Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Psychology research group investigates a range of topics relevant to the practice of clinical psychology. For a wide range of psychological problems across the life-span, we investigate (a) epidemiology, (b) risk and protective factors, (c) assessment procedures, (d) treatment and prevention programmes.
We have investigated many mental health conditions including conduct disorders, ADHD, mood disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, and self-harm. We have also investigated psychological adjustment associated with child abuse, trauma, parental separation, and physical illnesses including childhood metabolic disorders, cancer, heart disease and neurological conditions.

Our group works in collaboration with colleagues in the HSE and major Dublin teaching hospitals. Many of the postgraduates on the doctoral programme in clinical psychology have their thesis research supervised by members of this research group.

Our clinical work on technological interventions

Improving the delivery of mental health intervention through technology is an important challenge in an increasingly electronically connected world. Part of our research is aimed at exploring the most effective ways to do this. For example in the paper by Twomey, O’ Reilly, & Byrne (2013) we reviewed the ever increasing number of on-line interventions available for the main mental health difficulties experienced by adults in order to recommend those that have a solid evidence base for use in the Irish health care system. We then went on to select a leading freely available on-line Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programme and evaluated it in a randomised control trial exploring its effectiveness as a helpful intervention for people experiencing anxiety and depression on the waiting-list for adult mental health services in the Irish public health care system (Twomey et al., 2014). We found that people using the on-line programme while waiting for services benefitted from doing so but further design of these systems requires us to address the large numbers who dropped out from their use despite their usefulness.