Dr Alison Fixsen
Dr Alison Fixsen Senior Lecturer
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Dr Alison Fixsen is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Westminster (UoW) and an experienced healthcare practitioner. Alison holds a doctorate in professional studies (personal and professional education.
Alison is an established author, presenter and theorist within the global health and social science communities, with unique expertise in the fields of symbolic interactionism and ethnography. Her approach is multidisciplinary, with projects and published work spanning psychology, sociology, health sciences and education. She is an active member of the British Sociological Association, the European Sociological Association and the Association for Symbolic Interactionism. She is a member of the ESA Sociology of Education committee, and reviewer for three sociology journals.
Alison has an extensive clinical, teaching and supervisory background in CM therapies, with knowledge and expertise in many of topics around mental health and wellbeing. Alison is an active internal coach and mentor for the University of Westminster and is completing the ILM level 5 Diploma in Management Coaching and mentoring sponsored by UoW.
Work and research experience
Alison has conducted and published studies ranging from an RCT (Fixsen and Vickers, Harrison 1999), health service evaluations, literature reviews (Fixsen 2013), ethnographies, authethnographies and qualitative studies. Her particular areas of expertise are interpersonal communication and mental health. She has run clinics and workshops on health and wellbeing for Sure Start and has conducted primary research within NHS settings.
1995- 1996: co- conducted a randomized comparison of homeopathic and standard care for the treatment of glue ear in children, which was published in two journals.
2010-2014: led 2 university based research studies, the first investigating the emotion work of final year students undergoing personal and professional development (PPD) and clinical training (Fixsen and Ridge 2012), and the other a secondary analysis of level 4 and 5 student experiences of this programme (Fixsen et al. 2015). This work represents a novel understanding of complementary therapy student learning and coping strategies.
2012-15: Alison a strong interest in psychoactive drug dependency and have developed expertise on benzodiazepine BZD dependency and BZD withdrawal syndrome. From she conducted an extensive ‘netography’ exploring benzodiazepine user stories of withdrawal and recovery, which has been widely read and discussed among stakeholders including those in the BZD virtual community.
2013-17 (Doctorate): ethnographic exploration of staff experiences of Learning and Development programmes.
Alison is presently co-investigator for an NHS funded Evaluation of a prototype social prescribing service in Oswestry, however this is on a consultancy basis.
- Doctorate in Professional Studies
BA Hons Economics and Social studies, University of Manchester
- MA Theology, University of Manchester
ILM level 5 Coaching and Mentoring
- MBSH British School of Homeopathy
Practitioner diploma Natural Nutrition
- Registered Member of Society of Homeopaths
- Member of the Society of Homeopaths Research Committee
- Member of Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
External appointments (previous)
- External Examiner at University of West London,
- External Examiner UCLAN
Doctorate in Professional Studies
Among the programmes Alison has designed and leads are Perspectives in Health (foundation level HEAM), Effective Communication Skills for Healthcare Professionals (FST elective ) and Developing Effective Communication Skills for Professional Life (level 5 elective).
PUBLISHED PAPERS (or awaiting publication)
· 2018: Fixsen, A. Homeopathy in the age of antimicrobial resistance: Is it a viable treatment for upper respiratory tract infections? Homeopathy (in print)
· 2018: Fixsen A., Ridge, D., & Cranfield, S. Self-care and entrepreneurism An ethnography of soft skills learning and development for staff. Studies in Continuing Education (accepted- waiting for copy edit)
· 2017: Fixsen A. Fixsen, A. 2017. Mixing Work with Therapy : A Work Based Autoethnography. WBL e-Journal International 7(1):40–63.
2016: Fixsen, A & Filbert, P. Get your research papers published: how and which journals. Homeopath, 35 (3).
· 2015: Fixsen, A., Ridge, D., Kirkpatrick, S., & Foot, D. “Interaction rituals and jumbled emotions among ‘relative strangers’: Simulated patient work on a trainee complementary therapy practitioner program.” Sage Open Journals, doi: 10.1177/2158244015595090, 10 July 2015
· 2015: Fixsen, A., Ridge, D. ‘ ‘Walking out of hell’: How Internet users construct their benzodiazepine distress and withdrawal’. (Under review)
· 2015: Fixsen AM. ‘ “I’m Not Waving, I'm Drowning”: An Autoethnographical Exploration of Biographical Disruption and Reconstruction During Recovery From Prescribed Benzodiazepine Use.” Qualitative Health Research [Internet]. 2015 Mar 23 Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25800715
2012: Fixsen A, Ridge D. “Performance, emotion work, and transition: challenging experiences of complementary therapy student practitioners commencing clinical practice”. Qualitative Health Research, 2012 22(9): 1163-75.
2013: Fixsen, A. “Should homeopathy be considered as part of a treatment strategy for otitis media with effusion in children?” Homeopathy; 2013 102 (2): 45-150.
2000- “Reflections on a research project into glue ear”. Homeopath: 2000. No 78.
1997- Harrison, H., Fixsen A. “A randomized comparison of homeopathic and standard care for the treatment of glue ear in children.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine 1999: 7:132-135.
· August 2017: Activities of the self: Self-care and entrepreneurism on Higher Education staff learning and development programmes, European Sociological Association (ESA) Biennial Conference, Athens.
· July 2017: Feeling our way: university staff experiences of ‘soft skills’ programmes, ESSI conference, Lodz, Poland.
June 2017. Should homeopathy be considered as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of URTIs? HRI International Homeopathy Research conference, Malta.
Sept 2016: Feeling our way: university staff experiences of ‘soft skills’ programmes, European Sociological Association (ESA) International Conference, Education and Empowerment, Milan.
May 2016: “Stories of Hell and Healing”: European Sociological Association (ESA) Conference, Health and Society, Prague.
September 2015. Homeopathy in Changing Times Conference. Homepatistiftelsen, Oslo.
August 2015. Feeling our way: An investigation of university staff experiences of participation in personal and professional development programmes of the ‘soft skills’ variety. European Sociological Association Biannual Conference, Prague J
June 2015. “Homeopathic treatment for otitis media in children: the case for pragmatic trials.” Homeopathic treatment for otitis media in children: the case for pragmatic trials. HRI International Homeopathy Research conference, Rome.
2014: BSA medical conference, Birmingham. “A heuristic exploration of recovery from benzodiazepines (abstract accepted)
2012- BSA medical conference, Leicester. “Interactive rituals and shambolic emotions: experiences of trainee complementary therapy students on a PPD programme ”.
2011- ESA conference, Geneva: “The Therapeutic Encounter in a Public Arena - An investigation of the challenging experiences and emotional work performed by complementary and alternative therapy students in the clinical setting.”
2009- Complementary Therapies Research forum (University of Westminster) presentation – A homeopathic case study of a young male presenting with ulcerative colitis 2007: Homeopathy Awareness week (guest speaker) Denmark. “From Puberty to Menopause -Homoeopathy for Women of Today”.
2007: Society of Homeopath’s Workshop, Bath. “Beyond the baby blues.”. Homeopathy for postnatal depression
2006: Society of Homeopath’s Annual Conference, Oxford. “Mummy, please stop crying. The treatment of postnatal depression.”
2005: Society of Homeopaths Annual Conference. “Evaluation of 3 Surestart homeopathy clinics 2002-5.”
2014- CIMA C05 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law: Study Text. Strategic Business Coaching Ltd.
PUBLISHED CASE STUDIES:
· 2011: The animal within: The struggle with competition sex and aggression. The Homeopath, 30(2).
· 2010 –Sarah’s story: a case of PCOS. The Homeopath, 29(1).
· 2006- My parent's weren't interested in what I felt. Chocolate and related remedies for a case of eating disorder. The Homeopath - 25:1
OTHER RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
· 2012- 15: Member of the University of Westminster Faculty of Science and Technology research group
· 2010- 15: Member of Patient Experience Research Group, University of Westminster
RESEARCH GRANTS AND PROJECT PROPOSALS
2014: Fixsen, A. Ridge, D, et al. An investigation of users’ experience of recovery from benzodiazepine use (NIHR grant) In progress 2014: Ridge, D., Fixsen, A., & Lewith, G. CAMCO- Complementary and Alternative Medicine controversies on line: The battle to persuade the public. In progress 2010- Mindful organisation, Change Academy (collaborated on successful bid) 2011: Aurum project, research grant, otitis media literature review