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Major award for University of Stirling psychologist

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A University of Stirling academic is celebrating after receiving a prestigious award from the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Dr Vivien Swanson, a Reader in Psychology, is the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Practice award, presented to individuals who have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to a particular area, for the benefit of people and organisations.

The award recognises Dr Swanson’s dedication and tenacity to develop unique psychology training programmes. She is credited with delivering the only nationally-funded practitioner health psychology training programme in the world (NHS Education for Scotland), and was instrumental in establishing health psychology undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and securing funding for trainees.

Her work and influence within NHS Scotland has increased the number of qualified health psychologists working on key social issues.

Dr Swanson said: “I am delighted to receive this award for my work promoting health psychology practice in Scotland.

“The University of Stirling recognises that improving health is an international, 21st century challenge – and health psychology has tremendous potential to contribute to this through its focus on health behaviour research and practice. The University’s support of this work is helping Scotland become a leader in health psychology practice, as recognised with this award.”

Dr Vivien Swanson

Dr Vivien Swanson has received the Distinguished Contribution to Practice award from the British Psychological Society.

Professor David Donaldson, Head of Psychology at the University of Stirling, said: “We are delighted to hear that Dr Vivien Swanson has been bestowed this prestigious British Psychological Society Award. It recognises Vivien’s exceptional work in developing unique psychology training programmes, which has, in turn, boosted the number of qualified health psychologists working on key issues within our society. Everybody at Stirling congratulates Vivien on this outstanding achievement.”

Dr Swanson was one of two winners of the 2019 award, with Ernesto Spinelli, an internationally-recognised leader in existential therapy and coaching psychology, also recognised.

Sarb Bajwa, chief executive of the BPS, said: “My congratulations to both winners, whose expertise demonstrates the diversity of psychology. Their hard work raising the profile of their field of psychology thoroughly deserves this recognition.”

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