Organised by the School of Applied Social Studies and the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, in association with the Critical Voices Network Ireland


This year’s conference aimed to explore and debate critical perspectives on:

-           The value of talking therapies

-           The politics of the therapy industry

-           Talking therapies as another expert system

-           Other ways (beyond therapies) to support people in distress

 Book of Extracts 15 (586kB)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Wednesday 11 November 2015:

1. David Pilgrim (09.45) is an Honorary Professor of Health & Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Southampton. His career has been divided between working as a policy researcher and as a clinical psychologist in the British NHS.

2. Dina Poursanidou (10.30) is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, based at the Service User Research Enterprise; Dina has used mental health services since 2008; Member of Asylum, the magazine for democratic psychiatry.

3. Malcolm Garland (13.45) is aconsultant psychiatrist in Dublin.  His team tries to incorporate novel and alternative approaches, including a minimal medication approach and an ethos fostering individuation, not dependence. 


Thursday 12 November:

1. Gary Sidley (09.45) is a freelance writer and trainer who opted for early retirement in 2013 from his post of Professional Lead/Consultant Clinical Psychologist after 33 years working in the English mental health services. His writing includes alternatives to biological psychiatry.

2. Wilma Boevink (10.30) is anexperiential expert, social scientist at the Trimbos-Institute, the Netherlands.  Former Professor of Recovery and founder of Tree (towards Recovery, Empowerment and Experiential Expertise).

3. Rory Doody (13.45) is a Recovery Development Advocate. He is a voice hearer and engages with his own mental health as often as he breathes! Plagued by inner questions like “who does this serve?” he enquires in the different areas of his work, involving education, case work, service and policy developments, structural change, and good intentions.

Full programme: full details will be available around mid-October on and also and

Book of Abstracts

The Book of Abstracts will be emailed to you within the next few days. The programme schedule and the Book of Abstracts will also be available on www.cvni.ie and on in advance of the conference. Due to the conference’s limited budget (see below) we would ask you to bring a printed copy of the programme schedule and the Book of Abstracts with you to the conference. There will only be a limited number of printed copies of the conference programme and the Book of Abstracts at the registration desk.



As you may know, one of the unique features of this annual conference is that it is a free event, supported by a very small budget. Since 2013, following delegates’ enquiries about making donations, there has been a donation box at the registration desk. Please feel free to contribute if you wish (either cash or cheque made payable to CVNI to be lodged into the CVNI conference account). We do not accept donations which compromise the ethos and values of the conference.

15th Annual School of Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference

15th Annual Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference

 Thursday 19th November 2015 

NMBI Category 1 Approval (5 CEUs)

Keynote Speakers

Professor Lazelle Benefield (Fulbright Scholar UCC) is from the University of Oklahoma and is currently the Dean of the College of Nursing and the Director of ‘The Donald W. Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence’, which is dedicated to developing leaders, educators and researchers in the older adult nursing field. Her research involves projects promoting well-being and improving quality of life for family caregivers and community-dwelling older adults with dementia.

Dr. Karen Whitaker is currently senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire UK. With a professional background in health visiting her research focus is on the topic of parenting and the ways in which services can be designed to support family needs. Karen is an honorary member of the parenting special interest group for the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA). She currently sits on the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners (NAPP) Research and Training Reference group on behalf of the CPHVA. As a senior lecturer within the Children, Family and Community Health Division, her primary teaching responsibilities are for the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) BSc and PGDip educational courses.

Dr. Dympna Casey is currently a senior lecturer in nursing education in the National University of Ireland Galway. Her research interests include self-management of chronic diseases and health promotion. She has a keen interest in promoting healthier lifestyles for people and specifically in examining ways of supporting and maintaining the health and functional capacity of older people. Her research skills include designing and developing interventions for RCT’s and ensuring that such interventions are informed by users and other key stakeholders. She is currently Deputy Head of School and College Vice Dean for Interprofessional Learning.

Other topics:

Doctoral Dash (5 minute presentations from Doctoral Students around the country)




A Two-Day Conference organised by the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery & the School of Applied Social Studies University College Cork, in association with the Critical Voices Network Ireland.

Mental Health Press Release 


The conference considers and explores:

  • the value and relevance of psychiatric diagnoses in understanding and responding to a wide range of human experiences of emotional distress
  • critical perspectives on and creative responses beyond psychiatric diagnoses.

 Confirmed Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order): click on the speakers name to view the presentation.

Keynote Speakers

The Conference organisers are Lydia SapounaSchool of Applied Social Studies, and Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing & Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland.

Chronic Disease Self-Management - A How to Workshop.

Masterclass on Chronic Disease Self-Management - A How to Workshop facilitated by Professor Kate Lorig of Stanford University

International expert on lay-led programmes.

Date; 7th November 2013 @15.30 - 17.00.

Professor Kate Lorig

Kate Lorig is the Director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and Professor of Medicine in the Stanford School of Medicine. She has a bachelors degree in nursing from Boston University, and her masters and doctorate of public health (Dr.P.H.) in health education at the University of California, Berkeley. She came to Stanford in 1979 to develop and research an educational program that emphasized self-help skills for people with arthritis. This program became the Arthritis Self-Help Course and was the prototype for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, The Diabetes Self-Management Program, the Positive Self-Management Program for HIV/AIDS, the Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Program, the Building Better Caregiver's Program, Self-Management Program, and others. She has authored several books and many articles about arthritis, chronic disease in general, health education and behavioral science. She travels extensively at the invitation of organizations concerned with patient care and academic research. 

Some additional highlights of Dr. Lorig’s work are:

  • Her community based self-management programs are being delivered through over 500 organizations worldwide including Arthritis Foundation in Ireland 
  • Has worked as consultant and advisor on the roll out of her self-management  programmes in  the UK’s National Health Service and Expert Patient Programme
  • Using a public health approach,  her peer led management of chronic illnesses are the core of her programmes
  • Extensive experience in randomized controlled trials
  • Self- management programmes are now available online. 

Extensive publication record with over 10,000 citations

14th Annual School of Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference

The central theme to this year’s conference surrounds that of

‘Translational Research’. 

Date; 7th November 2013 @ 09.00 - 15.30.

The conference hoped to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary and academic research with a focus on ‘translation’ to promoting quality patient care.

Key Note speakers (please click on the name to view presentation):

Professor Christine Norton - Chair in Clinical Nursing Practice Research Kings College London.

Dr. Christopher Burton - Senior Research Fellow Bangor University.


Showcase of Blended Learning MSc/PG Diploma Nursing

Showcase of Blended Learning MSc/PG Diploma Nursing (Gerontological )

Date; 9th December 2013 @14.00 - 15.00.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery shared its experiences and learning regarding the development of an online/blended learning MSc/PG Diploma Nursing (Gerontological ) programme to their colleagues within UCC yesterday. The presentation outlined how the e-learning project was developed and managed, the role of the learning technologist and an update of current developments with the programme was presented. In addition, 2 current postgraduate students who are currently undertaking the programme shared their experiences of undertaking the blended learning programme.

To view the showcase presentation, click here.

Pictured L-R are the Blended Learning team for Gerontological; Michelle Murphy, Breda O'Donovan, Teresa Wills, Damien Drohan, Alice Coffey, Nicola Cornally, Eileen Savage.

blended learning

The 13th Annual Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference.

13th Annual Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference

Friday 8th November, 2013. 


Professor Kate Lorig Professor (Research) of Medicine (Immunology and Rheumatology), Emerita Stanford University.

Professor Cecily Begley, Chair and Head of Nursing and Midwifery Trinity College Dublin.


Topics include

Patient Safety & quality improvement

Maternal and child health,

Cancer care

Mental Health,

Chronic illness management

Intellectual disability

Health ageing 



Research Conf flyer

Meanings of Madness; Critical and Creative Perspectives.


A Two-Day Conference organised by the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery & the School of Applied Social Studies University College Cork, in association with the Critical Voices Network Ireland.

Mental Health Press Release   -   Mental Health Conference Prog

The conference offers opportunities to consider:

  • Meanings of madness
  • Broadening understandings of expressions of madness
  • Creative approaches to engaging with and responding to madness

This conference, now in its fifth year, is unique as it is free for all participants and it involves people from diverse backgrounds (self-experience, survivors, professionals, academics, carers) presenting, discussing and debating critical and creative perspectives on and beyond the dominant bio-medical approach. The 2010 conference saw the launch of the Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), a network of people interested in considering and developing responses to human distress, which are creative, enabling, respectful and firmly grounded in human rights. The conference will include an open forum to discuss the on-going work of the CVNI.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order): click on the speakers name to view the presentation.

Liz Brosnan has just completed her PhD through a Government of Ireland scholarship at the University of Limerick. Her research explored User Involvement in Irish Mental Health Services. Liz has both personal and professional experience of dealing with "madness".

Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA. Her research and writings – grounded in an understanding of the mind, based on lived experience – challenge fundamental assumptions about ‘mental illness’ and treatment.

Irene van de Giessen, Expert by Experience employed at the Admiraal de Ruyter Hospital, Vlissingen, the Netherlands and Owner of the Convalescent Talent Agency.

John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, UK. He has written extensively in the area of trauma and psychosis.

Doug Ross, artist, founding member of Renew. Personal experience of sustained recovery from addiction and psycho-spiritual distress.

The Conference organisers are Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing & Midwifery, and Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.

12th Annual Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference

Please 'click' on the titles below for playback; 

Marilyn McDonald - "Safety in Home Care: Stakeholders Charting the Research Course"

Elaine Houlihan - "To examine emergency nurses' attitudes and knowledge towards elder abuse" 

Fiona Alderdice - "Measuring Well-being in Pregnancy"

S Sweeney - "To explore fathers' experience of planned home birth in Ireland" 

Ruth Mulkerrins - "Parents and Children's perceptions of key issues in management and support of childhood asthma"

Conor O'Sullivan - "Learning the Hard Way: Portable computing solutions for Nursing"

Terri Ann Parnell - "Documentation Health Literacy Knowledge and Experiences of Senior year Nursing Students"

Marcia Van Riper - "How families make sense of, respond to, and use advances in Genomics "

Margaret Landers - "Patients’ Experiences of Bowel Symptoms and Self-care strategies following Sphincter-saving surgery for rectal cancer"

 Kathleen Sugrue - "Manifestations of Perceived Psychological stress in patients’ with inflammatory Bowel Disease"

 Bernadette Bowen - "Pulmonary rehabilitation improves clinically relevant anxiety and depression in patients with COPD"

Annual ICHN Conference 2012

Annual ICHN Conference 2012 - Public Health Nursing 'Vision & Visibility'

Please 'click' on the titles below for playback; 

Welcome & Opening address - Anne Corridan, Prof Higgins, Kathleen Lynch

Ann Clancy - Visibility and Voice in Public Health Nursing......>>link to follow<<

Catherine Killilea - HSE National Review of Public Health Nursing

Owen Metcalfe -Public Health - New Frameworks and Opportunities

Donal O'Shea - Promoting Life Long Weight Awareness

Family and Child Health Parallel Session

Feedback, 'The Nurse' Production Team and Closing

Mental Health Conference 2012

Critical Perspectives and Creative Responses to Experiences of Trauma and Distress

 Please 'click' on the titles below for playback; 

Jacqui Dillon - The Personal is Political

Mike Watts - Recovery from ‘Mental Illness’ as a Re-enchantment with Life and

Personal Development through a Resolution of Trauma-related Distress

Phillip Thomas - Uncaring societies? Trauma, Childhood and the Politics of Poverty

Richard Patterson - Time for Change: Bury forced Psychiatry not people

Mental Health Conference 2011


Please 'click' on the titles below for playback; 

Coming off psychiatric drugs: problems and opportunities - Peter Lehmann, Publisher, Germany

 Peter Lehmann - Q & A

Recovering from society, trauma and pharmacology - Kate Crawford, England

Drawing money from empty coffers: self-help and social solidarity as a recovery answer to psychic pain - Anna Emmanouelidou Greece

Medicating human distress: concerns, critiques and solutions - Terry Lynch, Ireland

Sense, interrupted: from disconnection to recovery - Rachel Waddingham, England

11th Annual Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference

Please 'click' on the titles below for playback; 

Ms Bernie Corr

Nicola Cornally, UCC - Elizabeth Deasy

Joanne Crowley

Mary Fay and Ann Langan

Susan Zori

Sile Creedon

Isabel Friedman

Lisa O’ Connor and Celeste Yanni

Josephine Hegarty

Mairin O’ Mahony

Patricia Fox

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex University College Cork Ireland