Houghton, Sharon, Dr

Houghton, Sharon, Dr

Dr. Sharon Houghton
+ 353 61 202728
Clinical Co-Ordinator
Psychology Department EM-016 University of Limerick

Dr Sharon Houghton, Clinical Psychologist

BSc (Hon.s), D.Clin.Psych., Ph.D. Reg.PsSI.



I joined the University of Limerick in July 2009 as Lecturer/Clinical Co-Ordinator on the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology. After Obtaining my degree in Social Psychology and Sociology at the University of Ulster at Coleraine in 1990, I then commenced my Ph.D. by research entitled ‘Depressive Symptomatology in Childhood: An Exploration of Contributory Factors.” at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. During this period I was successful in obtaining a place on the Doctoral programme in Clinical Psychology at Trinity College Dublin in 1998 and later finished my PhD by research in 2000.


Clinical & Research Interests

I have worked as a clinical child psychologist for almost 20 years in a number of settings, This period has included international experience including working in both New Zealand and the US. My range of work has included areas such as child sexual abuse, early and school-age disability services, child and adolescent mental health in both the state and private sector. I currently contribute to the North Tipperary Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service through my work there as a senior clinical psychologist on the CAMHs team.

I have previously worked as a lecturer in Mary Immaculate College, and more recently while in the US, I held an adjunct faculty post with Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington, alongside my clinical post, having established myself as a licensed independent practitioner within the state of Washington.

My research and clinical interests are in the area of Child & Adolescent Mental Health and Childhood Disability. One of my areas of research and clinical interest is the clinical application of mindfulness as an approach with children and adolescents. This has lead to an interest in therapeutic landscapes and how elements of our physical space and our interaction with them, impacts mental health. I am interested in a broad array of developmental disorders as they present to services including ASD, Behavioural disturbance, Parenting, ADHD, Issues of separation and loss, viewed through an attachment lens and evidenced based interventions.


Supervised Clinical Psychology PhD Research Postgraduate Students

I have supervised numerous doctoral level theses in clinical psychology and am currently joint supervisor on two structured PhDs within the faculty.


Successful Research Funding Applications



Funding Agency




2013/ 14

Limerick National City of Culture Research Scholarships 2014

“Mapping Limerick City through children's eyes”



2013/ 14

Limerick National City of Culture Research Scholarships 2014

“ ‘Minding the little ones' - Limerick infants from 1916 to 2014”




Limerick Homeless Alliance

Mental & Physical Health Status of Homeless Children (Children’s Voices Project)




University of Limerick Research Seed Fund

Mindfulness in Children


Principal Applicant



Selected Publications

2015       Nitsch E. , Hannon, G.,  Rickard, E., Houghton, S. & Sharry, J.(2015). Positive parenting: a randomized controlled trial evaluation of the parents plus adolescent programme in schools. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Mental Health 9:43 doi:10.1186/s13034-015-0077-0

2015   Houghton, F. & Houghton, S. (2015) ‘Therapeutic micro-environments in the Edgelands: A thematic analysis of Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside’. Social Science & Medicine, 133: 280-286.

2013       Houghton, F. & Houghton, S. (2013) ‘Exploring Imagined Therapeutic Landscapes: Trainee Social Care Practitioners in Ireland’, Irish Geography, 46(1-2): 79-90. DOI: 10.1080/00750778.2013.798125.

2013       Houghton, F., Keane, N., Lewis, C.A., Murphy, N., Houghton, S., Dunne, C. (2013) ‘Temporal stability of the Brief Symptom Inventory18 (BSI-18) among Irish college students’, Social Behavior and Personality, 41(2): 197-198.

2012       Houghton, F., Keane, N., Murphy, N., Houghton, S., Dunne, C., Lewis, C.A., & Breslin, M.J. (2012) The Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18): norms for an Irish third level college sample. Irish Journal of Psychology, 33(1): 43-62.

2011       Houghton, F., Keane, N., Murphy, N, Houghton, S. & Dunne, C. (2011) ‘12 Month Prevalence of Drug Use among Third-Level Students in Limerick City’, Irish Medical Journal, 104(5): 154.

2010       Houghton, F., Keane, N., Murphy, N., Houghton, S. & Dunne, C. (2010) 'Tertiary Level Students and the Mental Health Index (MHI-5) in Ireland', Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 10(1):  36-44.

2008       Meehan, F., Houghton, F., Cowley, H., Houghton, S., Kelleher, K. (2008) 'Children's depression, gender and age norms for an Irish national (primary) school population', Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 25(3): 88-94.

2006       Houghton, F., Cowley, H., Meehan, F., Houghton, S. & Kelleher, K. (2006) ‘The short four-item Centre for Epidemiological Studies’ Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) in Ireland’, Irish Journal of Psychology, 27(3-4): 183-190.

2005     Houghton, F., Cowley, H., Houghton, S. & Kelleher, K. (2005) ‘Gender and the children’s depression inventory’s (CDI) ‘crying’ question’, Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 22(2): 52-55.

2004       Houghton, F., Cowley, H., Houghton, S. & Kelleher, K. (2004) ‘The Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) in Ireland: revision & subscale analysis’, Irish Journal of Psychology, 25 (1-4): 1-15.

2003       Houghton, F., Cowley, H., Houghton, S. & Kelleher, K. (2003) ‘The Children’s Depression Inventory short form (CDI-S) in an Irish context’, Irish Journal of Psychology, 24(3-4): 193-198.

2003       Houghton, F., Cowley, H., Houghton, S. & Kelleher, K. (2003) Suicidal ideation among Irish adolescents: the CDI suicide question (item 9). Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 20(3): 106.

2002       McConnell, P., Bebbington, P., McClelland, R., Gillespie, K. & Houghton, S. (2002) Prevalence of psychiatric disorder and the need for psychiatric care in Northern Ireland. Population study in the District of Derry. British Journal of Psychiatry, 181: 214-9.

1998     Houghton, S.B., O’Connell, M., O’Flaherty, A. (1998). The use of the Children’s Depression Inventory in an Irish context. Irish Journal of Psychology, 19(2-3), 313-331.


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