Professor Lisa Doodson

Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Professional Biography

Professor Lisa Doodson is a highly motivated individual with a unique combination of academic and business related skills. After 15 years in senior corporate management she embarked on a second career to fulfil a long standing ambition to train as a psychologist. A natural communicator, Dr Doodson has extensive experience in leadership and management complemented by excellent interpersonal and organisational skills.

She is an experienced chartered psychologist, with specific expertise in the field of health psychology and the psychosocial factors relating to family relationships. Her main interests lie in understanding the unique dynamics within stepfamilies. As part of her PhD Dr Doodson conducted the UK’s largest study on stepfamily wellbeing and in 2010 published a book, based on the research with Vermilion entitled ‘How to be a Happy Stepmum’.

In addition to lecturing in psychology she also runs her own company, Happy Steps, which offers support and training to stepfamilies and professionals who work with families, using self-developed evidence based material. Dr Doodson is a widely recognized as an expert on stepfamily relationships in the UK and is regularly asked for advice on stepparenting issues by National press, magazines and TV.


  • PhD, Psychology, University of West London, 2009
  • PGDip, Psychology, University of west London, 2005
  • BSc(Hons), Information Technology, De Montfort University, 1987

Relevant Past Employment

Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Regent’s University London - November 2013 – present

Responsible for operations and all aspects of academic quality and learning and teaching within the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Reporting to the Dean, Lisa is accountable for quality assurance and delivery of all the teaching operation across the faculty.

Programme Director, Psychology, Regent’s University London - May 2011 – November 2013

Responsible for leading the Psychology department which consisted of 10 academics teaching across 3 programmes (Foundation in Psychology, BSc(Hons) Psychology and BA Liberal Arts degree – majors in Psychology). The role necessitated growing the department from a very small base to support the growing BSc student cohort whilst also securing BPS accreditation. Lisa also developed a five year post graduate strategy to deliver a range of programmes, including an MSc Psychology Conversion programme, MSc Organisational Psychology & range of MSc Social Psychology pathways, the first of which launches in Sep 2014. She has significant experience in the validation of new programmes, the revalidation of existing programmes and external accreditation with the British Psychological Society. In 2012 and 2013 she was nominated and shortlisted for the Regent’s staff award for Excellence in Leadership and Management.

Visiting Lecturer, Psychology, Regent’s College - August 2010 – May 2011

Developed and delivered a number of psychology and business related modules to undergraduate and postgraduate level students. Modules include Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Contemporary Issues in Psychology, Personality theories and Organisational Behaviour. Key achievements include:

  • Development of new lecture and seminar content to deliver four undergraduate  modules and one graduate module
  • Excellent feedback/evaluation from students on all courses
  • Increased and maintained student numbers on all taught undergraduate courses
  • Supervision of final year dissertations/senior seminars

Psychology Lecturer, University of West London - September 2009–August 2010

Developed and delivered a number of psychology based modules to students at UWL, including biological psychology, research methods, social influence & abnormal psychology. Key achievements have included

  • Development of new content for several taught psychology modules
  • Delivered psychology based modules to range of age and ability students on wide range of courses (with psychology and both major and minor component)
  • Consistently high feedback from students
  • Extremely high pass rate and progression from taught students

Research and Teaching Associate, University of West London - September 2005 – 2009 

As part of the university’s psychology department, she conducted extensive research and delivered lectures to undergraduate psychology students. Key achievements have included:

  • Awarded fully funded place on PhD programme
  • Successfully gained PhD, based on mixed methods study on stepfamily wellbeing
  • Conducted the largest ever UK study on the psychosocial wellbeing of stepmothers
  • Presented research findings to international recognized psychological conferences
  • Written articles for peer reviewed international psychological journals
  • Delivered psychology lectures to undergraduate students on accredited BPS courses including Developmental psychology, individual differences and social psychology.


  • Doodson, L. (in review). Understanding the Factors Related to Stepmother Anxiety – A Qualitative Approach.  Journal of Divorce and Remarriage.
  • Doodson, L (in press). Understanding Stepfamilies: An Integrated Approach for Therapists and Relationship Professionals, McGraw Hill
  • Doodson, L. & Davies, A. (2014). A comparative study on the psychological wellbeing of stepmothers. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. Vol 55 (1), 49 – 63.
  • Doodson, L. (2010) How to be a Happy Stepmum. Vermilion, London
  • Doodson, L & Morley, D. (2006). Understanding the role of non-residential stepmothers. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol 45 (3/4), 109 – 130.

Conference Papers Given

Doodson, L. (2008). The mental wellbeing of Stepmothers – A comparative study to understand the differences and issues experienced by stepmothers.  National Council of Family Relations Annual Conference, Pittsburgh

Research Interests

I have a strong interest in the development of family relationships, particularly those involving divorce and remarriage. I have been actively involved in researching stepfamilies since 2004 and am now recognized as one of the leading experts in the UK. I am particularly interested in the link between research and applied psychology, ensuring that the findings from research are used effectively for interventions. As such I work closely with family professionals to provide training in the effective support of stepfamilies as well as working with individual families in my own practice.

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • SFHEA  Senior Fellow of the HEA (since 2013)
  • CPsychol - Chartered Psychologist with British Psychological Society (since 2009)
  • AFBPsS Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (since 2011)
  • Accredited by the BPS to use and interpret Personality and aptitude tests
  • Accredited Mediator (2011) Regents University
  • Member of British Psychological Society (2005 - present)

Teaching & Course Development


  • Module Leader on several modules in the Psychology Department including Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Personality.
  • Module leader for postgraduate module on organisational behavior in the business faculty.
  • Additional teaching on undergraduate Psychology programmes in all core Psychology areas


  • Programme director for all Psychology programmes at the University which includes the BSc Psychology, Foundation course in Psychology and BA Liberal Arts major in Psychology.
  • Achieved BPS accreditation of the BSc Psychology in 2012 and MSC Psychology 2014.
  • Development of a 5 year plan for a suite of post graduate Programmes in Psychology
  • Core member of the team developing the MSc programmes, due for launch in 2014
  • Programme director for the launch of the MA in Creative Leadership     
  • Member of Senate and several subcommittees at Regent’s University.
  • Chair and panel member for various internal Validation events


  • Internal examiner for Theresa Kostadinova and Maria Tulino (2013)
  • Chair for viva (Karin Kihlberg, 2014)