Elections at Society AGM

Ella Rhodes on new BPS electees.

The British Psychological Society’s new president, trustees, honorary treasurer, honorary fellow, and five honorary life members were all elected at this year’s annual general meeting. Together they hold decades of experience in various areas of psychological work and voluntary BPS roles.  

Taking over as President for 2019 to 2020 was David Murphy (see the September edition) and his successor, Dr Hazel McLaughlin, was elected as President for 2020 to 2021. Dr Roxane Gervais was chosen as the society’s new Honorary Treasurer and Christina Buxton, Dr Esther Mary Cohen-Tovee, Dr Adam Jowett and Professor Clifford Stott were elected to the Board of Trustees.

Forensic Psychologist Dr Ruth Mann was elected as an Honorary Life Fellow. She has worked in the past as Head of HM Prison Service’s Sex Offender Treatment Programme, and has made an extensive contribution to the literature on the treatment and assessment of those convicted of sexual offences, and strength-based approaches to working with this population. Mann was also previously Lead for Evidence to Support Commissioning for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, monitoring and translating research to support commissioning.

In her current role Mann has turned her focus to national initiatives to develop rehabilitative cultures in prisons, including the implementation of such a culture at HMP Berwyn. She has also been an advocate for both treating those convicted of sexual offences with decency, and for evidence-based practice.

The meeting also saw the election of five new Honorary Life Members: Professor Michael Berger, Martin Fisher, Nicola Gale, Professor Ray Miller and Professor Jill Wilkinson. Berger’s career spans six decades and his involvement with the British Psychological Society (BPS) spans almost five. In the past he has worked as Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Education, Head of Child Psychology at St George’s Hospital and as District Psychologist for one of the UK’s largest psychology services. Berger retired in 2004 but remains Emeritus Professor and recently represented the BPS on the Professional Records Standards Body which develops national standards for electronic health and care records (see the May issue).

Fisher is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the BPS. He has worked in criminal justice since 1988 – largely within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. Since 2008, he has also held appointments within NHS Secure Mental Health Services and teaches on the MSc in Forensic Psychology at the University of Portsmouth.

Also an expert witness, Fisher’s applied work involves working with service users who have risk-management needs in the areas of violent and sexual offending. As an active member of the BPS Fisher has worked as Continuing Professional Development Lead for the Division of Forensic Psychology, Chair of the Committee for Test Standards, the Mental Health Act Working Party, the Behaviour Change Working Party, and the Forensic Faculty of Clinical Psychology Executive Committee.

Former BPS President and BPS Fellow Nicola Gale started her career in accountancy but since becoming a psychologist has worked in the NHS as Lead Clinician and Head of Service for the Staff Psychological and Welfare Service at the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Gale now works as a Senior Lecturer teaching on the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at City, University of London.

Gale has carried out various voluntary roles within the BPS over the past 10 years, including working on the Board of Trustees and as President of the society from 2017 to 2018. Gale was elected as Treasurer at the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations General Assembly held in Moscow earlier this year.

Clinical Psychologist Ray Miller previously worked in the NHS as a Health and Clinical Psychologist in England for 20 years before returning to Scotland working for 15 years until his retirement, at which time he was Professional Advisor for Psychology to NHS Lothian. Miller was BPS president from 2006 to 2007 and stepped down as its Honorary Treasurer at this year’s meeting. Miller, who has an Honorary Professorship awarded by Heriot Watt University, also worked to establish a London base for the BPS and negotiated with the HCPC to have practitioner psychologists included on its register.

Wilkinson, Chartered Clinical and Health Psychologist currently works largely in independent practice and teaches part-time at the University of Surrey as Visiting Professor of Psychology. Between 1985 and 1999 she worked as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Surrey and helped to establish its MSc in Health Psychology and the first Counselling Psychology course which was accredited by the BPS.

Wilkinson has been deeply involved with BPS boards and committees for many years, sitting on the Counselling Psychology Division’s Committee, the Board of Examiners for Counselling Psychology, the Special Group of Independent Practitioners and others. At this year’s meeting Wilkinson stepped down from the Board of Trustees after three years in the position. er

To read more from The Psychologist on many of those featured above please see tinyurl.com/yxkaq34q

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