Larraine Morgan (1950–2015)

The Occupational Psychologist remembered.

Larraine was a Chartered Psychologist, who worked for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from 1991 to 2013. She undertook her Master’s in Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck from 1988 to 1990. She was also a Chartered Scientist and Associate Fellow of the BPS.

After joining the DWP in 1991, Larraine worked within the Local Occupational Psychology Service in North London. Here she played an important role as part of a rehabilitation service providing occupational assessment for people with disabilities. She acted as a mentor to other psychologists, where her bright professionalism, thorough approach, attention to detail and dedication to excellent customer service taught a great deal. She inspired many colleagues and customers to see their potential and took delight in seeing the realisation of aspirations.

Larraine supported undergraduate psychologists from Birkbeck by arranging year-long attachments to DWP. Students benefited greatly in professional competence and confidence from her patient oversight and support.

On promotion to Senior Occupational Psychologist in 2000, Larraine became part of a team of consulting psychologists providing a service for the London and South East region of the Employment Service. She was much in demand from local managers for her bespoke training in helping staff to manage change, develop resilience and defuse challenging behaviour.

Larraine was enthusiastic, highly committed and extremely hard working. She was also innovative, keen to take the lead in developing approaches that would benefit not just her local customers, but DWP colleagues and psychologists more widely.

One of her passions was coaching, and she worked with experts in the field to design a training programme for psychologists and leaders in DWP. She also was interested in interventions to maintain wellbeing and work–life balance, using some of her personal practices derived from yoga and meditation.

Larraine also led the design of a new website, where she developed a series of podcasts (the first of their kind) to support managers in helping people deal with transition and change, drawing on, amongst others, the work of William Bridges.

She was a shining example of professionalism, integrity, confident to challenge whenever this was needed. Her dedication to her profession, coupled with her loyal friendship and sense of humour made her a much-respected colleague and treasured friend. Many a time we shared a glass of red wine, with fun and laughter, enjoying the moment.

Larraine retired in 2014, and with her energy and enthusiasm for life, she refreshed her passion for art. Having set up a studio in her back garden, she took an art course, and took artistic inspiration from visits with friends to local art galleries. She loved music and theatre and regularly attended performances in London and the Early Music Festival in York. Her family was her anchor; she embraced becoming a grandmother with gusto and visited her two grandsons in Australia a number of times.

A terribly sad loss to all, but a shining example to us all of how to pack so much into life. We miss her.

Fiona Lancashire CPsychol
Work Services Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions
with other psychologists at the DWP

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