Born in Dublin in 1972 she attended Colaiste Bride School before going onto University College Cork. She graduated with an Upper Second Honours Degree in Applied Psychology and went onto to complete a Masters in Science by research in Trinity with Mick O’Connell on the social construction of child abuse. Having spend a considerable amount of time working within residential care settings with she embarked upon her clinical psychology training in 1997 and upon qualification took up post in the area of looked after children for the legacy Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust. In this post she developed her interests in the area of partnership research and user involvement. She developed a mental health strategy research project with a service user organisation in the area of Looked After Children.
She later moved to the Regional Inpatient Adolescent Mental Health Services where she provided the psychology lead to assessment and intervention with key responsibilities in the area of supervision and consultancy. She joined the clinical psychology training programme within the School of Psychology at Queen’s University in 2005 and has begun to progress a research strategy in the area of self harm and young people. She leads in user involvement and personal/professional development within the training course. She is slowly, but surely, progressing a research publication agenda having worked with many trainees, undergraduate students and one PhD student over the years. More recently has begun to refocus her clinical career back towards the area social care and child protection.
Her specific areas of clinical interest are child trauma, attachment, enhancing development and self-esteem, and transition planning.
Beattie, N., Shannon, C., Kavanagh, M. & Mullholland, C. (2007) Predictors of PTSD Symptoms in Response to Psychosis and Psychiatric Admission. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
CASPAR Project Proposal (2001). Developing services to meet the mental health needs of looked after young people.
DCPNI (2005). User Involvement: A process not an event. Strategy for Clinical Psychology.
Gallagher, Kavangh & Dempster (Doctoral thesis underway). Carers’ responses to self harm.
Nelson, S., Crookes, C & Kavanagh, M. (2005) CAMHs in NI: A model for auditing complexity and risk, Mental Health in Practice, 2:1, 14-22.
Nelson, Kavangh & Dempster (2007). Adolescent Self harm and Problem Solving: A Correlation of key factors. (Being prepared for publication)