Dr Wendy Bryant

Honorary Professor
School of Health and Social Care
Dr Wendy Bryant



Wendy practised as an occupational therapist in a range of health and social care settings from 1984 until becoming an academic in 2003. She was based at Brunel University until coming to the University of Essex in autumn 2013. Since 2018 she has been medically retired but retains links with the staff of the School of Health and Social Care through her Honorary Professorship, very occasionally being involved in direct teaching. In 2021 she was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.


  • PhD Brunel University

  • MSc Occupational Therapy, Brunel University

  • PGCertLTHE Brunel University

  • DipCOT Dorset House, Oxford

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Participatory methods involving health and social care service users and staff

Creating accessible research outputs which can be widely used to inform service and policy development

Occupational alienation as a risk factor for occupational injustice

Mental health and social care occupational therapy

Wendy was awarded the UKOTRF Institute of Social Psychiatry Scholarship for research into mental health service user experiences of occupational therapy facilities in an acute mental health unit in West London, using photovoice.

A related project, based in an acute mental health unit in central London, aims to explore whether the concept of a therapeutic landscape is helpful to staff in enabling access to occupation in the unit. Action research is the chosen approach for this research.

Conferences and presentations

Workshop: Social inequalities: The impact of stroke on the working lives of stroke survivors and their carers

Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries and European Network of Occupational Therapists in Higher Education 1st joint congress, COTEC-ENOTHE 1st Congress, Galway, Ireland, 18/6/2016

Casson Memorial Lecturer for 2016

Invited presentation, Royal College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference, Harrogate, 2016

Bryant W, Dokal J, Birken M, Andrew C, Willis S (2015) The difference an occupational therapy department makes: photovoice research. College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference, Brighton.

Brighton, United Kingdom, 2015

Bryant W, Parsonage J. (2015) Living with Psychosis: collaborative mental health research in the UK, shaped by occupational justice. Research Forum at the American Association of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Nashville, United States, 2015

Coetzee S, Bryant W (2014) Sowing, growing and working together: participatory action research in an organic co-operative. Writtle College/University of Essex Sustainability Conference.

Colchester, United Kingdom, 2014

Bryant W (2014) Manage, perish or regenerate. Mental health day services in the UK. Frosinone, Italy, Psychiatric Day Centres conference, keynote lecture.

Frosinone, Italy, 2014

Bryant W (2014) Hearing voices and taking action for social change. Sleaford, Lincolnshire, Hearing Voices, Social Change conference, keynote lecture.

Sleaford, United Kingdom, 2014

Bryant W (2013) Making recovery possible. JAMI Recovery Workshop Day, Edgeware, London.

London, United Kingdom, 2013

Bryant W (2013) Knowing and doing whats good for us. York St John University Research Centre for Occupation and Mental Health Public Lecture.

York, United Kingdom, 2013

Wilson L, Lawson J, Bryant W (2013) Ways of Seeing: the Lightbox project. Brunel University Masterclass Object-Relating and Relating to Objects

Uxbridge, United Kingdom, 2013

Teaching and supervision

Previous supervision

Nisrin Alqatarneh
Nisrin Alqatarneh
Thesis title: Family Centred Early Intervention Programmes in Jordan: A Grounded Theory Study Into Family and Occupational Therapists' Collaboration
Degree subject: Occupational Therapy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 31/7/2020
Anna Rachel Pettican
Anna Rachel Pettican
Thesis title: 'Getting Together to Play Football' a Participatory Action Research Study with the Positive Mental Attitude Sports Academy
Degree subject: Occupational Therapy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 2/4/2019


Journal articles (11)

Pettican, A., Speed, E., Bryant, W., Kilbride, C. and Beresford, P., (2022). Levelling the playing field: Exploring inequalities and exclusions with a community‚Äźbased football league for people with experience of mental distress. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 69 (3), 290-300

Bryant, W., Cordingley, K., Adomako, E. and Birken, M., (2019). Making activism a participatory, inclusive and developmental process: a research programme involving mental health service users. Disability and Society. 34 (7-8), 1264-1288

Birken, M. and Bryant, W., (2019). A Photovoice study of user experiences of an occupational therapy department within an acute inpatient mental health setting. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 82 (9), 532-543

Bryant, W., Cordingley, K., Sims, K., Dokal-Marandi, J., Pritchard, H., Stannard, V. and Adamako, E., (2016). Collaborative research exploring mental health service user perspectives on acute inpatient occupational therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 79 (10), 607-613

Bryant, W., (2016). The Dr Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture 2016: Occupational alienation - A concept for modelling participation in practice and research. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 79 (9), 521-529

Alam, MJ. and Bryant, W., (2016). Access to water and sanitation for people with paraplegia living in rural communities in Bangladesh. Cogent Medicine. 3 (1), 1233686-1233686

Croucher, A., Blank, AA., Bryant, W., Notley, J. and Pell, H., (2015). "Social inclusion is... being involved in the community and feeling safe". Exploring the experience of social inclusion for people with mental illness.. World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Bulletin. 36, 11-16

Borg, M., Johnson, TA., Bryant, W., Beresford, P. and Karlsson, B., (2015). Flerstemt forskningssamarbeid innen psykisk helse: erfaringer fra Storbritannia og Norge. Tidsskrift for Psykisk Helsearbeid. 12 (1), 61-70

Bryant, W. and Kramer-Roy, D., (2015). Occupational therapists are stepping up to the challenge of human rights with hope. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin. 71 (2), 62-63

Wilson, L., Bryant, W., Reynolds, F. and Lawson, J., (2015). Therapeutic outcomes in a museum? ?You don't get them by aiming for them?. How a focus on arts participation promotes inclusion and well-being. Arts & Health. 7 (3), 202-215

Lawson, J., Reynolds, F., Bryant, W. and Wilson, L., (2014). 'It's like having a day of freedom, a day off from being ill': exploring the experiences of people living with mental health problems who attend a community-based arts project, using interpretative phenomenological analysis.. Journal of health psychology. 19 (6), 765-77

Books (1)

Bannigan, K., Bryant, W. and Fieldhouse, J., (2014). Creek's Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. Churchill Livingstone. 0702045896. 9780702045899

Book chapters (3)

Bryant, W. and Winchcombe, M., (2020). Recovery from ill-health from an occupational perspective. In: The Wiley Handbook of Healthcare Treatment Engagement Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice. Editors: Hadler, A., Sutton, S. and Osterberg, L., . John Wiley & Sons. 1119129494. 9781119129493

Bryant, W., (2020). Doing more than telling stories. In: The Routledge Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education. Editors: McLaughlin, H., Beresford, P., Cameron, C., Casey, H. and Duffy, J., . 1138360147. 9781138360143

Bryant, W., Pettican, AR. and Coetzee, S., (2016). Designing Participatory Action Research To Relocate Margins, Borders and Centres. In: Occupational Therapies Without Borders Integrating Justice with Practice. Editors: Sakellariou, D. and Pollard, N., . Elsevier. 73- 73. 070205920X. 9780702059209

Reports and Papers (1)

Bryant, W., Andrews, C., Birken, M., Davidson, B., Gajoram, G. and Nicholson-Jones, D., (2015). "You know people can get better." Experiences of occupational therapy in an acute mental health unit through the camera lens

Grants and funding


Participatory action research using photovoice to explore user experiences of recovery in acute mental health occupational therapy facilities

The College of Occupational Therapists Ltd



Colchester Campus

More about me
Living in a glasshouse: my occupational, social and cultural perspectives: