van der Beugel on an artist-in-residency project on women's identities as they encounter mental health problems during pregnancy and postnatally. Please see the website for further details:


I worked with and mothers who had suffered from postnatal depression to develop and test an online intervention for postnatal depression. The intervention has been tested both in a self-help and guided self-help format and helped formed the 2014 NICE Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health recommendations for guided self-help. The intervention is freely available to the public and health care professionals at this link:

Becky Hopley and I translated this treatment into guided self-help versions appropriate for IAPT. Both clinician and therapist versions are available here:

Online training for clinicians in these formats is available here:

With support from the Wellcome Trust, we have created a treatment website that compiles evidence based interventions for perinatal mental health


Research group links

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Research interests

My research focuses on the following areas: (1) investigating the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioural and Interpersonal Treatments for depression and anxiety, particularly behaviourally oriented treatments, and (2) improving treatment for women suffering from depression during pregnancy and postnatally, especially through novel treatment delivery modes (e.g., internet, apps) (3) understanding mechanisms (e.g., emotion regulation) underlying the links between perinatal depression, maternal sensitivity, and child outcomes. 

Current Grants

2023 -2027     NIHR Health Technology Assessment - ACORN: A multi-site randomised controlled trial to evaluate the impact of a group treatment for antenatal anxiety. Heather O’Mahen PI. Total costs: £2,112,645.

2020-2025       NIHR ARC – ESMI-III: The Effectiveness of Maternal Mental Health Services. Abigail Easter PI. Total costs: £350,000 (Extension + £300,000).

Recently Completed Grants

2019-2023       NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research - ESMI-II: The Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of community perinatal Mental health servIces. Heather O’Mahen, Louise Howard co-PI’s  £1,100,000.

2019-2023       MRC/NEWTON FUND UK-South Africa Joint Initiative on Mental Health - Digital delivery of Behavioural Activation to overcome depression and facilitate social and economic transitions of adolescents in South Africa (DoBAt) – Co-investigator (Treatment development co-lead with Michelle Craske). Alan Stein, PI. Total costs £671,000

2022-2023       NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research - ESMI-II: The Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of community perinatal Mental health servIces – Follow-on funds. Heather O’Mahen PI Total costs:  £68,000

2022                Policy Support Fund - Population level associations between severe adverse pregnancy/childbirth events and onset of mental health illness in new mothers: is there a link with socioeconomic and ethnic background? Heather O’Mahen PI. Total costs - £21,834

2022-2023       Health Equity Innovation Challenge – Expanding Access to Postnatal Depression treatment. Online training in the voluntary care sector. Academic Health Science Network. Heather O’Mahen PI Total costs - £25,000

2018-2021       NIHR RFPB -Co-investigator (Exeter Site Lead). Low intensity interventions for antenatal depression: A feasibility study of an RCT of Interpersonal Counselling compared to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.” Jonathan Evans, PI. April, Total costs £245,451.

Previous Funding

2017-2018       Wellcome Trust ISSF – Collaborator (Treatment lead). Behavioural Activation for Adolescents in Uganda. Sub-contract award from Oxford: Alan Stein, PI. Sub-contract (Exeter) funding = £21,961

2017-2018       National Lottery “Better Start” – Collaborator (Treatment lead, Train/supervise). Implementing Behavioural Activation for Postnatal Depression in high need communities: The Blackpool Challenge. Sub-project (Exeter) specific funding = £19,000

2017-2018       NHS funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT clinic Devon 2017/18". Amount: £272, 272. Duration  (10% REF share)

2016-2017       NHS funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT clinic Devon 2016". Amount: £136,136. Duration  (10% REF share)

2014-2017       NIHR Rfpb – Co-Investigator (Site Lead, Treatment Developer and Clinical Supervisor). ACORN: Adapting and testing a brief intervention to reduce maternal anxiety during pregnancy. Co-investigator. Paul Ramchandani, PI. Total costs = £183,818

2014-2016       NHS funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT clinic Devon 2014/16". Amount: £284, 000. (10% REF share).

2013-2014       NHS funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT Clinic Devon 2013/14". Amount £136,136, (15% REF share)

2012-2016       NIHR Health Technology Assessment  - Co-investigator. Design and treatment oversight. Process co-lead. COBRA: Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation - Multi-centre Randomised Controlled Trial for Depression. Dave Richards, PI. Total costs = £1,700,000

2012-2014       NHS funded award – Principle Investigator. “Radical Openness Behaviour Therapy” (ROBT) for Anorexia Nervosa.” Total Award: £80,000

2011-2017       Medical Research Council (MRC) Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation – Co-investigator. (Assessment Lead). “Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD): A Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT)” Co-investigator. Awarded November, 2011-2017. Tom Lynch PI. Total costs = £2,100,000.

2011-2013       NHS funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT clinic Devon 2011/13". Amount: £284, 000. (15% REF share).

2010-2011       NHS funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT Clinic Devon 2010/11". Amount £136,136, (15% REF share)

2009-2012       National Institute of Health Research: Research for Patient Benefit  (NIHR: RFPB)– Co-investigator. Clinical trainer/supervisor. “Psychological treatment of depression during pregnancy: Piloting a pragmatic randomised controlled trial.” Jonathan Evans, PI. Total costs = £248,990.

2008                Wellcome Capital Funding bid. Co-applicant. Awarded October 2008. Total costs = £3,605,000

2008-2010       National Health Service(NHS) funded award. Co-investigator Title: "AccEPT clinic Devon 2018/10". Amount: £284, 000. (15% REF share).

2008                Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLARHC) bid to NIHR co-applicant. 2008. Total costs = £20,000,000

2008-2009       Peninsula Primary Care Research Management & Governance – Co-Principle-Investigator “Supporting Psychological Interventions for Primary Care Patients.” O’Mahen, H.A. Total costs = £43,000

2007-2010       National Institute of Health R34  - “Improving Psychosocial Treatment for Perinatal Depression” Co-Investigator. (Trail Design, Treatment Developer, Clinical and Research Supervisor). Flynn, H. (PI) Total costs = $614,000. 

2019                MRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): - Principle Investigator. Digital delivery of Behavioural ActivatioN for adolescents to overcome depression and facilitate social and economic transitions in Africa: DIANA. Total costs = £29,626.

2015-2016       Economic and Social Research Council Impact and AAA – Principle Investigator ACORN: Adapting and testing a brief intervention to reduce maternal anxiety during pregnancy. Awarded April 2015-2016. Total costs = £19,673.

2011-2012       NIHR PENCLAHRC – Principle Investigator. Netmums: Online Behavioural Activation for Postnatal Depression. Awarded May 2011-2012. Total costs = £60,000.

Research networks

Kim Wright (Exeter), Louise Howard (Kings), Alan Stein (Oxford), Pasco Fearon (Cambridge), Helen Sharp (Liverpool), Paul Ramchandani (Cambridge), Jo Woodford (Uppsala), Abigail Easter (Kings), Jonathan Evans (Bristol), Paul Ramchandani (Cambridge), Sarah Halligan (Bath), Rebecca Pearson (Manchester), Paul Moran (Bristol), Alastair Van Heerden (AHRC, S. Africa), Julia Ruiz-Pozuelo (Harvard, Oxford), Claire Mason (Lancaster)


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Journal articles

Yilmaz S, Anna H, Kisely S, Rao S, Wang J, Baur K, Price M, O'Mahen H, Wright K (In Press). Do psychological interventions reduce symptoms of depression for patients with Bipolar I or II Disorder? a meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders
Ukoumunne OC, Mann J, Kuyken W, O'Mahen H, Evans A, Ford T (In Press). Manual Development and Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy versus Usual Care for Parents with a History of Depression. Mindfulness Abstract.
Perry R, Ford T, O'Mahen H, Russell A (In Press). Prioritising targets for school-based ADHD interventions: a Delphi survey. School Mental Health
Lynch TR, Hempel RJ, Whalley B, Russell I, Byford S, Clark P, Shearer J, O'Mahen HA, Clarke S, Kingdon D, et al (In Press). Refractory depression – Mechanisms and Evaluation of Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT) [REFRAMED]: protocol for randomised trial. BMJ Open(in press). Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Tester-Jones M, Karl A, Watkins E (In Press). Rumination in dysphoric mothers negatively affects mother-infant interactions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Taylor AK, O'Mahen HA, Stein A, Evans J, Pearson R (In Press). The association between maternal postnatal depressive symptoms and offspring sleep problems in adolescence. Psychological Medicine
Tester-Jones M, Moberly NJ, Karl A, O'Mahen H (2023). Daily relationships among maternal rumination, mood and bonding with infant. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 165, 104309-104309.
Langham J, Gurol-Urganci I, Muller P, Webster K, Tassie E, Heslin M, Byford S, Khalil A, Harris T, Sharp H, et al (2023). Obstetric and neonatal outcomes in pregnant women with and without a history of specialist mental health care: a national population-based cohort study using linked routinely collected data in England. The Lancet Psychiatry, 10(10), 748-759.
Dallison S, Jenkinson C, Davey A, O’Mahen H (2023). Overcoming training bottlenecks: mixed-methods evaluation of digital training for non-specialists in postnatal depression self-help treatment. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 1-20.
Pozuelo JR, Moffett BD, Davis M, Stein A, Cohen H, Craske MG, Maritze M, Makhubela P, Nabulumba C, Sikoti D, et al (2023). User-Centered Design of a Gamified Mental Health App for Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa: Multicycle Usability Testing Study. JMIR Form Res, 7 Abstract.  Author URL.
Rice C, Ingram E, O'Mahen H (2022). A qualitative study of the impact of peer support on women's mental health treatment experiences during the perinatal period. BMC PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH, 22(1).  Author URL.
Wright K, Mostazir M, Bailey E, Dunn BD, O’Mahen H, Sibsey M, Thomas Z (2022). Adapted Behavioural Activation for Bipolar Depression: a Randomised Multiple Baseline Case Series. Brain Sciences, 12(10), 1407-1407. Abstract.
O’Mahen HA, Ramchandani PG, King DX, Lee-Carbon L, Wilkinson EL, Thompson-Booth C, Ericksen J, Milgrom J, Dunkley-Bent J, Halligan SL, et al (2022). Adapting and testing a brief intervention to reduce maternal anxiety during pregnancy (ACORN): report of a feasibility randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 22(1). Abstract.
Moffett BD, Pozuelo JR, van Heerden A, O'Mahen HA, Craske M, Sodi T, Lund C, Orkin K, Kilford EJ, Blakemore S-J, et al (2022). Digital delivery of behavioural activation therapy to overcome depression and facilitate social and economic transitions of adolescents in South Africa (the DoBAt study): protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 12(12). Abstract.  Author URL.
Dunn B (2022). How well do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Behavioural Activation for depression repair anhedonia? a secondary analysis of the COBRA randomised controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy Abstract.
Ingram J, Johnson D, O'Mahen HA, Law R, Culpin I, Kessler D, Beasant L, Evans J (2021). 'Asking for help': a qualitative interview study exploring the experiences of interpersonal counselling (IPC) compared to low-intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for women with depression during pregnancy. BMC PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH, 21(1).  Author URL.
O'Mahen HA, Hayes A, Harries C, Ladwa A, Mostazir M, Ekers D, McMillan D, Richards D, Wright K (2021). A comparison of the effects of sudden gains and depression spikes on short- and long-term depressive symptoms in a randomized controlled trial of behavioral activation and cognitive behavioural therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 89(12), 957-969.
Obikane E, Baba T, Shinozaki T, Obata S, Nakanishi S, Murata C, Ushio E, Suzuki Y, Shirakawa N, Honda M, et al (2021). Internet-based behavioural activation to improve depressive symptoms and prevent child abuse in postnatal women (SmartMama): a protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 21(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Evans J, Ingram J, Law R, Taylor H, Johnson D, Glynn J, Hopley B, Kessler D, Round J, Ford J, et al (2021). Interpersonal counselling versus perinatal-specific cognitive behavioural therapy for women with depression during pregnancy offered in routine psychological treatment services: a phase II randomised trial. BMC PSYCHIATRY, 21(1).  Author URL.
Cadman T, Kwong ASF, Moran P, O’Mahen H, Culpin I, Lawlor DA, Pearson RM (2021). Joint associations of parental personality traits and socio‐economic position with trajectories of offspring depression: Findings from up to 6925 families in a UK birth cohort. JCPP Advances, 1(3). Abstract.
Wilkinson K, Ball S, Mitchell S, Ukoumunne O, O'Mahen H, Tejerina-Arreal M, Hayes R, Berry V, Petrie I, Ford T, et al (2021). The longitudinal relationship between child emotional disorder and parental mental health in the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health surveys 1999 and 2004. Journal of Affective Disorders, 288, 58-67.
Lynch TR, Hempel RJ, Whalley B, Byford S, Chamba R, Clarke P, Clarke S, Kingdon DG, O'Mahen H, Remington B, et al (2020). Refractory depression - mechanisms and efficacy of radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RefraMED): findings of a randomised trial on benefits and harms. Br J Psychiatry, 216(4), 204-212. Abstract.  Author URL.
Dunn BD, O'Mahen H, Wright K (2019). A commentary on research rigour in clinical psychological science: How to avoid throwing out the innovation baby with the research credibility bath water in the depression field. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 120, 103417-103417.
Pettman D, O'Mahen H, Skoog Svanberg A, von Essen L, Axfors C, Blomberg O, Woodford J (2019). Effectiveness and acceptability of cognitive–behavioural therapy based interventions for maternal peripartum depression: a systematic review, meta-analysis and thematic synthesis protocol. BMJ Open, 9(12), e032659-e032659. Abstract.
Ingram J, Johnson D, Johnson S, O'Mahen HA, Kessler D, Taylor H, Law R, Round J, Ford J, Hopley R, et al (2019). Protocol for a feasibility randomised trial of low-intensity interventions for antenatal depression: ADAGIO trial comparing interpersonal counselling with cognitive behavioural therapy. BMJ Open, 9(8). Abstract.  Author URL.
Shearer J, Lynch TR, Chamba R, Clarke S, Hempel RJ, Kingdon DG, O'Mahen H, Remington B, Rushbrook SC, Russell IT, et al (2019). Refractory depression-cost-effectiveness of radically open dialectical behaviour therapy: Findings of economic evaluation of RefraMED trial. BJPsych Open, 5(5). Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Moberly NJ, Wright KA (2019). Trajectories of Change in a Group Behavioral Activation Treatment for Severe, Recurrent Depression. Behavior Therapy, 50(3), 504-514. Abstract.
Pearson RM, Campbell A, Howard LM, Bornstein MH, O'Mahen H, Mars B, Moran P (2018). Impact of dysfunctional maternal personality traits on risk of offspring depression, anxiety and self-harm at age 18 years: a population-based longitudinal study. Psychol Med, 48(1), 50-60. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lynch TR, Hempel RJ, Whalley B, Byford S, Chamba R, Clarke P, Clarke S, Kingdon D, O’Mahen H, Remington B, et al (2018). Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy for refractory depression: the RefraMED RCT. Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation, 5(7), 1-112. Abstract.
Richards DA, Rhodes S, Ekers D, McMillan D, Taylor RS, Byford S, Barrett B, Finning K, Ganguli P, Warren F, et al (2017). Cost and Outcome of BehaviouRal Activation (COBRA): a randomised controlled trial of behavioural activation versus cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression. Health Technol Assess, 21(46), 1-366. Abstract.  Author URL.
Finning K, Richards DA, Moore L, Ekers D, McMillan D, Farrand PA, O'Mahen HA, Watkins ER, Wright KA, Fletcher E, et al (2017). Cost and outcome of behavioural activation versus cognitive behavioural therapy for depression (COBRA): a qualitative process evaluation. BMJ Open, 7(4). Abstract.  Author URL.
O'Mahen HA, Wilkinson E, Bagnall K, Richards DA, Swales A (2017). Shape of change in internet based behavioral activation treatment for depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 95, 107-116. Abstract.
Wilkinson EL, O’Mahen HA, Fearon P, Halligan S, King DX, Greenfield G, Dunkley-Bent J, Ericksen J, Milgrom J, Ramchandani PG, et al (2016). Adapting and testing a brief intervention to reduce maternal anxiety during pregnancy (ACORN): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 17(1).
Richards DA, Ekers D, McMillan D, Taylor RS, Byford S, Warren FC, Barrett B, Farrand PA, Gilbody S, Kuyken W, et al (2016). Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (COBRA): a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. Lancet
Netsi E, Evans J, Wulff K, O'Mahen H, Ramchandani PG (2015). Infant outcomes following treatment of antenatal depression: Findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 188, 252-256. Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Boyd A, Gashe C (2015). Rumination decreases parental problem-solving effectiveness in dysphoric postnatal mothers. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 47, 18-18. Abstract.
Tester-Jones M, O'Mahen HA, Karl A, Watkins ER (2015). The Impact of Maternal Characteristics, Infant Temperament and Contextual Factors on Maternal Responsiveness to Infant. Infant Behavior and Development(40), 1-11.
O'Mahen HA, Grieve H, Jones J, Woodford J (2015). Women's experiences of factors affecting treatment engagement and adherence in Internet Delivered Behavioural Activation for Postnatal Depression. Internet Interventions, 2, 84-84.
Howard LM, Megnin-Viggars O, Symington I, Pilling S (2014). Antenatal and postnatal mental health: summary of updated NICE guidance. BMJ, 349(dec18 5), g7394-g7394.
Rhodes S, Richards DA, Ekers D, McMillan D, Byford S, Farrand PA, Gilbody S, Hollon SD, Kuyken W, Martell C, et al (2014). Cost and outcome of behavioural activation versus cognitive behaviour therapy for depression (COBRA): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 15 Abstract.  Author URL.
O'Mahen HA, Richards DA, Woodford J, Wilkinson E, McGinley J, Taylor RS, Warren FC (2014). Netmums: a phase II randomized controlled trial of a guided Internet behavioural activation treatment for postpartum depression. Psychological Medicine, 44, 1675-1689. Abstract.
O'Mahen, HA, Karl A, Moberly N, Fedock G (2014). The association between childhood maltreatment and emotion regulation: Two different mechanisms contributing to depression?. Journal of Affective Disorders, 174, 287-295.
Burns AJ, O'Mahen HA, Baxter HA, Bennert K, Wiles NJ, Sharp DJ, Turner KM, Thorn JC, Noble SM, Evans JM, et al (2013). A pilot randomised controlled trial of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for antenatal depression. BMC Psychiatry(33). Abstract.
O'Mahen H, Himle JA, Fedock G, Henshaw E, Flynn H (2013). A pilot randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for perinatal depression adapted for women with low incomes. Depression and Anxiety, 30(7), 679-687. Abstract.
Kingston REF, Watkins ER, O'Mahen HA (2013). An Integrated Examination of Risk Factors for Repetitive Negative Thought. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, 4(2), 161-181.  Author URL.
O'Mahen HA, Woodford J, McGinley J, Warren FC, Richards DA, Lynch TR, Taylor RS (2013). Internet-based behavioral activation-Treatment for postnatal depression (Netmums): a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 150(3), 814-822. Abstract.
Lynch TR, Gray KLH, Hempel RJ, Titley M, Chen EY, O'Mahen HA (2013). Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy for adult Anorexia Nervosa: Feasibility and outcomes from an inpatient program. BMC Psychiatry, 293(13). Abstract.
Pearson RM, O'Mahen H, Burns A, Bennert K, Shepherd C, Baxter H, Chauhan D, Evans J (2013). The normalisation of disrupted attentional processing of infant distress in depressed pregnant women following Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Journal of Affective Disorders, 145(2), 208-213. Abstract.
Pearson RM, O'Mahen H, Burns A, Bennert K, Shepherd C, Baxter H, Chauhan D, Evans J (2013). The normalisation of disrupted attentional processing of infant distress in depressed pregnant women following Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. J Affect Disord, 145(2), 208-213. Abstract.  Author URL.
Mann J, Henley W, O'Mahen H, Ford T (2013). The reliability and validity of the Everyday Feelings Questionnaire in a clinical population. Journal of Affective Disorders, 148(2-3), 406-410. Abstract.
Farmer C, Farrand P, O'Mahen H (2012). 'I am not a depressed person': how identity conflict affects help-seeking rates for major depressive disorder. BMC Psychiatry, 12 Abstract.  Author URL.
O'Mahen H, Fedock G, Henshaw E, Himle J, Forman J, Flynn H (2012). Modifying CBT for perinatal depression: What do women want? a qualitative study. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice Abstract.
Henshaw EJ, Flynn HA, Himle JA, O'Mahen HA, Forman J, Fedock G (2011). Patient preferences for clinician interactional style in treatment of perinatal depression. Qualitative Health Research, 21(7), 936-951. Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Henshaw E, Jones JM, Flynn HA (2011). Stigma and depression during pregnancy: Does race matter?. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 199(4), 257-262. Abstract.
Flynn HA, Henshaw E, O'Mahen H, Forman J (2010). Patient perspectives on improving the depression referral processes in obstetrics settings: a qualitative study. Gen Hosp Psychiatry, 32(1), 9-16. Abstract.  Author URL.
O'Mahen HA, Flynn HA, Nolen-Hoeksema S (2010). Rumination and interpersonal functioning in perinatal depression. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29(6), 646-667. Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Flynn HA, Chermack S, Marcus S (2009). Illness perceptions associated with perinatal depression treatment use. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 12(6), 447-450. Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Flynn HA (2008). Preferences and perceived barriers to treatment for depression during the perinatal period. Journal of Women's Health, 17(8), 1301-1309. Abstract.
Flynn HA, Cain SA, O'Mahen HA, Davis MM (2006). Detection of maternal alcohol abuse problems in the pediatric emergency department. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research, 30(7), 1160-1164.
O'Mahen HA, Sloan P (2006). Looking ahead: Preparing psychologists for administrative roles in medical settings. Professional Psychology Research and Practice, 37(3), 278-282.
Flynn HA, O'Mahen HA, Marcus S, Massey L (2006). The impact of a brief obstetrics clinic-based intervention on treatment use for perinatal depression. Journal of Women s Health, 15(10), 1195-1204.
O'Mahen HA, Beach SRH, Tesser A (2000). Relationship ecology and negative communications in romantic relationships: a self-evaluation maintenance perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1343-1352.
Pyszczynski, T. Greenberg, J. O’Mahen, H.A. (2000). Running from the shadow: Psychological distancing from others to deny characteristics people fear in themselves. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 446-462.


O'Mahen HW, Buist A, Rooney R (2015). Acceptability, Attitudes and Overcoming Stigma. In Milgrom J, Gemmill A (Eds.) Identifying Perinatal Depression and Anxiety: Evidence Based Practice in Screening, Psychosocial Assessment, and Management, Wiley Blackwell.
Beach, S.R.H. (2004). Understanding dysfunctional behaviors in romantic relationships: a performance ecology perspective. In Leiberman L (Ed) Advances in Psychology, New York: Nova Press.
Whitaker, D. O’Mahen, H.A. Jones, D. (2002). Competition in romantic relationships: Do partners build niches?. In Noller P, Feeney JA (Eds.) Understanding marriage: Developments in the study of couple interaction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O’Mahen, H.A. Beach, S.R.H. Jackson, M.H. (2002). The empirical underpinnings of marital therapy for depression. In Harvey J, Wenzel A (Eds.) Maintaining and enhancing close relationships: a clinician’s guide, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Beach, S.R.H. Banawan, S.F. (2001). Depression in marriage. In Harvey J, Wenzel A (Eds.) Maintenance and enhancement of close relationships, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 299-320.
O’Mahen, H.A. (2000). Depression in close relationships. In Hendrick C, Hendrick SS (Eds.) Close relationships: a sourcebook, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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External Engagement and Impact

Administrative responsibilities

Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes - Main Psychology 2014-present

Director of Research for Professional Doctorates 2011-2012

Director of Research for DClinPsy 2009-2012

Director of Research for MSc in Psychological Therapies 2007-2009

Deputy Lead for Mood DIsorders Centre 2009-2010

Committee/panel activities

Perinatal Quality Standards Group 2014-2015

Perinatal Expert Reference Group 2014-2015

Planning Committee BABCP Conference 2013 to present

NICE Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health Guidelines Member 2012 to 2014

Devon Perinatal Pathway Committee 2008- present

Southwest Maternal Mental Health Committee 2014 - present

External Examiner Coventry DClinPsy 2009-2013

External Examiner University of East Anglia 2013

External Examiner Positions

External Examiner Coventry DClinPsy 2009-2013

External Examiner University of East Anglia 2013


Society Membership

British Psychological Society

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Marce Society

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O’Mahen, H.A., Gallop, C., Jamani, N., Tate, K. (2022-present). Southwest Health Education England funded NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression Perinatal Comprehensive Service Transformation Course. Awarded to University of Exeter. (£141,000 annually)

O’Mahen, H.A., Handley, R., Sharp, H., Slade, P., Mycroft, R. (2019-present). Health Education England funded Perinatal Clinical Psychology National Continuing Professional Education Course,  Awarded to University of Exeter (Lead), University of Liverpool, £283,000 (annually).  (CPE course to train national new cohort of Perinatal Clinical Psychologists)

O’Mahen, H.A., Handley, R., Sharp, H., Slade, P., Mycroft, R. (2018-2019). Health Education England funded Perinatal Clinical Psychology National Continuing Professional Education Course, £243,000, awarded to University of Exeter (Lead), University of Liverpool


  • Module convenor "Women's Mental Health" 2007-2022
  • Module convenor “Current Research Issues in Psychology” 2016-2017

Previous teaching leadership:

  • Director of Research for Professional Doctoral Students 2011-2012
  • Director of Research DCLinPsy 2009-2012
  • Research Lead: MSc in Psychological Therapies 2007-2008



Information not currently available

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Supervision / Group

Research Fellows

Postdoctoral researchers

Postgraduate researchers

Research Technicians

  • Bath Placement Student
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  • Kara Bagnall
  • Alex Boyd
  • Hannah Curtis
  • Caroline Farmer
  • Katherine Gardner
  • Caroline Gashe
  • Claire Harries
  • Narcie Kelly
  • Rosemary Kingston
  • Jo Mann
  • Rebecca Phillips
  • Helen Riley
  • Amanda Rooke
  • Michelle Tester

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