Paula  Gomes Alves

Dr Paula Gomes Alves

Lecturer in Psychology

Paula Gomes Alves joined the University of Greenwich in November 2019 as a Lecturer in Psychology. She has a background in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on substance use and substance use treatment. She has also clinical training as a psychodynamic counsellor in substance use treatment.

Her professional interests include the evaluation of outcomes and processes of psychological interventions, as well as evaluating the patient experience and views about those interventions. Paula has a special interest in studying strategies to improve the delivery of substance use treatment using co-production methods, i.e., working in collaboration with service users and health professionals to enhance the relevance, acceptability and usefulness of such strategies. Paula's current interests also include exploring which and how non-specific therapeutic factors, such as the patient-therapist relationship, impact on the outcomes and processes of treatment.

Paula's teaching areas are substance use and addictions, mental health, psychological interventions, and research methodology, with an emphasis on qualitative research.

Posts held previously:
Research Experience 

2019 – present, Lecturer in Psychology, University of Greenwich
2017 – 2019, Research Associate, University College London
2012 – 2016, Post-graduate Research Fellow, Lisbon University Institute
2011 – 2012, Research Collaborator and Academic Fellow, Global Drug Survey
2010 – 2011, Research Trainee, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EU Agency)
2010 – 2012, Research Assistant, Lisbon University Institute
2009 – 2010, Research Assistant (volunteer), King's College London

Teaching Experience

2018 – 2019, Teaching Assistant, MSc in International Addiction Studies, King's College London (distance learning)
2017 – 2019, Teaching Fellow and Research Supervisor, MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health, King's College London (distance learning)
2017 – 2019, Learning Tutor and Research Supervisor, Qualitative Research Methods, MSc Population Health, University College London
2017 – 2019, Personal Tutor and Research Supervisor, BSc/MSc Population Health, University College London

Clinical Experience

2008 – 2009, Clinical Placement, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
2007 – 2008, Psychologist, Learning Support Centre of Bucelas
2006 – 2007, Clinical Psychologist Trainee, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service of Lisbon (Centro das Taipas)

Responsibilities within the university

  • Lecturer in Psychology
  • Research supervisor to BSc / MSc students
  • Personal tutor
  • Link Tutor ERASMUS programme


  • Invited Speaker, Qualitative health research interest group, UCL Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health
  • Invited abstract reviewer, 4th Qualitative Health Research Network (QHRN) Conference 2019, School for Primary Care Research Showcase 2019
  • Peer Reviewer, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, BMC Psychiatry, Health Expectations, International Journal of Drug Policy, Journal of Medical Internet Research

Key projects

  • 2018, Patient and Public Engagement Beacon Bursary (£2000), Disseminating the findings of a project about substance use treatment experience (iCARE): a researcher-service user
  • 2019, NIHR SPCR Funding Round 15 (Project no 406) (£44,458.15), iCARE: helpful aspects of treatment for substance use in primary care from the patient perspective
  • 2012, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, Individual international PhD scholarship (SFRH/BD/87308/2012) (€44,100), Patient involvement in psychological therapies for substance misuse: towards a personalised outcome measurement

Recent publications

  • Alves, P., Sales, C., Ashworth, M., & Faísca, L. (2018). "There are things I want to say but you do not ask": a comparison between standardised and individualised evaluations in substance use treatment. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-4.
  • Cruz, A., Sales, C., Alves, P., & Moita, G. (2018). The core techniques of Morenian Psychodrama: a systematic review of literature. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1263.
  • Sales, C., Neves, I., & Alves, P., & Ashworth, M. (in press). Capturing and missing the patient's story through outcome measures: A thematic comparison of patient-generated items in PSYCHLOPS with CORE-OM and PHQ-9. Health Expectations, 21, 615-619.
  • Alves, P., Sales, C., & Ashworth, M. (2017). Does outcome measurement of treatment for substance use disorder reflect the personal concerns of patients? A scoping review of measures recommended in Europe. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 179, 299-308.
  • Sales, C., Alves, P., & Elliott, R. (2017). A versão Portuguesa do Questionário Pessoal (PQ). In Gonçalves, M., & Almeida, L. (Eds). Avaliação Psicológica em Contextos Clínicos e de Saúde: Instrumentos Validados para a População Portuguesa. Lisboa: PACTOR, Edições de Ciências Sociais, Forenses e de Educação.
  • Alves, P., Sales, C., & Ashworth, M. (2016). "It is not just about the alcohol": service users' views about individualised and standardised clinical assessment in a therapeutic community for alcohol dependence. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy, 11, 25-31. doi:10.1186/s13011-016-0070-5
  • Sales, C., & Alves, P. (2016). Patient centred assessment in Psychotherapy: A review of individualised tools. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 23, 265-283.