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Course Staff

Photo of David Curran DR DAVID CURRAN. David has been an Assistant Course Director with the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course since 2003. After obtaining a first class honours degree (1992), and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (1997), he worked in the Addiction and Adult Mental Health specialisms. Since 2005 he has had a specific remit for coordination and development of the academic programme and is the Curriculum Coordinator. In the other part of his working life he is employed as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (Addiction Specialism). David has a particular interest in working with individuals who have co-existing mental health and drug and alcohol problems.

Photo of Martin Dempster DR MARTIN DEMPSTER. Martin has been the Research Co-ordinator on the DClinPsych course since 2004. He is a Health Psychologist with research interests in the quality of life of people with chronic illness (in particular cancer and cardiovascular disease). Martin is also a Chartered Statistician with the Royal Statistical Society, a member of the Health Psychology Qualifications Board for the British Psychological Society (BPS) Qualification in Health Psychology, an accredited assessor for the BPS Qualification in Health Psychology, a BPS accreditation team member for health psychology courses and current Chair of the BPS Division of Health Psychology – Northern Ireland.

Photo of Kevin Dyer DR KEVIN DYER. Kevin has been a member of the course staff since September 2009 and is Co-ordinator of the Diploma/MSc in Applied Psychology (Clinical Specialism). He also currently also holds a clinical psychologist post in the Belfast HSC Trust Trauma Resource Centre. He completed his undergraduate, PhD and DClinPsych qualifications at QUB. His current research interests include OCD, Complex PTSD, and dyslexia and psychological well-being.



Photo of Nicola Henderson NICOLA HENDERSON. Nicola joined Queens as D.Clin.Psych course secretary in 2007. She works part time carrying out secretarial and administrative duties in the departments general office where her door is always open to trainees and staff alike. After 12 years in the banking sector she really enjoys the variety and challenges her role in Queens brings.



Photo of Aiveen Higgins DR AIVEEN HIGGINS. Aiveen has been an Assistant Course Director with the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course since 2008 and holds responsibilities as Year Tutor and Supervision Training Co-ordinator. She completed her undergraduate degree (1994) and Clinical Psychology Training (1999) at Trinity College, Dublin. She has worked in Belfast at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children since 1999 and she currently holds a post as a clinical psychologist specialising in paediatric cancer. Her current research interests include psychological impact of childhood cancer on the family, long-term survivorship of paediatric cancer and the role of fathers in childhood chronic illness.

Photo of Michele Kavanagh DR MICHELE KAVANAGH. Michele joined the clinical psychology training programme at Queen’s in 2005. She has specific responsibilities in the areas of User Involvement; Personal and Professional Development; and as Year Tutor. She works clinically in the area of social care and child protection. Her specific areas of clinical interest are child trauma, attachment, enhancing development and self-esteem, and transition planning.



Photo of Chris McCusker PROF CHRIS MCCUSKER. Chris has led the clinical psychology training programme at Queen’s since 2001. He holds a joint appointment with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust where his clinical practice is chiefly within the area of paediatric neurology. He graduated from QUB with a first class honours degree in 1986, completed his PhD from the same institution in 1989 and his clinical training at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1991. Current research programmes are in the area of childhood health and disability – examining longitudinal psychological outcomes, processes and impact of early psychological interventions. He is active in promoting clinical psychology in professional and training fora.

Photo of Ciaran Shannon DR CIARAN SHANNON. Ciarán has been an Assistant Course Director for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Queens University Belfast since 2008. He is placement co-ordinator, selection co-ordinator and a year tutor. He is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in The Northern Health and Social Care Trust, based in Holywell Hospital, Antrim. His area of specialism is in psychological intervention and service provision to those diagnosed with severe mental illness – in particular, on the application of CBT to psychosis. His particular research interest is on the effect that trauma (including "Troubles-related" trauma) has on the presentation of these disorders.

Photo of Caroline Sinclair CAROLINE SINCLAIR. Caroline joined the QUB clinical psychology department in 2003 in the role of course coordinator. Prior to this, she graduated from QUB (BA Joint Hons French and Spanish) in 1997. She then completed the Première Management Development Programme. She has held NHS posts in both the Central Services Agency and in the NI Council for Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education.