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Claudette Foley

What initially attracted you to a career in community psychology?
After counselling for 9 years in a variety of settings I came to the view that there are many aspects of client wellbeing that are related to broader socio-political-cultural-environmental issues.  In addition, I am extremely interested in democratising some of the psychological processes and psych education relevant to the service of improving public mental health and associated community health.

Where did you first learn about community psychology?
I was looking at becoming a Cross Cultural Psychologist and happened upon Community Psychology and I thought I might have found home!

Please list your academic qualifications.
Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) (Hons) - RMIT University
Grad Dip Counselling and Human Services – La Trobe University
Grad Dip Education (Secondary) - Melbourne University
Bachelor of Business – Central Queensland University

What experiences have you had that helped you prepare for your higher degree in community psychology?
I think my whole life has helped to prepare me for Community Psych!  What I like about the study so far is that I can see application in life, everywhere. As a result I can see that my life experiences; working in different roles, in different countries, in different suburbs with a variety of clients, being a parent… just about everything has constructed the lens through which I view the world.

Please describe the community psychology placements you have completed so far.
No placements as yet.  I am working on a really exciting project for the World Health Organisation assisting with a low intensity guided self-help mindfulness based intervention to initially be delivered to refugee camps around the world after RCT’s are complete.

Please describe the research you are conducting for your higher degree thesis.
I am hoping to be able to implement the WHO program, (English version) above and measure the effectiveness for promoting mental health, quality of life and sense of community.

What other research interests do you have?
Soooooooo many, too many to list.

What advice would you offer someone who was considering a career in community psychology?
If you are thinking that there are many elements of clinical psychology that you disagree with and you want to take a broader perspective, investigate it, read about it and see if it feels like work you want to do.

Where do you see yourself working when you finish your higher degree in community psychology?
I’m not sure- keeping myself open to all the possibilities, I think there are many!