Rhodes>Psychology>People>Professor Jacqui Akhurst

Professor Jacqueline Akhurst

 Prof Jacqui Akhurst

NTSD (Natal); BA (UNISA, with two distinctions); BA Hons (UNISA); MA (Coun Psych) (Natal); PhD (Psychotherapy) (Rhodes); CPsychol, AFBPsS, SFHEA.

HPCSA registration categories: Counselling and Educational Psychology

E-Mail: j.akhurst@ru.ac.za
Telephone: +27 (0)46 603-7084


Before my university lecturing career, I taught in primary and secondary schools in KwaZulu Natal; and following professional psychology training, I worked as a School Psychologist. I lectured at the University of Natal, 1992 – 2003 (and have been an Honorary Professor at its successor, the University of KwaZulu Natal, 2014-2019).After moving to the UK in 2004, I worked for two years in the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Psychology at the University of York, then moving to York St John University (YSJU) as a Senior Lecturer. I achieved a Principal Lectureship in Psychology at YSJU through personal promotion in 2008; and became Professor of Community Psychology in March 2014. I re-located to Rhodes University in 2015. My research focusses on community-based interventions, often utilizing Action Research and Activity Theory. I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in both Counselling and Educational Psychology.

Awards: Education Diploma for Senior Primary School (NTSD), Natal Training College, 1976: 7 Distinctions, Silver medallist.

HEA Professor Sir Ron Cooke International Scholar, 2012-13: p.4 of https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/media/content-assets/schools/staff/documents/yorktalk-autumn2012.pdfhttps://slideplayer.com/slide/2399241/

Interview with Jacqui for BPS publication The Psychologist https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-26/edition-7/one-one-jacqueline-akhurst

Links to 2017 inaugural lecture (in two parts):



Research Interests

    • Community Psychology, in particular Community-Based Learning in Higher Education; working with minority and marginalised groups, utilising Collaborative & Participatory Action Research
    • Psychology applied to students’ learning in Higher Education
    • Professional development of psychologists / counsellors / teachers / ministers of religion, via Peer Group Supervision and mentoring programmes
    • Career counselling / employability and counselling in educational contexts

Flyer about Structured Peer Group Supervision

REF (UK) impact case study: Structured peer group supervision for supporting psychologists’, counsellors’ and allied health professionals’ development: Research-based tools http://results.ref.ac.uk/DownloadFile/ImpactCaseStudy/pdf?caseStudyId=36498

Professional Activities

    • Inaugural and past chair of the BPS Community Psychology Section
    • BPS representative on European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) task force for Community Psychology in Europe (2011 – 2015)
    • Former member (2009 – 2011) of executive committee of European Community Psychology Association (ECPA) and convenor of 8th European Congress of Community Psychology, York, September 2011
    • Higher Education Academy Psychology Network: Workshops run 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011; Invited presentations: Once per semester, 2006 - 2011 for UK-wide Psychology Postgraduates who Teach Network; Invited Member of panel The future of Undergraduate Psychology in the UK, 2010

Peer Review

Member of Editorial Committee: Community, Work and Family
For journals: Journal of Psychology in Africa, Psychology Learning and Teaching, Human Relations, International Migration, South African Journal of Psychology, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Psychology in Society, Perspectives in Education, Journal of Education (Natal).
For funding bodies:  ESRC (UK); National Research Foundation (South Africa)

External examining / validation:

External examination of 23 PhD and Masters Theses for the Universities of Lincoln and York (UK); Witwatersrand, Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal, Free State, Stellenbosch and Zululand (SA); Edith Cowan (Australia); Auckland University of Technology (NZ).

Coursework: External examiner for

    • University of KwaZulu-Natal (2017-19): Masters in Counselling Psychology
    • University of Fort Hare (East London campus, 2017-19): Masters in Counselling Psychology
    • University of East London (UK) (2014 – present): BSc Clinical and Community Psychology
    • Manchester Metropolitan University (2011-2014): MSc Psychology (by coursework)
    • University of Greenwich (2011-2014): MSc Therapeutic Counselling (accredited by the BACP) and the BA (Honours) Counselling (top-up degree)
    • Bradford College (Leeds Metropolitan University) 2006 - 2010: BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychology in Community Settings.
    • External advisor for Periodic Review event, MSc Applied Social & Community Research and the MA Community Psychology, University of Brighton, 2012.


Blaine, J., & Akhurst, J. (2021/2, at press). Quantifying the psychosocial outcomes of outdoor adventure education for adolescent learners in a South African setting. South African Journal of Psychology.

Akhurst, J. & Mitchell, C. (2021, at press). Community-based service learning during clinical psychology training: working at the critically reflective interface. In C. Walker, S. Zlotowitz & A. Zoli (Eds). New ideas for new times: A handbook of innovative community and clinical psychologies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Zoli, A., di Martino, S., Bochicchio, D., & Akhurst, J. (2021, at press). Case study of the first transition town in Italy. In C. Walker, S. Zlotowitz & A. Zoli (eds). New ideas for new times: A Handbook of Innovative Community and Clinical Psychologies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Inman, J., Bannigan, K., & Akhurst, J. (2021). Occupational therapy and psychosis: POINTER feasibility study for a pragmatic clinical trial. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, DOI: 10.1177/03080226211000257

Akhurst, J. (2021). Challenging mainstream ‘psychologies’ through Community-Based Service Learning at Master’s level: critical reflections at the interface of theory and practice. In J. Bezerra, C. Paterson and S. Paphitis (Eds). Challenging the "Apartheids" of Knowledge in Higher Education through Social Innovation. SUN press. DOI:10.52779/9781991201058/07

Blaine, J., & Akhurst, J. (2020). A South African exploration into outdoor adventure education and adolescent psychosocial development. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 30(5), 440-450. DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2020.1821311

Ward-Smith, C., Naidoo, T., Olvitt, L., & Akhurst, J. (2020). Perceived benefits of nature-based experiences as mediators of connectedness with nature: the case of Mystic Mountain. South African Journal of Psychology, DOI: 10.1177/0081246320947064

Akhurst, J. (2020). A South African perspective on community psychology practice competencies. Journal of Community Psychology, 48(6), 2108-2123. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22410

Shachat, M., Hong, F., Lin, Y., Desivilya, H., Yassour-Borochowitz, D., Akhurst , J., Leach, M., Malley-Morrison, K (2020). Do State Governments have the Right to Kill Civilians to Defeat International Terrorism? Views from U.S, Israel, and South Africa. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 12(2):87-98. DOI: 10.1108/JACPR-11-2019-0454

Roehrle, B., Akhurst, J., Carr, N., Sanchez, I. M. H., Arcidiacono, C., Lawthom, R., Stark, W. (2020). Community Psychology in higher education in Europe: Results of a survey and discussion of the basic competency approach. Journal of Community and Social Psychology, 30, 5, 494-507 DOI: 10.1002/casp.2459 ISSN 1052-9284

Akhurst, J., Magqamfana, S., & Day, J. (2020). An action research-based intervention to tackle intergroup conflict: A case study of work with educators in a South African secondary school. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 6 (1), 149-163. DOI 10.1285/i24212113v6i1p149 ISSN 24212113

Ward-Smith, C., Olvitt, C., & Akhurst, J. (2020). Decolonising nature-based pedagogy: the importance of history, socio-cultural and socio-material context in mediating connectedness-with-nature. In: A. Cutter-Mackenzie, K. Malone, E. Barratt Hacking E. (eds) Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, pp. 1549-1574. Springer International Handbooks of Education.

Lambert, S. J., Zoli, A., & Akhurst, J. (2020). A narrative analysis of four UK community project founders: a generativity perspective, Community, Work & Family, 23:3, 324-341, DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2018.1540401

Bobo, B., & Akhurst, J. (2019). ‘Most importantly, it’s like the partner takes more interest in us’: Using Ubuntu as a Fundamental Ethic of Community Engagement (CE) Partnerships at Rhodes University. Alternation Special Edition 27, 88 – 110. DOI: 10.29086/2519-5476/2019/sp27a4

van der Riet, M., Akhurst, J., & Wilbraham, L. (2019). Promoting students’ sexual and reproductive health in peer-led programmes at two South African universities: Emergent tensions and dilemmas. South African Journal of Higher Education, 33(2), 249‒267.

van der Riet, M., Sofika, D., Akhurst, J. & Daniels H. (2019). Young people’s investments in sexual relationships: A different prioritization of self in the negotiation of safe sex practices in South Africa. Sexualities, 22(7–8) 1035–1052. DOI:10.1177/1363460718780865

Akhurst, J. E., & Odendaal D. (2018). Drawing from Vygotsky’s ideas: Mediation and collaboration by Counselling Psychology Master’s trainees during Community-based Service Learning. In G. J. Rich, L. A. Padilla-Lopez, L. K. de Souza, L. Zinkiewicz, J. Taylor, and J. L. S. B. Jaafar (Eds). Teaching Psychology around the world (Vol 4) pp. 248-264. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Freeman, E., & Akhurst, J. (2018). Walking through and being with nature: Meaning-making and the impact of being in UK wild places. L. McGrath & P. Reavey (Eds), Mental Distress and Space: Community and Clinical Applications (214-233). Routledge, UK.

Akhurst, J., van der Riet, M., & Sofika, D. (2018). Living in a rural community and researching HIV and AIDS: positionality and ethics. In In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka, G. J. Treharne, (Eds). The Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research (pp.211-224). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lovell, J., & Akhurst, J. (2018). Whose PARty was this? The dilemmas of a participatory action research process of evaluating a social enterprise. In C. I. Macleod, J. Marx, P. Mnyaka, G. J. Treharne, (Eds). The Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research (pp. 371-384). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Akhurst, J. (2017). Student experiences of community-based service learning during Masters’ level training, as related to critical community psychology practice. Journal of New Generation Sciences, 15(1), 1-20.

Lovell, J. & Akhurst, J. (2017). Whose PARty is this? Problematizing a participatory evaluation process in a community cooperative. ALARA 2015 World Congress Proceedings, 1-13.

Hart, A., & Akhurst, J. (2017). Community-Based Learning and Critical Community Psychology Practice: Conducive and Corrosive Aspects. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 27: 3–15. Published online 20 October 2016, DOI: 10.1002/casp.2287

Freeman, E., Akhurst, J., Bannigan, K., & James, H. (2017). Benefits of walking and solo experiences in UK wild places. Health Promotion International, 32, 6, 1048–1056. DOI:10.1093/heapro/daw036

Akhurst, J., Kagan, C., Lawthom, R & Richards, M. (2016). Community Psychology Practice Competencies: Some perspectives from the UK. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 7 (4), http://www.gjcpp.org/en/article.php?issue=24&article=144

Neo, E., & Akhurst, J. (2016). The experiences of minority counsellors in the North of England: A Phenomenological Study. Counselling Psychology Review, 31(2).

Burton, M., Walker, C., Akhurst, J., & Degirmencioglu, S. (2015). Locked into the system? Critical community psychology approaches to personal debt in the context of crises of capital accumulation. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 25,3, 264–275. DOI: 10.1002/casp.2209

Lovell, J., & Akhurst, J. (2015). 'Financial Capability' Considered from a Community Psychology-informed Process in the North East of England. In S. M. Degirmencioglu & C. Walker (eds). Social and Psychological Dimensions of Personal Debt and the Debt Industry (pp. 180-202). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

Freeman, E., & Akhurst, J. (2015). Rethinking notions of therapeutic landscapes: A case study exploring perceptions of a wild place experience (WPE). In C.L. Norton, H. Carpenter, C., & Pryor, A. (Eds.). Adventure therapy around the globe, International Perspectives and Diverse Approaches, (pp. 252-264). Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing.

Akhurst, J., & Elwell, C. (2015). ‘Viewing ethics in a new light’: Students’ reactions to an under-emphasised yet important component of CHIP. History & Philosophy of Psychology, 16, 1, 41-52.

Malley-Morrison, K., Caputi, R., Gutowski, E., Campbell, T., Estuar, M. R. E., Akhurst, J., Dalley, M. P., de. Sousa, L. K., et al. (2015). Engaging moral agency for human rights: Outlooks from the Global South. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 21(1):68-88. DOI: 10.1037/pac0000085

Dawson, D., & Akhurst, J. (2015). I wouldn’t dream of ending with a client in the way he did to me’: An exploration of supervisees’ experience of an unplanned ending to the supervisory relationship. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research: Linking research with practice, 15, 1, 21-30. DOI: 10.1002/capr.12003

Akhurst, J., Janik, M., Szewczyk, M., Mucha, M., Westmancoat, H., Lever, V. and Walmsley, A. (2014), Polish Young Peoples' Narratives: Impacts of Living and Studying in the UK. International Migration, 52, 1, 192-208. DOI:10.1111/imig.12025/

Bamford, J., & Akhurst, J. (2014). 'She’s not going to leave me' - Counsellors’ Feelings on Ending Therapy with Children. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 42, 5, 459-471 DOI:10.1080/03069885.2014.907867#.U2NvO7dOUy4

Akhurst, J., & Lawson, S. (2013). Workforce innovation through mentoring: An action research approach to programme evaluation. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 20 (8), 410-416.

Dalley, M., Heinecke, J., Akhurst, J., Abdelali, A., Scruggs, N., et al. (2013). Definitions of peace and reconciliation in Africa. In K. Malley-Morrison, A, Mercurio, & G. Twose (Eds). International Handbook of Peace and Reconciliation. Peace Psychology Book Series (pp. 81-98). New York: Springer.

Jibanja, G., Johnson, L., Dalley, M., Scruggs, N., Akhurst, J., et al. (2013). African perspectives on peaceful social protests. In K. Malley-Morrison, A, Mercurio, & G. Twose (Eds). International Handbook of Peace and Reconciliation. Peace Psychology Book Series (pp. 217-236). New York: Springer.

Reif, M., Abdelali, A., Stone, A., Famose, A., Akhurst, J., et al. (2013). Perspectives transnational apology and reconciliation in Africa. In K. Malley-Morrison, A, Mercurio, & G. Twose (Eds). International Handbook of Peace and Reconciliation. Peace Psychology Book Series (pp. 357-378). New York: Springer.

Twose, G., Dalley, M., Akhurst, J., Famose, A., Scruggs, N., et al. (2013). African perspectives on the achievability of peace. In K. Malley-Morrison, A, Mercurio, & G. Twose (Eds). International Handbook of Peace and Reconciliation. Peace Psychology Book Series (pp. 541-560). New York: Springer.

Akhurst, J., & Mitchell, C. (2012). International Community-Based Work Placements for UK Psychology Undergraduates: An evaluation of three cohorts’ experiences. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 11, 3, 401-405.

Akhurst, J. (2012). Community psychology and qualitative methods: Opportunities for building a sound research base. Qualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin, 14, 67-70.

Trapp, A & Akhurst, J. (2011). A UK perspective on Psychological Literacy and Citizenship. In J. Cranney and D. Dunn, Psychological Literacy and Citizenship (pp. 191-205). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199794942

Akhurst, J. E. (2010). Exploring the nexus between wilderness and therapeutic experiences. Implicit Religion, 13, 3, 295-305. ISSN 1463-9955; DOI: 10.1558/imre.v13i3.295

Moores, A., Akhurst, J. E., & Powell, J. (2010). Using a card sort to structure and promote enquiry-based learning. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73, 5, 229-236.

Akhurst, J. E. (2010). Onwards and upwards: Teaching postgraduate students. In D. Upton & A. Trapp (Eds), Teaching psychology in higher education (pp. 213-239). Oxford: Blackwell/Wiley.

Akhurst, J. & Jassat, M. (2010). Personality and value-related information. In K. Maree (Ed). Career Counselling: Methods that work (pp. 68-74). Cape Town: Juta.

Liebenberg, M., & Akhurst, J. (2010). The interface between career counselling and other counselling / psychotherapy. In K. Maree (Ed). Career Counselling: Methods that work (pp. 112-117). Cape Town: Juta.

Akhurst, J. E. & Liebenberg, M. (2009). Analysing career counselling in a South African setting: Exploring the utility of a model from Activity Theory. South African Journal of Higher Education, 23, 3, 575-589.

Akhurst, J. E., Leach, M. M., & Dass-Brailsford, P. (2009). South Africa. In K. Malley-Morrison (Ed.). State Violence and the right to peace (Vol. 3). pp.111-133. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-99655-0

Akhurst, J. E., Banda, D., & Carstens, N. (2009). Zambia. In K. Malley-Morrison (Ed.). State Violence and the right to peace (Vol. 3). pp.95-109. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-99655-0

Hemming, E., & Akhurst, J. (2009). Mothers’ life worlds in a developing context when a child has special needs. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 9, 1, 1-12. ISSN 1445-7377.

Green, D., & Akhurst, J. E. (2009). Structured Peer Group Supervision DVD. Leeds: University of Leeds and Higher Education Academy Psychology Network. (https://mymedia.leeds.ac.uk/Mediasite/Play/497b1e52ed0249cda505b175e8b1e3d71d )

Akhurst, J. E. (2008). Community psychologists express concerns about an emphasis on CBT and similar therapies. Mental Health Occupational Therapy, 13, 2, 53-55. ISSN 1363-4682.

Akhurst, J. E. (2008). Career Counseling in Schools, pp.1463-1466; Career Education, pp.1473-1474; Roe, Anne pp.1614-1615.  In F.T.L. Leong, W. B. Walsh, & P. Hartung (Eds), Encyclopedia of Counseling, vol 4, Sage Publications.

Akhurst, J. E. (2008). Mental health issues in the spotlight, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 15, 6, 242-243. ISSN 1741-1645.

Richards, A., Rivers, I., & Akhurst, J. (2008). A positive psychology approach to tackling bullying in secondary schools: A comparative evaluation. Educational and Child Psychology, 25, 2, 72-81.

Akhurst, J. E. (2007). The impact of apartheid on educational psychology in South Africa: Present challenges and future possibilities. In J. L. Kincheloe and R. A. Horn (Eds), The Praeger Handbook of Education and Psychology (pp. 364-373). Westport: Praeger.

Akhurst, J. E. & Evans, D. (2007). The utility of a model from activity theory for analysing processes in the Nkosinathi Community Project. The Australian Community Psychologist, 19, 1, 83-95. (http://www.groups.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/Akhurst_19(1).pdf)

Akhurst, J. E. (2007). Getting help from helping each other. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 14, 3, 100. ISSN 1741-1645.

Akhurst, J. E. & Kelly, K. (2006). Peer group supervision as an adjunct to individual supervision: Optimising learning processes during psychologists’ training. Psychology Teaching Review, 12, 1, 3-15.

Akhurst, J.  & Mkhize, N. J. (1999 & 2006). Career education in South Africa. In G.B. Stead and M.B. Watson (Eds), Career psychology in the South African Context (pp.139-153). Pretoria: Van Schaik.

Jassat, M., Akhurst, J. E.  & Adendorff, C. (1999 & 2006) Career information: sources, services and classification. In G.B. Stead and M.B. Watson (Eds) Career psychology: a South African perspective (pp.154-196). Pretoria: Van Schaik.

Akhurst, J. E. (2005). Enhancing the employability of psychology graduates. York: The Higher Education Academy Psychology Network. (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/EnhancingEmployability.pdf )

Akhurst, J. E.  (2005).The role of counselling programmes for gifted disadvantaged students. Gifted Education International, 20(3), 369-379.

Leach, M., Akhurst, J. E., & Basson, C. J. (2003). Counseling Psychology in South Africa: Current political and professional challenges and future promise. The Counseling Psychologist, 31, 5, 619-640.

Akhurst, J. E. (2002). Educational Studies: Learning and Teaching (1-3) Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: School of Education, Training and Development, UNP.

Akhurst J. E. (2000). Altruism to Generativity: Reflections on the unfolding of the therapeutic process in work with some clergy. Mantis, 12, 2, 45-58.

Pettigrew, L & Akhurst, J. E. (1999). Learning and teaching: Psychological perspectives. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: School of Education, UNP.

Akhurst, J. E. & Ntshangase, S. (1999). From school guidance towards life orientation. In N. Kruger and H. Adams (Eds), Psychology for teaching and learning (pp.261-279). Pretoria: Heinemann.

Akhurst J. E. (1997). Challenges to teachers as schools in South Africa become more integrated: an anti-racist perspective on current practices. Journal of Education, 22, 5-18.


Significant presentations at International conferences (past 10 years):

* Paper presented at virtual conference, European Qualitative Research in Psychology (EQuiP), 17-19 June 2021, Thessaloniki, Greece: Positionality and ethics: Researching HIV and AIDS in a rural community (co-authors, M. van der Riet, D. Sofika).

* Paper presented at virtual conference, International Congress of Community Psychology, 11-13 November 2020, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia: Auntie Stella’ reaching across national borders: trialling a participatory approach to young people's sexual and reproductive health’

* Paper presented at Conflict Research Society annual conference, 8-10 September, 2019, University of Sussex, Brighton UK: An action research-based intervention to tackle inter-group conflict: A case study from a South African secondary school (co-authors John Day & Simnikiwe Maqamfana).
Paper co-presented (B. Bobo, 1st author) at 5th BPS Community Psychology Festival, 13-15 September 2019, Brighton, UK: "Okokuqala ngokuya ndandiqala kwakungekho easy": Feeling empowered to take collective action through community engagement

* 7th International Congress of Community Psychology, 5-7 October 2018, Santiago, Chile. Presented paper: Akhurst, J. Community-based service learning during South African psychologists’ training: enhancing critical reflection;
Presented paper in symposium entitled ‘Community psychologists facing transversal knowledge and interdisciplinary competencies’: Akhurst, J. A South African perspective on Community Psychology Practice Competencies;
Discussant at book launch of C. Walker, S. Zlotowitz & A. Zoli (Eds). New ideas for new times: A handbook of innovative community and clinical psychologies. Palgrave Macmillan, UK.

Shachat, M., Lin, Y., Hong, F., Yassour-Borochowitz, D., Syna, H., Akhurst, J. & Malley-Morrison, K. (2018). Moral Disengagement, Moral Engagement, and the War on Terror: Views from Three Nations. Poster presented at American Psychological Association (APA) annual congress, Moscone Center, San Francisco, 9-11 August.

* Keynote presentation at Community Engagement Symposium, Grahamstown, 9 May, 2018: Community-based service learning during psychologists’ training: drawing from theory and working at the critically reflective interface.

* Papers presented at Society for Community Research and Action Biennial conference, Ottawa, 21-24 June 2017: Critical community psychology practice and community-based service learning: trainee psychologists' experiences; A community psychology take on decolonised, ethics-led and embodied nature-based pedagogies for culturally diverse youth (with C Ward-Smith & L. Olvitt).

* Paper presented at International Society of Critical Health Psychology conference, Loughborough University, UK, 9-12 July, 2017: Reflections on a peer-led participatory sexual health intervention at two South African universities: breaking the silence and building agency (with M. van der Riet & L. Wilbraham)

Paper presented at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Launch of ASSHH (UK) symposium ‘Continuing Critical Conversations about HIV’, 20 June 2016: Young people's sexual and reproductive health in the context of HIV and AIDS: adaptation and modification of group discussion material

* Presented two papers, one roundtable discussion and co-author of three posters at International Congress of Community Psychology, Durban 27-30 May, 2016:
Is this a PARty or not? Proposing the 3p Model of Problematisation, Participation and Power during Research in Action (with J. Lovell)
Living and Doing HIV & Aids Interventionist Research in a Change(ing) Rural Community: Challenges and Opportunities (with M. van der Riet & D. Sofika)
Roundtable: Community-based work in psychologists’ training: the benefits and challenges for Masters-level clinical and counselling psychology students (with E. Bartlett, T. Lelimo, A. Schwartz & C. Wurz).

Paper presented in collaboration with Prof. Bernd Roerhle at the ECPA conference ‘Strengthening community psychology in Europe’, Lisbon 5-6 November 2015: Education in Community Psychology in Europe; Report and Outline of European ideas related to basic Competencies.

Paper presented at ALARA 9th ‘Action Learning Action Research and 13th Participatory Action Research World Congress’, 4-7 November 2015, Pretoria, SA: Whose PARty is this? The dilemmas of a participatory action research process of evaluating a community cooperative (with Jacqui Lovell).

Paper presented at CPSYC, Antalya, Turkey, 1-4 December 2014: Structured Peer Group Supervision (PGS): utilities and benefits (J. Akhurst).

Symposium convened at the 1st BPS Community Psychology Festival, London, 28-29 November 2014, entitled Applying Community Psychology Principles in Research and paper presented on ‘Financial capability’ as a response to personal debt: a critique from a Community Psychology-informed process in the North East of England (J. Akhurst with PhD student, J. Lovell).

Co-authored paper presented in Sydney at the triennial ISCAR congress (9-13 Sept) by Prof. Harry Daniels (University of Oxford): Framing objects of desire: managing sexual risk and HIV (van der Riet, M., Sofika, D., Akhurst, J, and Daniels, H.)

Presented a paper at International Congress of Applied Psychology, Paris, 8-13 July 2014: Peer group supervision as a means to enhance practitioners’ competences.

Presented 3 papers and chaired plenary session, 9th European Congress of Psychology, 7-9 November 2013: Embedding community-based learning into psychology degrees at UKZN, South Africa (with C. Mitchell, V. Solomon & M. van der Riet, UKZN), as part of a symposium showcasing Community-based learning in the UK; Peer group supervision to enhance the building of communities of practice; and A community psychology basis for developing walking and solo experiences (with E. Freeman).

Co-authored six papers, presented at PsySSA congress, Johannesburg, 25-27 September, 2013: i) Surfacing tensions, contradictions and dilemmas: A critique of an application of the activity theory based Change Laboratory/ Developmental Work Research intervention in a rural setting; van der Riet M, Sofika D, Jwili O, Akhurst J & Daniels H; ii) Five papers in HIV symposium: Research, poverty and HIV: Challenges, constraints and opportunities in a rural context; Sofika D, Jwili O, Akhurst J & van der Riet M.

Four papers presented at European Congress of Psychology, Stockholm, 10-12 July 2013: Curricular approaches to psychological literacy: the relevance of the discipline to societal issues, and A psychology card sort tool to encourage student reflection and measure skill development; as part of two Europlat symposia; Community psychology and qualitative methods: opportunities for building a sound research base, as part of Community Psychology and Qualitative methods symposium; Local partnership building and students' community-based learning, co-authored with Andrew Hart (Bradford College), in Community Psychology Interventions symposium.

Paper presented at International Congress of Psychology, Cape Town, 22-27 July 2012: International community-based work placements to enhance students' learning, as part of symposium entitled Psychological literacy as a global outcome of undergraduate psychology education, Convenor: Cranney, Jacquelyn (Australia).

Convened symposium entitled: The value of students’ engagement with Community-based learning; UK (incl. SA, Tanzania) & Germany, at 4th International Community Psychology Conference, 21-23 June, 2012 Barcelona, Spain. Paper presented: Enhancing students’ experiences through Community-based Work Placements.

Paper presented at Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN), Vienna, November 2011: Action Research mapping of a Workforce Innovations Programme in the NHS, North East (with S. Lawson)

Presented two papers, 8th European Congress of Psychology, York, September 2011: Unsettling students’ learning, as part of the ‘Learning and Teaching with a difference’ symposium; Financial capability: a critique and a case study, as part of the ‘Institutionalising personal debt’ symposium.

Co-convenor of fifth meeting of Crisis Forum, Climate Change and Violence Workshop Series at York St John University, York, UK, on 18 March, 2011, and presenter of Effective or provocative? Public engagement with climate messages - for video see http://vimeo.com/22091200

Completed Postgraduate Supervision


A. B. D. Bobo (PhD, part-time from 2017, scholarship awarded from NIHSS, completed 2021).  A multiple case study approach to understanding partner relationships within the context of community engagement at Rhodes University. Rhodes University.

S. McGarvie (PhD, part-time, supervised for 2020, previously supervised by Prof. D. Edwards 2016-2019). Attentive Amelioration: Developing and evaluating an Applied Mindfulness programme for Psychologists. Rhodes University.

L. Qangule (full-time from 2016, scholarship awarded from NIHSS, completed 2019). An Investigation of the experiences of psychotherapists regarding Ubuntu in their psychotherapy practice: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Approach. Rhodes University.

J. Blaine (PhD, full-time from 2017, completed 2019). Evaluating the impact of social emotional learning on students’ emotional literacy, self-esteem and resilience: A mixed-methods action research study involving secondary schools in South Africa. Rhodes University.

S. Lawson (completed August 2017, J. Akhurst co-supervisor): Mentoring in specialist workforce development: a realist evaluation. York St John University, under the auspices of the University of Leeds.

J. Inman (completed April 2017, J. Akhurst co-supervisor): Enhancing participation with individuals who have a diagnosis of psychosis; the effectiveness of occupational therapy, a feasibility study for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. University of Plymouth (UK).

J. Lovell (2017, main supervisor): So what’s changed? Participatory action research with members of a community organisation, documenting outcomes from their perspective. York St John University, under the auspices of the University of Leeds.

A. Zoli (Doctor Europaeus, 2014 – J. Akhurst co-supervisor): Community Development in Transition Towns: Case study of Monteveglio. University of Macerata, Italy.

E. Freeman (PhD, 2013 – J. Akhurst main supervisor): Walking through and being with nature: An examination of meaning-making and human – environment interaction in two walking and solo experiences in UK wild places. York: York St John University, under the auspices of the University of Leeds.

H. van Rooyen (PhD, 2009 – J Akhurst co-supervisor 2002-3): Developing a theory of voluntary counselling and testing grounded in practice: an analysis of videotaped counselling sessions. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu Natal.

M. J. Ngesi (PhD 2004 – J. Akhurst main supervisor): A study of systemic processes influencing educational change in a sample of isiZulu medium schools. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu Natal.

Masters by Thesis

N. Kidia (MA, full-time 2016-17 & 2019). Using HIV/AIDS interventionist research in a university context to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health awareness. Rhodes University.

C. Ward-Smith (M.Ed, full-time 2017, J. Akhurst co-supervisor). An exploration of sociocultural and sociomaterial mediation of children’s connectedness-with-nature: a case study of Hobbiton, Rhodes University.

L. Howson (2008) – co-supervised with Dr S. Hugh-Jones: An investigation of relationships between school environments, types of problems encountered, adolescent coping styles and psychological well-being. York: York St John University, under the auspices of the University of Leeds.

A. Richards (2006) – supervised extensive revision – co-supervisor Prof. I. Rivers. Anti-Bullying Interventions in North Yorkshire Secondary Schools: An evaluation of evidence based approaches. York: York St John University, under the auspices of the University of Leeds. 

B. Harris (1996) – main supervisor. An enquiry into the value of work experience as a part of a career guidance programme for Grade 11 pupils in a co-educational High School. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal.

D. Dickson (1995) – main supervisor: The experience of single-parenting amongst divorced women: an exploratory study. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal.

  1. Ed/ M.Soc.Sc./ M.A. (coursework 50%, research project 50%) supervision: University of Natal / UKZN 29 graduates' theses 1992–2005; Rhodes University 2017-present - 5 theses completed.




Last Modified: Wed, 11 Aug 2021 14:20:27 SAST