Dr Lynne McCormack
School of Psychology
- Phone:4985 4543
Dr Lynne McCormack is particularly interested in the coexisting relationship between negative and positive effects of complex trauma. Her past research considers the long-term psychological effects of war on civilian women, and posttraumatic growth following exposure to the phenomenon of complex traumatic events e.g. war and genocide. Current research includes the development of a tool for assessing 'reintegration difficulties' following overseas deployment (PostAID/Q) for aid and military personnel; development of a therapeutic handbook in the area of trauma and growth; meaning making following threat of war, geneocide, disasters, policing, bushfires; professional derailment and impact of war on children of veterans.
Dr Lynne McCormack has a long teaching history beginning as a secondary teacher in drama and music. As a psychologist she has designed, developed and evaluated health and psychosocial programs following conflict and disaster. She has facilitated and conducted training workshops in leadership, workplace conflict, and educational and cognitive behavioural programs following critical incident, chronic pain, and combat stress for adults. Currently, she teaches and co-ordinates modules on the Clinical/Doctoral postgraduate program.
Dr Lynne McCormack has worked in her own consultancy practice administering staff and business needs. She has developed and run a hospital psychology unit for providing staff and patients with psychological services and education. She has designed, monitored and fund raised for humanitarian projects in East Timor. She supervises clinicians and students in professional development. She currently coordinates modules on the Clinical/Doctoral postgraduate program.
My primary research is in the construct of posttraumatic growth and distress. Most of my collaborative research in this area is with Professor Stephen Joseph through the Centre for Trauma, Resilience and Growth at the University of Nottingham. This collaboration has contributed to the development of an assessment tool for aid personnel reintegrating following overseas humanitarian deployment.
- PhD, University of Nottingham - UK
- Registered Psychologist - Clinical Psychology, Psychology Board of Australia
- Bachelor of Education, University of Warwick - England
- Diploma of Teaching, University of Warwick - England
- Master of Applied Psychology, University of Newcastle
- Altrustic identity
- Clinical/Doctoral Postgraduate Psychology Program
- Combat trauma
- Complex trauma
- Disasters and emergencies
- Humility, gratitude, altruism
- Posttraumatic Growth
- Posttraumatic Stress
- Vicarious Trauma and Growth
Fields of Research
|170199||Psychology not elsewhere classified||30|
|170106||Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology||40|
|170113||Social and Community Psychology||30|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Senior Lecturer||University of Newcastle
School of Psychology
|Dates||Title||Organisation / Department|
|12/03/2012 -||Senior Lecturer/Clinical Psychologist||Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle
|1/01/2011 - 1/01/2012||Assistant Professor||University of Canberra
|1/01/1991 - 1/11/2006||Consultant Psychologist||Private Practitioner
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Chapter (1 outputs)
|2012||McCormack LM, 'Encyclopaedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide', Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide, SAGE, New York, US 20-904 (2012) [B1]|
Journal article (32 outputs)
Goodwin J, McCormack LM, Campbell LE, 'Positive and Negative Experiences of Parenting a Pre-school Child with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.', Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, (2017)
|2017||McCormack LM, Abou-Hamdan S, Joseph S, 'Career derailment: Burnout and Bullying at the Executive Level', International Coaching Psychology Review, 12 24-36 (2017)|
McCormack L, Thomson S, 'Complex trauma in childhood, a psychiatric diagnosis in adulthood: Making meaning of a double-edged phenomenon.', Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9 156-165 (2017)
Â© 2016 American Psychological Association.Objective: No known research explores the double-edged phenomenon of childhood trauma/adult mental health consumer. Therefore, whether r... [more]
Â© 2016 American Psychological Association.Objective: No known research explores the double-edged phenomenon of childhood trauma/adult mental health consumer. Therefore, whether receiving a psychiatric diagnosis in light of childhood trauma supports or impedes psychological wellbeing in adult life, is unknown. Method: Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) provided the methodological framework. Data were collected through the use of semistructured interviews. Analysis sought thematic representation from subjective interpretations of the experienced phenomenon: childhood trauma survivor/mental health consumer. Results: Data revealed 1 superordinate theme, Childhood Betrayal, Identity, and Worthiness, that overarched 5 subordinate themes a) legacies, (b) the label, (c) putting the jigsaw together, (d) stigma, and (e) better than good enough self. Legacies of doubt that perpetuated "not good enough" delayed the development of an adult identity of worthiness in these participants. Importantly, the right diagnosis separated self as worthy-adult from self as traumatized child and facilitated positive change for breaking harmful cycles, self-valuing, and increased empathy, wisdom, and patience. Conclusions: Findings inform future research and therapeutic practice in regards to adult help seeking behaviors in light of childhood trauma, often postponed through fear of stigma associated with mental health diagnoses and services. Similarly, findings suggest that ameliorating wellbeing may be dependent on a therapeutic relationship in which accuracy or right fit of diagnosis provides a conduit for the client to disengage from self-blame, unworthiness, and "not good enough.
Goodwin J, McCormack L, Campbell LE, '"You don't know until you get there": The positive and negative "lived" experience of parenting an adult child with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.', Health Psychol, 36 45-54 (2017)
McCormack LM, Orenstein A, Joseph S, 'Postmission Altruistic Identity Disruption Questionnaire (PostAID/Q): identifying humanitarian-related distress during the reintegration period following international humanitarian aid work', Traumatology, 22 1-8 (2016) [C1]
McCormack L, White S, Cuenca J, 'A fractured journey of growth: making meaning of a Â¿BrokenÂ¿ childhood and parental mental ill-health', Community, Work and Family, 1-19 (2016)
Â© 2016 Taylor & FrancisThe psychopathological impact of parental mental ill-health on children is well known. However, little research explores positive and negative interpretati... [more]
Â© 2016 Taylor & FrancisThe psychopathological impact of parental mental ill-health on children is well known. However, little research explores positive and negative interpretations of such exposure in childhood, from the adult child's perspective. Using interpretative phenomenological Analysis this study sought subjective interpretations of the Â¿livedÂ¿ experiences of growing up in a family with parental mental ill-health. A purposive sample of seven adult children provided data for analysis through semi-structured interviews. One superordinate theme: A fractured journey of growth to adulthood, overarched six subordinate themes. Four themes captured stigma, shame, social isolation and betrayal. Juxtaposed with this, two themes captured purposeful redefinition of self and psychological growth. This study captures the chronicity of traumatic distress and sense of betrayal experienced by these participants in childhood through unrelenting exposure to parental mental ill-health. However, despite unpredictability, fear, and neglect in childhood, they identified the emergence of inner strengths in adult life: unexpected growth in empathy and compassion, high resourcefulness, and personal authenticity through higher education. Findings highlight that positively redefining Â¿selfÂ¿ in adult life is possible in the aftermath of childhood trauma associated with parental mental ill-health. Implications for therapy include: (a) moving forward from childhood trauma and (b) managing ongoing family dynamics in adult-life.
McCormack L, Devine W, 'Childhood and the imposition of war: Self-blame, absolution/nonabsolution, and vicarious growth in adult children of Vietnam veterans', Traumatology, 22 278-287 (2016) [C1]
Â© 2016 American Psychological Association.Little research has included exploration of the interpreted experiences of a childhood overshadowed by a parentÂ¿s distress from war. It... [more]
Â© 2016 American Psychological Association.Little research has included exploration of the interpreted experiences of a childhood overshadowed by a parentÂ¿s distress from war. It is important to note that whether being parented by a combat veteran impacts psychological well-being both positively and negatively is unknown. In this phenomenological study, we sought positive and negative interpretations of childhood from the perspective of adult children of Vietnam veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data were collected through semistructured interviews and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). One superordinate theme, making sense of the imposition of war, overarches (a) tragic and turbulent young years and (b) knowing, absolution, and posttraumatic growth. These subthemes encapsulate (i) the interpersonal blame and shame that tenaciously, undermined the Â¿selfÂ¿ throughout their childhood, and (ii) the slow emergence of the self as not responsible, able to absolve, and psychologically grow out of their adversity. Youthful ignorance of a complex war left these participants not understanding why the heavy burden of responsibility became the childÂ¿s remit for a father emotionally absent. The opportunity to reexamine childhood distress in adult life has revealed harmful patterns of relational engagement learned in childhood that have repeatedly dogged their adult lives. This honest reappraisal of self has allowed nonjudgmental self-regard to emerge. Forgiveness has been offered to fathers when true reparation was sought. However, nonabsolution did not preclude psychological growth, with positive self-regard replacing misplaced responsibility and self-blame. Therapy can support the coexistence of distress and growth in the aftermath of a fatherÂ¿ child relationship irrevocably impacted by combatrelated trauma. In doing so, the Â¿growthfulÂ¿ domain of self-acceptance may facilitate respectful choice in future adult relationships.
McCormack L, Katalinic N, 'Learning to Heal from Those Who Know! The Â¿LivedÂ¿ Experience of a Peer Support Program for Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma', Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 25 1021-1042 (2016) [C1]
Â© 2016 Taylor & Francis.This study explored the dual phenomenon of experiencing a peer support residential trauma program from the perspective of (a) a client, and (b) a facilita... [more]
Â© 2016 Taylor & Francis.This study explored the dual phenomenon of experiencing a peer support residential trauma program from the perspective of (a) a client, and (b) a facilitator. It sought both positive and negative subjective interpretations. Participants were former clients and current facilitators of the program. Data were collected through a focus group, and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. One superordinate theme, altruistic growth, overarched 2 subordinate themes. The first, modeling through respect, included subthemes of respect and hope and empowerment. The second subordinate theme, reciprocal model of care, encapsulated personal challenges such as facing the mirror, old demons, and burnout and breaking points. Conversely, participants mused on these challenges as opportunities for further healing through opportunities for self-nurturing and gratitude. Implications for treatment of adult survivors of childhood trauma are discussed. For facilitators, the program was seen as offering further personal reflection and a giving forward that was interpreted as altruistic growth.
Walmsley B, McCormack L, 'Shame, hope, intimacy and growth: Dementia distress and growth in families from the perspective of senior aged care professionals', Dementia, 15 1666-1684 (2016) [C1]
Â© 2015, Â© The Author(s) 2015.Minimal research explores the impact of dementia and a dementia diagnosis on families from the unique vantage of senior health professionals. The pa... [more]
Â© 2015, Â© The Author(s) 2015.Minimal research explores the impact of dementia and a dementia diagnosis on families from the unique vantage of senior health professionals. The participants of this study, eight senior aged care professionals, provided unique interpretative insights into family dynamics and sense-making on the journey with dementia, and their own role in that journey. Both positive and negative perspectives were sought. Data from semi-structured interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). One superordinate theme, Dementia naivetÃ©; redefined intimacy, overarched Embarrassed shame; Maintaining hope; Redefining a model of intimacy; and Redefined relational intimacy and growth. Within these themes, the participants shed light on hurtful embarrassment and shame experienced by families associated with the diagnostic label given to a loved one. This label was perceived to either trigger separation, hurt and immobility through ignorance, or precipitate a frenzy of naive yet hopeful energy for seeking that elusive cure. The participants saw their role as one of enacting a new way of connecting what was with what could be. Thus, they modelled advocacy, integral care and relational intimacy. Validation came in witnessing a redefining of intimacy in many families who were able to embrace that holistic and empathic approach to the shifting presentation of dementia. Psychological well-being was observed to occur when families embraced growthful domains, e.g. acceptance, hope, relational closeness and altruistic concern for other families. Implications for future care models are discussed.
McCormack L, Ell L, 'Complex Psychosocial Distress Postdeployment in Veterans: Reintegration Identity Disruption and Challenged Moral Integrity.', Traumatology, (2016)
How individuals experience reintegration postcombat and subsequent military discharge is a poorly explored phenomenon, though for many service personnel it is fraught with complex... [more]
How individuals experience reintegration postcombat and subsequent military discharge is a poorly explored phenomenon, though for many service personnel it is fraught with complex psychosocial hurdles. Therefore, seeking both positive and negative interpretations of this phenomenon, semistructured interviews explored the "lived" experience of 5 former military personnel. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) 1 superordinate theme emerged: shaping and breaking: who am I now? and overarched 5 subordinate themes. Four themes encapsulated the search for post war identity in these former military personnel. As such, narratives revealed that each participant grappled to understand a destabilizing sense of betrayal beyond leadership malpractice. This was interpreted as an enduring organizational failure that was cumulative on core morality changes from exposure to war. Psychological injuries remained fresh and raw despite years since discharge. Memories of feeling discarded, lost, and alone rekindled the self-doubt, distrust, and depleted confidence that fostered an inability to readily reengage with civility, with loved ones, and society. Turning on self, intrinsic blame fueled either self-loathing or retreat into silence or rage. A fifth theme revealed tenuous insights where minimal acceptance, some redefining of altruistic identity, and hope could emerge. Findings are discussed in light of these results, particularly the role of organizations in providing immediate supportive validation of deployment experience where validation of moral distress and identity disruption are inclusive in reintegration programs nurturing recovery and psychological wellbeing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Threader J, McCormack LM, 'Cancer-related trauma, stigma and growth: the Â¿livedÂ¿ experience of head and neck cancer', European Journal of Cancer Care, 25 157-169 (2016) [C1]
McCormack L, Riley L, 'Medical discharge from the Â¿family,Â¿ moral injury, and a diagnosis of PTSD: Is psychological growth possible in the aftermath of policing trauma?', Traumatology, 22 19-28 (2016) [C1]
Â© 2016 American Psychological Association.The potential for acute and cumulative exposure to traumatic events associated with policing is well recognized. However, research explo... [more]
Â© 2016 American Psychological Association.The potential for acute and cumulative exposure to traumatic events associated with policing is well recognized. However, research exploring the subjective impact of that trauma, particularly when it results in discharge with a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is significantly limited. Drawing on a phenomenological epistemological position, this study explores the subjective Â¿livedÂ¿ experience of 7 former police personnel medically discharged with PTSD. It sought both positive and negative interpretations of (a) their personal experience of policing; (b) consequential discharge with PTSD; and (c) life after discharge. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), semistructured interviews provided the data for transcription and analysis. One superordinate theme: moral betrayal, silence, and hope in policing trauma; overarched 4 subordinate themes: eroded identity; moral betrayal; confronting the silence; learning to depend on me. These interpreted themes mirror multiple layers of complex policing trauma in these participants that over time eroded hope. They reveal a growing awareness of moral injury that only found voice, postdischarge. Chronic exposure to policing trauma was experienced as a domino effect slowly diminishing self-worth and consequently corroding their earlier sense of purpose as police personnel. Intrinsically, shame was interpreted as having failed. Discharge dissociated them from the collegial support necessary to reintegrate into their postdischarge lives. Instead, former altruistic selves became reclusive. These participants attributed Â¿feltÂ¿ distress as directly attributable to organizational factors that left them feeling invalidated, betrayed, and without support. Over time, some experienced a newfound appreciation of Â¿self,Â¿ facilitated by hope. Implications for clinical practice and policy are discussed.
McCormack L, Tillock K, Walmsley BD, 'Holding on while letting go: trauma and growth on the pathway of dementia care in families', Aging and Mental Health, 1-10 (2016)
Â© 2016 Taylor & FrancisObjectives: Limited research explores the medical model of residential care in dementia from the family caregiver's perspectives. Method: This study sought... [more]
Â© 2016 Taylor & FrancisObjectives: Limited research explores the medical model of residential care in dementia from the family caregiver's perspectives. Method: This study sought subjective interpretations of nine family caregivers who experienced relinquishing their status as primary caregiver to a medical model, dementia care residential setting. Following semi-structured interviews and transcription data was analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: One superordinate theme, navigating Â¿systemÂ¿ control, overarched three subordinate themes: connecting/disconnecting, windows closing, and capacity for sensation. Navigating system control reflected participants' experience of circumnavigating a medical system fraught with hierarchical challenges inclusive of a complex maze of contradictions that appeared threatening, yet appeared comforting; authoritarian, yet often humane. For them, care of self, while advocating for a family member with dementia, required vigilance to manoeuvre a system of care that imposed its uninvited authority at will. Connection/disconnection highlights the enduring struggle for inclusivity in caregiving despite the omnipresent trauma of windows closing. Psychological growth came to these participants through an unexpected capacity for sensation which offered a unique lens to communication with the family member with dementia primarily through sensory exchange. Conclusions: Models of dementia care and therapeutic interventions could inclusively involve dementia family caregivers who may be experiencing traumatic distress, and associated guilt, stigma, loss, and grief. Co-existing psychological wellbeing, however, is possible when family members are encouraged to transition communication to sensory awareness and exchange as windows close.
Walmsley BD, McCormack L, 'Stigma, the medical model and dementia care: Psychological growth in senior health professionals through moral and professional integrity', Dementia, 15 1685-1702 (2016) [C1]
Â© 2015, Â© The Author(s) 2015.Minimal research explores the impact of a career in dementia care on senior health professionals. This study sought positive and negative subjective... [more]
Â© 2015, Â© The Author(s) 2015.Minimal research explores the impact of a career in dementia care on senior health professionals. This study sought positive and negative subjective interpretations from seven senior health professionals regarding their experiences in dementia care. Data from semi-structured interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). One superordinate theme, Honouring stigmatised self, overarched four sub-themes: Systemic stigma, Invalidated, Self-respect and Moral integrity and Growth. Stigma was interpreted as systemically entrenched minimisation of aged care and the aged-care workforce, including poor remuneration and training. Participants experienced peer invalidation particularly when attempting to resolve complex professional and moral challenges in dementia care. These often occurred in the context of efforts to individualise care, constrained within a medical model. Paradoxically, external invalidation motivated a search for redefining Â¿selfÂ¿ and moral integrity. By wisely acknowledging career experience, growthful domains of self-respect, optimism, humility and innovation defined professional practice and personal choices. Implications are discussed.
McCormack LM, Walmsley Bruce D, 'Severe dementia: Retained Social Engagement (RSE) during family visits.', Aging and Mental Health, (2016)
McCormack L, Henry E, 'The Â¿livedÂ¿ experience of Playback Theatre practitioners in post-war Sri Lanka: naivety, altruism, reciprocal caring, and psychological growth', Arts and Health, 1-14 (2016)
Â© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupBackground: Playback Theatre is applied theatre that draws on real-life stories from its audience to reflect the psych... [more]
Â© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupBackground: Playback Theatre is applied theatre that draws on real-life stories from its audience to reflect the psychosocial needs of individuals and communities. Contemporarily it is being used to support those exposed to war/disaster; however, the impact of such work on its practitioners, is under researched. Methods: Using interpretative phenomenological analysis positive and negative subjective interpretations were sought from five Western Playback Theatre practitioners who taught in post-civil war Sri Lanka. Results: One superordinate theme, Naivety, Humility and Hope amongst the Rubble, encompassed five subordinate themes. These reveal an integral struggle experienced by Western practitioners unprepared for a culturally different lens. Conclusion: Teaching Playback Theatre in post-war Sri Lanka for these practitioners exposed the gap between the desire to help cross-culturally and their experienced reality. Over time, the collision of Western naivety with good intent facilitated an integral and humble search to be wiser humanitarians cross-culturally in these participants.
Walmsley BD, McCormack L, 'Synthesis of Meaning: Negative and Positive Change in Family Members Following the Adversity of Dementia', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 56 122-143 (2016) [C1]
Â© 2014, Â© The Author(s) 2014.A paucity of research explores both negative and positive changes for family members supporting a loved one with dementia, especially when communica... [more]
Â© 2014, Â© The Author(s) 2014.A paucity of research explores both negative and positive changes for family members supporting a loved one with dementia, especially when communication by speech and awareness of others diminishes. This qualitative study sought the views of family groups concerning their experiences over the past 10 years supporting a loved one with dementia. A focus group sought negative and positive subjective interpretations of this phenomenon. One superordinate theme: Synthesis of Meaning emerged from the data using interpretative phenomenological analysis. This overarched two subordinate themes: (a) Steps backwardÂ¿encompassing those times when relatives hovered uncertainly, missed opportunities to engage due to advancing dementia, and felt regret and (b) Steps forwardÂ¿encompassing moments of unexpected rewards, acceptance, self-forgiveness, and empathic connection with others on a similar journey. This study highlights that although often fraught with distress, positive aspects of the dementia journey are possible and offer opportunity for psychological growth and well-being.
McCormack LM, McKellar L, 'Adaptive growth following terrorism: Vigilance and anger as facilitators of posttraumatic growth in the aftermath of the Bali bombings', Traumatology, 21 71-81 (2015) [C1]
McCormack LM, Adams EL, 'Therapists, Complex Trauma, and the Medical Model: Making Meaning of Vicarious Distress from Complex Trauma in the Inpatient Setting', Traumatology, 1-18 (2015) [C1]
McCormack L, Joseph S, 'Psychological growth in aging Vietnam veterans: Redefining shame and betrayal', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 54 336-355 (2014) [C1]
Walmsley BD, McCormack L, 'The dance of communication: Retaining family membership despite severe non-speech dementia', Dementia, 13 626-641 (2014) [C1]
There is minimal research investigating non-speech communication as a result of living with severe dementia. This phenomenological study explores retained awareness expressed thro... [more]
There is minimal research investigating non-speech communication as a result of living with severe dementia. This phenomenological study explores retained awareness expressed through non-speech patterns of communication in a family member living with severe dementia. Further, it describes reciprocal efforts used by all family members to engage in alternative patterns of communication. Family interactions were filmed to observe speech and non-speech relational communication. Participants were four family groups each with a family member living with non-speech communication as a result of severe dementia. Overall there were 16 participants. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. One superordinate theme, Dance of Communication, describes the interactive patterns that were observed during family communication. Two subordinate themes emerged: (a) in-step; characterised by communication that indicated harmony, spontaneity and reciprocity, and; (b) out-of-step; characterised by communication that indicated disharmony, syncopation, and vulnerability. This study highlights that retained awareness can exist at levels previously unrecognised in those living with limited or absent speech as a result of severe dementia. A recommendation for the development of a communication program for caregivers of individuals living with dementia is presented. Â© The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
McCormack L, Lewis V, Wells JR, 'Early Life Loss and Trauma: Eating Disorder Onset in a Middle-Aged Male-A Case Study', American Journal of Men's Health, 8 121-136 (2014) [C1]
The onset of an eating disorder in middle-age men is poorly researched as are eating disorders in men generally. Therefore, life events that influence eating disorders in men, inc... [more]
The onset of an eating disorder in middle-age men is poorly researched as are eating disorders in men generally. Therefore, life events that influence eating disorders in men, including delayed onset of an eating disorder remains unknown. Given the limited understanding of males with eating disorders and limited access to large samples of men with eating disorders, an in-depth analysis of a single case of a male in middle age with an eating disorder was chosen to gain insight and understanding into this phenomenon. A Life History approach explored the case of Joseph (pseudonym), who was diagnosed at age 44 years with an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Data were collected through (a) life course open-ended questioning through interviews, (b) written statements, and (c) comments on transcripts. Three themes emerged, loss and unworthiness, becoming bigger, and wanting to change reflecting eating behaviors associated with attachment disruption, loss and trauma, body dissatisfaction, and negative affect. Later in life, an emotional "tipping point" precipitated an eating disorder. Results indicate traumatic loss leading to early attachment disruption as influential in Joseph's delayed onset of an eating disorder. The value of thorough narrative life histories during therapy when eating disorders occur late in life is discussed as well as the significance for men. Â© The Author(s) 2013.
McCormack L, Joseph S, 'Psychological growth in humanitarian aid personnel: Reintegrating with family and community following exposure to war and genocide', Community, Work and Family, 16 147-163 (2013) [C1]
There is a paucity of research into the subjective experiences of humanitarian aid personnel exposed to modern global conflicts and disasters in the course of their work. In parti... [more]
There is a paucity of research into the subjective experiences of humanitarian aid personnel exposed to modern global conflicts and disasters in the course of their work. In particular, little is known about how they make sense of any dual threat: (1) witnessing catastrophic and traumatic events perpetrated on those they seek to serve and (2) experiencing personal threat to self. This phenomenological study explores the idiographic interpretation of aid personnel working in complex humanitarian settings including exposure to genocide, and the impact of such exposure on reintegration processes postmission. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). One theme: Complex humanitarian distress and growth overarched five subordinate themes. Four of the subordinate themes highlighted long term psychological distress including shame, moral doubt, betrayal, and narcissistic coping. The fifth theme, Reparation with 'self', describes a redefining of self-worth and altruistic identity over time despite earlier perceived moral failure and sense of rejection from organization and important others. Reparation with self, as a positive outcome from traumatic distress and lack of validating support from important others, is discussed in light of current posttraumatic growth literature. Implications for therapists and recruiting organizations are also discussed. Â© 2013 Â© 2013 Taylor & Francis.
McCormack L, Sly R, 'Distress and Growth: The Subjective "Lived" Experiences of Being the Child of a Vietnam Veteran', Traumatology, 19 303-312 (2013) [C1]
McCormack LM, 'Postmission Altruistic Identity Disruption Questionnaire (PostAID/Q): Preliminary development of a measure of responses following adverse humanitarian aid work', Traumatology, 18 41-48 (2012) [C1]
|Show 29 more journal articles|
Review (5 outputs)
|2012||McCormack LM, 'Genocide', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]|
|2012||McCormack LM, 'Nongovernmental organizations, governments and humanitarian aid', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]|
|2012||McCormack LM, 'Humanitarian missions', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]|
|2012||McCormack LM, 'Traumatized entertainers', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]|
|Show 2 more reviews|
Conference (3 outputs)
|2011||McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'Modern Global Conflicts and the Humanitarian Aid Worker: Making Sense of Moral Doubt, Guilt and Shame Following Exposure to War, Genocide and International Crises', European Journal of Psychotraumatology (2011) [E3]|
|2011||McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'Posttraumatic growth through reparation with 'self': Redefining primary and secondary complex traumatic distress in humanitarian aid personnel.', 46th APS Annual Conference (2011) [E3]|
|2010||McCormack LM, 'Psychological Growth and The Value of the Phenomenological Narrative for Healthy Reintegration of Returnees and Their Families.', Being There When It Counts: The Proceedings of the 8th Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Conference. (2010) [E1]|
Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)
|2010||McCormack LM, Doctoral Thesis: Primary and Vicarious Posttraumatic Growth following War, Genocide and Humanitarian Emergencies: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis., University of Nottingham, UK (2010) [T3]|
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||5|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20144 grants / $61,179
Childhood Trauma and Growth: Efficacy of trauma interventions for promoting growth in adults exposed to childhood trauma$44,436
Funding body: Heal for Life Foundation
Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
|Funding body||University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT|
|Project Team||Doctor Lynne McCormack|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
Testing the relationships between measures of intelligence, accuracy, confidence, personality and culture$7,216
Funding body: University of Newcastle
Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
|Funding body||University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT|
|Project Team||Doctor Lynne McCormack|
|Scheme||PVC Conference Assistance Grant|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
20121 grants / $4,957
Funding body: University of Newcastle
|Funding body||University of Newcastle|
|Project Team||Doctor Lynne McCormack|
|Scheme||New Staff Grant|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
Number of supervisions
Total current UON EFTSL
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2016||PhD||Aggression in children with an IDD: The impact on these children and their families||PhD (Psychology - Science), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2013||PhD||From General Developmental Disability to 22Q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: Understanding Parental Experiences||PhD (Psychology - Science), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2011||Masters||Psychological Growth following Executive Derailment: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study||Psychology, University of Canberra||Sole Supervisor|
|2011||Masters||Making meaning of multiple threats to family members and property following Australian bushfires||Psychology, University of Canberra||Principal Supervisor|
|2011||Masters||Distress and Growth in the Adult Children of Vietnam War Veterans||Psychology, University of Canberra||Sole Supervisor|
|2010||PhD||The impact of stigma on influencing adversarial growth processes and outcome within an oncology population||Psychology, Australian National University||Consultant Supervisor|
|Year||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2016||PhD||An Interpretative Phenomenological Investigation of Dementia from the Perspective of Families and System Caregivers. Stigma, Traumatic Loss, Psychological Growth, and Relational Social Engagement (RSE)||PhD (Psychology - Science), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
Editorial Board: Arts & Health: an international journal for research, policy and practice 2017 - 2027