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Annual Conference - Addiction

7th-9th May 2021, Warwick University
Online booking has now closed, please contact secretary@oups.org.uk for availability.

Every year OUPS holds an applied psychology conference, inviting top psychologists to talk on a specific area of psychology to give delegates the opportunity to hear experts in the field present up to date research on a specific area of psychology and to provide a forum for informed discussion.

Coronavirus statement (updated 15 September 2021)

The current covid-19 pandemic is a highly unusual and a stressful situation, but hopefully we are seeing the possibility of things returning to more normal in the coming months. We are continually assessing our situation in the light of the official advice, and we want to make our position clear to any of you who are anxious about an existing booking or who are thinking of making a booking on one of our forthcoming events.

Refund policy

The primary goal of OUPS is to support as many students as possible, not to make a profit, but as a registered charity we are also obliged to ensure that we manage our funds responsibly. Consequently, our refund policy is to issue refunds for cancellations whenever we are able to recover money from our suppliers. However, if you need to cancel after our cancellation deadline with Warwick has passed, we will have paid for your place and will not be able to reclaim the money to refund you.

Our Terms & Conditions detail the cancellation deadlines and fees under normal circumstances, and these currently apply because there are no government COVID restrictions at this time. If this changes (e.g. if there was a January lockdown) then we would expect to be able to recover payments and hence to issue full refunds for all bookings.

Our 2021 conference will consider the topic of Addiction.

We have assembled a panel of expert speakers who will bring the benefit of their individual perspectives to bear on examining how psychology can explain these kinds of planet-wide phenomena.


Our currently confirmed speakers are: 
  • Professor Gerben Meynen will be speaking to us about addiction and free-will, i.e. is it meaningful to describe addicted people as being free to make choices or are they slaves to their addiction? Gerben received a PhD in Philosophy and in Medicine. He is professor of Forensic Psychiatry (Utrecht University) and endowed professor of Ethics and Psychiatry (VU University Amsterdam). Since 2006, he has been a psychiatrist at GGZ in Geest, Amsterdam.
  • Professor Aldo Badiani will be joining us to talk about drug and alcohol addiction. After receiving a doctoral degree from the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), Aldo conducted post-doctoral research at the Centre for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology (CSBN), Concordia University (Montreal, PQ, Canada), and at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA). He returned to the Sapienza University of Rome in 1999 as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, progressing to Associate Professor in 2001 and then to Professor in 2008. Since 2012, he is a Professor of Psychology and Addiction Medicine at the University of Sussex. His research activity focuses on the neurobiology of addictive drugs and spans from preclinical research in animals to clinical intervention in humans.
  • Professor Morten Kringlebach will be joining us to talk about addiction and the brain. Morten undertook his doctoral research at Oxford on the functional neuroanatomy of emotion, after having studied at the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Academy of Arts, Denmark. In 2002 he came to The Queen’s College as a Junior Research Fellow and in 2006 started his own research group on pleasure, based in Oxford and at University of Aarhus, where he is also a Professor of Neuroscience. In 2011, he co-founded The Scars of War Foundation which is an interdisciplinary research centre at Queen’s dedicated to advancing understanding of the effects of war and disaster. Recently, he helped create the Music in the Brain centre in Denmark. Morten has spoken twice before at OUPS and he is back again by popular demand.His research is aimed at understanding the pleasure systems in the human brain in health and disease. This pursuit uses a multidisciplinary and transnational approach using neuroimaging, neuropsychiatry, neurosurgery and whole-brain computational modelling. His research can be divided into three strands: 1) investigating fundamental pleasure networks in health and disease, 2) elucidating well-being as e.g. found in music and the parent-infant relationship, and 3) understanding and alleviating anhedonia in clinical populations (e.g. with post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease) using deep brain stimulation and other less invasive methods.
  • Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones will be joining us to talk about gambling and alcohol addictions. Henrietta is a medical doctor and neuroscience researcher working as Consultant psychiatrist in Addictions. She was awarded an OBE in 2019 for Services to Addiction Treatment and to Research. Having completed her medical degree and her psychiatric training she spent some years with Imperial College researching the effects of alcohol on the brain. She was awarded a Medical Doctorate in Neuroscience for her work, her doctorate thesis was on Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Dysfunction in Alcohol dependency. Decision-making is one of her areas of interest. She is Honorary Professor, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London (UCL) and Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow, Dept of Psychiatry, Cambridge University. She is also Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College and Current President Elect of the Royal Society of Medicine Psychiatry Section. She is the Founder and Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic based in London. It has been inundated by thousands of referrals since its opening in 2008 and holds an extensive national database on pathological gambling. Henrietta also runs a Problem Gambling Research Consortium, collaborating with various universities on different research projects exploring the nature of pathological gambling from a neurobiological and clinical perspective. Prior to founding the National Problem Gambling Clinic she spent several years running the inpatient NHS detoxification services for alcohol and drugs in central London (CNWL NHS Foundation Trust) as well as leading the Soho Rapid Access Clinic, treating the homeless drug addicts of central London. She is the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ spokesperson on Behavioural Addictions and Problem Gambling.
  • Professor Frederick Toates will be opening our conference with an introduction, he will also be speaking about sex addiction. Fred is Emeritus Professor of Biological Psychology at the Open University where he has a 42- year association, in that time he has taught and researched across the UK and Europe. Fred has taught undergraduate students in France, Germany, Denmark, Romania Moldova, The Netherlands, Sweden and the USA. His extensive research output has covered eye movements to sexual desire. His chief research area has been Motivation and he is responsible for developing the Incentive Motivation Model as well as applying it to sexual motivation and sexual offending. He has published widely in peer reviewed journals and written extensively on consciousness, emotion, motivation and stress. He is the author of numerous books, the most recent ‘ How Sexual Desire Works’ won the 2015 American Publishers Book of the year award in the category of Psychology. OUPS is delighted that Fred is our president and also one of our best loved tutors.
  • Dr Monika McNeil will be delivering the Graham Mitchell Memorial Lecture on the Saturday evening. Her topic will be addiction to electronic gadgets. Dr Monika McNeill is a lecturer in Psychology with 20 years of experience; currently based at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she is a module leader and a popular lecturer in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology. Monika also contributes to a number of other modules, e.g. Forensic Psychology, Applied Psychology, Research Methods, etc. She has nine years of experience working as an applied psychologist, providing therapeutic interventions and developing psychological programmes for young adults and children with high functioning autism (Asperger Syndrome). Monika has also worked at The Open University as an Associate Lecturer in Psychology for over 12 years and in the last few years she has been teaching weekend revision courses for Open University Psychology Society (OUPS).
  • Dr Joan Ifland will be joining us to speak about Food addiction Joan has a PhD in Addictive Nutrition from Union Institute, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and over 20 years of direct coaching of processed food addicts. Since 1996, Joan has helped people recover from diet-related disease by focussing on addiction to processed food. As an academic and front-line guide, Joan has taught thousands of compulsive eaters how to find peace with food and recover from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, fatigue, isolation and obesity. Through adaptation of drug and alcohol addiction recovery methods, Dr Ifland gives practitioners and clients new insights into why food addiction recovery can generate extraordinary health outcomes.
The timetable for this event will be available closer to the date.

What to expect

The lectures are conducted in management conference seminar rooms within the University campus, and you will have been provided with a timetable of talks and lecture notes before you arrive.

You can choose how you spend your time. If you book the residential package then you will have a very comfortable ensuite room in management conference facilities complete with bedding, towels, a hairdryer, coffee-making facilities and desk. Wifi is also included. The training centre has a small exercise room within the building and you also have complimentary access to the  gym and pool on campus, so if you do want to relax then there is the option to do so.

The cost is inclusive of all meals, including Friday night and Saturday night dinner. There are no extra costs involved (except for drinks at the bar!). As well as your room and all meals this includes refreshments at break times, extensive handouts which are only available to attendees, revision of key course material, advice on revision techniques and assessments, welcome drink on Friday night. Non-residential places are available for a reduction, and the same breakfast, lunch, dinner and all tea/coffee/snack breaks during the day are still included.

The welcome drinks and psychology book stall are both excellent places to meet other students. All students and staff wear name badges, so it is easy to find somebody to help if you have any questions. You can enjoy your meals with a group of students in the comfortable dining room. The food is fresh, healthy buffet style catering, and there is something to entice everyone.

Finally, whilst most students leave exhausted from the learning and socialising, they comment that it is such a worthwhile weekend, and we see many of them each year as they progress their studies!


The weekend takes place at Radcliffe Conference and Training Centre, University of Warwick. Both accommodation and lectures are located in the same building unless you have been informed otherwise.

Warwick is an award winning conference venue with excellent facilities. Access to the sports facilities, including the swimming pool, are included in the price. The university's central location with excellent transport links makes it easily accessible from all over the UK and Europe. There is ample free car parking.


Click here for information on accessibility, parking and other related facilities.

Travel and directions

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For campus maps go to Warwick Campus Maps.


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