Dr Lynne McCormack

Dr Lynne McCormack

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Lynne McCormack is both a clinician and a researcher with over 40 publications in the field of complex trauma and posttraumatic growth. Her therapeutic work has spanned over three decades primarily working with those exposed to complex high risk environments or political and family/childhood trauma. This wealth of professional experience in the field of trauma underpins her role as supervisor on the clinical program at UON. Early postgraduate research explored the long-term psychological effects of war on civilian women, and her PhD research is an interpretative phenomenological study in primary and vicarious psychological growth following exposure to war, disaster, and genocide.

Lynne also is an international Red Cross delegate and a member of RedRUK.  As such, she volunteered her support in East Timor post-independence and in Aceh post 2004 tsunami providing psychological first-aid to those in need, and variably designing, facilitating and evaluating psychosocial and pre-hospital care programs for vulnerable communities.  She has provided both logistic and psychological support to veterans/families of the Vietnam War, she continues to psychologically support all combat returnees and their families through counselling, and facilitating training workshops for DVA and the Veterans and Veterans' Families Counselling Service (VVCS).  She is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management and has a long association with first-responders following critical incident.  

The unique stories of psychological growth that have emerged for many of her clients, despite exposure to horrific and catastrophic events, led to her research interest in the coexisting relationship between negative and positive effects of complex trauma.  Current research projects include: looking beyond PTSD for understanding reintegration difficulties in both military and humanitarian international returnees; exploring transgenerational family violence particularly in reoffenders; developing retained social engagement programs for family carers caught in the trauma/growth of dementia; and interpreting the ‘lived’ experience of refugee status.

She regards individuals as the ‘expert’ in their own lives and appreciates the many ways in which individuals resource their own talents and skills for wellbeing.  Their stories of psychological growth out of adversity are the food of good qualitative research.  She is grateful to have been honoured with the Logistic and Support Medal by the Australian Government, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International for humanitarian services. 

Research Expertise

Dr Lynne McCormack is both a qualitative and quantitative researcher. However, she is particularly experienced as an interpretative phenomenological researcher and in the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a methodology well suited to explore the subjective 'lived' experience of trauma.  She has recently published with colleague Professor Stephen Joseph, University of Nottingham: PHENOMENA, a 9-step guide to avoiding pitfalls with doing IPA in SAGE research Methods Cases Psychology. 

Her many papers include insights into phenomena poorly understood including threat of war, genocide, disasters, policing, bush-fires; professional derailment and impact of war on children of veterans. In light of the grim statistics on relational and family violence worldwide, she is passionate about developing societal programs for reducing the intergenerational violence within families that contributes to ongoing domestic violence and childhood abuse.

Her international collaboration with Professor Stephen Joseph includes many publications and the development of a specific assessment tool for 'reintegration distress' following overseas deployment (PostAID/Q) for use with humanitarian and military personnel. Ongoing collaboration with Professor Victoria Tischler, Centre for Dementia and Art at the University of West London, has led to publication and possible future links between the Centre and UON.  Her research continues with Dr Bruce Walmsley and the development of programs for relational social engagement in families with dementia.  Her desire to better understand and reduce the level of gender related violence, particularly transgenerational violence and trauma, has led to a collaboration with colleagues in Law here at UoN and at the Australian National University.  She retains her contact with Professor Charles Figley of Tulane University, USA and is a contributor to Encyclopedia of Trauma edited by Professor Figley.

2017 grant successes include:  

  •           Finance and Innovation NSW  - transgenerational trauma and gender specific violence ($150,000)

2017 grant submissions include:

  •           Defence Health - Beyond PTSD ($48,973);
  •           Red Cross - wellbeing of humanitarian personnel ($150,000) 
  •          Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation - developing a family carer's program for psychological wellbeing (49,841)
  •           International Visiting Fellowship Grant - Professor Victoria Tischler, Dementia Centre University of West London ($7000).

She is on the editorial board of the journal of Arts and Health, and on the editorial advisory panel for the journal of Traumatology.  She reviews for many peer-reviewed journals including:

  • Arts and Health
  • Traumatology
  • Journal of Traumatic Stress
  • Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, Policy
  • Journal of Humanistic Psychology
  • Community Work and Family
  • European Journal of Cancer
  • Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
  • Disaster Management                          
  • Dementia
  • Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma  
  • Aging and Mental Health

Collaborations

  • Dr Lynne McCormack's primary research is in the construct of posttraumatic growth and distress to which she has contributed further through her research findings. Most of her 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.
  • Collaboration with Professor Victoria Tischler, University of West London, links into the newly established Centre for Dementia at UWL.  This sits at the interface of her work with Dr Bruce Walmsley, HammondCARE and the development of a positive intervention program/APP for families caring for a family member with dementia.
  • Recently, she has begun collaborations with the School of Law at UoN and School of Law ANU resulting in a grant from Finance and Innovation NSW to develop a psych-APP to be used by apprehended violence orders/reoffenders.    
  • Ongoing collaboration continues within the UoN School of Psychology and the Centre for Resource Health and Safety, Faculty of Health and Medicine UON, chaired by Associate Professor Mark Rubin.

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 including facilitating RYLA and RELAYID, youth leadership programs in Rotary for 5 years. Such programs are inclusive of workplace conflict, or provide educational and cognitive behavioural strategies following critical incident.  She was contracted to develop in-hospital programs in Combat PTSD and CBT and Chronic Pain. Currently, she teaches and co-ordinates modules on the Clinical/Doctoral postgraduate program.  Lynne has numerous students who seek to conduct their own research attached to her projects and supervises provisional clinical students in the University Psychology Clinic.  She is often asked to speak as an ‘expert’ on trauma on radio and for journalists (see Cloud).

Administrative Expertise

Dr Lynne McCormack has managed her own consultancy practice administering staff and business needs. She was engaged to develop and manage the Newcastle Private Hospital psychology unit providing staff and patients with psychological services and education. She has designed, monitored and fund-raised for humanitarian projects in East Timor and Africa. She supervises clinicians and students in professional development, manages a trauma lab for her research students and supervises PhD, Masters and Honours research theses through research development to ongoing publications. She currently coordinates modules on the Clinical/Doctoral postgraduate program.




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

Code Description Percentage
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified 30
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology 40
170113 Social and Community Psychology 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Psychology
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
12/03/2012 -  Senior Lecturer/Clinical Psychologist Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle
Australia
1/01/2011 - 1/01/2012 Assistant Professor University of Canberra
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/1991 - 11/05/2017 Consultant Psychologist

 As a senior lecturer and clinical psychologist at the University of Newcastle, Australia registered in both the UK and Australia, Dr Lynne McCormack must continue to practice to supervise the clinical students on the university clinical programs.  Her work as a trauma therapist and psychosocial programmer over the last 25 years has included international aid, private practice, hospitals, education, military and front-line emergency services with a focus on the psychological wellbeing and safety of those exposed to high-risk environments i.e. war, genocide, and humanitarian emergencies. Much of her research highlights the interface between negative and positive responses to complex trauma for providing a platform for posttraumatic growth. Lynne is a Psychosocial Delegate with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and an associate of the Centre for Trauma, Resilience and Growth, Nottingham UK. 

Private Practitioner
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2006 Paul Harris Fellow Award
Australian Rotary Health Research Fund
1997 The Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal
Australian Government
Edit

Publications

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


(57 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'PHENOMENA: A 9-step guide to avoiding pitfalls when doing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. IPA and the ¿lived¿ experience of complex trauma', SAGE Research Methods Cases Psychology, SAGE, London (2017)
2017 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, 1 63-72 (2017)
DOI 10.1007/s41252-017-0010-z
Co-authors Linda E Campbell
2017 McCormack L, White S, Cuenca J, 'A fractured journey of growth: making meaning of a ¿Broken¿ childhood and parental mental ill-health', Community, Work and Family, 20 327-345 (2017)

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The psychopathological impact of parental mental ill-health on children is well known. However, little research ex... [more]

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The 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 ¿lived¿ 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 ¿self¿ 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.

DOI 10.1080/13668803.2015.1117418
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)
2017 Walmsley BD, McCormack LM, 'Moderate dementia: Relational social engagement (RSE) during family visits', Aging & Mental Health, (2017)
DOI 10.1080/13607863.2017.1326462
2017 McCormack LM, Sillick T, 'Rebuilding lives: Psychological trauma and growth in the aftermath of a catastrophic Australian bushfire', International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, (2017)
2017 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, 21 658-667 (2017)

© 2016, © Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Objectives: Limited research explores the medical model of residential care in dementia from the family caregi... [more]

© 2016, © Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Objectives: 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 ¿system¿ control, overarched three subordinate themes: connecting/disconnecting, windowsclosing, and capacity forsensation. Navigatingsystem 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.

DOI 10.1080/13607863.2016.1146872
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)

© 2016 American Psychological Association. Objective: No known research explores the double-edged phenomenon of childhood trauma/adult mental health consumer. Therefore, whether ... [more]

© 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.

DOI 10.1037/tra0000193
2017 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 Psychology, 36 45-54 (2017) [C1]

© 2016 American Psychological Association. Objectives: 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a complex genetic syndrome associated with more than 180 features, presents complex ch... [more]

© 2016 American Psychological Association. Objectives: 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a complex genetic syndrome associated with more than 180 features, presents complex challenges for parents including gaining a diagnosis. This phenomenological study sought the "lived" interpretations of parents supporting an adult child with 22q11DS, a poorly researched area. Method: Interpretative phenomenological analysis informed a detailed and open exploration of parenting a child through to adult life with 22q11DS. Using in-depth semistructured interviews, 8 parents (2 male, 6 female) of adult children with 22q11DS were individually interviewed; providing the data set for transcription and thematic analysis. Results: Losing "I" Finding "self," overarched 6 subordinate themes that emerged from participants' articulated descriptions of psychological distress and psychological growth. Distress in parenting a child with 22q11DS was experienced through stigma, loss, grief, and guilt. Progressively, stigma undermined independence, friendships, and instinctual judgement. Ill-informed hierarchical structures experienced as layers of obstruction and lack of awareness of the syndrome triggered angry advocacy for their child. Diagnosis brought opposing relief and grief. In time, they came to value their unique "accomplishments," collected on their journey with 22q11DS, and in turn, consciously valued authentic "self" expressed through empathy, humility, gratitude, and pride. Conclusion: Parental distress through societal, educational, and health care invalidation persisted for decades for all participants. Conversely, distress facilitated psychological growth for redefining "self" and role as parents over time. Building on this phenomenological cameo, future research can educate against the plight of 22q11DS families. It can enlighten health care professionals in buffering against associated stigma, blame, and self-doubt, and in fostering psychological well-being.

DOI 10.1037/hea0000415
Co-authors Linda E Campbell
2017 McCormack LM, Sillick T, 'Rebuilding lives: Psychological trauma and growth in the aftermath of a catastrophic Australian bushfire' (2017)
2016 Douglas H, McCormack LM, Rose D, 'The Psychometric Properties of Cognitive Confidence: Structure across Cultures in Working Adult Samples.', The Journal of Psychology and Cognition., 1 81-90 (2016) [C1]
2016 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]
DOI 10.1037/trm0000053
2016 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]

© 2016 American Psychological Association. Little research has included exploration of the interpreted experiences of a childhood overshadowed by a parent¿s distress from war. I... [more]

© 2016 American Psychological Association. Little research has included exploration of the interpreted experiences of a childhood overshadowed by a parent¿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 ¿self¿ 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 child¿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 father¿ child relationship irrevocably impacted by combatrelated trauma. In doing so, the ¿growthful¿ domain of self-acceptance may facilitate respectful choice in future adult relationships.

DOI 10.1037/trm0000097
2016 McCormack L, Katalinic N, 'Learning to Heal from Those Who Know! The ¿Lived¿ Experience of a Peer Support Program for Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma', Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 25 1021-1042 (2016) [C1]

© 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 facil... [more]

© 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.

DOI 10.1080/10926771.2016.1223247
2016 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]

© 2015, © 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 p... [more]

© 2015, © 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 naiveté; 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.

DOI 10.1177/1471301215573676
2016 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).

DOI 10.1037/trm0000107
2016 Threader J, McCormack LM, 'Cancer-related trauma, stigma and growth: the ¿lived¿ experience of head and neck cancer', European Journal of Cancer Care, 25 157-169 (2016) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 3
2016 McCormack L, Riley L, 'Medical discharge from the ¿family,¿ moral injury, and a diagnosis of PTSD: Is psychological growth possible in the aftermath of policing trauma?', Traumatology, 22 19-28 (2016) [C1]

© 2016 American Psychological Association. The potential for acute and cumulative exposure to traumatic events associated with policing is well recognized. However, research expl... [more]

© 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 ¿lived¿ 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 ¿felt¿ distress as directly attributable to organizational factors that left them feeling invalidated, betrayed, and without support. Over time, some experienced a newfound appreciation of ¿self,¿ facilitated by hope. Implications for clinical practice and policy are discussed.

DOI 10.1037/trm0000059
2016 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]

© 2015, © 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 subjectiv... [more]

© 2015, © 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 ¿self¿ 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.

DOI 10.1177/1471301215574112
2016 McCormack LM, Walmsley Bruce D, 'Severe dementia: Retained Social Engagement (RSE) during family visits.', Aging and Mental Health, (2016)
DOI 10.1080/13607863.2016.1220923
2016 McCormack L, Henry E, 'The ¿lived¿ experience of Playback Theatre practitioners in post-war Sri Lanka: naivety, altruism, reciprocal caring, and psychological growth', Arts and Health, 1-14 (2016)

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Background: Playback Theatre is applied theatre that draws on real-life stories from its audience to reflect the ps... [more]

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Background: 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.

DOI 10.1080/17533015.2016.1262879
2016 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]

© 2014, © 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 communic... [more]

© 2014, © 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 backward¿encompassing those times when relatives hovered uncertainly, missed opportunities to engage due to advancing dementia, and felt regret and (b) Steps forward¿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.

DOI 10.1177/0022167814557547
Citations Web of Science - 2
2015 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]
DOI 10.1037/trm0000025
Citations Scopus - 2
2015 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]
DOI 10.1037/trm0000024
Citations Scopus - 1
2014 McCormack L, Joseph S, 'Psychological growth in aging Vietnam veterans: Redefining shame and betrayal', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 54 336-355 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0022167813501393
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 7
2014 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. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

DOI 10.1177/1471301213480359
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
2014 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. © The Author(s) 2013.

DOI 10.1177/1557988313496838
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2014 McCormack LM, McKellar L, 'Terrorism and posttraumatic growth: The aftermath of the Bali Bombing 2005' (2014)
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. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

DOI 10.1080/13668803.2012.735478
Citations Scopus - 14
2013 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]
DOI 10.1177/1534765613481855
Citations Scopus - 11
2012 McCormack LM, 'Encyclopaedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide', Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide, SAGE, New York, US 20-904 (2012) [B1]
2012 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]
Citations Scopus - 3
2012 McCormack LM, 'Genocide (2012) [D2]
2012 McCormack LM, 'Nongovernmental organizations, governments and humanitarian aid', Encyclopaedia of Trauma (2012) [D2]
2012 McCormack LM, 'Humanitarian missions (2012) [D2]
2012 McCormack LM, 'Traumatized entertainers (2012) [D2]
2012 McCormack LM, 'Governments and NGOs (2012)
2012 Walmsley B, McCormack LM, 'The dance of communication: Living with dementia' (2012)
2011 Tischler 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]
2011 McCormack LM, Hagger M, Joseph S, 'Vicarious growth in wives of Vietnam veterans: A phenomenological investigation into decades of "lived" experience', Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51 273-290 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0022167810377506
Citations Scopus - 25
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]
2011 McCormack LM, 'Using EMDR in the treatment of chronic pain' (2011)
2011 McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'Posttraumatic growth through reparation with 'self': Redefining primary and secondary complex traumatic distress in humanitarian aid personnel' (2011)
2010 McCormack LM, 'Using the 'Most Significant Change Technique' to evaluate a post-tsunami psychosocial programme.', Qualitative Methodology in Psychology Bulletin (QM, 19-24 (2010) [C1]
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]
2010 McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'The pitfalls and challenges of phenomenological research following the adversity of war' (2010)
2010 McCormack LM, Joseph S, 'The humility of shameful growth: Decades of betrayal following modern warfare. A phenomenological interpretation' (2010)
2010 McCormack LM, Primary and vicarious posttraumatic growth following war, genocide and humanitarian emergencies: An interpretative phenomenological analysis, University of Nottingham, UK (2010) [T3]
2009 McCormack LM, 'Civilian women at war: Psychological impact decades after the Vietnam war', Journal of Loss and Trauma, 14 447-458 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/15325020902925209
Citations Scopus - 2
2009 McCormack LM, Joseph S, Hagger MS, 'Sustaining a positive altruistic identity in humanitarian aid work: A qualitative case study', Traumatology, 15 109-118 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1534765609332325
Citations Scopus - 5
2009 McCormack LM, 'Making meaning out of humanitarian trauma and genocide' (2009)
2008 McCormack L, 'Analysing ¿Hot¿ cognitions. A recent masterclass on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).', Qualitative Methodology in Psychology (QMiP), 28-30 (2008) [O1]
2008 McCormack LM, 'Analysing 'Hot' Cognitions. A recent Masterclass on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)', Qualitative Methods in Psychology (QMiP) (2008) [D2]
2008 McCormack LM, 'The personal World of a lifetime in humanitarian aid' (2008)
1998 McCormack LM, Development of warzone exposure scale for civilian women in warzones and the relationship between exposure and current psychological morbidity, University of Newcastle (1998)
Swaab L, McCormack L, Campbell LE, 'Distress and Psychological Growth in Parenting an Adult Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Aggression', Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders,
DOI 10.1007/s41252-017-0033-5
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 14
Total funding $2,439,236

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


20172 grants / $152,000

The AVO App© : 'Bernie' $150,000

The AVO App© : 'Bernie'

In light of the grim statistics on relational and family violence worldwide, a passion for alleviating childhood trauma often perpetrated through transgenerational violence has brought a collaboration between myself and colleagues in the Law School.  Sher Campbell, UON and Colin James, ANU and I have joined forces supported by local lawyers in an attempt to evolve ways of assisting individuals and families in the aftermath of domestic violence.  Our project has been accepted for a Finance, Services and Innovation NSW Government grant.  This exciting project will cross pollinate with business and technology as we develop a psych-wellbeing phone APP for re-offenders of domestic violence introduced at the crucial stage between being charged and court appearance.  

[1] The name and work described here is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of Colin James, Lynne McCormack and Sher Campbell.

Funding body: Services, Finance and Innovation NSW

Funding body Services, Finance and Innovation NSW
Project Team

Lynne McCormack; Sher Campbell; Colin James

Scheme Finances, Services and Innovation NSW Government
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS
UON N

Faculty PVC Conference Assistance $2,000

Funding body: Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle | Australia

Funding body Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle | Australia
Scheme Conference Travel Grant (Faculty, School and Singapore QA Funds)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20162 grants / $13,100

Special Studies Program (SSP)$8,200

Grant for SSP completed in UK with collaborations between Professor Stephen Joseph and Professor Victoria Tischler.

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team

Lynne McCormack

Scheme Award for Research Excellence
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Local
Category 2OPL
UON N

Faculty Visiting Fellowship Grant$4,900

Funding body: Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle | Australia

Funding body Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle | Australia
Project Team

Professor Stephen Joseph, University of Notthingham

Scheme Visiting Fellowship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

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 Heal for Life Foundation
Project Team Doctor Lynne McCormack, Doctor Linda Campbell, Doctor Sean Halpin
Scheme Postgraduate Scholarship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1400837
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

Faculty Visiting Fellowship 2014$7,527

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

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project Team Doctor Lynne McCormack
Scheme Visiting Fellowship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1401053
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

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

Publication arising from this grant: 

  • Douglas, Rose, & McCormack (2017). The Psychometric Properties of Cognitive Confidence: Structure across Cultures in Working Adult Samples. The Journal of Psychology and Cognition. 1 (1): 81-90.

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Dennis Rose, Doctor Lynne McCormack, Dr Heather Douglas
Scheme Linkage Pilot Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1400303
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Faculty PVC Conference Assistance Grant 2014$2,000

Publication arising from this grant:

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
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1401226
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20121 grants / $4,957

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

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Lynne McCormack
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200743
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20111 grants / $500,000

Ministry of Health Grant$500,000

This grant was sought by 31 members of the Faculty of Health, University of Canberra including myself, to establish the Centre for Research and Action in Public Health (CeRAPH) to become a centre of research excellence.  As such the Centre's research focuses on health and wellbeing (physical/mental) across the lifespan and the complex interaction of factors that determine healthy living for people of all ages and abilities. Health and wellbeing are influenced by a complex mix of biological, environmental, social, economic, psychological and cultural factors throughout life. A key goal is to understand the contribution and interaction of the determinants that shape health across the life course and to develop strategies and interventions to improve and promote good health for all. Emphasis is placed, particularly, on multi-disciplinary translational research and the application into practice and health policy. Research includes epidemiological and intervention approaches to test findings or theories in the ‘real world’. There are five programs of work in areas related to:

  • Prevention of non-communicable disease
  • Burden of disease modelling and costs
  • Healthy and sustainable urban communities
  • Natural resource management and wellbeing
  • Health services research and evaluation

Publication arising out of this initiative:

  • McCormack, L., Lewis, V., & Wells, J. (2014). Early life loss and trauma: Eating Disorder Onset in Middle Aged Male, A Case Study. American Journal of Men’s Health 8, (2), 121-136. Published online before print August 1, 2013: http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/23884788

Funding body: Commonwealth Ministry of Health

Funding body Commonwealth Ministry of Health
Project Team

31 members of the Faculty of Health including myself

Scheme Ministry of Health, Canberra
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON N

20091 grants / $10,000

Building Experience and Skill Travel Scholarships (BESTS)$10,000

Building Experience and Skill Travel Scholarship (BESTS) is a research grant to broaden research experience and networks of contacts by fully funding up to two months duration at a host organisation anywhere in the world. The host organisation gives researchers the chance to broaden their understanding of research and collaboration skills in whatever sector they choose e.g. a university, a business, a government department, a charity, or a non-governmental organisation.

  • Dr Lynne McCormack successfully competed for this scholarship and spent the two months collaborating with Professor Catherine Tang at the National University of Singapore and Professor Paul Komesaroff at Monash University, Melbourne.  Both of these collaborations have contributed to her ongoing research trajectory in the humanitarian sector and complex trauma.

Professor Paul Komesaroff, medical ethics, is responsible for setting up a Health and Development Alliance (HaDA) to develop minimum standards for Australia humanitarian workers. This project devises a university based post graduate training program that is applicable across all professions in aid work. Professor Catherine Tang of National University of Singapore is a researcher in complex trauma and psychological growth following adversity.  We have collaborated on our mutual work in psychosocial care following the South East Asian Tsunami.  She had been instrumental in setting up a trauma module at the University of Hong Kong and I was interested in whether the University of Singapore had encouraged a similar focus given its central location in South East Asia

Funding body: University of Nottingham Graduate Studies

Funding body University of Nottingham Graduate Studies
Project Team

Lynne McCormack

Scheme BESTS
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

20061 grants / $108,000

Overseas Research Scholarship (ORS)$108,000

The Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS) is an international postgraduate award for selected foreign country nationals to undertake research at higher-education institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom.  The award is among the most selective and prestigious awards offered to international students and scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and research potential. The Scheme is funded through the four UK higher education funding bodies (for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Dr Lynne McCormack was awarded the prestigious ORS for postgraduate research leading to her PhD: Primary and Vicarious Posttraumatic Growth following War, Genocide and Humanitarian Emergencies:  An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Publications arising from this grant include: 

McCormack, L. & Devine, W. (2016). Childhood and the imposition of war: Self-blame, absolution/non-absolution, and vicarious growth in adult children of Vietnam veterans. Traumatology http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/trm0000097

McCormack, L., Orenstein, A., & Joseph, S. (2016). Postmission Altruistic Identity Disruption Questionnaire (PostAID/Q): Reliability and Validity in measuring distress during reintegration following International Humanitarian Aid work.  Traumatology.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/trm0000053.

McCormack, L. & Joseph, S. (2014). A lone journey of psychological growth in aging Vietnam veterans:  Redefining shame and betrayal. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 54, 3, 336-355. Published online before print August 29, 2013:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/002216781350139

McCormack, L. & Joseph, S. (2013). Psychological distress and growth in humanitarian aid personnel: Making meaning of occupational exposure to war and genocide.  Community, Work and Family, 16, 2, 147-163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13668803.2012.735478

McCormack, L. & Sly, R. (2013). Distress and Growth: The subjective ‘lived’ experiences of being the child of a Vietnam veteran. Traumatology, 19 (4), 303-312.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534765613481855

McCormack, L. & Joseph, S. (2012). Post-mission Altruistic Identity Disruption Questionnaire (PostAID/Q):    Preliminary development of a measure of responses to aid work. Traumatology 18 (3) 41-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534765611430726

McCormack, L., Hagger, M. & Joseph, S. (2011). Vicarious growth in wives of Vietnam veterans: A phenomenological investigation into decades of 'lived' experience.  The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51, 273-290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022167810377506

McCormack, L., Joseph, S. & Hagger, M. (2009). Sustaining a Positive Altruistic Identity (AI) following humanitarian aid   missions: A qualitative case study. Traumatology, 15, 2, 109-118. Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534765609332325

McCormack, L. (2009). Civilian Women at War: Psychological impact decades after the Vietnam War. Journal of Loss   and Trauma, 14, 447-458. Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15325020902925209


Funding body: UK Higher Education Funding Scheme

Funding body UK Higher Education Funding Scheme
Project Team

Lynne McCormack

Scheme UK Higher Education Funding Scheme
Role Lead
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2010
GNo
Type Of Funding International - Competitive
Category 3IFA
UON N

20051 grants / $1,500,000

Red Cross Psychosocial Programme in Meulaboh, Aceh, Indonesia$1,500,000

On 26th December, 2004, a massive earthquake occurred under the ocean off the coast of Sumatra, creating a tsunami which swept along the western coast of Aceh, causing the world’s largest natural disaster in modern history.  Danish Red Cross (DRC), who have extensive international expertise in psychosocial programming (PSP) in emergencies, applied to European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) for six month emergency funding to start a psychosocial project in the affected western districts of Aceh.  This included Psychological First Aid (PFA), development of a psychosocial programme (PSP) and identifying and referring those individuals who needed further psychiatric intervention.  ECHO provided 1 Million (EURO) for the project.  The specific operational objectives were to reduce the suffering of affected people of the tsunami disaster, to alleviate immediate psychological effects, reduce the risk of long lasting mental disorder and ensure the referral of identified psychiatric cases.  DRC was asked to become the lead agency for PSP among the participating national societies. 

  • Dr McCormack was commissioned through the Australian Red Cross as a psychologist advisor and evaluator.  Her role was to support local psychologists working with the bereaved families and displaced persons including orphaned children, and conduct the end-of-mission evaluative report for ECHO on design, outcomes, and lessons learned.  

Additionally, from the program's evaluation a peer-reviewed article was developed and published:

  • McCormack, L. (2010). Using the ‘Most Significant Change Technique’ to evaluate a post-tsunami psychosocial programme. Qualitative Methodology in Psychology Bulletin (QMiP), Issue 9, May, 19-24.
 

Funding body: European Commission for Humanitarian Projects

Funding body European Commission for Humanitarian Projects
Project Team

6 Danish Red Cross humanitarians, 1 team leader, 1 evaluator/psychologist (myself)

Scheme European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo
Type Of Funding International - Competitive
Category 3IFA
UON N

20021 grants / $90,000

Pre-hospital care and emergency recovery Timor Leste$90,000

Timor-Leste (East Timor) post elections faced massive rebuilding with the destruction of most of the infrastructure and many citizens  traumatised and deskilled. There was no ambulance service and those with related skills were either dead, in camps in West Timor, or in hiding in the hills outside Dili.  A third of the nation had disappeared. Volunteer ambulance personnel from Australia attempted to offer help but with roads blown away and water and electricity in disrepair, the assistance was haphazard and creative to say the least.  After the UN withdrew from Timor-Leste in 2002, there was no emergency recovery for the people on the island of Atauro or other outlying islands and one ambulance officer and one vehicle for service on the mainland. Many Australian paramedics had volunteered their services to Timor-Leste in the turmoil following post civil war elections, and on return described the lack of services for ill and injured. Grants were sought to design, conduct and evaluate a pre-hospital and emergency training program for surviving nurses post civil war in Timor-Leste.

  • Dr Lynne McCormack took the lead raising the funds of $90,000 through AUSAid, Rotary Foundation and a Carl P Miller Grant.  The project was threefold following collaboration with the newly instated Minister of Health: 1) the Minister of Health requisition a donated boat for the Ministry which was outfitted  using some of the funds as an ambulance boat for the islands off Dili which had no emergency health care services; 2)  Phase 1 was developing a Training Programme for personnel newly employed by the Ministry of Health and trained by Craig Hooper of APAC who was contracted to begin the process of developing the Ambulance Service in East Timor and commence training.  This was evaluated and adjustments to needs made for further training; 3) over a 2 year period, 6 monthly training continued with support as the local personnel began to develop and evaluate their own professional development.
  •  
  • As lead on this 3 year project , Dr McCormack was responsible for design, development and evaluation of the program, setting in place ongoing support, and incremental and final reporting to Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste Ministry of Health, AUSAid and Rotary International on the overall project outcomes and financial disbursement. The project and findings were presented at the Rotary Conference the following year, and a further collaborative project, the National Tuberculosis Project, gained traction from the outcomes, through the Australia/East Timor Community Assistance Scheme. 

Funding body: AUSAid and Carl P Miller

Funding body AUSAid and Carl P Miller
Project Team

Rui Araju (Minister of Health Timor Leste), Craig Hooper, John Dixon, Daryl Mills, Lynne McCormack (myself)

Scheme AUSAid and Carl P Miller
Role Lead
Funding Start 2002
Funding Finish 2004
GNo
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed24
Current12

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.4

Highlighted Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
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
2012 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
2010 PhD The impact of stigma on influencing adversarial growth processes and outcome within an oncology population Psychology, Australian National University Consultant Supervisor

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 Honours Exploring the transgenerational military family narrative: Positive and negative interpretations Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2017 Masters The lived experience of ADHD: Positive and negative interpretions in adult life Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2017 Masters Making Meaning of the Therapeutic Relationship in Adult Life in the Aftermath of Complex Childhood Trauma Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2017 Masters Growing up with family trauma and violence: Positive and negative interpretations in adolescence Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2017 Masters Domestic violence in adult relationships and traumatic abuse in childhood: A bibliometric Analyssi of Research Output over time Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2017 Masters Postmission Altruistic Identity Distruption Questionnaire (PostAID-Q): Further Incremental Validity of a Measure of Responses Following Humanitarian Aid Work Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2017 Honours The lived experience of having been a refugee: The subjective interpretation of adults who spent part of their adult life in a refugee facility Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
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
2016 Masters The lived experience of having been a refuee child: The subjective interpretion of adults who spent part of their childhood in a refugee facility Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2016 Masters The 'lived' experience of International aid work in complex humanitarian emergencies Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters Refugees and Psychological Wellbeing: A bibliomentric analysis of research output over time Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2010 Masters Trauma treatment specific to Childhood traumaL A bibliometric Analysis of Research output over time Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2016 Masters Exploring the positive and negative 'lived' experience of long-term, sexual assult counsellors working in the community Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2016 Masters Experience of Homecoming and Reintegration in Ex-Military Personnel: A Qualitative Study Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2016 Masters Distress and Psychological Growth as Companions of Sense Making from the Childhood Experience of Out-of-Home-Care Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters Ebola and Australian Humanitarian Healthcare Delegate: A Psychological Exploration of the 'Lived' Experience of Aid Work amid the 2014 Ebola crisis Psychology, University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters A dual phenomenon: Positive and negative interpretations of experiencing childhood trauma and facilitating a residential peer support program for survivors of childhood trauma Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters A CBT inpatient chronic pain management model: Factors impacting treatment outcomes Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters A childhood overshadowed by parental combat distress: Redefining self from the perspective of adult children Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2015 Honours Square blocks need square holes: Distress and psycholgical growth in parenting an adult child with autism spectrum disorder and aggression Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters Making Meaning of a Psychiatric Diagnosis in Adult Life in the Aftermath of Complex Childhood Trauma Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters Childhood Trauma: Positive and negative interpretations of survivors facilitating a peer-support program Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters Exploring the Positive and Negative experience of teaching Playback Theatre in Post War Sri Lanka: The Lived Experience of Playback Theatre Practitioners Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2015 Masters Adaptive Growth Following Terrorism: Vigilance and Anger as Facilitators of Posttraumatic Growth in the Aftermath of the Bali Bombings Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2014 Masters Postmission Altrustic Identity Distruption Questionnaire (PostAID/Q): Reliability and validity in measuring distress during reintegration following International Humanitarian Aid Work Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2014 Professional Doctorate Policing, Medical Discharge and a Diagnosis of PTSD: Is Psychological Growth Possible Following the Anguish of Policing Trauma, Leaving the 'Family', and Perceived Morgal Injury Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Principal Supervisor
2014 Masters Therapists, Complex Trauma, and the Medical Model: Making Meaning of Vicarioius Distress and Limitations to Intervention with Complex Trauma in the Inpatient Setting Psychology, The University of Newcastle, NSW Sole Supervisor
2014 Professional Doctorate A Fracturerd Journey of Growth: Making Meaning of a 'Broken' Childhood and Paternal Mental III-Health Psychology, Univeristy of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2014 Masters The Relationship between intelligence and personality problems: The role of Confidence and Overconfidence Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2013 Honours The dual role fo healing and euthanising in veterinary practice: Making-meaning of the the positive and negative experiences on psychological well-being of veterinary practitioners Psychology, The University of Newcastle Sole Supervisor
2012 Masters Psychological Growth following Executive Derailment: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study Psychology, University of Canberra Sole Supervisor
2012 Masters Making meaning of multiple threats to family members and property following Australian bushfires Psychology, University of Canberra Principal Supervisor
2012 Masters Distress and Growth in the Adult Children of Vietnam War Veterans Psychology, University of Canberra Sole Supervisor
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Research Projects

Australia Red Cross – Investigating the experiences of Western Healthcare Workers in non-western Disaster Zones 2017 -

Application to the Australian Red Cross – Investigating the experiences of Western Healthcare Workers in non-western Disaster Zones; $114,864


Beyond PTSD: Altruistic identity disruption and moral injury as predictors of post-combat well-being in military personnel. 2017 -

Contemporarily, combat distress is viewed through a PTSD lens and regarded the most likely psychopathology impacting military personnel and their families. Colleagues or families are often first to recognize that a returnee is not psychologically well. If not appropriately addressed, long-term psychological consequences for partners and children are also likely (McCormack et al., 2011; McCormack & Sly, 2013; McCormack & Joseph, 2014; McCormack & Devine, 2016). However, we believe that there is more to post-deployment psychological distress than posttraumatic stress (PTS) impacting healthy reintegration with families by military personnel. Specifically, The present research will investigate other non-PTSD factors: altruistic identity disruption and moral injury; as additional likely causes of post-deployment problems.  An EOI has been submitted for $48,973.


Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation. Collaboration between Dr Lynne McCormack and Dr Bruce Walmsley, HammondCare and UNSW. 2017 -

This study will pilot a relational social engagement (RSE) program for families on the dementia care pathway. It has been developed from recent studies by Walmsley and McCormack (2014, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c, in press) in which the construct of RSE was recognised from the interface between psychological distress and psychological wellbeing in families who live with the impact of dementia. The program will present an RSE framework for families to use in their communication with each other promoting (a) positive adjustment to the dementia care pathway, (b) ongoing relational and social engagement with a family member who lives with dementia to assess the program. Outcomes will be assessed and inform larger studies.

Grant application: Altzhemer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation (AADRF) $49,841.
 


International Visiting Fellowship Grant. Collaboration with Professor Victoria Tischler 2017 -

This grant application is to seek the visit of Professor Victoria Tischler, University of West London, an expert in Dementia and the Arts.  She has established the Centre for Dementia in London and having worked together on various projects in the past are looking to connect UoN and UWL's Dementia Centre for future collaboration.


Editorial Board: Arts & Health: an international journal for research, policy and practice 2017 - 2027


Psycho-social APP for repeat offenders of domestic violence 2017 - 2018

‘The AVO App’(c) - We’ve got your back! 

Transgenerational trauma and Domestic Violence. Development of a youth program for changing gender specific violence behaviours in reoffenders 2017 -

Grant from Services, Finance and Innovation NSW. Transgenerational trauma and Domestic Violence. Development of a youth program for changing gender specific violence behaviours in reoffenders – START-UP joint project initiative between schools of Law and Psychology. Up to  $150,000 to develop it through an ‘incubation process’. Link: https://launch.innovation.nsw.gov.au/reoffending.



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Dr Lynne McCormack

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email lynne.mccormack@newcastle.edu.au
Phone 4985 4543
Link SoundCloud

Office

Building Behavioural Sciences Building
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