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Dr Kate Hefferon

Reader, School of Psychology

    Kate’s work was the first to link physical activity participation and the body with posttraumatic growth.


    Overview




    Kate’s research falls within three domains: The area of posttraumatic growth; the role of physical activity in optimal human functioning and the role of embodiment in recovery from trauma. Kate’s work was the first to link physical activity participation and the body with posttraumatic growth and this is the main area of research focus within the Posttraumatic Growth research Unit at UEL, which Kate leads.
    Kate is an active member of the Health Promotion and Behavior group (HPBG) and involved in the development and evaluation of community and health interventions within clinical populations. For example, Kate has conducted several evaluation studies on the role of physical activity participation during and following Breast cancer, which has led to a better understanding of barriers to exercise implementation over the 5-year survivorship period. Kate has also worked with severe and enduring mental health service users (East London Foundation Trust Olympic legacy; Mind Boxercise programme); young adolescents (Every child a star- Olympic Legacy) and Great Britain Paralympians, investigating the role of physical activity and well-being.


    Collaborators

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    Research

    Kampman, H., Hefferon, K., Wilson, M., & Beale, J. (2015). “I can do things now that people thought were impossible, actually, things that I thought were impossible”: a meta-synthesis of the qualitative findings on posttraumatic growth and severe physical injury. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). Bringing back the body into positive psychology: The theory of Corporeal Posttraumatic growth in Breast Cancer. Psychology, 3, 12, 1238-1242.

    Hefferon, K., Mallery, R., Gay, C., & Elliott, S. (2012). ‘Leave all the troubles of the outside world’: a qualitative study on the binary benefits of ‘Boxercise’ for individuals with mental health difficulties. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 5(1), 80–102.

    Mutrie, N., Campbell, A., Barry, S., Hefferon, K., McConnachie, A., McLeod, J., Ritchie, D., & Tovey, S. (2012). Five year follow up of breast cancer survivors who had participated in an exercise intervention during adjuvant treatment. Are there a lasting effects? Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 6(4), 420–30.

    Mapham, A., & Hefferon, K. (2012). “I used to be an Offender- now I’m a Defender”: Positive psychology approaches in the facilitation of Posttraumatic Growth in offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 51(6), 389–413.

    Gokcen, N., Hefferon, K., & Aittree, L. (2012). University students’ constructions of ‘Flourishing’ in British higher education: An inductive content analysis. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(1), 1–21.

    Hefferon, K., Gokcen, N., Painter, J., Davies, M., & Boniwell, I. (2011). The influence of community occasions on satisfaction with life and wellbeing. British Journal of Wellbeing, 2, 36–39.

    Hefferon, K., & Gil-Rodriguez, E. (2011). IPA — Reflecting on the rise in popularity of interpretative phenomenological analysis. The Psychologist, 10, 756–759.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2010). Transforming from cocoon to butterfly: The potential role of the body in the process of posttraumatic growth. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 50(2), 224–247.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2009). Posttraumatic growth and life threatening physical illness: A systematic review of the qualitative literature. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14(2), 343–378.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2008). The perceived influence of an exercise class intervention on the process and outcomes of post-traumatic growth. Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity, 1, 32–39.

    Kjell, O.N.E., Garcia, D., Daukantaitë, D, Hefferon, K., & Sikström, S. (in press). The Harmony in life scale complements the Satisfaction with life scale: Expanding the conceptualization of the cognitive component of Subjective well-being. Social Indicators Research.

    Hefferon, K., & Ollis, S. (2006). “Just clicks”: an interpretive phenomenological analysis of professional dancers’ experience of flow. Research in Dance Education, 7, 141–159.

    Books Ivtzan, I., Lomas, Worth, P., & Hefferon, K. (2015). Challenging positive psychology: embracing the dark side of life. London: Routledge.

    Lomas, T., & Hefferon, K. (2015). Major Works in Positive Psychology. Sage Publications.

    Lomas, T., Hefferon, K., & Ivtzan, I. (2014). Advances in Applied Positive Psychology: Integrated Positive Practice. London: Sage Publications.

    Hefferon, K. (2013). Positive psychology and the body: The somatopsychic guide to flourishing. UK: McGraw-Hill.

    Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive Psychology: Theory, research and applications. UK: McGraw-Hill.

    Hefferon, K. (2009). Growing from breast cancer: finding benefits from physical illness. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

    Book Chapters Campbell, A., & Hefferon, K. (2015). Physical activity and cancer: An applied case study perspective. In N. Weston (Ed), Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology. UK: Wiley/Blackwell.

    Hefferon, K. (2015). Bringing bodies back to positive psychology: The role of embodiment in optimal functioning. In S. Joseph (Ed), Positive Psychology in Practice (2nd ed.).

    Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

    Stuchbury, J., & Hefferon, K. (2015).'To Live every moment:' Exploring the concept of psychosocial flourishing in a group of single women with Multiple Sclerosis. The Way Ahead.

    Faulkner, G., Hefferon, K., & Mutrie, N. (2015). Putting Positive Psychology into motion through physical activity. In S. Joseph (Ed), Positive Psychology in Practice (2nd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

    Joseph, S., & Hefferon, K. (2013). Posttraumatic growth: eudaimonic happiness. In S. David & I. Boniwell (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Happiness. UK: Open University Press.

    Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2013). Applied positive psychology, In R. Bayne & G. Jinks (Eds) Applied Psychology: Practice, Training and New Directions (2nd Ed). London: Sage Publications.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). Emotions in coaching and mentoring. In J. Passmore (Ed), Handbook of Coaching and Mentoring. London: Wiley Press.

    Hefferon, K., & Mutrie, N. (2012). Physical activity as a ‘stellar’ positive psychology intervention. In Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Hefferon, K. (2011). Creating ‘positive bodies’: corporality in hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. In C. Martin-Krumm (Ed.), Handbook of Positive Psychology. France: Debouk Université.

    Hefferon, K. (2011). Positive psychology and coaching. In L. Wildflower & D. Brennan (Eds.), Theories, Concepts and Applications of Evidence Based Coaching: A Users Manual. USA: Jossey-Bass.

    Book Editor Hefferon, K. (2013). Development and change (Section Ed.) In I. Boniwell & S. David (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Happiness. UK: Open University Press.

    Government and Consultancy Reports Hefferon, K. (2011). A small-scale evaluation of the Newham TaHMS project: A multi-method perspective. Newham Council Government report.

    Hefferon, K., & Booth, J. N. (2011). A Quantitative evaluation of the impact of two outreach workers within a special school environment. In Hefferon, K. A small-scale evaluation of the Newham TaHMS project: A multi-method perspective. Newham Council Government report.

    Lomas, T., Hefferon, K., & Ivtzan, I. (2014). The LIFE Model: A Meta-Theoretical Conceptual Map for Applied Positive Psychology. Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Hefferon, K., Sparkes, A., & Painter, J. (2011). Understanding the relationship between Spinal Cord Injury and Posttraumatic Growth. Rugby Football Union Report.

    Hefferon, K. (2011). Understanding the experiences of SPARK resilience programme: A multi-participant perspective. Newham Council Government report.

    Conference presentations and invited speaking Gardiner, K. L. K., & Hefferon, K. A Qualitative look at the Components and Implications of Meaningful Conversations in Romantic Relationships. Poster presentation to the 4th International Positive Psychology World Congress, Florida, June, 2015.

    Hefferon, K. (2015). Stress, Resilience and wellbeing: Creating a Flourishing Institution. Invited speaker to the Health@Work Summit, London.

    Kampman, H., & Hefferon, K. (2015). ‘Find a sport and carry on’: Posttraumatic growth and achievement in British Paralympic athletes.

    Conference presentation, presented at: UEL 2015 Research Conference 2015 Jun 24 at UEL SportsDock (Docklands Campus).

    Hefferon, K. Fashion and well-being. Lecture presented to the Better Lives Series. University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion, London.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Understanding posttraumatic growth. Presentation for the Canadian Positive Psychology Association International Webinar series.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Posttraumatic growth: Workshop. Presentation to PCI College, Dublin, Ireland.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). What is wellbeing? Invited speaker to the English Institute of Sport National Conference, Hinckley, UK.

    Masuch, S., & Hefferon, K. (2014). “Understanding the links between positive psychology and fashion: A grounded theory analysis”. International Journal of Fashion Studies.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Resilience and positive psychology. Presentation to the Institute of Psychiatry: Wellness week. Imperial College, London, UK.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Why qualitative research? Invited lecture for the University of Bologna, Italy.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Studying positive emotions in the UK. Invited lecture for the University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

    Hefferon, K. Posttraumatic growth and breast cancer. School of Psychology Research Day, University of East London, London, September 2014.

    Masuch, S., & Hefferon, K. Feeling Fashion: A positive psychological perspective on individual clothing practices and embodiment. Paper presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Kampman, H., & Hefferon, K. Find a sport and carry on’: Posttraumatic growth and achievement in British Paralympic athletes. Paper presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Kjell, O.N.E., Garcia, D., Daukantaitë, D, Hefferon, K., & Sikström, S. Harmony in Life Scale Complements the Satisfaction with Life Scale: Expanding the Conceptualization and Measurement of the Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-Being. Paper presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Pidgeon, N., Hefferon, K., & Painter, J. Park run and flourishing. Paper presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Ruini, C., Hefferon, K., Vescovelli, F., Guse, T., & Noble, T. The additive value of qualitative data in positive psychology. Symposium presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Hefferon, K. Why Qualitative research? Paper presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Brani, O., Hefferon, K., Lomas, T., Ivtzan, I., & Painter, J. (2014). The impact of body awareness on subjective wellbeing: The role of mindfulness. International Journal of Body Psychotherapy.

    Worth, P., Hefferon, K., Lomas, T., & Ivtzan, I. The Dark Side of Positive Psychology. Paper presentation to the 7th European Positive Psychology Conference, Amsterdam, July 2014.

    Goldring, G., Hefferon, K., & Lomas, T. Enabling Recovery in a Structured Hope Programme. Paper presentation to Refocus on Recovery Conference, Kings College London, London, June 2014.

    Worth, P., Hefferon, K., Lomas, T., & Itvzan, I. (July 2014). The Dark Side of Positive Psychology. Paper presentation to the 2nd Canadian Positive Psychology Conference, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Hefferon, K. The body 2.0. Invited speaker to the 2nd Canadian Positive Psychology Conference, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Hefferon, K. Posttraumatic Growth and Physical Activity. Keynote presentation to Chichester University Conference on Applied Sport Science. June 25th, 2014.

    Hefferon, K. The body and positive psychology: The somatopsychic side to flourishing. Keynote to be presented to Irish Counselling and psychotherapy conference, Dublin, Ireland.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Posttraumatic growth: Beyond resilience. Presentation to the University of Keele, Lecture Series. Stoke on Trent, England.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). What is well-being? Presentation to the Scottish Institute of innovation “Walkshop” series. Glasgow, Scotland.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Contextualising Positive psychology in 2014. Presentation to the Physical Activity and Health Research Centre (PAHRC), Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Hefferon, K. (2014). Positive Psychology, Physical Activity and Posttraumatic Growth. Presentation to University of Dundee Lecture Series. Dundee, Scotland.

    Hefferon, K., Murphy, H., McLeod, J., Mutrie, N., & Campbell, A. (2013). Understanding barriers to exercise implementation 5-years post Breast Cancer diagnosis: a large-scale qualitative study. Health Education Research, 28(5), 843–856.

    Hefferon, K. (2013). Positive Psychology, Physical Activity and Posttraumatic Growth. Presentation to University of Toronto Lecture Series. Toronto, Canada.

    Hefferon, K. (2013). Moving beyond resilience: Posttraumatic growth in the military. Presentation to the Defence Academy Master Lecture Series. Schrivenham, UK.

    Hefferon, K. (2013). Posttraumatic growth: Beyond resilience. Presentation to the University of Westminster Lecture Series.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). Positive Education. Presentation to London Festival of Education. London, UK.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). A very short introduction to staff well-being. Internal presentation to the University of East London School Planning day. London, UK.

    Hefferon, K. (June 2013). Where is the person in Positive Psychology? Symposium Chair to be presented at the World Congress on Positive Psychology. Los Angeles, USA.

    Hefferon, K. (June 2013). Corporeal Posttraumatic Growth. Paper to be presented at the World Congress on Positive Psychology. Los Angeles, USA.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). The neglect of the role of embodiment in Positive Psychology. Presentation at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Conference. Toronto, Canada.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). From hip-hop to homelessness: A review of MAPP’s (UEL) holistic approach to research and consultancy, in An exploration of the impact of graduate research and application-based projects on the field of positive psychology (Symposium). Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

    Hefferon, K., Mallery, R., Gay, C., Elliot, S., & Painter, J. (2012). Feeling the power: Reviewing the physical and psychological benefits of Boxercise for individuals with mental health difficulties. Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

    Hirschorn, S., & Hefferon, K. (2013). Leaving it all behind to travel: Venturing uncertainty as a means to personal growth and authenticity. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 53(3), 283–306.

    Ivtzan, I., Hefferon, K., & Chng, J. (2012). Being resilient: Creating personal resources through gratitude interventions. Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

    Walsh, D., & Hefferon, K. (2012). Reconnecting with the body: an exploratory analysis of Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) following Cancer Diagnosis. Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). Posttraumatic growth. Keynote presentation at the Child Abuse and Neglect Conference. Leuven, Belgium.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). Contextualizing Positive Psychology in 2012. Keynote presentation at the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology (East) Re-launch event. Cambridge, UK.

    Hefferon, K. (2011). Positive education. Keynote presentation at the Trainee Educational Psychologist Conference. London, UK

    Hefferon, K. (2012). The neglect of the role of embodiment in Positive Psychology. Presentation at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Conference. Toronto, Canada.

    Hefferon, K. (2012). From hip-hop to homelessness: A review of MAPP’s (UEL) holistic approach to research and consultancy, in An exploration of the impact of graduate research and application-based projects on the field of positive psychology (Symposium). Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

    Hefferon, K., Mallery, R., Gay, C., Elliot, S., & Painter, J. (2012). Feeling the power: Reviewing the physical and psychological benefits of Boxercise for individuals with mental health difficulties. Paper presented at the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Moscow, Russia.

    Gokcen, N., & Hefferon, K. (2011). Learning to flourish: an inductive content analysis of students’ constructions of flourishing in British higher education. Paper presented at the London International Conference in Education, London, UK.

    Hefferon, K. (2010). Breast cancer, physical activity and well-being: a large-scale qualitative study. Paper presented at the 5th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Roche, B., & Hefferon, K. (2013). ‘The assessment needs to go hand-in hand with the debriefing’: The importance of a structured coaching debriefing in understanding and applying a positive psychology strengths assessment. International Coaching Psychology Review, Vol. 8 No. 1, 20–34.

    Hefferon, K. (2009). The body and positive psychology. Paper presented at the International Positive Psychology Association World Congress, Philadelphia, USA.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2008). Understanding the experience of posttraumatic growth among breast cancer patients: the perceived influence of an exercise intervention on the process and outcomes of posttraumatic growth. Paper presented at the European Positive Psychology Conference, Opatija, Croatia.

    Mutrie, N., Campbell, A., Hefferon, K., Emslie, C., Kearney, N., McConnachie, A., et al. (2008, 10 June). Exercise provides somatopsychic benefit for clinical patients: the case of breast cancer survivors. Poster session presented at the University Research Day, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2007). Posttraumatic growth and physical activity. Paper presented at the Department of Sport, Culture and the Arts, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2007). Understanding the experience of post-traumatic growth among breast cancer patients. Paper presented at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Conference, University of Bath, England.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2007, 6 June). Understanding the experience of post-traumatic growth among breast cancer patients. Poster session presented at the University Research Day, University of Strathclyde.

    Hefferon, K., Grealy, M., & Mutrie, N. (2007, 18–20 April). Understanding the experience of post-traumatic growth among breast cancer patients. Poster session presented at the 1st Annual Centre for Applied Positive Psychology Conference, University of Warwick.

    Hefferon, K. (2006). Positive psychology and physical activity: a perfect pair. Paper presented at the Department of Psychology Research Day, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

    Publications


    Funding

    Selected grants and consultancy
    2014: Understanding mortality awareness and well being. University of East London Internship Scheme Award. M. McDermott & K. Hefferon.
    2014:Facilitating psychological strength: A positive psychological program to increase posttraumatic growth and wellbeing in cancer survivors. University of East London Research Fellowship, to K.Hefferon and Itai Ivtzan.
    2014: Expert advisor to ‘Walking for Wellbeing: Developing sustainable engagement between research, policy and practice’. Scottish Universities Insight Institute.
    2012: ‘Promoting psychological resilience: a multi method evaluation of the Cancer Resilience Growth Programme. Research and Development Support grant to K. Hefferon & I. Ivtzan.
    2011: ‘Development for business consultancy’. Knowledge Dock consultancy development grant to K. Hefferon.
    2011: ‘Understanding the effects of boxercise on wellbeing among mental health patients’. MIND Croydon to K. Hefferon.
    2010: ‘Targeted Mental Health in School Programme (TaMHS)’. Newham Resilience Initiative to K. Hefferon.
    2009: ‘The role of physical activity in psychological growth following prostate cancer diagnosis: a collaborative study.’ Promising Researcher Award to K.
    Hefferon.


    Interests

    Portfolio




    Kate is a core member of staff on the MSc. in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Programme and teaches on:

    Foundations of Positive Psychology
    (MAPP)
    Research Methods and Dissertation (MAPP)
    as well as contributing to other modules on the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology, MSc in Applied Psychology, BSc. Psychology and Educational Doctorate.

    Kate is currently supervising two PhD students in the area of positive psychology (Posttraumatic growth, sport and acquired injury; Harmony in life) and 20+ Msc. students within various positive psychology topics.
    Dublin City Radio (FM) (March 2014)

    Guest expert presenter on the experience of posttraumatic growth from breast cancer diagnosis.

    Dublin City Radio (FM) (March 2014)

    Guest expert presenter on the role of physical activity in well being.

    Private meeting with Queen Mathilde of Belgium

    Private guest to Queen Mathilde of Belgium at the Royal palace of Brussels to discuss Posttraumatic growth and resilience in children.

    Red Magazine (January 2014 issue)

    Feature article on body-based flourishing.

    KeyFund Documentary (October 2013)

    Expert on Self-determination theory and growth.

    Red Magazine (December 2013 Issue)

    Expert Psychologist for “Stress at Christmas” Feature.

    Standard (Belgium-10.11.12)

    Weekend edition full article on Posttraumatic growth and well being.

    Boots Health and Beauty Magazine

    Expert Psychologist for ”Say ‘Yes’ to summer!” Feature article (June 2012).

    BBC Inside Out-South East

    Expert Psychologist for Documentary on Life Lists and well being (December 13th, 2010).

    Psychologies Magazine

    Expert psychologist on posttraumatic growth (“When bad times can do you good” October, 2010).

    Guardian

    Advisor for Guardian careers section on what to do with a psychology degree.

    Researchresearch

    The pros and cons of being a young academic.

    Teaching