Dr Gary Lee joins the Psychology Department at Staffordshire University as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology!

The Psychology academic team are pleased to welcome Dr Gary Lee who joined the University as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in 2021. Gary introduces himself below:

Dr Gary Lee, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

I am thrilled to be joining the Psychology Department and the course team for the Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology here at Staffordshire University.

I do arrive with a confession, however. You see, I fell out with psychology quite early on in my undergraduate studies and did not really picture myself in the field at all for a long time. Perhaps I was searching for something that wasn’t to be found then, as it all seemed very disconnected with life as I knew it. So, I have tried my hand as a writer, doing pieces for magazines (which didn’t go well), writing short-stories (which went less well) and then writing a novel (hmmm….). Then, of course, needed to focus where my skills really lay.

On this journey, I always had in my mind the fabulous people I encountered: their hopes, dreams and painful experiences through the general chaos of life. So, I eventually got curious again about how our minds worked and how we can help, or be helped when in distress. I started my journey in reconnecting with psychology, eventually completing my PhD at the University of Manchester in 2010, where I studied positive family influences in peoples’ recovery from recent-onset psychosis. This cemented a commitment towards clinical training at the University of Leeds.

Since then, I have been working as a clinical psychologist, mainly with children and young people. I have always been amazed by their resilience in the face of society’s problems, but also recognised the high price they pay in their mental health. I’ve worked with staff that go above-and-beyond in the NHS and experienced our health service as an ever-shifting landscape, with many opportunities and challenges for the profession of clinical psychology. For this reason, I am delighted to have the opportunity to put my energies into growing and preparing the next generation of clinical psychologists to thrive.

I am passionate about working with experts by experience, in the co-production and delivery of mental health interventions in the community for young people. I also have research interests in positive psychology, as well as cognitive processes in psychosis. Outside of work, I try to practice what I preach, so I love taking mindful walks in the countryside, trying out new things, and doing what I can as the psychologist in my neighbourhood.

Since arriving, I have felt really welcomed and look forward to meeting new staff, students, collaborating on exciting projects and seeing (more) people again as we move through COVID.


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.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

Staffs Student Stories – Meet Sophie Jarrett, Level 5 BSc (Hons) Psychology Student

Why did you apply and how did you get a place on the course?

I am originally from Stoke-on-Trent and locally studied A-Levels at my school’s sixth form college. I decided to come to an open day at the university after visiting a handful of others around the country. When I came to Staffordshire University, I saw that the facilities here were incredible, that the accommodation was much nicer than other universities, and the Psychology Department was lovely. When I realised, I could have the same independence living away from home on campus, but also being a 15-minute drive away from family, it was an obvious first choice. I received an unconditional offer and I’ve never looked back!

What has been the best part of the course? 

In my first year, I enjoyed my ‘People Behaving Badly’ module, which taught reasoning behind abnormal behaviours. It was interesting to understand why people may behave in a different way. In my second year, I have really enjoyed my ‘Contemporary Issues in Psychology’ module, as it allowed me to see how the knowledge from my lectures and seminars can be applied to real-life scenarios as a Psychologist.  

What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome and how have you overcome them, while studying with us? 

A challenge I have had at university is getting used to presentations. I have an Autistic Spectrum Condition, so presenting to others has never come to me naturally. Nevertheless, I started by just presenting to my lecturers and now by the end of my second year, I can engage in class discussions and lead presentations in front of my classes. Initially I also struggled with statistics and working with numbers. I could never get my head around the different statistical tests and what they were for. But my seminar leader, Dr Zachary Parker, really helped break down what each statistical test is used for, which really aided my understanding of psychological statistics.  

What are your next steps and plans for the future? 

I am an aspiring Clinical Psychologist. I would like to work in the National Health Service and therefore my aims after my undergraduate degree is to continue on to postgraduate study in the hope of a place on the highly-competitive Clinical Psychology Professional Doctorate here at Staffordshire University.

Would you recommend our course to others? 

Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour so it can be used in any career. I’d recommend this course to anyone with an interest in psychology, especially if you would like a hands-on experience, as at Staffordshire University, you get practical experiences which you can use for your final year project or research throughout your time at Staffordshire University. 


Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

Annual Staffordshire Clinical Psychology Trainee Conference a Success!

RG Aug15

Trainees at the 2015 Conference

Ruth Graham, a current trainee Clinical Psychologist at Staffordshire University, reports on a success conference for trainees hosted at the University in the Summer of 2015.

The Clinical Psychology Trainee Conference took place in June and was deemed a great success. This year marked a new turn for the conference, as two trainees designed and ran the day. Following last year’s successful conference about service user involvement, trainees were keen to lead the way in being open and honest about the personal and professional challenges faced by psychologists.

The theme for the conference was ‘Creating Breathing Space’ and it was designed with the intention of being an experiential breathing space on the day, as well as figuring out new ways to find breathing space within trainees’ personal and professional lives.

Trainees writing their personal reflections about the challenges of accessing self care in their personal lives.

Trainees writing their personal reflections about the challenges of accessing self care in their personal lives.

The morning included some action participatory research that allowed for group discussions and individual reflections on the challenges to accessing self care across different areas, such as university, year groups, the NHS, the therapy room, personal life and the world. This was then followed by a brilliant and well received talk on video by Professor Delia Cushway, a consultant clinical psychologist who has spent much of her career exploring trainee and professional stress amongst psychologists.

The trainees listening to Professor Delia Cushway.

The trainees listening to Professor Delia Cushway’s video talk.

The afternoon was filled with a variety of workshops that had different takes on breathing space. They included art therapy – where therapeutic slime was met with varying reactions!

A space for mindfulness was a welcome relief amidst a busy day, whilst Konnektiv Arts, a community drama company, offered thoughtful discussion on the presentation of mental health. Neuro-circus added a fun and different approach to self-care as many tried out their balance and juggling skills.

Trainees gathered together at the end in order to offer final reflections and comments on breathing space and how it can be found and fought for in the workplace. Creative reflections led to a tie dye ripple effect wall hanging that reflected the collective impact of individual steps to find breathing space.

The ripple effect and two trainees who have enjoyed the day.

The ripple effect and two trainees who have enjoyed the day.

Overall the day was a great success, with trainees enjoying being together and having the space to look after themselves, both in the moment and going forward. Look out for a more in-depth presentation and experience of the conference in the exhibition room in The Science Centre, 28th September to 2nd October!

For more information about courses in Psychology and Clinical Psychology at Staffordshire University please visit our course pages here.