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The Psychological Well-being of the Military in Transition

Wednesday 5th - Thursday 6th November 2014 at The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham

3rd Military Psychology Conference 2014

This year marks the centenary of the beginning of the First World War as well as the withdrawal of British combat troops from Afghanistan. It also brings a timely reminder of the contribution and development of psychology towards the well-being of British Military Forces and their allies.

We are pleased to announce the 3rd Wessex Branch British Psychological Society Military Psychological Wellbeing Conference, to be held on 5 and 6 November. This event is being organised in collaboration with the Joint Stress and Resilience Centre, part of the College of Management and Technology based at the Defence Academy.

The conference will be held over two days and will focus on the theme of the military in transition, drawing together the issues and discussion points that came out of our previous annual military psychological well-being conferences. These conferences included the well-being of British forces, reservists, veterans and their families.

The 2014 conference will be cross-disciplinary and will be of interest not only to clinical, counselling, educational, health and occupational psychologists, but also military personnel and civilians working closely with the military and their families. We would also welcome interest from organisations, both public and private, in transition partnerships with the military and their families.

Presentation Downloads

Please find the presentations that we are able to share with you from the Conference. If we receive any further presentations they will be added to this page.

Wednesday 5th November 2014

Keynote Presentation: New Tricks for Old Dogs
Brigadier (Retd) MJ Sheen CBE

Keynote Presentation: Transition - 2013 Issues and Challenges Faced by Service Personnel
Professor Nicola Fear

British Army Professional Military Culture: Difficulties with integrating reservist units into the One Army concept?
Professor Vincent Connelly

A Framework for Understanding the Transition Process in Veterans
Dr Adrian Needs

Supporting Geographically Dispersed Service Families
Paula Glover

The Defence Thinking Skills Programme: Developing defence’s capability to think effectively
Professor Karen Carr

The use of strengths coaching to help transitioning military find career direction
Alison Zarecky

The Power of Personal Stories: Promoting resilience in transition at an Army mental health department
Dr Jeya Balakrishna

Supporting Military Children in Transition
Mandy Cyprus-Slater and Jean Haldane

Military Mothers' Decision-Making During Times Of Stress as a Lone Parent
Dr (Maj) Lizzy Bernthal

Workshop: Harnessing Transition Awareness and Resilience in the Military Community
Dai Williams

Thursday 6th November 2014

Keynote Presentation: What’s it like to be a Military Family? The Impact of Service Life
Professor Nicola Fear

Keynote Presentation: Traumatic limb loss and the family: an overview of the research
Matt Fossey

Uniformed Clinical Psychology in the British Army
Capt Duncan Precious

The Service Children Support Project: Turning research into good practice
Joy O’Neill

Parenting Under Fire: An ecological perspective on understanding child maltreatment in military families
Dr Gabriela Misca

Evidence Review for Preparing, Sustaining and Enhancing Psychological Resilience in the UK Armed Forces
Dr Sally Wilson

The Self in Conflict: How survival strategies evolved in the Services may carry into civilian life and offending behaviour
Dr Jayne Grimes

Employer Support for Medical Reservists
Dr Emma Parry and Rebecca McKeown

Are Veterans Receiving the Mental Health Treatment Recommended for them? If not, why not?
Dr Nick Hawkes and Dr Deirdre MacManus

Workshop: Spacing Out and Cracking Up: Workshop on identifying and treating dissociation in military trauma survivors
Dr Fiona Kennedy

Poster Presentations

Developing a peer support intervention with older war veterans to meet their unmet social support needs
Karen Burnell, School of Health Sciences and Social Work, University of Portsmouth

Military Veterans Mentoring Service; Initial findings of a pilot service
Alison Croft, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, (Presented by Rachel Manser)
Rachel Manser, Martina Mueller & Jane Fossey

A Five Year Naval Service Stress and Well-Being Survey: Occupational stressors and psychological strain.
Hannah Davison, Institute of Naval Medicine, Gosport
Dr Bob Bridger, Dr Andrea Day, Institute of Naval Medicine, Gosport and Mrs Kate Morton, University of Southampton

On the outside looking in: Could attachment theory contribute to preventive psychology for military personnel?
Lynne Hipkin, Kate Cairns Associates, Ashwood Practice & Kent Social Services Therapeutic Fostering Scheme

PTSD, DNA and finding your way
Jessica Miller, Bournemouth University

."Coping with deployment" psycho-educational course: A Multi-agency approach to supporting families during an operational tour.
Siobhan Moore, LIFT Psychology in Swindon and Wiltshire, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Nicola Clark (2014) Psychology Practitioners

Improving Wellbeing among Service families through understanding the impact of deployment
Guro Rogstad, Ministry of Defence (Presented by Roger Hardman)
Roger Hardman

The Role of the DMRC Headley Court Mental Health Team with Injured Military Personnel in Transition
Imogen Sturgeon-Clegg, Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court

Transition into Civilian Life: Exploring Army Veterans Experiences of Military Relationships.
Felicity Walker, University of Warwick and Coventry University
Dr Mathew McCauley. University of Dublin, UK Ministry of Defence & US Department of Defense, Dr Dan Barnard, Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust, Dr Helen Liebling, Coventry & Warwick Universities, Dr Sarah Simmonds, Coventry & Warwick Universities

In order to make this an Interactive Experiential Conference, the following questions we asked throughout the conference; 
1. What gaps in our knowledge and understanding can research address?
2. How can the research presented be applied in practice?
Click here to view the responses.

Save the date


Working Title… “Resilience through Change”
Tuesday 3rd November 2015 at The Ark Conference Centre, Basingstoke
To view the flyer please click here


If you are interested please click here to view the flyer

Previous Conferences

Information from the 2012 and 2013 Conferences can be found on their event pages;

2013 Conference - Psychological Wellbeing of Military Families and Reservists Conference
2012 Conference - The Psychological Wellbeing of Serving Military Personnel and Veterans

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 227775.


Wednesday 5th November 2014

Please find the outline provisional programme, you can download the full programme at the bottom of the page.

09:45Introduction and setting of conference question(s), Fiona Butcher
09:55Conference Opening
10:10Keynote Presentation: New Tricks for Old Dogs, Brigadier (Retd) MJ Sheen CBE
10:50Flash Poster Presentations
11:15Refreshment Break
11:35British Army Professional Military Culture: Difficulties with integrating reservist units into the One Army concept?, Professor Vincent Connelly
12:00A Framework for Understanding the Transition Process in Veterans, Dr Adrian Needs
12:25Supporting Geographically Dispersed Service Families, Paula Glover
12:50Plenary Q&A Session
14:15Introduction to afternoon session
14:20Keynote Presentation: Transition – Issues and Challenges Faced by Service Personnel, Professor Nicola Fear
15:10Concurrent Sessions
17:15Final Questions and Closing Remarks

Thursday 6th November 2014

Please find the outline provisional programme, you can download the full programme at the bottom of the page.

09:30Introduction, Sue Roberts
09:40Flash Poster Presentations
10:05Keynote Presentation: What’s it like to be a Military Family? The Impact of Service Life, Professor Nicola Fear
10:55Keynote Presentation, Matt Fossey
11:35Refreshment Break
12:00Uniformed Clinical Psychology in the British Army, Capt Duncan Precious
12:40Plenary Q&A Session
13:50Concurrent Sessions
16:00Review of the Conference research question, Fiona Butcher & Dai Williams
16:30Conference Closing Remarks, Dr Kathryn Fielden
17:00Networking session and Tea and Coffee

Speakers and Facilitators

Further presenter biographies can be found as a download in the Additional Information section at the bottom of this webpage.


Professor Nicola Fear

Keynote Speaker
Prof Fear joined the King's Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King's College London in 2004 as a senior lecturer in military epidemiology. Nicola was made a reader in epidemiology (2010) and co-director of KCMHR (2011). Nicola trained as an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford. Nicola worked as an epidemiologist for the Leukaemia Research Fund at the University of Leeds before spending 2-years as an epidemiologist within the UK Ministry of Defence.

Prof Fear's research expertise includes: military health and wellbeing; suicide; self-harm; occupational risk factors for disease; and, data linkage. Prof Fear is one of the Principal Investigators on the KCMHR military cohort study and children of military fathers study. Prof Fear has co-authored a number of papers in the field of military and veterans' health, the results have received much attention often resulting in changes in policy.

Matt Fossey

Keynote Speaker
In 1996 Matt graduated with a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Birmingham. He worked as a mental health social worker/ASW for 7 years and was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex. In 2004 he joined the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMHE) and was a member of the national service improvement programme.

From 2005 to 2008 he was the Deputy Director of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme at the Department of Health. In the summer of 2008 he took a 3-year secondment to work in the UK voluntary sector, working with the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness as National Stakeholder Manager on the national anti-stigma campaign "Time to Change".

Matt is currently a Senior Associate with the Centre for Mental Health, London and he is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Nottingham. He is also Director of the Institute for Veterans and Families Studies at Anglia Ruskin University. Matt is Vice Chair of Healthwatch Essex and a primary school parent governor. In 2013 Matt was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Matt is also a Director of Innovo Consultancy Ltd., specialising in working across organisations to deliver service improvement, quality and innovation.

Matt has written widely including publications on Veterans' health and wellbeing, mental health and Liaison Psychiatry including a number of key publications with economist Michael Parsonage.


Brigadier (Retd) Maurice J Sheen CBE QVRM TD MA BEd FRSA

Keynote Speaker
Maurice Sheen was commissioned into the Army Reserve from RMA Sandhurst in 1978, served the usual round of Regimental appointments & attended the TA Command & Staff Course at Camberley in 1992. Unable to accept the honour of commanding a major unit due to civilian work pressures, he held several key training appointments in the UK and on several deployments overseas.

Following spending a year as Colonel Training at the Iraqi Military Academy Ar Rustamiyha in 2005, which he was awarded the US Bronze Star Medal for this tour, he was promoted to Brigadier & appointed Assistant Commander 5th Division. In 2008 he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies & was appointed a Colonel Commandant of The Royal Logistic Corps, an honorary post he continues to hold. In 2010 he was awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

In 2011 he served for six months on the Prime Ministerial Report on Future Reserve Forces. In January 2013 he was recalled from retirement & deployed to Kabul for 9 months as Chief Mentor to set up the British led Afghan National Army Officer Academy which opened in October 2013 & is the UK’s enduring presence in Afghanistan post 2014. He was appointed CBE in the March 2014 Operational Honours List.

By profession, Brigadier Sheen is a schoolmaster but now works for the DefLog VQ Trust, an educational trust providing civilian qualifications to members of the public.

There is a full biography of Brigadier (Retd) Maurice

Dai Williams

Dai Williams is an independent Occupational Psychologist (C.Psychol). He was alerted to culture shock from US Peace Corps briefings, and to the emerging field of transition psychology at Birkbeck in the 1970’s.

He introduced transition briefings and support for expatriates, students and international recruits in Shell in 1983, and in his own practice, Eos since 1986 for career development, crisis and change e.g. job change, re-organisation, relocation, trauma and loss (separation, bereavement, redundancy).

Like many of his life-career planning clients he comes from a war service family, plus cadet and TA training.

A practitioner/researcher with interests in transitions and resilience for individuals, families, organisations and traumatised communities, and working with related health professions.

Dr Fiona Kennedy

Dr Fiona Kennedy, a former NHS Head of Psychology, has a long-standing interest in dissociation both as researcher and clinician. She has worked in the NHS and privately with many dissociative presentations including those with a military context. She has developed the Wessex Dissociation Scale along with other clinicians from the BPS Wessex Region, and co-edited a recent book on dissociation. She trains and presents widely in the UK and internationally and is MD of GreenWood Mentors Ltd, providing coaching and leadership development to organisations.


Defence Academy of the United Kingdom

Defence Academy of the United Kingdom , Shrivenham , Swindon , SN6 8LA •  Directions

Please note that photographic identification will be required and all visitors must be expected by their host on the campus.