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.
Our Annual Conference in 2018, for OU students and anyone with an interest in the subject, will be on ‘Stress and resilience’. This will be presented to be of interest to both academics and lay persons.
Dr Gini Harrison (The Open University): 'Turn on, tune in, (don’t) stress out; Managing stress and anxiety in a digital age'
Mobile phone ownership is at saturation point. In the UK Ofcom (2017) figures show that 94% of all adults own a mobile phone; and 76% own a smartphone. This means that the vast majority of us are constantly connected to the online world. While there are a lot of obvious advantages to having the digital world at our fingertips, there is no doubt that being constantly available and contactable is blurring work-life boundaries, and having a significant impact on our mental health, bringing with it unprecedented levels of stress. Furthermore, the constant barrage of notifications and social media checking behaviours mean that we are in a constant state of distraction, affecting our attention, our memory and our anxiety levels. This talk will explore the relationship between digital technology use and our mental health, but will also look at the how we can harness mobile technology to tackle stress and anxiety. The ubiquitous nature of smart phones makes them an ideal medium for the delivery of large-scale public health interventions. Indeed, the last decade has seen a significant number of evidence-based mobile and internet-based therapy programs being developed for mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, stress, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders and eating disorders. We will explore some of the available eHealth programs that currently exist for stress and anxiety, and investigate their clinical efficacy in light of some recent research studies. Future directions for virtually managing wellbeing will also be discussed.
Jim Handley CPsychol, Occupational Psychologist: 'Resilience and coping: Developing a personal action plan for the challenges of OU study'
This session will be an interactive workshop on stress, resilience and coping (using examples from students’ experiences). We have discovered a great deal about these topics, but often don’t quite know how to put this knowledge into practice. We need to develop our own ‘toolkit’ of skills and strategies that we can use to reduce or remove sources of stress, adapt our responses to minimise their adverse effects and repair the impact of not coping effectively enough. In the context of the particular challenges of Open University study, we will discuss the nature of stress, coping and resilience and use applied psychology to develop a personal action plan with the best chances of being effective to address our unique personal circumstances and contribute to our sustainable thriving in studying and in life.
You can contribute your own experiences to the workshop by completing a short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TRHMYDW
The conference will be introduced by Jim Handley. As a HCPC registered Occupational Psychologist, Jim uses psychology to solve real world problems. His work focuses on psychological well-being, resilience and behaviour change. He was senior school tutor and set up the BSc Applied Psychology at the University of South Wales where he developed a system for helping students deal with the stresses of university life. He has designed and delivered stress management and resilience training for postgraduates and personal effectiveness programmes for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers as well as many organisations outside Higher Education. He has a reputation for giving useful and entertaining presentations. This session will discuss stress, resilience and well-being, present data from Open University psychology students’ experiences and provide some skills and strategies for flourishing and thriving under pressure.
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 Scarman House, The 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
For campus maps go to Warwick Campus Maps.