Qualifications & Experience

Raquel Peel
Raquel Peel

PhD, BPsych(Hons), BA(ArtHist)(Mus), MAPS, FHEA

Relationships Expert | Speaker | Educator | Researcher

Academic Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy - 2020

James Cook University

Thesis Topic: Relationship Sabotage: An Attachment and Goal Orientation Perspective on Seeking Love yet Failing to Maintain Romantic Relationships.

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) - 2015

James Cook University

Thesis Topic: Comparing Cultural Values and Attitudes to Ending Life between Australia and Brazil.

Bachelor of Arts (Art History and Music) - 2011

The University of Sydney

Advanced Diploma (Music Business) - 2008


Academic Employment

Senior Lecturer (Psychology) - 2022 – Current

College of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT


Foundations of Health (Communication and Professional Practices) Course Coordinator – This is a flagship mega course with over 1000 students online and on campus.


Senior Lecturer (Psychology & Counselling) - 2021 – 2022                              

School of Psychology & Counselling, University of Southern Queensland


Psychology Honours Program Director, coordinating the 4th year Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), Bachelor of Science (Honours), and the Master of Science Research (Psychology) programs.


Lecturer (Psychology & Counselling) - 2019 – 2021                                  

School of Psychology & Counselling, University of Southern Queensland

Course Coordinator:

  • PSY1020 Foundations of Psychology
  • PSY1104 Applied Psychology (Counselling & Research Skills)
  • PSY2104 Applied Psychology (Counselling & Research Skills)
  • PSY3050 Counselling Psychology
  • CDS1001 Human Relations and Communications


Lecturer (Psychology) - 2016 – 2019                               

College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University

Course Coordinator:

  • PY1101 Exploring Psychology: From Brain to Practice
  • PY1102 Exploring Psychology: From Perception to Reality
  • PY2106 Through the Looking Glass: Development Across the Lifespan
  • PY3102 Social Psychology in Everyday Life
  • PY3103 Mining the Mind: Psychopathology
  • PY3104 Counselling Principles and Practice for Diverse Environments
  • PY3107 Psychological Assessment in Action
  • PY4114 Applied Psychology (The Scientific Practitioner Model)
  • PY4107 Group Project Part 2 of 2
  • HS2402 Health Professional Research 1
  • SS1111 Introduction to Counselling
  • SS1113 Introduction to Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Research Employment

Research Fellow - 2017 – 2018                               

Generalist Medical Training, James Cook University

Responsibilities: As a research fellow for Generalist Medical Training, I conducted and presented extensive reviews and critical analyses of relevant past research and literature; developed quantitative surveys and qualitative semi-structure interviews; developed grant and ethics proposals; effectively communicated and liaised with members of the steering committee and industry; conducted interviews in rural/remote communities in Australia; and analysed, interpreted, and presented quantitative and qualitative data.


Project Officer - 2017 – 2017                                

Mental Health Program, Graduate Research School, James Cook University

Responsibilities: Developing a Mental Health Program for Higher Degree by Research candidates at James Cook University (JCU). This role included planning the project, writing the program, and compiling all the information to populate the JCU Graduate Research School website such as self-assessment tools, service providers, resources, and students’ testimonials.


Research Assistant - 2015 – 2016                                

 Learn to be Safe with Emmy, Griffith University

Responsibilities: As a Research Assistant for Learn to be Safe with Emmy, my role included interviewing Grade 1 children at different schools in Queensland. Learn to be Safe with Emmy is a protective behaviours program run by ACT for Kids, which aims to empower children with the right to feel safe and to take action to keep them safe across various settings and with different people.

Industry Employment

Telephone Crisis Support Worker - 2015 – 2017                                 


Responsibilities: As a Telephone Crisis Support Counsellor for Lifeline, I provided emotional support to those in time of need. In preparation for this role, I undertook extensive training in mental illness and suicide prevention and intervention, as well as domestic violence training.


Detention Youth Worker - 2013 – 2016                               

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre 

Responsibilities: I assisted in the young people’s rehabilitation and reintegration into the community, by managing, caring for, and supervising them, as well as, conducting suicide risk assessments and delivering behavioural therapeutic interventions and educational programs. My job involved posing as a positive role model to the young people in custody. Working in such role, I was exposed to children with a history of family violence, trauma, and alcohol and drug issues in a multicultural environment.

List of Works

Relationships Research

See Relationship Research for more details

Journal Articles

Peel, R. & Caltabiano, N. (2021). The Relationship Sabotage Scale: An evaluation of factor analyses and constructive validity. BMC Psychology, 9 (146), 1-17. doi: 10.1186/s40359-021-00644-0

Peel, R. & Caltabiano, N. (2021). Why do we sabotage love? A thematic analysis of lived experiences of relationship breakdown and maintenance. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 20 (2), 99-131. doi: 10.1080/15332691.2020.1795039

Peel, R., Caltabiano, N., Buckby, B., & McBain, K. A. (2019). Defining romantic self-sabotage: A thematic analysis of interviews with practicing psychologists. Journal of Relationship Research, 10 (e16), 1-9. doi: 10.1017/jrr.2019.7

Peel, R., Caltabiano, N., Buckby, B., & McBain, K. A. (2018). Mental health diagnoses and relationship breakdown: Which is the chicken and which the egg? International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 4 (3), 98-116.

Book Chapters

Peel, R. & Ward, N. (2022). The Impact of Relationship Issues on the Mental Health of Students in Higher Education. In Mental Health and Higher Education in Australia. Springer.

Peel, R. (2023). Relationship Self-Sabotage. Marriage and Divorce in America Issues, Trends, and Controversies. Bloomsbury.

Conference Abstracts

Peel, R., McBain, K. A., Caltabiano, N., & Buckby, B. (2018). What do psychologists have to say about self-sabotage in romantic relationships? Presented at the 17th Australian Psychological Society Psychology of Relationships Interest Group (APS-PORIG) National Conference. Melbourne, Australia.

Peel, R., Buckby, B, McBain, K. A., & Caltabiano, N. (2018). It is not what it seems. Heart break leads to mental health difficulties in higher education. Presented at the Australasian Mental Health and Higher Education Conference (AMHHEC). Townsville, Australia.

Peel, R., McBain, K. A., Caltabiano, N., & Buckby, B. (2017). How is self-sabotage presented in romantic relationships? Presented at the 16th Australian Psychological Society Psychology of Relationships Interest Group (APS-PORIG) National Conference. Melbourne, Australia.

Conference Poster

Peel, R., McBain, K. A., Caltabiano, N., & Buckby, B. (2019, March). The romantic self-saboteur: How do people sabotage love? Presented at the International Convention of Psychological Science. Paris, France.

Online Articles

The Conversation

Peel, R. (2023, March 15th).Stuck in a ‘talking stage’ or ‘situationship’? How young people can get more out of modern love.

*This article was re-published at The Conversation Indonesia on September 5, 2023

Peel, R. (2022, January 3rd). Thinking about a summer fling? Read this article first.

Peel, R. (2021, November 3rd). 3 ways we sabotage relationships (and 3 ways to kick the habit).

*This article was re-published at The Conversation Indonesia on October 27, 2022

Peel, R. (2021, October 11th). What is ‘the ick’? A psychological scientist explains this TikTok trend.

Peel, R. (2021, July 21th). Netflix’s Sexy Beasts tells us you can take physical attraction out of love. The reality is much more complicated.

Peel, R. (2021, January 14th). Bridgerton offers clever relationship advice — why friendship is the foundation of happy romantic partnerships.

Peel, R. (2020, September 11th). Are you dreading going back to the workplace?

Peel, R. (2020, March 31st). The coronavirus lockdown could test your relationship. Here’s how to keep it intact (and even improve it).

Invited Talks

National University of Singapore. Relationships & Burn-Out. (2021)

World of Science Festival. The Romantic Self-Saboteur. (2021)

James Cook University. Arts and Psychology: The relationship between creativity and psychopathology.

The Townsville Hospital and Health Services. What do psychologists and clients have to say about self-sabotage in romantic relationships? (2019)

TEDx. Why do we sabotage love? (TEDxJCUCairns, 2018).

Suicide Research

See Suicide Research for More details, links and downloads

Journal Articles

Peel, R., Buckby, B., & McBain, K. A. (2017). Comparing the effect of stigma on the recognition of suicide risk in others between Australia and Brazil. GSTF Journal of Psychology (JPsych) (2), 1-10. doi: 10.5176/2345-7872 3.2 43

Conference Papers

Peel, R., Buckby, B., & McBain, K. A. (2017). Is awareness of suicide risk and intent culturally informed? A comparison between Australia and Brazil. In C. Speelman (Ed.) 6th Annual International Conference on Cognitive Behavioral Psychology (101-110). Singapore: GSTF.

Online Articles


Peel, R. (2017, May 4th). Reasons why we should be talking about suicide.

Bullying Research

See Bullying Research for More details, links and downloads

Conference Posters

Peel, R., Buckby, B., & McBain, K. A. (2017). Who gets Bullied at Work? The role of Emotion Stability, Psychological Flexibility and Coping in Workplace Bullying. Poster presented at the Inaugural Australasian Mental Health and Higher Education Conference. Townsville, Australia.

Online Articles

The Conversation

Peel, R., & Bucky, B. (2018, March 5th). What makes someone more likely to be bullied at work and how companies can help them.


Medical Education Research

See Rural Medicine Research for More details, links and downloads

Journal Articles

Peel, R., Young, L., Reeve, C., Kanakis, K., Malau-Aduli, B., Sen Gupta, T., & Hays, R. (2020). The impact of localised general practice training on Queensland’s rural and remote general practice workforce. BMC Medical Education,20 (119). doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-02025-4

Young, L., Peel, R., O’Sullivan, B., & Reeve, C. (2019). Building general practice training capacity in rural and remote Australia with underserved primary care services: A qualitative investigation. BMC Health Services Research,19 (1), 338-348. doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4078-1

Conference Abstracts

Peel, R., Reeve, C., & Young, L. (2018). Community engaged GP training. Does it make a difference? Presented at the Rural Medicine Australia Conference. Darwin, Australia.

Young, L., Peel, R., Reeve, C., Malau-Aduli, B., O’Sullivan, B., & Hays, R. (2018). Insight into Rural and Remote GP Training and Supervision in Queensland. Presented at the Global Community Engaged Medical Education Muster Conference. Mount Gambier, Australia.

Other Contributions

See Other Contributions for More details, links and downloads

Book Chapter

Jeffries, C. & Peel, R. (2022). Social Psychology. In The Australian Handbook for Careers in Psychological Science. PressBooks.

Consultancy Report

Peel, R. (2017). Mental health program for HDR students.


Want to Contact Me?

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