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Dr. John O'Connor
Asst Prof in Clinical Psychology, Psychology

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Meehan, S., O'Connor, J., & Keogh, K. , Beauty and the beast: A psychoanalytically oriented qualitative study detailing mothers' experience of perinatal obsessive"compulsive disorder. , International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 19, (1), 2021, p158 - 176 Journal Article, 2021

McDonald, M. & O'Connor, J. , 'What are you looking for?': A psychoanalytically oriented qualitative study of men's compulsive use of internet pornography, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 URL

Hesse Tyson, C., O'Connor, J., & Sheehan, J.D. , No space for mother's mind: A psychoanalytically oriented qualitative study of the experiences of women with a diagnosis of postnatal depression., International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Blackburn, B., O'Connor, J., & Parsons, H. , Becoming needless: A psychoanalytically informed qualitative study exploring the interpersonal and intrapsychic experiences of longstanding anorexia nervosa, International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Philpott, L. & O'Connor, J., An unthinkable and unbearable injury: psychoanalytically-oriented qualitative research with men who have experienced intimate partner violence, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 34, (4), 2020, p293 - 308 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Clancy, J., O'Connor, J., & Ni Mhaolain, C. , Gripped by the chaos: A psychoanalytically-informed qualitative exploration of adolescent ADHD, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 34, (3), 2020, p228 - 245 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Mulhall, K., O'Connor, J., & Timulakova, K. , Managing the monster in the mind: A psychoanalytically informed qualitative study exploring the experiences of people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 33, (2), 2019, p117 - 132 Journal Article, 2019

Byrne, A., O'Connor, J., Wilson O'Raghallaigh, J. & MacHale, S. , Something torn or burst or unbearable: a psychoanalytically-informed exploration of the experience of somatic symptoms., Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 33, (1), 2019, p5 - 19 Journal Article, 2019 URL

O'Connor, J. , From repeated impingement to cumulative trauma: A psychodynamic approach to the development of obsessional thinking-in some cases. , International Journal of Psychotherapy, 23, (2), 2019, p6 - 20 Journal Article, 2019

Fingleton, L., O'Connor, J. & Stynes, G., Going backstage: A psychoanalytically-informed study with amateur musicians in adult mental health services, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 2018, p4 - 18 Journal Article, 2018 URL

Losty, M. & O'Connor, Falling outside of the 'nice little binary box': a psychoanalytic exploration of the non-binary gender identity, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 URL

Rodgers, R., O'Connor, J., What's in a name? A psychoanalytic exploration of self and identity in transgender individuals who were assigned female at birth , Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 31, 2017, p140 - 159 Journal Article, 2017 URL

McEvoy, B., O'Connor, J. & McCarthy, O, Behind the mask: A psychodynamic exploration of the experiences of individuals diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. , Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 44, (4), 2016, p541 - 565 Journal Article, 2016

O' Connor, J. , To hold on or to let go?: Loss and substitution in the process of hoarding , European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 16, (2), 2014, p101 - 113 Journal Article, 2014

O' Connor, J., Fell, M. & Fuller, R. , Escaping, forgetting and revisiting the scene: The post-traumatic compulsion to repeat in obsessive-compulsive disorder, Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 23, 2010, p55 - 66 Journal Article, 2010

O' Connor, J. , The dynamics of protection and exposure in obsessive-compulsive disorder, Psychoanalytic Psychology, 2007, p464 - 474 Journal Article, 2007

O' Connor, J. , Between the street and the consulting room: The role of therapeutic frame in working with homeless clients, European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health, 7, 2005, p217 - 233 Journal Article, 2005

O' Connor, J., Fuller, R. & Fell, M., Interpersonal disturbance in OCD and its place in the professional consultation, Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 21, 2004, p104 - 109 Journal Article, 2004

O'Connor, J., Homelessness and the problem of containment, European Journal of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Health, 6, (2), 2003, p111 - 128 Journal Article, 2003

O'Connor, J. , Type A, Type B and the Kleinian Positions, Psychoanalytic Psychology, 19, (1), 2002, p95 - 117 Journal Article, 2002

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Barrett, C, O' Connor, J., Carroll, S., Edworthy, Z., Cox, D. & Healy, F. , Living in the shadow: Exploring the Experiences of Adolescents Living with Cystic Fibrosis using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, National Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Killarney, January, 2014, 2014 Poster, 2014

Research Expertise


Over the last twenty years, I have been involved in a number of projects that have looked at the experiences of people diagnosed with OCD. This has involved collaboration with various clinical settings, and the work of psychologists in clinical training. A number of different populations here:: a general adult population; a population of people with longstanding diagnoses; a population of women peri-natal and post-natal presentations. In recent years, this work has related strongly to the role of trauma in a wide sense in the development of these thoughts, as also the part that transgenerational transmission of anxiety may play here. I have been involved in supervising a range of research projects on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology relating to binge eating, gambling, pornography use, self-harm (including cutting of the skin). This has reflected my own clinical interest in the area of compulsions, partly connected to my work on obsessive-compulsive disorder, but also related to ritualization in groups, organizations and society more generally. I have an ingoing interest in practice-based evidence, and I am committed to bringing the experiences of people who practice clinically into a more public sphere. I am concerned that this kind of learning is left at an individual level or as a part of small groups of professionals, in the relatively-protected, even closed, context of the clinician-only conference. I am also interested in the meeting place between distress and creativity, and I have supported and continue to support students and trainees engaged in work in this area (Music, Sport, Art). Among these are projects exploring elite athletes" experience of retirement, musicians" experiences of performance anxiety, and the process of art therapy in a group context. I am passionately committed to the use of qualitative research with multiple interviews as a way of highlighting ... and of tr... I have an ongoing interest in the dynamics of clinical interactions, including in psychotherapy and supervision relationships.


Adolescent Psychology; Bipolar states; Clinical Psychology; Culture, systems and development; DEPRESSION; Emotional/Mental Health; FAMILY; Mental Health Services; Organizational Theory and Behavior; PARENT-CHILD RELATIONS; Professional training in psychotherapy; PSYCHOTHERAPY; Suicide



External examiner for Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy Studies at University College Dublin.


Irish Council for Psychotherapy 2010 – Present