The School of Psychology welcomes new member of staff, Prof Kevin Vowles
Prof Kevin Vowles - Lecturer (Health)
Over the course of his career, Kevin has worked almost exclusively in the area of chronic pain and has been a key figure in the development and adaptation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for this complex condition. He has authored many of the key research publications in this area and his work is cited by the American Psychological Association’s Division of Clinical Psychology in their listing of ACT for chronic pain as an intervention with strong research support: the highest possible grading. His more recent work has concentrated on issues of hazardous substance use in chronic pain, including opioids and alcohol.
Kevin completed his PhD in clinical psychology at West Virginia University in 2004 and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia the following year. From 2005 to 2009, he was employed by the Centres for Pain Research and Services at the University of Bath and Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. Beginning in 2009, he accepted a position to provide psychology leadership in developing a novel interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program with Keele University and the Haywood Hospital. After three years of trial funding, this program was deemed by the UK’s National Health Service to be highly effective in both clinical and financial terms and permanent funding was secured. This service was awarded with the National Care Integration Award in 2012. That same year, Kevin moved to the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2019. Currently, he holds a chair as Professor of Clinical Health Psychology in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University in Belfast.
His clinical and academic activities have focused on the assessment and effective rehabilitation of individuals with chronic pain. He has published over 90 scientific articles in these areas since 2002, with recent work concentrating on identifying the characteristics of effective treatment and differentiating problematic from non-problematic opioid use. In addition to this academic appointment, he currently co-directs New Mexico’s first and only interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation service. He will deliver the 2019 BF Skinner lecture at the 45th annual meeting at the International Association for Behavior Analysis.