Paula  Nicolson Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Paula Nicolson

Emeritus Professor
Royal Holloway, University of London

Paula is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a successful researcher. She has written and edited numerous books and articles on social and health psychology . She now writes academic books and fiction. Her novel, ‘Containment' about psychoanalysis, chronic trauma and spies was published in 2018.


Paula Nicolson, Emeritus Professor of Health and Social Psychology, University of London, is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.
In 1990 Paula moved from London, where she taught psychology to sociology and social work students at what was then North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London) to work in the Medical School at Sheffield University. There she taught psychology to medical students and added much value to existing health services research initiatives through her expertise in organizational development, qualitative research and psychology. She also learned a great deal about the structure and processes involved in health care delivery.
After returning to London University (Royal Holloway) in 2005 where she was head of the department of Health and Social Care for the next three years, she turned her experience to effective use as lead researcher on a sizeable project on Leadership in the NHS the results of which are still being acknowledged. At the same time she trained in psychoanalytic and systemic approaches to leadership at the Tavistock NHS Foundation Trust.
Following her retirement from full time work in 2011, she went on to use similar approaches to consultancy to academic and social work organizations and to study couple relationships at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships.
Since then she has continued part-time teaching and writing academic books as well as 4 plays and is currently writing ‘Containment’ a novel about psychoanalysis, chronic trauma and spies

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Leadership in universities, health and social care organisations. She has been lead researcher and consultant across these organisations.
    Gender and sexuality: Paula was one of a small band of women who fought for and established the highly successful Psychology of Women Section (POWs) of the BPS. That was 30 years ago and POWs has grown in strength and influence along with the many books, conferences and journal papers that address the psychology of women.

Personal Interests

    Family history and its impact on identity.
    Writing plays and novels that feature psychology and psychologists.



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