Journal of Psychosocial Studies

The Association for Psychosocial Studies

The Journal of Psychosocial Studies publishes work that falls within the broad transdisciplinary area of Psychosocial Studies, defined by a commitment to understanding the significance of the links between internal and external worlds. Read more about the Journal of Psychosocial Studies.

Frequency:  3 issues per year

Restricted access

Aims and scope
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Volumes 1-11
Abstracting and indexing
Contact us

Aims and scope

The Journal of Psychosocial Studies publishes work that falls within the broad transdisciplinary area of Psychosocial Studies, defined by a commitment to examining the unconscious dimensions of subjectivity located within social structural accounts of the individual and society. 

Psychosocial Studies draws on a range of disciplines to explore the interactive relationships between self, culture and society. While often focusing on affect, emotion and unconscious process they explore the complexities of subjectivity and experience as it is lived and shaped in different contexts and settings. This approach is defined by a commitment to exploration of the links between the internal and external worlds; both the deeply personal and profoundly social.

We are interested in publishing papers that bring a psychosocial perspective that might help us understand a range of contemporary social phenomena. This might be work on family life, welfare practices, criminal justice issues, youth work or cultural products (such as film, art and literature).

As the adopted journal of the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS) we especially seek to promote work that is interdisciplinary and considers issues of practice. The Journal of Psychosocial Studies provides space for research and writing that crosses the traditional boundaries between disciplines in the social sciences, humanities and the arts. We also publish work that emerges from and reflects on practice. This that might include, for example, psychoanalysis (including group analysis) and social work, education, law, business studies, psychotherapy and counselling that draws on these theoretical frames.

The journal provides both a supportive and an academically rigorous space for new and established researchers to disseminate ideas, and hence stimulate debate in the psychosocial field. We welcome submissions from across the globe. Our strong international Editorial Board ensures that the Journal of Psychosocial Studies provides a publishing platform that transcends international boundaries. All published academic articles undergo our thorough double-blind peer-review process. Please see the instructions for authors to find out how to submit an article.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement outlines the ways in which we seek to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to all aspects of our publishing, and how we might encourage and drive positive change. 


"The Journal of Psychosocial Studies is an important resource in an era that moves towards simplistic solutions to complex problems."

Marilyn Charles, staff psychologist and team leader, Austen Riggs Center, USA

“A much-needed place to animate and inspire others in the field of psychosocial research and writing — a plenum of innovative ideas about clinical and critical theory, contemporary hermeneutics, and social philosophy.”

Claude Barbre, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, USA

"The Journal of Psychosocial Studies is the place to read and publish cutting-edge work that challenges the traditional demarcations between the psychic and the social, psychology and sociology, individual and group."

Sasha Roseneil, Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences, UCL, UK

Volumes 1-11

The Journal of Psychosocial Studies has been published by Policy Press from 2019. It is the adopted journal of the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS). Only issues from Volume 12 onwards are held on Bristol University Press Digital. Previous issues of the journal are available on the APS website.

Abstracting and indexing

  • Scopus
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences ERIH PLUS

Contact us

Editorial enquiries:

Journal of Psychosocial Studies editors:

Open Access, subscriptions and free trials:

Policy Press:

Read our instructions for authors for guidance on how to prepare your submissions. The instructions include the following: 

What are we looking for?
How to submit an article
Editorial review process

Ethical guidelines
Copyright and permissions
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories
English language editing service
How to maximise the impact of your article
Contact us

Visit our journal author toolkit for resources and advice to support you through the publication process and beyond.

What are we looking for?

The Journal of Psychosocial Studies provides space for research and writing that crosses the traditional boundaries between disciplinary areas within the social sciences, humanities and the arts. We provide a platform for work that explores the interactions between the world of feelings, subjectivity and experience and the wider social realm in its various contexts and settings. We publish articles from across the globe that contribute to the field of Psychosocial Studies. Articles might include:

Academic articles: These might be based on empirical research, or consist of theoretical contributions or significant reviews of areas of knowledge or practice. Articles should be between 5,000 and 9,000 words long (including abstract, notes and references). Submissions should be anonymised (see instructions below) for double anonymous peer review. Research articles should contribute to advances in knowledge, theory or methods.

Open space: We welcome short submissions (up to 4,000 words in length) for publication in the journal’s Open space section. This provides a space for discussion, dialogue, analysis and reflections on current affairs, events or areas of contemporary concern. We invite literary, poetic and creative forms, including interviews, personal narratives, project proposals, reflections on key thinkers and ideas, and other non-standard submissions. These pieces are reviewed by members of the editorial board. Open space submissions do not carry abstracts. If prompted for an abstract by the online submission system, please enter ‘N/A’. Contributors are encouraged to discuss the suitability of Open space pieces with the editor in advance. Please email

Book reviews: If you are interested in writing a book review for the journal, please contact the editors ( We can accept shorter book reviews of around 750 words or longer review pieces of up to 2,000 words. All reviews/review essays must provide the following information about the books reviewed: Authors, title, year of publication, publisher, page extent, format (i.e. hardback, paperback, e-book etc.), ISBN, price. Book reviews do not carry abstracts. If prompted for an abstract by the online submission system, please enter ‘N/A’.

How to submit an article

All submissions should be made online at the Journal of Psychosocial Studies Editorial Manager website:

Editorial Manager

Manuscripts must be in Word or Rich Text Format, not pdf. New users should first create an account, specify their areas of interest and provide full contact details.

Preparing your anonymised manuscript

Your initial submission must consist of the following separate files:

  1. A cover page including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required), the article abstract (up to 250 words), up to five key words/short phrases, and the article word count including references. A cover page template is available to download here.
  2. A fully anonymised manuscript which does not include any of the information included in the cover page. It should not include any acknowledgements, funding details or conflicts of interest that would identify the author(s). References to the author's own work should be anonymised as follows: 'Author's own, [year]'. Please note that submissions that have not been sufficiently anonymised will be returned.
  3. If you have any figures and tables, these must be uploaded as separate files at the end of the manuscript. Please indicate where they should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources where appropriate.
  4. In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here: Bristol University Press | Alt-text guidance for authors

For help submitting an article via Editorial Manager, please view our online tutorial.

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, you will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version.

Checklist: what to include in your final, accepted non-anonymised manuscript

A cover page including:

  1. Title: short and concise running title and, if necessary, a (short) informative subtitle;
  2. Author names and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required);
  3. Abstract: no longer than 250 words, outlining the central question, approach/method, findings and take-home message;
  4. Up to five keywords;

The main manuscript including:

  1. The non-anonymised text of your article: no longer than 9,000 words for academic articles, 4,000 for Open space articles, and 2,000 words for book reviews.
  2. Funding details: list any funding including the grant numbers you have received for the research covered in your article as follows: ‘This work was supported by the [Funding Agency] under Grant [number xxxx].’
  3. Conflict of interest statement: please declare any possible conflicts of interest, or state ‘The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’ if there are none.
  4. Acknowledgements: acknowledge people who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting the data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.
  5. Figures and tables: should be submitted as separate files. Figures should ideally be in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file format. Please indicate where figures and tables should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure/Table X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  6. In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here: Bristol University Press | Alt-text guidance for authors.
  7. Supplementary data: We recommend that any supplementary data is hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and is cited as a reference in the article. Short supplementary items can be included as appendices to the article.
  8. Journal Contributor Publishing Agreement: please upload a scanned copy of the completed and signed  agreement with your final non-anonymised manuscript. The Journal Contributor Publishing Agreement can be downloaded here.

Editorial review process

All submissions are first desk-reviewed by the editor(s) who will assess whether the manuscript fits the aims and scope as well as the quality standards of the journal. Papers that are selected to be sent out for review will be evaluated through double anonymous peer review by at least two referees. The Journal of Psychosocial Studies aims to return the reviews along with an initial decision within two months of submission.

Please also read our Journals editorial policies.

Ethical guidelines

At Policy Press we are committed to upholding the highest standards of review and publication ethics in our journals. Policy Press is a member of and subscibes to the principles of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE), and will take appropriate action in cases of possible misconduct in line with COPE guidance.

Find out more about our ethical guidelines.

Copyright and permissions

The Journal of Psychosocial Studies is published by Policy Press. Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the author(s) grant(s) Policy Press the exclusive right and licence to publish the article. Copyright remains with the author(s) or other original copyright owners and we will acknowledge this in the copyright line that appears on the published article.

Authors will be asked to sign a copyright agreement to this effect, which should be submitted online along with the final manuscript. All authors should agree to the copyright assignment. For jointly authored articles the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that they have obtained the co-authors' consent. The journal contributor agreement can be downloaded here.

Where copyright is not owned by the author(s), the corresponding author is responsible for obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. This includes figures, tables and excerpts. Evidence of this permission should be provided to Bristol University Press. General information on rights and permissions can be found here.

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in the Journal of Psychosocial Studies, please email: For information on what is permissible use for different versions of your article please see our policy on self archiving and institutional repositories.


  • British English spelling and punctuation is preferred.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory. See our guidelines to sensitive language (appendix C of document).
  • Explanatory notes should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to use them, they must be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the article. Please do not embed notes in the text.
  • Please do not embed bibliographic references in the text, footnotes, live links or macros; the final submitted file should be clear of track changes and ready for print.
  • Tables and charts should be separated from the text and submitted in a Word or Excel file, with their placement in the text clearly indicated by inserting: ‘Table X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Figures, diagrams and maps should be separated from the text and, ideally, submitted in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. Figures created in Word or Excel are acceptable in those file formats. If the figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. have been pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact for advice. Please indicate where figures should be placed in the text, by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).



In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. See our guidance on writing alt-text.

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Download the Endnote output style for Policy Press and Bristol University Press Journals.

Policy Press uses a custom version of the Harvard system of referencing:

  • In-text citations: give the author’s surname followed by year of publication in brackets;
  • If there is more than one reference to the same author and year, this should be distinguished by a, b, c, d and so on being added to the year.
  • In lists of references given within the text, place in chronological order, from old to new. For example (Smith, 1989; Jones, 1990; Amler, 2002; Brown, 2007).
  • List all references in full at the end of the article and remove any references not cited in the text;
  • Names should be listed in the references as cited, for example, surnames containing de, De, de la, Le, van, von, Van, Von should be listed under ‘D’, ‘L’ and ‘V’ respectively. If in doubt, check the author ORCID or a recognised database such as Scopus or Web of Science to verify their most known surname.
  • For works with multiple authors, list all names up to six. For works with more than six authors, list the first six names followed by ‘et al’.
  • Book and journal titles should be in italics;
  • Website details should be placed at the end of the reference;
  • Ibid/op cit: please do not use; we would prefer that you repeated the information.
  • Immediately before submitting your final version, check that all references cited in the text are in the reference list and that references in the reference list are cited correctly in the text.


Bengtson, V.L. and Lowenstein, A. (2003) Global Aging and its Challenge to Families, New Jersey, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Darling, D. (2010) Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists, Bristol: Policy Press. 

Book with editor:
Bengtson, V.L. and Lowenstein, A. (eds) (2003) Global Aging and its Challenge to Families, 5th edn, New Jersey, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Chapter in book or in multi-authored publication:
Bengtson, V.L. and Lowenstein, A. (2003) Citizenship in action: the lived experiences of citizens with dementia who campaign for social change, in R. Smith, R. Means and K. Keegan (eds) Global Aging and its Challenge to Families, New Jersey, NJ: Transaction Publishers, pp 305–26.

Journal reference:
Williamson, E. and Abrahams, H. A. (2014) A review of the provision of intervention programmes for female victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the UK, Journal of Women and Social Work, 29(1): 178-191. doi:

Jeffrey, C., Williams, E., de Araujo, P., Fortin-Rochberg, R., O'Malley, T., Hill, A-M., et al (2009) The challenge of politics, Policy & Politics, 36(4): 545–57. doi:

Website reference:
Womensaid (2016) What is domestic abuse?,

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Editorial Management Board


Liz Frost, University of the West of England, UK
David W. Jones, Open University, UK

Consulting Editors

Lynn Chancer, Hunter College, City University of New York, USA
Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Paul Hoggett, University of the West of England, UK
Neil McLaughlin, McMaster University, Canada
Candida Yates, University of Bournemouth, UK

Regional Editors

Matthew H. Bowker, Medaille College, USA
Steffen Krueger, University of Oslo, Norway

Editorial Board

Ali Roy, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Claudia Lapping, University College London, UK
Luis Jimenez, University of East London, UK
Chris Scanlon, The Tavistock Institute, UK
Caroline Pelletier, University College London, UK

Jacob Johanssen, St. Mary's University, UK
Anthony Faramelli, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
Birgitta Haga Gripsrud, The University of Stavanger, Norway

Editorial Advisory Board

Fred Alford, University of Maryland, USA
Marilyn Charles, Austen Riggs Centre and Harvard, USA
Lynn Froggett, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Lynne Layton, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and Harvard Medical School, USA
Belinda Mendelbaum, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Oliver Decker, University of Leipzig, Germany
Michael O'Loughlin, Adelphi University, USA
Carla Penna, University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tim Corcoran, Deacon University, Australia
Henning Sallen Olesen, University of Roskilde, Denmark
Birgit Volmerg, University of Bremen, Germany
Barry Richards, University of Bournemouth, UK
Harriet Neilsen, Centre for Gender Research Oslo, Norway
Marina Mojovic, Group Analytical Society/Counsulting Arts, Belgrade, Serbia
Ian Miller, Psychoanalyst and psychologist in private practice, Ireland
Honey Obeoi Vahali, Centre for psychotherapy, Ambedkar University, India
Thomas Leithauser, Emeritus Professor Bremen, Germany
Linda Lunguaard Andersen, University of Roskilde, Denmark
Jill Bennett, University of New South Wales, Australia
Lisa Saville Young, Rhodes University, South Africa
Lucy Stroud, Edinburgh University, UK, (visiting scholar)
Lisa Farley, York University, Canada

We currently have two open calls: A call for special issue proposals and a call for papers for the upcoming Exploring Mental Health and Treatment Special Issue

Call for papers: Lightening Dark Places: Exploring Forensic Mental Health and Treatment

Special Issue Editors: Anne Aiyegbusi (Institute of Group Analysis), David W. Jones (Open University), David Kaposi (Open University), Jo Lomani (survivor researcher)

Abstract deadline: Friday 31 May 2024

Background to the call:

The entwinement of issues of criminal justice and mental health is long and deep. It is hardly controversial to observe that psychiatric concepts have always been shaped by concerns with control and security alongside those of care. Figures on rates of mental distress, suicide and self-harm amongst the prison population, the growing use of detainment under the Mental Health Act and the well-known roots of ‘criminality’ in lives of trauma and deprivation are solid enough evidence of the significant shared territory of mental health and criminal justice. We are seeking to explore this contested terrain of ‘forensic mental health’, paying particular attention to the painful and iatrogenic processes that can exist even amongst those services that aim to help. 

We are seeking contributions that might take a psychosocial lens to the prison system, probation system, the courts, policing, and psychiatric liaison work. We are also interested in throwing light on how issues of distress, diagnosis, trauma and control are handled in what appears to be a growing area of mental health delivery that might include PICUs, 136 suites,self-declared ‘personality disorder’ services, out of area ‘placements’ and the systems of surveillance and control operationalised in everyday mental, or other, health settings.

We are interested in hearing from those with those with lived experience of working, living and being detained within these systems. We are also interested research and reflection including global, feminist, intersectional and abolitionist perspectives.

Particular topics that might need further attention are (for example): 

  • Institutional racism, racial identity, mental health and criminal justice
  • Perspectives on probation and/or other community based forensic provision
  • Lived experience perspectives
  • Gender, sexuality, detainment and mental health settings
  • Good practices that seek to alleviate distress
  • Issue of surveillance and segregation

Information for contributors:

We can publish both formal research papers (that would need to be written in the expected style and sent out for independent review) and open space articles (less formal articles, that might be based on personal experiences and reflection that might take the form of prose, poetry, visual art). For further information, see our instructions for authors.

Contributors should send an abstract of around 500 words to by Friday 31st May 2024. Please make it clear which type of paper you hope to submit. You will be informed within one month of receipt whether we invite the full submission. Interested contributors are welcome to contact us with queries.

For more information about the Journal of Psychosocial Studies see the aims and scope.

Call for Special Issue proposals

The Journal of Psychosocial Studies welcomes proposals for Special Issues.

What are we looking for in a Journal of Psychosocial Studies Special Issue? 
The aim of a Special Issue is to bring together a set of articles that develops a specific debate or topic on a theme relevant to the remit of The Journal 
of Psychosocial Studies. This may include articles presenting theoretical, conceptual and/or empirical material.  A Special Issue should be integrated around a common theme, and take forward debate in that area. It may be internationally comparative or may focus on one specific region of the world.  How to present a Special Issue proposal for The Journal of Psychosocial Studies 
A special issue proposal must include the following information: 

  1. Title: This should clearly reflect the field and content of the proposed Special Issue. 
  2. Details of guest editor(s): Provide contact details, institutional affiliations, and a short academic profile (of up to 150 words) for each proposed guest editor.
  3. Description: In no more than 500 words, outline the intellectual focus of the proposed Special Issue, how its proposed content engages with significant issues, and the contribution it will make to the field.  
  4. Draft contents page: This should set out the structure of the Special Issue, listing the titles and authors of each proposed article and stating clearly whether named contributors are already confirmed, or are speculative.  
  5. Article abstracts: A 150-word abstract for each article to be included in the collection must be provided. (Special Issues should include an editor(s)' introduction and around 5-7 articles. of approximately 5-7,000 words.  
  6. Open Space Contributions and Book Reviews: Proposers should consider how they might include items relevant to the theme of the Special Issue that would be available for these sections of the journal, by suggesting topics for the Open Space and Book Review sections (with names/institutions of potential contributors), and listing 2 recently published (or forthcoming) books for review. 
  7. Timetable statement: Please include an approximate timetable that would follow from acceptance of the proposal to initial submission (including times for reviewing, re-submission, copy-editing, etc).  
  8. Maximising impact: Please consider how you intend to promote and disseminate the Special Issue (blogs, events, conferences, other social media, etc.). An editorial statement outlining ten useful 'top tips for impact' is available at  

How will proposals be assessed?
The Editors will review all proposals received and, in consultation with the Editorial Board make decisions based on the following criteria:  

1. Intellectual significance, originality and rigour 

  • Does it aim to fill a significant gap in the current literature that is relevant to the concerns of the Journal of Psychosocial Studies?  
  • Does the proposal seek to challenge dominant disciplinary assumptions?  
  • Will it help set the agenda in terms of future debates, or open up new avenues of enquiry?  
  • Does it have novel, timely or innovative dimensions?  

2. Profile of contributors 
The Journal of Psychosocial Studies is committed to supporting scholars from all backgrounds, disciplines and parts of the world. Proposals which include a mix of established scholars, 'rising stars', new voices and marginalised voices are particularly welcome. Overall, we aim to encourage good quality work, regardless of the status of authors. 
3. International appeal  
We welcome international contributions and contributions that engage with international debates.  
4. Editorial leadership 

  • Do the proposed editors have experience to draw on of producing published work?  
  • Do the proposed editors have a track record of involvement in this field?  
  • Is the timetable realistic?  
  • Do the editors of the Special Issue intend to play a proactive role in steering and managing the development of the Special Issue?  
  • Do they have the time and capacity to dedicate the required level of attention to this project?

The editorial process  
If a proposal is accepted, a clear time-line will be established in agreement with the editors. The guest editor(s) will normally manage the process of:

  • Initially considering papers. 
  • Identifying reviewers and sending the papers out to review, in consultation with JPS' editors, using the journal's 'Editorial Manager' system (training for this will be provided).  
  • Communicating reviewers' comments to the authors. 
  • Deciding whether revised papers need to be reviewed again. 
  • Making a provisional decision to accept or reject papers. 

One of the Journal Editors will work closely with the guest editor/s in a supportive manner. The Editors will aim to publish the Special Issue according to the original agreed timeline, but proposers should note, and inform all potential contributors, that JSP's Editors may decide to: 

  • Run the Special Issue in a later issue than originally planned. 
  • Accept only some of the papers and put them instead in a Themed Issue, which also includes papers from elsewhere. 
  • Accept only one or two papers and present them as regular contributions to the journal. 
  • Determine that none of the papers meets the quality standards or targeted content of the journal. 

Informal queries prior to submission of a proposal may be sent to the Editors at 

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