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Career Summary

Biography

I am a clinical psychologist employed as the Psychology Clinic Director at the University of Newcastle.

I completed my undergraduate BA(Psych) with first class honours at the University of Newcastle. I then began my supervision for registration as a psychologist. I worked intially within the Department of Corrective Services, and then the Psychological Assistance Service (PAS), which was an early psychosis outpatient service within Hunter New England Health. PAS was a combined research and clinical service, and this fostered my appreciation of the value of, and balance between, clinical and research endeavours. I completed my full registration as a psychologist in 2000.

I continued to work at PAS, eventually achieving the position of Team Leader. I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Newcastle in 2008. My thesis was in the area of Psychosocial Well-being During Stages of Gay Identity Development. However, the majority of my research has been in the field of early psychosis assessment and intervention.

With the restructure of mental health services I was promoted to Clinical Leader of the Newcastle Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and fulfilled this role for two years prior to my employment with the University of Newcastle.

As Psychology Clinic Director, I aim to provide high quality training to postrgraduate students in clinical psychology, as well as high quality clinical services to our surrounding community. I aim to instill students with a respect for evidence-based approaches to clinical work. I attempt to illustrate theory with clinical anecdotes and practical applications, as I believe that this fosters deeper learning. 

My research interests include: psychosis, particularly early intervention and management of ultra high risk; modification of risk factors for comorbid physical and mental health problems; stigma; sexual identity development; and working alliance. 

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 21/08/2008
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours, University of Newcastle, 01/05/1998

Research

Research keywords

  • Early Psychosis
  • Exercise
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Homosexuality
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social Identity Theory
  • Stigma
  • Therapeutic Alliance
  • Working Alliance

Research expertise

My PhD was in the area of sexual identity development. I investigated the relationship between Cass' (1979) stage of gay identity formation and psychosocial well-being. Using an online design I was able to recruit participants within the early stages of Cass' model, which few previous researchers had achieved. I was able to demonstrate that the relationship between stage of gay identity formation and psychosocial well-being was U-shaped rather than linear as previously proposed. This provided evidence that the mental health problems seen at relatively high rates in gay men is likely due to social isolation and lack of support during the middle stages of gay identity formation. My research then found that particular identity management strategies used by some gay men to manage their emergent gay identity were detrimental to their psychosocial well-being.

The majority of my research has focussed on early psychosis, with an emphasis on identification and intervention with young people deemed at ultra high risk of psychosis. This grew from my clinical work within a ground-breaking early psychosis public mental health outpatient service. My particular areas of interest include the lived experience of mental illness, management of stigma, and reduction of lifestyle risk factors.

From this interest in modifying risk factors for psychosis, I branched into healthy lifestyle research. This includes a range of studies investigating the relationship between healthy behaviours and mental health problems. For example, one of my PhD students is investigating exercise as a treatment for depression; a masters student has recently completed an investigation of integrated treatments of CVD risk factors and depression, etc.

My current role as Psychology Clinic Director, along with my 16 years of experience as a clinician, has also developed my interest in the professional development of early-career psychologists. Part of this has been a commencement of research into working alliance between novice therapists, their clients, and their child clients' parents.

Languages

  • English

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
110300Clinical Sciences45
170100Psychology45
111700Public Health And Health Services10

Collaboration

I collaborate with researchers both internal and external to the University of Newcastle. I have professional and research linkages that range from collaborations within the local public health services, to international partnerships.

Administrative

Administrative expertise

I am the Psychology Clinic Director at the University of Newcastle. This role involves the management of the Psychology Clinic, including financial, administrative, clinical, community outreach and marketing operations. In recent years the Psychology Clinic has become increasingly active, with pleasing increases in the amount and variety of clinical work for students. The Psychology Clinic performs a valuable role in linking the University and the local community. We provide low-cost psychology services, and in trusting us to provide these services the local community play a vital role in training the health professionals of the future.

Prior to my employment at the University of Newcastle, I was employed for 13 years within the local area mental health service. I was initially a psychologist, then a clinical psychologist, and eventually team leader then clinical leader of the Newcastle Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. This has provided me with significant industry experience, and awareness of the important qualities employers wish to see in the graduates from our Clinical Postgraduate Programs.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Attachment
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counselling
  • Psychosis

Teaching expertise

Since 2011 I have been a senior lecturer with the School of Psychology. I am course coordinator for Counselling and Clinical Intervention, which is a postgraduate course designed to develop students' therapy skills. This course includes basic personal counselling, CBT, motivational interviewing, as well as encouraging introspection and self-awareness.

I also teach a range of lectures related to my clinical expertise. These include undergraduate and postgraduate lectures and seminars on areas including psychosis, dissociation, child and adolescent mental health, and attachment theory.

As Psychology Clinic Director, I provide clinical supervision to postgraduate students of clinical psychology completing placements within the Clinic. This supervision includes both their counselling work as well as their administration, scoring, interpretation and reporting of cognitive assessments.

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Highlighted Publications

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

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2004Halpin SA, Allen M, 'Changes in psychosocial well-being during stages of gay identity development', Journal of Homosexuality, 47 109-124 (2004) [C1]
2012Nasstasia Y, Baker AL, Callister R, Halpin SA, 'Born to run, workout or maybe try Zumba: Managing depression with exercise', In Psych, 34 18-19 (2012) [C3]
2004Mason O, Startup MJ, Halpin SA, Schall UA, Conrad A, Carr VJ, 'Risk factors for transition to first episode psychosis among individuals with 'at-risk mental states'', Schizophrenia Research, 71 227-237 (2004) [C1]
2000Carr VJ, Halpin S, Lau N, O'Brien S, Beckman J, Lewin T, 'A risk factor screening and assessment protocol for schizophrenia and realted psychosis', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Melbourne (2000) [E1]
2010Bucci S, Baker AL, Halpin SA, Hides L, Lewin TJ, Carr VJ, Startup MJ, 'Intervention for cannabis use in young people at ultra high risk for psychosis and in early psychosis', Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis, 3 66-73 (2010) [C1]
2006Silverstein S, Uhlhaas PJ, Essex B, Halpin SA, Schall UA, Carr VJ, 'Perceptual organization in first episode schizophrenia and ultra-high-risk states', Schizophrenia Research, 83 41-52 (2006) [C1]

Publications

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

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (10 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Conrad AM, Lewin TJ, Sly KA, Schall U, Halpin SA, Hunter M, Carr VJ, 'Ten-year audit of clients presenting to a specialised service for young people experiencing or at increased risk for psychosis', BMC PSYCHIATRY, 14 (2014)
2012Nasstasia Y, Baker AL, Callister R, Halpin SA, 'Born to run, workout or maybe try Zumba: Managing depression with exercise', In Psych, 34 18-19 (2012) [C3]
2010Bucci S, Baker AL, Halpin SA, Hides L, Lewin TJ, Carr VJ, Startup MJ, 'Intervention for cannabis use in young people at ultra high risk for psychosis and in early psychosis', Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis, 3 66-73 (2010) [C1]
2006Silverstein S, Uhlhaas PJ, Essex B, Halpin SA, Schall UA, Carr VJ, 'Perceptual organization in first episode schizophrenia and ultra-high-risk states', Schizophrenia Research, 83 41-52 (2006) [C1]
2004Halpin SA, Allen M, 'Changes in psychosocial well-being during stages of gay identity development', Journal of Homosexuality, 47 109-124 (2004) [C1]
2004Carr VJ, Lewin TJ, Neil AL, Halpin SA, Holmes S, 'Premorbid, psychosocial and clinical predictors of the costs of schizophrenia and other psychoses', British Journal of Psychiatry, 184 517-525 (2004) [C1]
2004Mason O, Startup MJ, Halpin SA, Schall UA, Conrad A, Carr VJ, 'Risk factors for transition to first episode psychosis among individuals with 'at-risk mental states'', Schizophrenia Research, 71 227-237 (2004) [C1]
2004Startup MJ, Mason O, Halpin S, Schall UA, Conrad A, Carr VJ, 'State and trait predictors of transition to first episode psychosis among individuals at ultra-high risk', Schizophrenia Research, 70 44 (2004) [C3]

Co-authors: ULRICH SCHALL

2003Carr VJ, Neil AL, Halpin SA, Holmes KS, Lewin TJ, 'Costs of schizophrenia and other psychoses in urban Australia: findings from the low prevalence (Psychotic) disorders study', Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 37 31-40 (2003) [C1]
2001Lewin TJ, Carr VJ, Halpin S, Barnard RE, Beckmann J, Walton JM, Chapman JL, 'Coping with psychosis: Demographic and dispositional correlates', SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, 49 263-263 (2001)
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Conference (30 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Callister R, Giles AK, Dascombe BJ, Baker AL, Nasstasia Y, Halpin SA, et al., 'Healthy Body Healthy Mind: Development of an exercise intervention for the management of youth depression', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Sydney, Australia (2012) [E3]
2011Stain HJ, Crittenden KL, Startup MJ, Carr V, Baker AL, Schall UA, et al., 'Rural and urban youth at ultra high risk for psychosis: Baseline characteristics from the depth randomised controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy', Schizophrenia Bulletin, Colorado Springs, CO (2011) [E3]
2010Atkinson RJ, Michie PT, Hunt SA, Inkpen RM, Stojanov WM, Halpin SA, Schall UA, 'Mismatch negativity to duration deviants in first episode psychosis and individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis', Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Sydney, Australia (2010) [E3]
2010Conrad A, Lewin TJ, Carr VJ, Schall UA, Halpin SA, Sly K, 'Relationship between hospital admissions and different levels of risk for psychosis', Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Sydney, Australia (2010) [E3]

Co-authors: ULRICH SCHALL

2010Michie PT, Atkinson RJ, Hunt SA, Inkpen RM, Stojanov WM, Halpin SA, Schall UA, 'Mismatch negativity to duration deviants in first episode psychosis and in the prodome', Schizophrenia Research, Florence, Italy (2010) [E3]
2010Stain HJ, Crittenden KL, Startup MJ, Carr VJ, Baker AL, Schall UA, et al., 'The DEPTh randomised controlled trial of cognitive behaviour therapy for youth at ultra high risk for psychosis: Baseline characteristics for rural and urban youth', Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Sydney, Australia (2010) [E3]
2010Stain HJ, Crittenden K, Startup M, Carr V, Baker A, Schall U, et al., 'THE DEPTH RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL OF COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY FOR YOUTH AT ULTRA HIGH RISK FOR PSYCHOSIS: BASELINE CHARACTERISTICS FOR RURAL AND URBAN YOUTH', AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (2010) [E3]
2009Lewin TJ, Conrad A, Carr VJ, Schall UA, Halpin SA, Sly KA, 'A layered service audit of clients presenting to a community-based service for young people at increased risk for psychosis', Schizophrenia Bulletin, San Diego, CA (2009) [E3]
2009Schall UA, Rasser PE, Atkinson RJ, Fulham WR, Helmbold K, Todd J, et al., 'Mismatch negativity in prodrome, first episode and established schizophrenia: Relationship with stimulus type, generator sources, grey matter loss and functional outcome', Schizophrenia Bulletin, San Diego, CA (2009) [E3]
2009Stain HJ, Crittenden KL, Bennett EM, Startup MJ, Carr VJ, Baker AL, et al., 'The impact of geography and social context on ultra high risk for schizophrenia research in rural Australia', Schizophrenia Bulletin, San Diego, CA (2009) [E3]
2008Crittenden KL, Fleming JL, Startup MJ, Carr VJ, Baker AL, Schall UA, et al., 'Recruitment and engagement of youth in an ultra high risk treatment study', Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Melbourne (2008) [E3]
2008Conrad A, Lewin TJ, Carr VJ, Schall UA, Halpin SA, Sly K, 'Preliminary findings from an audit of clients presenting to a community-based service for young people at increased risk of psychosis', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Newcastle, NSW (2008) [E3]

Co-authors: ULRICH SCHALL

2008Atkinson RJ, Schall UA, Stojanov WM, Inkpen R, Hunt SA, Helmbold K, et al., 'Impaired mismatch negativity in the schizophrenia prodrome', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Newcastle, NSW (2008) [E3]
2008O'Brien S, Michie PT, Halpin S, Colyvas KJ, Schall UA, Carr VJ, 'Neuropsychological profiles in ultra high risk individuals and in first episode of psychosis or schizophrenia', Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Melbourne, VIC (2008) [E3]
2008Atkinson RJ, Schall UA, Stojanov WM, Inkpen R, Hunt S, Helmbold K, et al., 'Auditory sensory memory deficit in prodromal schizophrenia', Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Melbourne, VIC (2008) [E3]
2007Baker AL, Halpin SA, 'Treatment of comorbidity', Early Psychosis Forum 2007. Presentations, Westmead, NSW (2007) [E3]

Co-authors: AMANDA BAKER

2007Startup MJ, Carr VJ, Baker AL, Schall UA, Stain HJ, Halpin SA, Bucci SR, 'Cannabis use as a complication in psychological treatments for people at ultra-high risk of psychosis: Early findings from the DEPTH Trial', World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (BCN07). Abstracts, Barcelona (2007) [E3]
2007Crittenden KL, Stain HJ, Startup MJ, Carr VJ, Baker AL, Schall UA, et al., 'Delivering early intervention for rural areas: An RCT for youth at risk for psychosis', 2007 Rural Health Research Colloquium. Official Program, Tamworth, NSW (2007) [E3]
2006Beckmann CJ, Lewin TJ, Halpin SA, Hunt SA, Schall UA, Chenoweth B, Carr VJ, 'Dissociative experiences and transition to psychosis', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Fremantle, Western Australia (2006) [E3]

Co-authors: ULRICH SCHALL

2006Greig R, Baker AL, Startup MJ, Lewin TJ, Halpin S, 'Cannabis use history and onset to psychosis in an ultra high risk group', Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Madrid, Spain (2006) [E3]

Co-authors: AMANDA BAKER

2006Greig RL, Startup MJ, Baker AL, Lewin TJ, Halpin SA, Carr VJ, 'Cannabis use history and onset to psychosis in an ultrahigh-risk group', Acta Neuropsychiatrica, V18: Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Psychiatric research, Annual Meeting 2006 'Brainwaves', Sydney (2006) [E3]

Co-authors: AMANDA BAKER

2006Startup MJ, Carr VJ, Baker AL, Stain HJ, Halpin SA, Bucci SR, 'Cannabis use as a complication in psychological treatments for people at ultra high risk of psychosis: early findings from the DEPTh trial', Acta Neuropsychiatrica, V18: Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research, Annual Meeting 2006 'Brainwaves', Sydney (2006) [E3]
2005Hunt SA, Schall U, Halpin SA, Beckmann CJ, Carr V, 'Neurocognitive profiles of prodromal psychosis', SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN, Savannah, GA (2005)
2004Beckmann C, Lewin T, Halpin S, Hunt S, Schall U, Chenoweth B, Carr V, 'Dissociative experiences and transition to psychosis', SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, Vancouver, CANADA (2004)
2003Schall UA, Halpin SA, Hunt SA, Beckmann J, Chenoweth B, Mah BL, et al., 'Neurocognitive profiles of young people at high-risk versus first episode psychosis: A follow-up study', Schizophrenia Research, Colorado Springs, CO (2003) [E3]

Co-authors: ULRICH SCHALL

2003Startup MJ, Mason O, Halpin SA, Carr VJ, Schall UA, 'State and trait predictors of transition to first episode psychosis among individuals with 'at risk mental states'', Origins of Psychopathology: Programme and Abstracts, Christchurch, New Zealand (2003) [E3]

Co-authors: ULRICH SCHALL

2003Carr VJ, Lewin TJ, Halpin SA, Neil AL, Holmes S, 'Modeling the potential cost impacts of interventions for early onset schizophrenia', SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, COLORADO SPINGS, COLORADO (2003)
2000Carr VJ, Halpin S, Lau N, O'Brien S, Beckman J, Lewin T, 'A risk factor screening and assessment protocol for schizophrenia and realted psychosis', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Melbourne (2000) [E1]
2000Halpin S, Carr VJ, 'Use of quantitative rating scales to assess outcome in schizophrenia prevention studies', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Melbourne (2000) [E1]
2000Carr VJ, Lewin T, O'Brien S, Halpin S, Beckmann J, 'Neuropsychological Profiles of young people at risk of psychosis compared to those experiencing their first psychotic episode', Schizophrenia Research, Davos, Switzerland (2000) [E3]
Show 27 more
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants3
Total funding$143,236

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

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

Project Team
Doctor Lynne McCormack, Doctor Linda Campbell, Doctor Sean Halpin
SchemeRole
Postgraduate ScholarshipInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$44,43620142018
GNo:G1400837

2013 (1 grants)

“Improving students’ writing in psychological science: an interactive digital workbook approach”$48,000
Funding Body: Australian Learning and Teaching Council

Project Team
Associate Professor Frances Martin, Doctor Sean Halpin
SchemeRole
Research GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$48,00020132013
GNo:G1201218

2008 (1 grants)

A layered ten-year audit of clients presenting to a community-based service for young people at increased risk of psychosis$50,800
Funding Body: Australian Rotary Health

Project Team
Conjoint Professor Vaughan Carr, Professor Ulli Schall, Mr Terry Lewin, Miss AGATHA Conrad, Doctor Sean Halpin, Ms Ketrina Sly
SchemeRole
Research GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$50,80020082008
GNo:G0188300
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions6
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL1.58

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142022PhD (Psychology - Science)Co-SupervisorBehind the Veil of Bliss: Experiences of Suicidality in the Perinatal Period
20142018PhD (Psychology - Science)Co-SupervisorPositive and Negative Well-Being in Parents of Children with Mental Ill-Health
20132017PhD (Clinical Psychology)Principal SupervisorEffectiveness of a Clinical Practice Change Intervention in Improving Screening and Referral of Head and Neck Cancer Patients for Distress
20122016PhD (Psychology - Science)Co-SupervisorCommunication Pathways in Dementia
20122016PhD (Psychology - Science)Principal SupervisorImplicit Versus Explicit Measures of Emotion Processing in People With Aggressive and Impulsive Tendencies and Those Who Use Pornography
20122020PhD (Psychiatry)Co-SupervisorThe Antidepressant Effects of of Exercise Among Young People: Pathways to Change; Mind, Body or Behaviour?
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Dr Sean Halpin

Work Phone(02) 4921 6319
Email
PositionPsychology Clinic Director
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaPsychology
Office
W254,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/