Dr Rachel Happer (DClinPsy)

Senior Clinical Fellow & Director of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Psychological Therapies

Contact details

Address

Street

School of Health in Social Science
Department of Clinical Psychology
9 Hope Park Square

City
Edinburgh
Post code
EH8 9NW

Background

Dr Rachel Happer is a Clinical Psychologist with twenty years of experience working in the field of abuse and trauma. Currently, she is a Senior Clinical Fellow at The University of Edinburgh and is Director of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Psychological Therapies Research & Training. Her research and clinical interests focus on trauma and models of psychological intervention and she is a core contributor to the University of Edinburgh MSc Psychological Therapies (CBT) Programme. She is the former Head of the National Confidential Forum, where she was appointed by the Minister for Mental Health to lead a team acknowledging historical abuse in the institutions of Scotland. Dr Happer is author of Survive & Thrive-Under 18’s, a psychoeducation course for complex trauma in young people and co-author of the NES Trauma in CAMHS e learning module. She collaborated with a small team to develop a group-based intervention for self-harm: Mentalization Based Therapy for Adolescents.  She has represented DCP-Scotland at the Cross-Party Group for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse. Dr Happer led on the creation and delivery of the National Confidential Forum Interim Report “What we have heard so far” presented to the Scottish Government and has present Annual Reports to the Scottish Parliament. Dr Happer has represented the Forum with national and local media; has been interviewed for STV, BBC Scotland and the Herald; and has written editorials for a range of national and local press. Dr Happer is able to provide on campus and remote placements for those wishing to train in CBT. Dr Happer can be contacted on Twitter @rachelhapper2 and you can follow the work of the Centre for Psychological Therapies on @for_therapies

CV

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Qualifications

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology                                                                               1998-2001  

BSc Psychology – First Class Honours                                                                     1992-1995

Additional Training

Mentalization Based Therapy                                                                                     2013

AMBIT: Adaptive Mentalization-Based Integrative Therapy                                      2014

EMDR                                                                                                                          2005

Systemic Family Therapy                                                                                            2006

Advanced Supervision Skills                                                                                       2005

Understanding Adolescence                                                                                       2003-2004

Responsibilities & affiliations

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

2019-present

Member of the British Psychological Society Safeguarding Committee

2012-present

Member of the Survive & Thrive National Reference Group-lead for Child & Young People.

2015-2019

Chair of the National Confidential Forum Governance Group

2015-2019

Associate member of the Scottish Human Rights Commission InterAction on Historic Abuse of Children in Care

PREVIOUS RESPONSIBILITIES

Member of the Scottish Government Cross Party Group for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Member of the Scottish Trauma Advisory Group

Member of the East of Scotland Sexual Abuse Network

Ordinary Member of the Committee of the Division of Clinical Psychology-Scotland

 

Postgraduate teaching

Course organiser for Fundamentals of CBT on the MSc Psychological Therapies

Course contributor to CBT with Complex Presentations.

Attachment in Clinical Settings: MSc Children, Young People & Psychological Practice

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

No

Areas of interest for supervision

I provide on model CBT supervision for professionals on the MSc in Psychological Therapies Programme. 

I provide remote and on-campus placements for those training in CBT. 

I provide Masters level research supervision.

Current PhD students supervised

MSc Dissertation: Systematic Review of Trauma focused CBT for Chidlren &  Young People who have experienced multiple traumas. 

MSc Dissertation: Systematic Review of Trauma focused CBT for Chidlren &  Young People who have experienced complex trauma. 

MSc Dissertation: Attachment & the Boarding School Experience.

PhD IPT and Copmplex Trauma

Past PhD students supervised

MSc Dissertation: Systematic Review of School-based Interventions for PTSD in Children & Young People.

MSc Dissertation: Systematic Review of Group-based Interventions for PTSD in Children & Young People

Research summary

Dr Rachel Happer is a Clinical Psychologist with twenty years of experience working in the field of abuse and trauma. Currently, she is a Senior Clinical Fellow at The University of Edinburgh and her research and clinical interests focus on trauma, abuse and institutional dynamics.

She is interested in adapting psychological intervention models for young people, particular within the field of trauma and mentalisation. 

 

Invited speaker

I have presented to academic audiences, service users, applied professionals and Scottish Government Groups including Scottish Innovations Fund, NSPCC, Division of Clinical Psychology-Scotland, Through Care After Care. Examples include:

Why didn’t they notice? Keynote presentation Holyrood Child Protection Conference 2017, examining the bespoke nature of grooming and the dynamics of institutions.

Acknowledgement and Historical Abuse of Children in Care. NSPCC Conference 2015.

Acknowledgement and the Boarding School Experience. Scottish Boarding School Association.

Remembering childhoods lost. Keynote presentation at the National Confidential Forum Engagement Events in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Chaired the film launch of Time to Respond, produced by the Safe to Say team with the keynote by Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health.   

Scotland’s response to historical abuse in care. UK Post- Traumatic Stress Network (UKPTS)

 

In the press

I have written for national press on issues related to trauma and looked-after children, including:

  • Why Scotland’s Care Story needs to be told. Herald Agenda Sept 2016 in support of continued improvement for young people in care.
  • When heroes turn to villains. Times Dec 2017 in response to the crisis of abuse in football. 
  • If we don’t get care right, the impact can last a lifetime. Herald Agenda. In prep.
  • I provide regular input to articles covering the survivor landscape.

I led on the creation and delivery of the National Confidential Forum Interim Report “What we have heard so far”. Following the launch of the interim report I was responsible for representing the Forum with national and local media, and I was interviewed for STV; BBC Scotland; and the Herald. I wrote editorials for a range of national and local press. I led the Forum’s launch of a film version of What We Have Heard So Far at launch sites across Scotland, contributing to the acknowledge of the experiences of those who were in the institutions of Scotland as children.

I endeavor to place those with lived experience at the centre of research and development work. I worked closely with Survivors Unite to review Survive & Thrive-under 18’s and with survivors and those with lived experience of care to create the Shine a Light on Care campaign.