Participatory Research In Depression and Autism (PRIDA). A bottom­-up, multi­-informant study to understand the lived experience of depression, recovery and interpersonal therapy experiences in autism

Depression is a mental health problem that is more common in autistic people, compared to the general population. Depression can have a detrimental impact on daily life and can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and premature death. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is an evidence-based talking therapy for people experiencing depression, recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It frames treatment interpersonally, examining the impact of role changes, conflicts, bereavement, and social isolation in initiating and maintaining depression. It is a time-limited and here-and-now approach, delivered over 12-16 weekly sessions. Formulation of key interpersonal issues is used to identify recurring themes and target work on enhancing communication, self-awareness, and emotional regulation.

The NICE guidelines referring to the treatment of depression do not currently consider adaptations for autistic people. Also, they often suggest neuro-normative concepts that may result in masking autistic self and increase the sense of alienation, by educating autistic people to mimic neurotypical ways of interacting with others. As part of this project, we want to understand the therapists’ experiences of working with autistic adults with depression to explore how to best adapt clinical practices for depression to support autistic adults.


Examining the experiences, strategies, enablers and barriers professionals (including workforce trainees), and the autistic community face when applying NICE guidance for the treatment of depression. 

This is part of the wider Participatory Research IDepression and Autism (PRIDA) working group, part of the Group for Research in Relationships And Neurodiversity (GRRAND) at University College London. 

Research team: 

PIs: Georgia Pavlopoulou and Roslyn Law

CIs: Kieran Ros, Venessa Bobb Swabby, Myrofora Kakoulidou

Research Assistants: Laura Kelly, Dana Tabbana

The study is funded by UCL GRRAND challenges and The Centre for Equality Research in Brain Sciences.

We want to hear from autistic adults about their experiences and definitions of depression as well as the experiences, enablers and barriers they face when they receive Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) across the UK in NHS.

Here is some information about what the interviews will involve.
If you are interested in taking part, please let us know by completing the form below! All responses will remain anonymous and not be shared outside the PRIDA team. If you are an autistic person, interested in taking part, please let us know by completing the form by clicking in this link:


Additionally, we want to organise focus groups to hear from professionals  In these focus groups, we want to examine what experiences, strategies and barriers Interpersonal Psychotherapists identify as important when working with autistic adults with depression. Here is some information about what the focus groups will involve. If you are an interpersonal psychotherapist, interested in taking part, please let us know by completing the form by clicking in this link


Participants will be emailed a £25 shopping e-voucher as a token of our thanks after completing the interview or the focus group.


For any enquiries, please email Dr Georgia Pavlopoulou at or Dr Myrofora Kakoulidou at 


Alternatively, feel free to contact us using the contact details below: