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Dr. Sharon Houghton

Biography

Profile My current role is Assistant Director on the Doctoral programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Limerick, having joined the programme team in 2009. 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. 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, 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.




Research Interests

Research

My research and clinical interests are in the area of Child & Adolescent Mental Health. 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, impact mental health. I am interested in a broad array of developmental disorders as they present to services including, Behavioural disturbance, ADHD and Issues of separation and loss, viewed through an attachment lens. I am interested in evaluating practice based interventions and committed to quality through evidence based practice and the best use of supervision. I am currently involved in a randomised control study of the implementation of a DBT informed group intervention with adolescents attending CAMHs and Child & Family Services with colleagues within these services. I am also currently completing a study into the training needs of clinical supervisors who provide placements to psychologists in clinical training, with a view to informing a joint supervisory training iniative with other Clinical Psychology training programmes.

Teaching Interests

My teaching role has incorporated both teaching on the Doctoral programme in Clinical Psychology in relation to the Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychology Module and has also incorporated elements of Leadership, placement and supervision. I have been involved in the ongoing curriculum development of this module since 2009 and also in other modules on the programme. I have been heavily involved, alongside my colleagues in NUIG, in the provision of Supervisor training since 2009 also.My role also involves coordinating placement modules on the programme, including sourcing placements and co-ordinating reviews which are done by all clinically trained staff on the programme. I also complete placement reviews for all 3 cohorts on the programme.