GCU to take psychology conference by storm

Fifteen staff, trainees and graduates from Glasgow Caledonian University will take centre stage at this year’s British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Counselling Psychology (DCoP) Annual Conference.

The Department of Psychology will play a massive role in the DCoP conference on 15-16 July at the Royal College of Physicians in London after submissions on its world-leading research were accepted.

This year’s theme is ‘Edge of Awareness?’, and GCU staff, trainees and graduates will be delivering a keynote speech, two symposia, three oral presentations and three poster presentations.

GCU’s Head of Department of Psychology, Dr Kerri McPherson, said: “GCU’s Applied Psychology Doctoral Framework of programmes is underpinned by a research-led approach, and to see a conference programme with so many GCU trainees and staff is fantastic.

“The research that our trainees and staff do is world leading, and, through the sharing of their work at the Division of Counselling Psychology’s annual conference, they are ensuring its dissemination to inform the practice of colleagues around the UK and further afield.

“The Department of Psychology has had a noticeable and growing presence at the DCoP annual conference since 2016, but this is the first year that students from all three stages of training and recent graduates have participated together.

“Alongside our trainees, a number of staff are contributing to the conference programme, including Dr Liza Morton, who will be giving an opening keynote presentation entitled ‘Healing hearts & minds: Promoting Psychologically- Informed Medicine & Tackling Ableism during a Global Pandemic’.”

Chartered Counselling Psychologist Dr Morton joined GCU in February this year as a Lecturer in Applied Psychology and her research interests focus on preventing medical trauma and improving mental health.

Psychology Lecturer Tasim Martin will convene two symposia, with students presenting their empirical research along a shared theme.

The first, ‘Social justice research as activism for Counselling Psychology within the UK context’ will see Leandra Egge talk about ‘Value not just tolerate: Social class in applied psychology training in the UK’; Erin Alford and Dr Lindsey Burns, DPsych Health Psychology Programme Leader and research supervisor, will present ‘Competence in Counselling Psychology: The Impact of Social Dominance Orientation, Self-awareness and Time in Practice’; Mhairi Scally-Robertson will present on ‘Initiating Intimacy After Intimate Partner Violence; a feminist social justice approach on women’s perceptions’; and finally Dr Morton on ‘Ableism on the edge of awareness in the Psychology Profession’.

The second, ‘Lived and Living Experiences of LGBTQIA+ People and Communities: From the Edge of Awareness into Mainstream Awareness in Applied Psychology’, will see Amanda Nyman discuss ‘Lived Experiences and Psychological Health of People of Non-Lesbian Gay Bisexual (LGB) Diverse Sexualities’; Ben Amponsah present their work on ‘The role training and therapy setting plays in the intersectional identities of therapists who identify as Black and Gay’; and lastly, Polly Valente on ‘Experiences of stigma faced by LGBTQ+ people while in substance use treatment’.

Fiona Rugg-Gunn, who graduated last November, will give an oral presentation on their qualitative research project ‘Experiences of and responses to Gender Discrimination for Women Leaders in Psychology’.

Trainees Darren O’Reilly, Jose Syam Kumar Bandi, Leda Samaras, Alan Taylor and Sarah Renouf also have top billing on the programme – https://www.bps.org.uk/events/division-counselling-psychology-annual-conference-2022

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