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Dr Lynne McCormack

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Lynne McCormack has worked as a clinical, health and educational psychologist specialising in complex trauma for over 20 years. This has been in international humanitarian settings, hospitals, schools and private practice and for military and emergency services. She became particularly interested in the coexisting relationship between negative and positive effects of complex trauma from her own voluntary involvement in war-torn and disaster areas and the way in which many of her clients were able to redefine their lives positively following exposure to extreme adversity and posttrauma distress. Her Master’s research considers the long-term psychological effects of war on civilian women, and her PhD research is a phenomenological study in primary and vicarious psychological growth following exposure to war and genocide. Lynne has worked widely with other individuals exposed to traumatic incidents including emergency services personnel, children dislocated through refugee status, and individuals exposed to tragic death, health and personal trauma. From an earlier life career as a music teacher Lynne has come to appreciate the many ways in which individuals resource their own talents and skills for wellbeing. She has designed, developed and evaluated health and psychosocial programs in East Timor post war, and Aceh following the Tsunami and has developed a tool for assessing 'reintegration difficulties' following overseas deployment (PostAID/Q). Similarly she has facilitated training workshops following critical incident, chronic pain, relationship challenges, abuse, and war, incorporating individual creativity for mental wellbeing. Lynne recognises individuals as the expert in their own lives and the collaborative energy they can bring to their own mental health.

Research Expertise

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.

Teaching Expertise
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.

Administrative Expertise
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.

Collaborations
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.


Qualifications

  • 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

Keywords

  • 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

CodeDescriptionPercentage
170106Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology40
170113Social and Community Psychology30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2014 - Senior LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Psychology
Australia
15/02/2012 - 15/02/2012Thesis ExaminerUniversity of Newcastle
Office of Graduate Studies
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2011 - 1/01/2012Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Canberra
Australia
1/01/1991 - 1/11/2006Consultant PsychologistPrivate Practitioner
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012McCormack LM, 'Encyclopaedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide', Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide, SAGE, New York, US 20-904 (2012) [B1]

Journal article (18 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2015Threader J, Mccormack L, 'Cancer-related trauma, stigma and growth: The 'lived' experience of head and neck cancer', European Journal of Cancer Care, (2015)

Head and neck cancer is associated with multiple layers of distress including stigma. Stigma attraction or devalued social identity is twofold: (1) it is a cancer associated with lifestyle risk factors and (2) treatment often results in confronting facial disfigurement. Subjective interpretations from nine head and neck cancer patients were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. An overarching superordinate theme - Distress, Stigma and Psychological Growth - encompassed four subordinate themes. Two themes captured the expressed trauma and terror as a result of diagnosis and treatment, and two the redefining of self despite stigma through meaning making. Distress was interpreted as a catalyst for awakening new life interpretations and combined with social support to facilitate two distinct pathways of growth: (1) psychological growth without support; (2) psychological and relational growth with support. Previously unfelt empathetic understanding and altruism for others with cancer emerged from the impact of stigma on 'self'. Acceptance allowed a new sense of identity that recognised cancer-related traumatic distress as integral to growth for these participants. The present study offers a unique insight into cancer-related trauma and stigma and the potential to redefine a more accepting, empathic and altruistic 'self' for psychological growth. Implications are discussed.

DOI10.1111/ecc.12320
2015Walmsley B, McCormack L, 'Shame, hope, intimacy and growth: Dementia distress and growth in families from the perspective of senior aged care professionals', Dementia, (2015)
DOI10.1177/1471301215573676
2015McCormack LM, McKellar L, 'Adaptive growth following terrorism: Vigilance and anger in the aftermath of Bali bombings', Traumatology, 1-18 (2015)
2015McCormack 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)
2015Walmsley BD, McCormack L, 'Stigma, the medical model and dementia care: Psychological growth in senior health professionals through moral and professional integrity.', Dementia (London), (2015)
DOI10.1177/1471301215574112Author URL
2014McCormack L, Joseph S, 'Psychological growth in aging Vietnam veterans: Redefining shame and betrayal', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 54 336-355 (2014) [C1]
DOI10.1177/0022167813501393
CitationsScopus - 1
2014Walmsley BD, McCormack L, 'Synthesis of Meaning: Negative and Positive Change in Family Members Following the Adversity of Dementia', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, (2014)
DOI10.1177/0022167814557547
2014Walmsley 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 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. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

DOI10.1177/1471301213480359
2014McCormack 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, 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. © The Author(s) 2013.

DOI10.1177/1557988313496838
CitationsScopus - 1
2013McCormack 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 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. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

DOI10.1080/13668803.2012.735478
CitationsScopus - 2
2013McCormack L, Sly R, 'Distress and Growth: The Subjective "Lived" Experiences of Being the Child of a Vietnam Veteran', Traumatology, 19 303-312 (2013) [C1]
DOI10.1177/1534765613481855Author URL
CitationsScopus - 1
2012McCormack 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]
2011Tischler V, Chopra A, Nixon N, McCormack LM, 'Loss and Tomorrow's Doctors: How the humanities can contribute to personal and professional development.', International Journal of Person-Centered Medicine, 1 547-552 (2011) [C1]
2011McCormack LM, Joseph S, Hagger M, 'Vicarious growth in wives of Vietnam veterans: A phenomenological investigation into decades of 'lived' experience.', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51 273-290 (2011) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 9
2010McCormack LM, 'Using the 'Most Significant Change Technique' to evaluate a post-tsunami psychosocial programme.', Qualitative Methodology in Psychology Bulletin (QM, 19-24 (2010) [C1]
2009McCormack LM, 'Civilian women at war: Psychological impact decades after the Vietnam war', Journal of Loss and Trauma, 14 447-458 (2009) [C1]
DOI10.1080/15325020902925209
CitationsScopus - 1
2009McCormack LM, Joseph S, Hagger MS, 'Sustaining a positive altruistic identity in humanitarian aid work: A qualitative case study', Traumatology, 15 109-118 (2009) [C1]
DOI10.1177/1534765609332325
CitationsScopus - 3
2008McCormack L, 'Analysing ¿Hot¿ cognitions. A recent masterclass on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).', Qualitative Methodology in Psychology (QMiP), 28-30 (2008) [O1]
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Review (5 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012McCormack LM, 'Genocide', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]
2012McCormack LM, 'Nongovernmental organizations, governments and humanitarian aid', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]
2012McCormack LM, 'Humanitarian missions', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]
2012McCormack LM, 'Traumatized entertainers', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]
2008McCormack LM, 'Analysing 'Hot' Cognitions. A recent Masterclass on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)', Qualitative Methods in Psychology (QMiP) (2008) [D2]
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Conference (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2011McCormack 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, Vienna (2011) [E3]
2011McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'Posttraumatic growth through reparation with 'self': Redefining primary and secondary complex traumatic distress in humanitarian aid personnel.', 46th APS Annual Conference, Canberra (2011) [E3]
2010McCormack 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., Cheyenne, Wyoming (2010) [E1]

Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2010McCormack LM, Doctoral Thesis: Primary and Vicarious Posttraumatic Growth following War, Genocide and Humanitarian Emergencies: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis., University of Nottingham, UK (2010) [T3]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants5
Total funding$66,136

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 bodyHeal for Life Foundation
Project TeamDoctor Lynne McCormack, Doctor Linda Campbell, Doctor Sean Halpin
SchemePostgraduate Scholarship
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1400837
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government
Category3AFG
UONY

Faculty Visiting Fellowship 2014$7,527

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project TeamDoctor Lynne McCormack
SchemeVisiting Fellowship
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1401053
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

Testing the relationships between measures of intelligence, accuracy, confidence, personality and culture$7,216

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Dennis Rose, Doctor Lynne McCormack, Dr Heather Douglas
SchemeLinkage Pilot Research Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1400303
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

Faculty PVC Conference Assistance Grant 2014$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project TeamDoctor Lynne McCormack
SchemePVC Conference Assistance Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1401226
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20121 grants / $4,957

Collaboration re: the Development of Posttraumatic Growth Therapy and User Manual$4,957

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Lynne McCormack
SchemeNew Staff Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2012
Funding Finish2012
GNoG1200743
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma: Intervention Study
Psychology, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Principal Supervisor
2014Treatment Options for Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma. A Randomized Controlled Equivalence Trial Comparing Treatment Outcomes of Brief Group TF-CBT and Residential Peer -support Models.
Psychology, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Principal Supervisor
2013Resilience In Children With Chronic Illness
Psychology, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Co-Supervisor
2012Communication Pathways in Dementia
Psychology, Faculty of Science and Information Technology
Principal Supervisor
2011Psychological Growth following Executive Derailment: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study
Psychology, University of Canberra
Sole Supervisor
2011Making meaning of multiple threats to family members and property following Australian bushfires
Psychology, University of Canberra
Principal Supervisor
2011Distress and Growth in the Adult Children of Vietnam War Veterans
Psychology, University of Canberra
Sole Supervisor
2010The impact of stigma on influencing adversarial growth processes and outcome within an oncology population
Psychology, Australian National University
Consultant Supervisor
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Dr Lynne McCormack

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Contact Details

Emaillynne.mccormack@newcastle.edu.au
Phone4985 4543
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