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The Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society 2015 Annual Conference

Thursday 21st May 2015 - Friday 22nd May 2015 at The Armagh City Hotel, Armagh


The 2015 Programme and abstracts are available here


The Oral and Symposia Submissions Deadline has now passed, all submitters have been e-mailed the decisions.
Please Click Here to view the Conference Programme and Abstracts.

Poster submissions are still being accepted

The Poster submission deadline is 23:59, Friday 13th March 2015. Click here to submit a poster presentation.

The 2015 Annual Conference is being supported by the local branches of the Divisions of Clinical, Health, Occupational and Forensic Psychology who will each have one day or half day programmes within the conference. Full details of these special events will be released during October. The conference registration will also open in October.

Free Public Event

Opening Event of the Northern Ireland Branch 2015 Annual Conference

Wednesday 20th May 2015
Armagh City Hotel
4:00pm – 6:30pm

This event will be of particular interest to ex-service and service personnel who are warmly welcomed to attend. Please register by clicking on the green button below. To view the agenda for Wednesday please Click Here

Invited Workshop: Operationalizing theory for studies in social and health behavior.

Sheina Orbell, Professor of Psychology, University of Essex.

Testing theory in field and experimental studies requires a clear understanding of theory and of the development and design of measures, as well as procedures and statistics. Often otherwise strong studies are limited by a procedural omission or a theoretical omission. Health psychology in particular is seeing the development of new models and increasing use of implicit approaches, including habit. The tension between laboratory control and the need to study real people in real environments can lead to compromise in theory testing. The purpose of this workshop is to have an open discussion of some of these difficulties as people have encountered them, and to work actively on a few constructive examples to illustrate some solutions. People signing up for the workshop should come with problems they are currently working on and are willing to share. Participants are strongly encouraged to email Sheina Orbell in advance of the meeting with their suggestions as to what they would like me to cover, so that the workshop can be tailored to their needs. (

Ingrid Covington Ingrid Covington will discuss collaboration in complex, multinational organizations based on her culture change management work with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and address the implications for both the psychology and security fields of endeavour.

For further information please Click Here


Wednesday 20th May 2015

Free Public Event
Opening Event of the Northern Ireland Branch 2015 Annual Conference
This event will be of particular interest to ex-service and service personnel who are warmly welcomed to attend

16:00Symposium - How psychology is used to benefit ex-service and service personnel in Northern Ireland
16:00Paper 1: Critical Incident Stress Management for a Trauma Exposed Population Dr Tracey Reid PhD, DClinPsych, CPsychol Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Mental Health Services Manager Occupational Health and Wellbeing
16:00Paper 2:The acquisition of traumatic memories: Why people do not always develop PTSD Dr Michael C Paterson OBE; PhD, DClinPsych; CPsychol; AFBPsS Consultant Clinical Psychologist
16:00Paper 3: What it’s like to be a Veteran in Northern Ireland Dr Cherie Armour, Ulster University
17:00Coffee & Panel Discussion with our three contributors
17:30Keynote Address - Myers, Rivers and others: The contributions of psychology in World War I Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes MSc MPhil(Cantab) PsychD DIpClinPsychol CPsychol CSci FCPS FHS FBPsS FRSM
18:30Closing Comments

Thursday 21st May 2015

For further details please download the pdf at the end of the page.

10:00Registration and Coffee
10:00Parallel Sessions
13:00Lunch & Posters
14:00Parallel Sessions
15:20Parallel Session Cont'd
15:20Refreshment Break
16:00Policy Event led by Arlene O’Connor
16:00Keynote Address The Contribution of Psychology in creating a more equal inclusive and stable society Dr Paul D’Alton President, The Psychological Society of Ireland
16:00The proposed Sexual Orientation Strategy for Northern Ireland Dr Keith Kerrigan
16:00The dilemmas for practitioners Dr Michele Kavanagh
16:00Discussion/Q&A session with panel

Friday 22nd May 2015

For further details please download the pdf at the end of the page.

09:00FREE PUBLIC EVENT, jointly supported by NIBPS, Ulster University and Sport NI - Welcome Professor Carol McGuinness, Chair NIBPS
09:05FREE PUBLIC EVENT, jointly supported by NIBPS, Ulster University and Sport NI - Doing Sport Psychology in Practice-setting the context Dr Gavin Breslin, School of Sport, Ulster University
09:20FREE PUBLIC EVENT, jointly supported by NIBPS, Ulster University and Sport NI - Winning Gold: My Journey to the Paralympics Ms Kelly Gallagher MBE
09:45FREE PUBLIC EVENT, jointly supported by NIBPS, Ulster University and Sport NI - Question and Answer session Kelly Gallagher (Winter Paralympic Gold winning athlete) and her Sport Psychologist Kelley Fay
10:10FREE PUBLIC EVENT, jointly supported by NIBPS, Ulster University and Sport NI - Keynote Address Collaboration in complex multinational organisations Ingrid Covington
11:20Parallel Sessions (See pdf agenda at the end of the page)
13:00Lunch & Poster Session
14:00Paralell Session (see pdf agenda at the end of the page)
16:30Closing remarks and presentation of Post Graduate and Poster Prizes

Speakers and Facilitators


Sheina Orbell

Professor Sheina Orbell studied psychology at Birmingham University (BSc) followed by a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast in 1988 where she was supervised by Karen Trew. After completing her PhD, she worked for three years as a Lecturer at Dundee University Medical School. In 1992 she was awarded an MRC Fellowship to investigate and develop psychological theory in relation to our understanding of behaviour with consequences for physical health. During the four years of her Fellowship, she was based in the psychology departments at St Andrews University and Sheffield University. In 1996 she became a Lecturer and, in 1998, a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University before becoming a Professor at the University of Essex in 2000. She was awarded the BPS DHP prize for Outstanding Contribution to Research in 2012.

For a full Biography please click on the link in the main text.

Ingrid Covington

Ingrid Covington is Managing Director of Creating Psychological Capital, LTD and an award winning British Occupational Psychologist with over 15 years experience in successfully leading and supporting extensive change programmes. Ingrid is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and her work focuses on cutting edge research and evidence-based practice related to performance, culture, and change. She has specialized in multinational culture change programmes, including a special effort with 28 member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Ingrid is highly experienced in work with senior leadership of Businesses and International Organizations. She serves as Strategy Convener with the British Psychological Society, leading the Division of Occupational Psychology efforts in long-term strategy and professional development. Ingrid is a qualified executive coach, registered project manager, and business analyst with extensive experience in working with HR practitioners and professionals. She has forged strong academic links with leading universities and distinguished contributors to the field. Ingrid is a Visiting Fellow for Birkbeck College, University of London and was awarded UK British Occupational Psychologist Practitioner of the Year (2010) for her work with UK Highways Agency. Ingrid specializes in the development of tailored culture change methodologies, integrated practices, and unique approaches to address the unique demands, circumstances, activities, and goa

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President Elect of the British Psychological Society, is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Clinical Neuropsychologist and is currently Visiting Professor of Military Psychological Therapies at Anglia Ruskin University, Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and Director of the
Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin University.
Following a short service commission in the Army, Jamie studied psychology at Birmingham University and University College London, psychopathology at Darwin College Cambridge, clinical psychology at Surrey University and war and psychiatry at King's College London and trained as a clinical psychologist in the NHS. Jamie has worked in the field of psychotraumatology for 20 years. After an initial 5 years working in the NHS, Jamie worked as a consultant clinical psychologist with the MoD for 12 years during which time he was the first senior lecturer in military psychology at the newly founded Academic Centre of Defence Mental Health (now the Department of Defence Mental Health) at King's College London before becoming Head of Defence Clinical Psychology and the MoD's first Defence Consultant Advisor in Psychology. He travelled widely to operational theatres including Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan and worked extensively in international collaborations with NATO, TTCP and Partnership for Peace colleagues.

Dr Paul D'Alton

Dr D’Alton, President of the Psychological Society of Ireland, will address the important contribution psychology has to play in creating a more equal, inclusive and stable society. He will consider the role psychology has played historically in the oppression of minorities and consider the social and economic determinants often minimized by psychologists in research and clinical practice.

Kelly Gallagher MBE

Kelly Gallagher won Britain’s first ever Winter gold (Paralympic or Olympic) Medal on 10th March 2014, during the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.
She finished first in the visually impaired Super-G competition along with her guide Charlotte Evans.
In preparation for the Winter Paralympics Kelly worked closely with her Sport psychologist Kelley Fay (SNI). You will have an opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences of the Paralympics from Kelly followed by a question and answer session with her Sport Psychologist.

Dr Gavin Breslin

Dr Breslin is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Psychology, a British Psychological Society Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, a registered practitioner of the Health Care Professions Council HCPC), a committee member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the British Psychological Society and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr. Breslin contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research and community outreach. He is an applied practitioner and consultant for national and international coaches and
athletes. He is an author and researcher in sport and exercise psychology. He is also the Course Director of the BPS accredited MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology.


Armagh City Hotel

2 Friary Road, Armagh, County Armagh, BT60 4FR •  Website•  Directions