My name is Marta and I am a Master in Research student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. I currently work as Honorary Assistant Psychologist in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service, a Study Skills Tutor, a Research Assistant and Mentor at Queen Margaret University, and as Editor for PsyPAG Quarterly. In the future I want to pursue Clinical Psychology.
I am involved in clinical work in mental health and in research. My research in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital focuses on psychosis, while my academic work centres on my interests in the obsessive-compulsive spectrum, particularly body-focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) such as skin picking, known also as dermatillomania.
My undergraduate dissertation was dedicated to attachment, emotion regulation and skin picking, and I have been very active in disseminating it in order to promote awareness and get others interested in this under-researched area. My current study is a qualitative investigation of living with the condition and touches on issues such as impact, coping, perceptions of public awareness and available support, and feelings around a mental health diagnosis.
In fact, I can say that I have a special interest in skin picking disorder as I suffer from the condition myself. The issue with BFRBs such as hair pulling, nail biting and skin picking is that they are relatively widely experienced, but little known. I hope that my work can contribute to changing this.
With my diagnosis, as a mature student, mother of two bilingual mixed race children with special needs, having dual citizenship, tattoos, and a rather wild youth history, I am always interested in topics surrounding identity (for instance the dual service-user/mental health professional identity) and societal issues concerning diversity and equality. All these elements make me who I am. I think that one advantage of life challenges is that we can use all the varied experiences we have been through to connect with others, to try to understand, to care, and to be a better human being – all important now more than ever in the world that heads towards disconnection.
On that note, I am looking forward to connecting and engaging with you via PsyTweeps! :)