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Katherine remains active in research and writing, which she does through her academic appointments and international collaborations. 

On this page, you'll find information about Katherine's ongoing projects and other subjects she is passionate about exploring and sharing. Her diverse interests span a range of topics that not only reflect her academic pursuits, but also her personal curiosity and engagement with broader psychological, societal and organisational issues. 


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Current Projects

The Culty Church


This current project is exploring high-control faith settings that examines the intersection of leadership, belief systems, social dynamics and individual autonomy. 

Utilising bounded choice theory  as a framework, former and current church-goers are sharing their personal experiences and insights about life within high-control environments. The study uses an anonymous online survey and an option to participate in short interviews.  

The objective of this research is to explore how these complex elements collectively influence personal freedom, wellbeing and faith-related issues. It is open to all types of denominations. 

Katherine had the privilege of presenting this project at the 35th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference in May 2024. 

What is Bounded Choice?

Bounded choice refers to conditions under which individuals might perceive their choices as self-directed, though they are significantly constrained by the structures, teachings or cultural norms of their environment. This phenomenon can often go unrecognised by members, who may believe they have been making decisions freely. 


Commonly observed in cults and religious sects, bounded choice is characterised by the following four interrelated elements: i) charismatic or authoritarian leadership; ii) transcendent belief system (doctrines or ideologies); iii) systems of influence; and iv) systems of control. These elements create an environment where individual choices are not only limited, but manipulated in ways that prioritise the group's interests, potentially harming personal wellbeing and autonomy. 


Measuring bounded choice involves assessing the extent to which individual's decision-making is influenced or constrained by these factors. Participants are invited to contribute through self-report measures, open-ended survey responses and short interviews, focusing on their personal wellbeing, mental and emotional health, and symptoms of trauma. 

By examining these interactions, this research aims to provide evidence-based insights and recommendations that can inform future interventions and support for individuals in similar high-control environments, as well as promote change at the organisational and leadership level. 

How can I Participate?

If you are over the age of 18 and would like to participate, please use the following link: Survey Link


or scan the QR Code:


1Lalich, J. (2004). Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults.


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Student in the reading room



In recent years, students have navigated their educational journeys amid extraordinary challenges, from Australia's devastating bushfires in 2019-2020 to the global upheaval caused by COVID-19 and geopolitical tensions such as international war. These events, along with other environmental crises like floods and severe weather events, have created an 'unprecedented' scenario due to their rapid succession, combined impacts, and far-reaching effects.  

This study delved into the experiences and needs of students in these uncertain times. Utilising surveys and interviews, it examined how these multiple crises affected students at an Australian University College. 

The insights will help higher education stakeholders better support students during times of crisis, fostering resilience and grit in their academic pursuits. 

What were the findings?

Although this study has reached its conclusion, the results are awaiting official publication in an academic journal. However, and as anticipated, it can be reported that the events significantly influenced students' self-reported wellbeing. Respondents also provided valuable feedback on how higher education institutions can enhance their support during challenging times. Additionally, they offered insights  into their own intrinsic responses to these adversities, which may inform future educational strategies and support mechanisms.


Katherine presented the initial findings at a Learning and Teaching conference in April 2023.





Addictions are complex and are manifested by compulsive substance use and/or behaviours despite harmful consequences. They can be categorised into substance addictions, like alcohol and drugs, and behavioural addictions that present in various forms, such as gambling, pornography or internet overuse. Addictions develop due to a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors, with key mechanisms involving the brain's reward system, and neuroadaptive and physical changes that impact on processes involving tolerance and withdrawal, which make quitting difficult.

The consequences of addiction are varied and wide. They can include deteriorating physical health, psychological disturbances, and significant social, relational and economic repercussions. Treatment typically includes detoxification, therapy (e.g., cognitive behavioural therapy), medication, harm minimisation and ongoing support systems to prevent relapse. 

What is this project about?

In collaboration with Waverley Abbey College, UK, Katherine is authoring a publication for the 'Mental Health Insight Series' on the the nature and treatment of addictions. This resource aims to help the sufferer, emerging counsellors and those involved with the care and support of people experiencing addictions. 

A key goal of this project is to enhance understanding of addiction and facilitate change and support in a non-judgemental manner, while actively working to reduce stigma associated with these conditions. 

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