Dr Nikki Street and Dr Erica Lucas attend the European Congress of Psychology 2023 Conference

Written by Dr Nikki Street and Dr Erica Lucas

Recently Psychologists from around the world gathered in Brighton to discuss, debate, and celebrate the impact of psychology on community and society in the European Congress of Psychology co-hosted by the BPS and EFPA. With themes from the conference covering a broad range of topics from climate change to health and wellbeing interventions. The event showed the power of psychology as a discipline to truly have an impact on people’s lives.

We attended talks that specifically looked at mindfulness, well-being, stress, and rumination in a variety of different contexts such as in relation to mobile phone use in the pandemic, spiritual intelligence in college students, the role in digital technology and in a lockdown world. We also saw an excellent keynote address by Daryl O’Connor that outlined his impressive and comprehensive work on stress being ‘the quiet killer’. The talks and events shared the cutting edge of research from psychology and joining this year’s attendees, we (Nikki and Erica) were there presenting some findings from our latest work.

Dr Nikki Street has blonde hair and is wearing black trousers and a black and white stripy top. She is smiling whilst standing in front of her research poster titled mindful students mindful studies.
Dr Nikki Street

On Tuesday, I (Nikki) presented mine and Dr Jenny Taylor’s work using mixed methods to explore the impact of delivering mindfulness interventions to undergraduate students. The main headline of our work being that mindfulness interventions have positive impact on student wellbeing, academic resilience, and feelings of belonging and participants in the sample provided valuable insight into how they continue to use and see the effects of mindfulness in their life following the intervention. Alongside our work I was thrilled to see several different researchers also presenting their work on mindfulness traits and the variety of ways in which research is exploring this fascinating area.

Dr Erica Lucas has brown hair and is wearing blue trousers, a blue top and a black cardigan. Erica is smiling whilst standing in front of her research poster titled being in the choir.
Dr Erica Lucas

The following day, Erica presented our collaboration into the longitudinal impact of participating in a choir. The work showing that after 3 months of choir participation both general and choir specific wellbeing significantly improved, stress was significantly reduced, and personality traits like the mindfulness trait non-reactivity significantly increased.

Alongside all the exciting research such as hearing about the Room to Rant project from AUDIOACTIVE who use rap music to engage young men in mental health support we were pleased to also experience some singing related activities at the conference including a fantastic performance at the opening ceremony from the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus as well as ‘practicing what we preach’ and participating in a lunchtime sing-along workshop which saw the lobby filled with an impromptu acapella choir!

After a fantastically inspiring few days by the sea, now we have gained some valuable feedback and inspiration and we will now be busy writing the work up for publication, keep your eyes peeled for these soon!

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The department is home to the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, a large and active group of psychologists, PhD students and researchers conducting work into a variety of psychological disciplines and topic areas.