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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Claire Hart is a Principal Lecturer (International) at Teesside University. She qualified as an occupational therapist in 1991 and has worked in a number of adult mental health services across the North East of England.  In 1999 she completed a master's in counselling and joined the occupational therapy teaching team to deliver on aspects of mental health, communication and professional development.

In addition to her work at the University she has worked as a psychological therapist in a specialist service for refugees, and with others experiencing complex mental health needs as well as providing supervision for therapists and training on mental health and refugee issues.

Claire has spoken at national and international conferences, has published and has been an invited speaker at conferences, NHS services and other universities. She has delivered on subjects such as refugee mental health, cultural competency, psychological trauma and other issues related to therapy, and has been involved in steering and advisory groups locally and internationally on race equality in mental health, occupational rights and the mental well-being of refugees.

Claire’s PhD research was a qualitative, phenomenological study intended as an exploration of the meaning of occupation for people who have sought asylum in the United Kingdom. The study was undertaken to illuminate the experiences people have of occupation before, during and after the asylum process to identify barriers and opportunities which influence well-being.

She is Principal Investigator on a local study exploring the provision of mental health services to refugees and people seeking asylum in the South Tees area.  This study aims to consider provision from the perspective of service user and service provider, considering primary, secondary and third sector support.  Through this study it is hoped that we can establish 'best practice' and understand the most appropriate interventions for this population of clients. 

Summary of Research Interests

Claire is interested in research relating to the well-being and mental health of refugees and people seeking asylum.  She is interested in linking occupation and well-being, particualrly looking at occupations with a dark side and those with 'higher purpose'

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Teesside University

31 Oct 201131 Oct 2019

Award Date: 19 Oct 2018

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Research Output

  • 8 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Featured article
  • 1 Other contribution

The Whole of the Moon: How Our Occupational Lens Helps or Hinders Our Exploration of the Dark Side of Occupation

Hart, C., 19 Oct 2020, Illuminating The Dark Side of Occupation: International Perspectives from Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science. Twinley, R. (ed.). 1st ed. Abingdon: Routledge, (Routledge Key Themes in Health & Society).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • 'Keeping busy with purpose': how meaningful occupation shapes the experience of forced migration.

    Hart, C., 26 Oct 2019, In : Migration Studies. mnz046, mnz046.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • People seeking asylum can have a better life - lift the ban on work.

    Hart, C., 21 Nov 2019, The Conversation.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • 295 Downloads (Pure)


    Keeping busy with purpose: Virtuous occupations as a means of expressing worth during asylum

    Author: Hart, H., 30 Apr 2018

    Supervisor: Hannis, D. (Supervisor), Costello, S. (Supervisor), Cleary, S. (Supervisor) & Armstrong, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis