Programme Staff A-Z
Dr Katie Bigham, Clinical Tutor
I grew up in Suffolk and moved to North Wales in 1996 to begin my academic career with Bangor University. I completed both my undergraduate degree and DClinPsy here in Bangor, graduating in 2006. Since qualifying as a Clinical Psychologist I have worked with pre-school and school age children with developmental delay and intellectual disabilities, and more recently in an adult intellectual disability team. I feel extremely passionate about the lives of individuals with intellectual disability and can honestly say I love my job. I am particularly interested in using and continuing to develop my expertise in third wave therapies including DBT, Mindfulness and CFT. Over the years I have very much enjoyed supervising trainees whilst they are on placement with me, so was delighted when I recently joined the programme team as clinical tutor and became a training coordinator for a number of trainees on the programme. I currently work 3 days a week on the programme and 2 days a week in clinical practice. In my spare time I try and enjoy as much of the beautiful countryside North Wales has to offer; I can think of nowhere better to live to promote a healthy work-life balance.
Dr Christine Blincoe, Academic Tutor
I grew up in the London area but much of my adult life has been spent in the Midlands. Having completed my clinical psychology training in Newcastle in 1981 I then worked as a clinician and a manager within adult mental health and learning disability psychology services in the north east of England and in the Midlands. Since 2002 I have been involved in clinical psychology training and I worked on the programme teams of the clinical psychology doctorates in Teesside and Staffordshire before getting involved in CBT training as part of the IAPT initiative and working at Lancaster University. Having joined the team at Bangor as an academic tutor in October 2015, I am responsible for the coverage of social inclusion and diversity within the curriculum. I also contribute to CBT teaching on the programme and continue to work within adult mental health services in North Staffordshire as part of my clinical role.
Dr Elizabeth Burnside, Academic Director
Having grown up in Yorkshire and lived in various parts of England, I arrived in North Wales in 1998 to begin my clinical psychology training and have settled in this lovely part of the world ever since. As a clinician, I work in a busy child and adolescent mental health team, and am interested in using and developing third wave therapies for young people, particularly acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Before returning to Bangor in my current post, I was clinical lead for CAMHS in North East Wales where I learned a lot about the complexity and challenges of strategic development of an NHS service, and the valuable contribution that psychologists can make. I joined the NWCPP team in August 2015 and I see my role here as an exciting opportunity to influence the development of our future clinical psychologists, in order to bring psychological theory to life in practice, for the benefit of our clients, colleagues and systems. As academic director, I am responsible for overseeing the syllabus as a whole to ensure that we provide trainees with all that they need to learn in order to leave the programme as confident and competent professionals!
Ms Fiona Greenly-Jones, Senior Administrator & P.A. to Programme Director
I am delighted to be appointed as Senior Administrator & PA to the Programme Director, having worked on the Programme for 5 ½ years. Prior to this appointment I provided admin support to the NWCPP Research Team and was the programme’s finance administrator. There were many other aspects to that role, such as organising the annual Research Fair, monitoring equipment and psychological tests, processing trainee requests for study leave, updating the Programme’s register of clinical psychologists, monitoring library resources, organising and co-ordinating the WAIS-IV pass-out day and assisting the then Senior Administrator with any general office duties.
Previous to my employment with Bangor University in 2012, I worked for a privately-practising clinical psychologist for 4 years, dealing with all aspects of office work, including typing up of reports, issuing invoices and maintaining the diary.
From 1991 to 2008 I worked as a legal secretary for a local, well-established firm of solicitors. I worked within the family department, dealing with issues such as divorce, child protection and injunctions. The role was very demanding and challenging (sometimes emotionally as much as anything). I typed legal reports, statements, Court documents, letters, invoices (to name but a few!), and in my last few years working there I attended Court frequently with clients and Counsel, taking notes during Court cases.
Dr Mike Jackson, Research Director
I completed my DPhil in Oxford in 1990 exploring the relationship between spiritual and psychotic experiences. I was on the first D.Clin Psych course in Bangor, qualifying in 1994. Finding myself unable to leave the charms of North Wales behind, I have worked here in adult mental health ever since, initially in a generic CMHT role, and after a time, in a specialist role establishing the chronic pain management programme. Throughout my clinical career my main theme has been psychological treatments for people with psychotic disorders, and early intervention. I have a long-standing research interest in the psychosis continuum, and I’m currently a grant holder on an MRC project exploring appraisal processes in benign and pathological psychoses. More recently, I have been developing research and services for adults with autism spectrum disorders. Whilst I still work half time clinically, I have very recently (2014) joined the programme as research director, and after 20 years in a full time clinical role, I’m looking forward to having more time and headspace for my own research, and to support the research of trainees and my clinical colleagues.
Mrs Debbie Jones, Administrative Assistant (Curriculum & Clinical)
I joined NWCPP in October 2010. I am responsible for providing admin support to the academic director and senior academic tutors. I work with the module organisers and lecturers to produce academic timetables, as well as processing all trainee assignments and teaching feedback from trainees and lecturers. I am responsible for maintaining the academic part of the Blackboard website, used by programme staff and trainees. I work alongside the research and clinical admin assistant and the senior administrator in the day-to-day running of the programme office.
Professor Robert Jones, Programme Director
Originally from Dublin, I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1984 and worked in two different learning disabilities posts in Ireland before leaving for the UK in 1986. I worked in a child learning disability post in the North West of England before coming to North Wales in 1987. This was a split post between the university (as a lecturer in clinical psychology) and the NHS (again in a learning disability post). I completed a PhD (Trinity College Dublin) in 1986 in the area of challenging behaviour and have always been interested in behavioural approaches (especially functional analysis). I worked as the research coordinator on the programme for 8 years (1992-2000) before returning to a clinical job in the NHS where, in my last post, I was head of learning disabilities in the health board. I now work full time on the programme as programme director. In addition, I'm currently the principal investigator for two large grant-funded studies investigating ways of helping people with learning disabilities with depression (behavioral activation) and anger control (mindfulness).
Dr Carolien Lamers, Admissions Tutor
I qualified as a social gerontologist in 1988 in the Netherlands. Having worked as a researcher and a care-home consultant, I moved to Britain in 1990 and obtained by Statement of Equivalence with the British Psychological Society. Since then I have also obtained my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, looking at end of life choices of older people, using a qualitative methodology. I work two days a week for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, in the psychology service for older people with organic and functional difficulties. I aim to combine my clinical psychology skills and knowledge, with my background in social gerontology when engaging with an ever-changing health service. Training, supervision and consultation to the multidisciplinary team are important tools to help bring about change that will improve services for older people. The other three days I work on the training programme where I am the admissions tutor. I am also the training coordinator for several trainees, which is one of the best parts of this post: seeing people unfold their wings during their training. With a colleague from the health service, I organise the older adult teaching module and deliver some of the teaching. Working with trainees on developing research ideas and seeing these emerge as papers is another thrill of my work on the programme. My research and clinical interests are in the psychological consequences of cognitive changes for people, carers experience, end of life decision and organisational change.
Ms Donna-Marie Pierce, Programme Manager
The newest member of the team I joined the NWCPP in November 2016 having previously worked as an Assistant Registrar at the University’s Academic Registry for 18 years, in the Postgraduate Admissions and Student Records sections respectively. My role as Programme Manager is to monitor and co-ordinate the various aspects of the NWCPP working closely with colleagues both within the University, external stake holders and service providers.
Dr Renee Rickard, Senior Clinical Tutor
I was born in the north of Ireland, completed my undergraduate degree in Manchester and my clinical psychology training on our very own North Wales course. It was rather a lot smaller then with one Intake of 4 trainees every two years! I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and have worked in adult mental health since then. I joined the programme team in 2003 as a clinical tutor and training co-ordinator and can honestly say I love this part of my job. I also love my clinical work and am particularly interested in the areas of mindfulness, acceptance based approaches and reflective practice.
Mrs Anna Roberts, Administrative Assistant (Curriculum & Clinical)
I joined NWCPP in September 2016 and enjoy a job share post with Debbie Jones, providing administration support to the Academic Director and Senior Academic Tutors. I am responsible for processing trainees assignments, maintaining the academic timetable and the academic section of the Blackboard website. I enjoy working alongside Fiona and Dawn in the day to day running of the office. In my spare time I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and our dog and enjoy assisting with a local weekly scout group. I am currently providing assistance to the Research Team on a temporary basis.
Dr Chris Saville, Research Tutor
As research tutor, I am responsible for providing research training and support for clinical trainees. I completed my PhD in Bangor, and worked as a post-doc between Bangor and a child and adolescent psychiatry department in Freiburg in Germany before joining the NWCPP in 2015. My background is in cognitive neuroscience but I have an interest in translating techniques from basic science to clinical and applied research questions. I am especially interested in electroencephalography and what it can tell us about different neurodevelopmental conditions. Dwi'n dysgu Cymraeg.
Dr Michaela Swales, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992. Since then I have delivered clinical services in CAMHS, specialising in the treatment of suicidal and self-harming adolescents. Alongside my employment in the NHS in North Wales I am fortunate to have enjoyed a joint appointment with the School of Psychology. This combination facilitates the development of research within my clinical service leading to my PhD on the role of psychological change processes in adolescents undergoing residential treatment. Subsequently, I have developed a national training programme in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), a psychological treatment for individuals with suicidal and self-harm behaviour in the context of borderline personality disorder. I also lead a local network of teams that deliver DBT in CAMHS, AMHS and inpatient settings. More recently I have conducted research in the implementation of DBT in healthcare services and the efficacy of an adapted form of the DBT for treatment-resistant depression. Throughout my time in North Wales I have contributed to the academic curriculum on the doctoral programme as well as supervising trainees both in clinical placements and research projects both small and large! More recently I have worked with the programme team to contribute to the delivery of the third wave curriculum, an exciting development that I hope to continue to build on in my new role as senior clinical lecturer.
I work two days a week for the programme team and the other three days I devote to the development and delivery of training and supervision in psychological therapies in the local health board and further afield.
Miss Mared Davies Williams, Administrative Assistant (Research, Finance & Selection)
I was previously a student at the School of Linguistics and English Language at Bangor University. My main study interests included Welsh linguistics and bilingualism. I was awarded my Marts in Linguistics in July 2016. Shortly after graduating, I began working for the Admissions Team in the International Education Centre, Rathbone. My duties included processing applications, interacting with the students and general office duties. I look forward to my new role here at the NWCPP as the Research, Finance & Selection Administrative Assistant.