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Alice Shires


Alice Shires is a Clinical Pychologist, Senior lecturer and Psychology Clinic Director at UTS. Alice heads the UTS Mindfulness Integrated Therapies Research Clinic (MTRC)  Prior to this position, Alice has been the Director of the Psychology Clinic at UNSW for 12 years and worked as Clinic Manager at The University of Sydney and as Consultant Clinical Psychologist in acute and specialist mental health services in the UK. Alice has been involved in the teaching, training and supervision of clinical psychologists and their field supervisors for many years.

Alice has been teaching and supervising cognitive behavioural therapies over the last 20 years. She has developed expertise in Mindfulness and its integration into Cognitive and Behavioural therapies and has assisted in the development of accredited training in Mindfulness integrated CBT (MiCBT) and continues as an established trainer in MiCBT. She continues to teach advanced Mindfulness training for mental health professionals via the Mindfulness integrated CBT Institute  http://www.mindfulness.net.au

Alice is involved in supervision of research in mindfulness integrated psychological therapies and is currently undertaking research projects investigating the possible effects of mindfulness training on anger, grief, experimental and chronic pain,

Alice was the Chair of the NSW Section of the APS Clinical College from 2006 to 2010 and a University representative on the Psychology Advisory Committee for the NSW Department of Health. She was a founding Board Member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association ACPA from 2009 to 2012 and is currently the ACPA NSW section chair.


Affiliations & Memberships

Full registration with Psychology Board of Australia and endorsed in the clinical psychology area of practice

Chair, Australian Psychological Society, NSW College of Clinical Psychologists. APS 2007-2010

Member of National Executive of the Clinical College, APS 2007-2010

Australian Clinical Psychology Association.  Board Member. 2009-2012

Institute of MiCBT Accreditation and Training Board Member 2009-2015

NSW Institute of Psychiatry Lecturer 2008-2011

Chair Australian and New Zealand University Psychology Clinic Directors group.2003-2014

Chair Australian Clinical Psychology Association NSW Section 2014-2015

Member Psychology Advisory Council NSW 2010-2015

Fellow. Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) 2015

Image of Alice Shires
Clinic Director, Clinical Psychology
B. Psychology, M. Sc (Clinical Psychology)
+61 2 9514 7239

Research Interests

Clinical & Research Interests:

Clinical supervision processes and outcomes

Assessment of clinical psychology competencies

Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapies.


Stevens, B, Hyde, J, Knight, R ,Shires, A, Alexander, R  Competency-based training and assessment in Australian postgraduate clinical psychology education. Clinical Psychologist 2015.

Cartwright , C. Rhodes, P. King, R. Shires, A. Experiences of Countertransference: Reports of Clinical Psychology Students. Australian Psychologist. 49 (2014) 232-240

Gonsalvez, Craig J.; Bushnell, John; Blackman, Russell; Deane, Frank; Bliokas, Vida; Nicholson-Perry, Kathryn; Shires, Alice; Nasstasia, Yasmina; Allan, Christopher; Knight, Roslyn. Assessment of psychology competencies in field placements: Standardized vignettes reduce rater bias. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, Vol 7(2), May 2013, 99-111.

Gonsalvez, C. J., Shires, A., Allan, C. D., Knight, R., Nicholson-Perry, K., Blackman, R., Webster, R., Bushnell, J. A., Hyde, J. & Nasstasia, Y. (2011). A multi-site study on the assessment of clinical psychology competencies by field supervisors: Should vignettes replace rating scales?. Seventh International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision USA: Adelphi University.

Gonsalvez, Craig J., John A. Bushnell, R. Blackman, Frank P. Deane, Vida V. Bliokas, Yasmina Nasstasia, Kathryn Nicholson-Perry et al. "The use of vignettes to capture clinical psychology practicum competencies: vignette standardization and preliminary results." (2011): 31.

Shires, A and Miller, D.  An exploratory study into psychological variables associated with erectile dysfunction in gay and straight men. Journal of Sexual and Marital Therapy, Vol 11, no.2, 1996

Can supervise: Yes

The application of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies across the lifespan.

Clinical Psychology Supervision.

Assessement of clinical Psychology competency

Ethical and Professional Practice in Clinical Psychology.

Mindfulness integrated Cognitive behavioral therapy (MiCBT).

Journal articles

Nicholson Perry, K., Donovan, M., Knight, R. & Shires, A. 2017, 'Addressing Professional Competency Problems in Clinical Psychology Trainees', Australian Psychologist, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 121-129.
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© 2017 The Australian Psychological SocietyObjective: Clinical psychology trainees with problems of professional competence (PPC) continue to be a challenge for courses. Despite the rapid development of competency-based training models, the impact of this shift to the identification and management of professional competency problems is unclear. This project aims to describe how clinical psychology trainees with PPC are identified and managed within the Australian and New Zealand context. Method: An online survey was distributed through Australian and New Zealand universities offering clinical psychology training programmes. Questions addressed approaches to monitoring progress on placements, identification and management of trainees determined to be underperforming on placements, and the perceived usefulness of a range of strategies such as the use of standardised-rating tools. Results: Thirty one responses were received, representing 40 clinical psychology training courses in 22 institutions across Australia and New Zealand. In all cases, at least one trainee with a PPC had been detected in the previous 5 years, most commonly attributed to psychological, behavioural, and developmental issues. Respondents reported the use of a range of preventive and remedial strategies, including the use of psychometrically validated competency evaluation rating forms to assist in the grading of placements. Conclusion: Trainees with PPC occur on a fairly regular basis in clinical psychology training courses in Australian and New Zealand. While some processes involved in the identification and management of these students have been refined and systematised, some opportunities to facilitate early identification and remediation may yet need further enhancement.
Shires, A., Vrklevski, L., Hyde, J., Bliokas, V. & Simmons, A. 2016, 'Barriers to Provision of External Clinical Psychology Student Placements', Australian Psychologist.
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© 2016 The Australian Psychological Society.Objective: With increasing focus on the treatment of mental health problems the need for clinical psychologists is expanding, driving strong demand for postgraduate clinical psychology training programs. Although the number of training places in Australia has increased, the availability of external placements appears to have lagged behind, causing significant challenges to students. Using a survey of clinical psychologists in New South Wales, Australia, this study evaluated the capacity for placements and explored issues that may impact on field placement capacity. Method: A survey was developed in order to identify potential student placement capacity and factors that may prevent potential supervisors from offering placements to students. The survey was distributed electronically through clinical psychology networks targeting those employed in NSW. Results: One hundred and forty endorsed clinical psychologists completed the survey. Of these, 42% stated they felt unable to offer field placements to students within the next 12 months. The most commonly cited barriers to offering a placement included a lack of time (21%); not being a PsyBA supervisor (18%); being employed part-time (18%) and the concern that clinical supervision time did not attract funding under the current public health funding model (16%). Conclusion: The study provides an estimate of clinical field placement capacity in NSW. The results suggest that the capacity in the existing clinical psychology workforce could meet clinical field placement demand. The authors discuss reasons why anecdotally, this does not appear to reflect the reality of field placement coordinators and students. The authors provide possible strategies for addressing the issues raised.
Claire Cartwright, a.n.d...A.l.i.c.e...S.h.i.r.e.s. 2015, 'A Pilot Study of a Method for Teaching Clinical PsychologyTrainees to Conceptualise and Manage Countertransference', Australian Psychologist, vol. 50, pp. 148-156.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
There is evidence that therapists' countertransference responses can affect the therapeutic relationship. There is also evidence that trainee therapists can experience difficulty understanding and managing countertransference. This evidence suggests the need for greater focus on countertransference in the training of professionals, such as psychologists, for whom therapy is a core activity. However, little is currently known about the best way of providing such training or the impact of such training on recipients. This pilot study examined clinical psychology trainees' responses to a teaching and learning method for conceptualising and managing countertransference. The method was designed to be accessible to a range of psychology trainees including those in cognitive behavioural therapy programmes. This article outlines the method and its pilot evaluation. An anonymous online questionnaire was completed by 55 trainees pre-intervention and 40 post-intervention. Qualitative methods were used to examine changes in trainees' analyses of countertransference pre- and post-intervention, and their reports of understanding and managing countertransference. Trainees also rated the intervention. The majority of participants who completed the postintervention questionnaire reported that training increased awareness of or the ability to conceptualise countertransference. They reported strategies for managing countertransference, although they were less confident in this area.
Stevens, B., Hyde, J., Knight, R., Shires, A. & Alexander, R. 2015, 'Competency-based training and assessment in Australian postgraduate clinical psychology education', Clinical Psychologist, pp. n/a-n/a.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Gonsalvez, C.J., Deane, F.P., Blackman, R., Matthias, M., Knight, R., Nasstasia, Y., Shires, A., Perry, K.N., Allan, C. & Bliokas, V. 2015, 'The Hierarchical Clustering of Clinical Psychology Practicum Competencies: A Multisite Study of Supervisor Ratings', CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY-SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 390-403.
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Cartwright, C., Rhodes, P., King, R. & Shires, A. 2014, 'Experiences of Countertransference: Reports of Clinical Psychology Students', AUSTRALIAN PSYCHOLOGIST, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 232-240.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gonsalvez, C.J., Bushnell, J., Blackman, R., Deane, F., Bliokas, V., Nicholson-Perry, K., Shires, A., Nasstasia, Y., Allan, C. & Knight, R. 2013, 'Assessment of Psychology Competencies in Field Placements: Standardized Vignettes Reduce Rater Bias', TRAINING AND EDUCATION IN PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 99-111.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Bushnell, C.J., Gonsalvez, C.G., Blackman, R., Dean, F., Bliokas, V., Nicholson-Perry, K., Shires, A.G., Nasstasia, Y., Allan, C. & Knight, R. 2013, 'Assessing ourselves: Is the assessment of performance in Clinical Psychology field placements due to biased raters or defective rating instruments', Journal of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 1-9.
Shires, A. & Miller, D. 1998, 'A preliminary study comparing psychological factors associated with erectile dysfunction in heterosexual and homosexual men', Sexual and Marital Therapy, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 37-49.
This study examined whether a group of homosexual men experiencing erectile difficulties showed differences from heterosexual men with the same clinical presentations in a number of affective and cognitive variables associated with erectile difficulties. In particular it was hypothesized that homosexual participants would present with a different set of cognitions surrounding the erectile dysfunction (and would be less affected by performance anxiety, a construct shown to be a significant variable in the aetiology of erectile dysfunction in heterosexual couples). Results drawn from standarized and purpose-designed questionnaires indicated that heterosexual men in the participant group were significantly more likely to be affected by performance anxiety, and showed higher levels of general anxiety, depression and lower levels of self-esteem than their homosexual counterparts. The homosexual group was found to be more affected by a number of cognitive variables including HIV anxiety, internalized homophobia, and intimacy issues. Findings fit with the model of erectile dysfunction proposed by Barlow, in which cognitive interference in the form of specific cognitive beliefs and schemata have an impact on sexual arousal when combined with anxiety about the consequences of erectile loss.
Selected Peer-Assessed Projects
The Mindfulness integrated CBT Institute  http://www.mindfulness.net.au