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New Year honours for psychologists
Three British Psychological Society members were appointed OBE (Officer of Order of the British Empire) in the New Year's Honours list: Professor Sue Cox, Professor Paul Gilbert, and Dr Jeune Guishard-Pine. Congratulations to them all.
Professor Cox is Dean of Lancaster University Management School and received her honour for services to social science. Cox has overseen the expansion of the school over the last five years. 'I am very proud and honoured to be awarded the OBE, especially as it was for services to social science,' she said. 'The important areas of social and management science are core strengths of Lancaster University, crucial for the UK economy and something which I believe strongly that we should be promoting.' Professor Cox told The Psychologist: 'I?am very proud of my work as Dean of Lancaster University Management School and the opportunity to work in such a dynamic and successful University. I am currently working internationally to develop the University's reputation.' She added that she has had lots of support from other psychologists throughout her career.
Professor Gilbert is a consultant clinical psychologist for Derbyshire Mental Health Services NHS Trust, holds a chair in clinical psychology at the University of Derby and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He received his honour for services to mental health care. He told us he's delighted with the news although conscious that 'there are many psychologists equally if not more deserving of recognition'.
Gilbert's first degree was in economics, and after switching to clinical psychology he pursued an evolutionary functional analytic approach to clinical problems. 'This gave rise to our work on social hierarchies and the roles of feelings of inferiority, defeat and entrapment in mood disorders, social anxiety and psychosis,' he said. 'From there we worked on the roles of shame and self-criticism, noting that these permeated many mental health problems. In the last 15 years we have been working on the psychological interventions for shame and self-criticism which led to our work on attachment, affiliation and compassion-focused therapy (CFT).'
Gilbert is planning a randomly controlled trial of the CFT approach. Another focus is to continue building the Compassionate Mind Foundation (www.compassionatemind.co.uk), which he founded: 'We are trying to fund compassion-focused research, put as much free descriptive and training materials as we can on the site, and link compassion-focused therapists around the world.'
'In a time when psychology seems to be increasingly marginalised (especially in the NHS), as if it is a luxury, we psychologists must resist this and gain the confidence to point out that many of the world's problems arise from how our minds work,' Gilbert said. 'Rage, vengeance, selfishness, exploitation, empathic failure, along with harnessing the motives for justice, fairness and compassion all come down to how our minds work in specific social contexts. We can be angels or demons. Psychology is no luxury.'
Dr Jeune Guishard-Pine is a consultant psychologist for the NHS and in private practice, and an Associate Fellow of the BPS [see also 'One on one', October 2010]. 'I'm thrilled,' she told us. 'I was shocked that it was an OBE [for services to families] rather than an MBE, so I feel really proud of myself.'
Guishard-Pine first became serious about supporting disadvantaged children through education when she was aged just 16 - helping them find a route out of persistent poverty, and finding ways of giving vulnerable children their childhood back. 'These were the reasons why I decided to be a child psychologist,' she said. 'I am proud of my track record of achieving these aims and that the contribution of child psychology to wider society is being noticed in this way.'
Looking to the future, Guishard-Pine is currently fund-raising to conduct research into the viability of developing an accredited counselling skills course for foster carers, 'because their contribution to children's well-being goes largely unrecognised in a formal way.' Guishard-Pine's personal aim is to become a Fellow of the BPS. 'I hope it's only a rumour,' she said, 'that it would be harder for me to demonstrate that I can be accepted as a Fellow of the BPS than being awarded an OBE! Only time will tell...'
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