Mary Lavelle


  • Room 01.505 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I am a chartered Psychologist in the British Psychological Society and Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Queen's University Belfast.

I completed my PhD at Queen Mary, University of London in 2012, where I employed 3D motion capture techniques to investigate social deficits in psychosis. From here, I held Research Fellow positions in King’s College London, Imperial College London and City, University of London developing a programme of research focusing on communication and patient safety in healthcare contexts.

Research Focus

My research focuses on how people engage in social interaction in the context of healthcare. I examine social exchanges in clinical populations where communication may be problematic (e.g. psychosis) and in healthcare teams where communication is critical to patient safety. This overarching aim of this research is to provide empirical evidence that can inform clinical training and practice and improve patient care.

Alongside peer reviewed publications, this research has led to the development of observational frameworks and self-report tools that can be used to evaluate clinical training and analyse communication in clinical teams.

I currently lead a programme of research funded by the NIHR designed to identify the communication that characterises successful management of aggressive behaviour in acute mental health inpatient wards, reducing the need for restrictive practices such as physical restraint or seclusion.

Current Projects:

NIHR - Communication and Restraint Reduction (CaRR) 

HEE -  Developing an Evaluation Toolkit  for Simulation-based Healthcare Training Initiatives

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond- The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences - Dialogical Reasoning in Patients with Schizophrenia (DRiPS)


Co-director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Foundations of Applied Psychology Practice.

Module convenor for the Applied Research module on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate (PSY9015)  

I also contribute to the following modules:

 BSc. Psychology

  • PSY3132: Contemporary Issues in Mental Health and Addiction
  • PSY3114: Psychology Thesis
  • PSY2067: Psychological Methods

PGCert Foundations in Applied Psychology Practice

  • PSY7114: Professional Issues & Therapy Processess in Applied Psychology

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

  • PSY9015: Applied Research 1 
  • PSY9026: Applied Research 3 

Research Supervision:

Each year I undertake thesis supervision for Undergraduate students completing the BSc. Psychology.

I currently co-supervise a PhD student, Miss Aneesha Verma, in collaboration with the NIHR Patient Safety and Translational Research Centre, Imperial College London, on the topic of incident reporting in healthcare. 

I am primary supervisor for the following trainees completing their Doctorate in Clinical Psychology:

  • Sally McFadden 
  • Ciara O'Niell
  • Kara McLean
  • Paige Quirke
  • Roisin Fallon
  • Glenda Preston
  • Katie McDade

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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