School of Psychology
University of Queensland
Brisbane, QLD 4072
BBSc (Hons); PhD LaTrobe University
After completing my honours degree in psychology at LaTrobe University in Melbourne I had a brief stint as a psychologist at Mont Park Psychiatric Hospital and discovered that I was terribly under prepared for clinical work. I returned to do my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Latrobe University focusing on social anxiety and skills training, which I completed in 1979. I taught at the Lincoln Institute for four years, working in health psychology and establishing a multi-disciplinary Post Graduate Diploma in Community Health. In 1982 the call of warmer climates led me to Brisbane where I took a job as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at what was then Brisbane College of Advanced Education (now part of Queensland University of Technology), where I co-ordinated a Post Graduate Diploma in Counseling, and developed a part-time private practice. I wanted to get more seriously into research, and took a job as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Queensland, and began working with couples and families. For 5 years from 1990 to the end of 1994 I was appointed to a conjoint position as Chief Psychologist of the Royal Brisbane Hospital and Reader in Clinical Psychology. In 1995 I was appointed as Professor and Head of the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University, where I worked for 14 years in a range of management roles, and sustained and built my research on couple relationships. In 2009 I began as Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of Clinical Training in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland. I am a practicing clinical psychologist, an active researcher and a clinical teacher. My specialist area of expertise and enthusiastic interest is couples and families, with a focus on developing and evaluating innovative interventions.
I love travel and have been fortunate to build this into my work by being a Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon (1989), Manchester University (1993), University of North Carolina (1997), Chinese University of Hong Kong (2006) and University of Zurich (2012), as well as being a regular visitor and collaborator with colleagues at Denver University, Brigham Young University and the Technical University of Braunschweig. These experiences have sparked in me a keen interest in cross-cultural issues in family psychology.
A little personal note
I am married to Barbara, who is also a psychologist, and have two wonderful adult sons Chris and James. I cherish these family link, and value keeping contact with a circle of special friends. I also like to meet the demands of being a tragically passionate Brisbane Lions supporter as well as being an enthusiastic but unskilled cook, tennis player, skier, photographer, yoga practitioner, and surfer. Consequently, clinical psychology is a very important but not all consuming passion in my life. (So relying on replies to e-mail from me over the weekend, or while I am on leave, is only like to cause disappointment.)
Family Process (2005)
Journal of Family Psychology (2008)
Behavior Therapy (2011)
Editorial Board member:
Journal of Family Psychology
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Journal Reviewer for:
Behaviour Research and Therapy
Australian Journal of Psychology
Clinical Psychology: Research and Practice
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Journal of Family Psychology
Journal of Marriage and the Family
Psychology and Health
Social and Personal Relationships
Grant reviewer for:
National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
Australian Research Council
Australian Department of Human Services and Health, Health Research Grants
Diabetes Foundation of Australia
Membership of Professional Associations
Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society
Member, College of Clinical Psychologists, the Australian Psychological Society
Member, Australian association of Behaviour and Cognitive Therapies
Member, Association of behaviour and Cognitive Therapies (North America)
Foreign Affiliate, American Psychological Association
Recent Membership of Professional Committees
Chair (2003-2008 ) and Australian representative (1993-2000, 2001- ) World Congress Committee for the Federation of Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy Associations.
Member, Organizing Committee Second World Congress of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies held in Acapulco, Mexico July, 1998.
Convenor, Heads of Schools and Departments of Psychology Association of Australia. 1996.
Member, Psychologists Registration Board of Queensland (1993-95).
I maintain an active practice in clinical psychology, which I have for most of my career, except for a 4 year lapse when I entertained the idea that I was a university manager. (An idea I have now recovered from.) I work predominantly with adults, and have particular interest in couple relationships.
My major research focus is couple relationships:
· how healthy relationships help people to adapt to stressful events.
· determinants of relationship satisfaction and stability
· promoting healthy couple relationships through relationship education and therapy
· dissemination of evidence based couple interventions
Significant contributions of my work include
· development of brief couple therapy approaches
· assessment and intervention with couples in which one partner has significant
psychological disorder (e.g., depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse gambling)
· assessment and reduction of risk of future relationship problems
· development and dissemination of self-directed learning processes for promoting healthy couple relationships.
Current work focuses upon
· Further evaluation and dissemination of the Couple Commitment and Relationship
Enhancement (Couple CARE) program
· Developing and evaluating relationship enhancement programs for step-families,
· Developing and evaluating programs for couples in crisis (e.g., as a result of diagnosis
of cancer in one of the partners.
· Innovations to enhance the efficacy of couple therapy
. Family mediation for separated parents
RECENT REFERRED JOURNAL ARTICLES
Janz, P., Pepping, C., & Halford, W. K. (in press). Individual differences in dispositional mindfulness and initial romantic attraction: a speed dating experiment. Personality and Individual Differences.
Hiew, D. N., Halford, W. K., van de Vijver, F. J. R. & Liu, S. (in press). The Chinese-Western Intercultural Couple Standards Scale. Psychological Assessment.
Busby, D. M., Larson. J. H., Holman, T. B., & Halford, W. K. (2015). Flexible delivery approaches to couple relationship edcuation: predictors of initial engagement and retention of couples. Journal of Child and Family Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10826014-0105-3.
Halford, W. K., Pepping, C., & Petch, J. (2015). The gap between couple therapy research efficacy and practice effectiveness. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12120
Halford, W. K., Pepping. C., Hilpert, P. Bodenmann, G., Wilson, K.L., Busby, D., Larson, J., & Holman, T. (2015). Immediate effect of couple relationship education on low satisfaction couples: A randomized clinical trial plus an effectiveness trial replication. Behavior Therapy, 46 (3) 409-421. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2015.02.001
Hiew, D. N., Halford, W. K., van de Vijver, F. J. R. & Liu, S. (2015). Relationship
standards and satisfaction in Chinese, Western, and intercultural Chinese-Western Couples in Australia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. doi:
Pepping, C., Halford, W. K., & Doss, B. (2015). Can we predict failure in couple therapy early enough to enhance outcome? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 64, 60-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2014.12.015.
Morris, M., & Halford, W. K. (2014) Family mediation: a guide for family therapists. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 35, 479–492 doi:10.1002/anzf.1078
Pepping, C., & Halford, W. K. (2014). Relationship education and therapy for same sex couples. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 35, 431-444. doi: 10.1002/anzf.1075.
Chambers, S. K., Occhipinti, S. Schover, L. Nielsen, L., Zajdlewicz, L. Clutton, S. Halford, W. K., Gardiner, R. A., Dunn, J. (2014). A randomised controlled trial of a couples-based sexuality intervention for men with localised prostate cancer and their female partners. Psycho-Oncology. doi:10.1002/pon
Halford, W. K. (2014) Toward an integration of interpersonal risk models of depression and cognitive behaviour therapy: A commentary on what constitutes interpersonal therapy. Australian Psychologist, 49, 345-347.
Osgarby, S. M., & Halford, W. K. ( 2013) Couple satisfaction and observed expression of intimacy. Behavior Therapy, 44(4) 686-700. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2013.05.003.
Halford, W. K., & Sweeper, S. (2013) Trajectories of adjustment to couple relationship separation. Family Process, 52, 228–243. doi: 10.1111/famp.12006.
Halford, W. K., & Bodenman, G. (2013). Effects of relationship education on maintenance of couple relationship satisfaction. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(4), 515-525. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2013.02.001
Chambers, S. K., Schover, L., Halford, W. K., Ferguson, M. Milner, S., Hanley, B., Occhipinti, S., & Dunn, J. (2013). Proscan for Couples: A feasibility study of for evaluating peer support within a controlled research design. Psycho-oncology,22(2), 475-479. doi: 10.1002/pon.2110
Chambers, S. K., Schrover, L., Nielsen, L., Halford, W. K., Clutton, S., Gardiner, R. A., Dunn, J., & Occhipinti , S. (2013). Couple distress after localized prostate cancer. Supportive Care in cancer, 21 (11), 2967-2976.
Cameron C. M., Scuffham P. A., Spinks A., Scott R., Sipe N., Ng S., Wilson A., Searle J., Lyons R. A., Kendall E., Halford K., Griffiths L. R., Homel R., & McClure R. J. (2012) Environments for Healthy Living (EFHL) Griffith birth cohort study: background and methods. Maternal and Child Health, 16(9), 1896-1905. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0940-4.
Halford, W. K., & Snyder, D. K. (2012). Universal processes and common factors in couple therapy and relationship education. Behavior Therapy, 43(1), 1-12. (A). doi:10.1016/j.beth.2011.01.007
Halford, W. K., Hayes, S., Christensen, A., Lambert, M., Baucom, D. H. & Atkins, D. (2012). Toward making progress feedback an effective common factor in couple therapy. Behavior Therapy, 43(1), 49-60. (A). doi:10.1016/j.beth.2011.03.005
Halford, W. K., Chen, R., Wilson, K. L., Larson,
J., Bussby, D., & Holman, T. (2012). Does therapist guidance enhance assessment-based feedback as couple relationship education? Behavior Change, 29(4) 199-212.
O’Gorman, J., Shum, D., Halford, W. K., & Ogilvie, J. (2012). The state of psychological science: world trends in national research output and impact. International Perspectives in Psychology1 (4), 268-283. doi: 10.1037/a0030520
Pepping, C. & Halford, W. K. (2012). Attachment and relationship satisfaction in expectant first-time parents: the mediating role of relationship enhancing
behaviors. Journal of Research in Personality, 46(6), 770-774. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2012.08.005.
Petch, J., Halford, W. K., Creedy, D. K., & Gamble, J. (2012). A randomised controlled trial of a couple relationship and co-parenting program (Couple CARE for Parents) for high- and low-risk new parents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80 (4), 662-673. DOI: 10.1037/a0028781.
Petch, J., Halford, W. K., Creedy, D. K., & Gamble, J. (2012). Couple relationship education at the transition to parenthood: a window of opportunity to reach high risk couples. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 51(4), 498–511 DOI: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01420.x
Snyder, D. K., & Halford, W. K. (2012). Evidence-based couple therapy: current status and future directions. Journal of Family Therapy, 34, 229-249. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6427.2012.00599.x
Halford, W. K., Petch, J., Creedy, D. K., & Gamble, J. (2011). Intimate partner violence in couples seeking relationship education for the transition to parenthood. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 10, 152-168. doi:10.1080/15332691.2011.562835
O’Donovan A., Halford, W. K., & Walters, B. (2011). Toward best practice of clinical psychology supervision. Australian Psychologist, 46, 101-112. doi:10.1111/j.1742-9544.2011.00033.x
Phillips, M., Bruce, V., Halford, W. K., & Nicholson, J. M. (2011). Predicting Couples’ Futures from Their Descriptions of Stepfamily Life: The Oral History for Stepfamilies Interview. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 560-569. doi:10.1037/a0024538
Halford, W. K., & Petch, J. (2010). Couple psychoeducation for new parents: Observed and potential effects on parenting. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 13, 164-180. 95. Doi: 10.1007/s10567-010-0066-z
Watson, B. & Halford, W. K. (2010). Classes of childhood sexual abuse and women’s adult couple relationships. Violence and Victims, 25, 518-535. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.25.4.518
Halford, W. K., Farrugia, C. , Lizzio, A., & Wilson, K. L. (2010). Relationship aggression, violence and self-regulation in Australian newlywed couples. Australian Journal of Psychology, 62, 82-92. doi:10.1080/00049530902804169
Halford, W. K., Petch, J., & Creedy, D. K. (2010). Promoting a positive transition to parenthood: A randomized clinical trial of couple relationship education. Prevention Science, 11, 89–100. doi: 10.1007/s11121-009-0152-y
Halford, W. K., Wilson, K. L., Watson, B. Verner, T., Larson, J., Busby, D., & Holman, T. ( 2010) . Couple relationship education at home: does skill training enhance relationship assessment and feedback? Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 188-196. doi:10.1037/a0018786
Baucom, D. H., Porter, L., Kirby, J., Grenmore, T., Wiesenthal, N., Aldridge, W., Friedman, S., Stanton, S. E., Scott, J. L., Halford, W. K., & Keefe, F. J. (2009). A couple-based intervention for female breast cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 18, 276-283. (B)
Halford, W. K., & Wilson, K. L. (2009). Predictors of relationship satisfaction four years after completing flexible delivery couple relationship education. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 8, 143-161.
BOOKS AND OTHER MAJOR PUBLICATIONS
9. Halford, W. K., Petch, J. & Creedy, D. (2015). Clinical Guide to Helping New Parents: The Couple Care for Parents Program. New York: Springer.
8. Halford, W. K., (2011). Marriage and relationship education: what works and how to provide it. New York: Guilford.
7. Halford, W K., Moore, E. M., Wilson, K., Dyer, C., & Farrugia, C. (2006) Couple Commitment and Relationship Enhancement: a guidebook for life partners. Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
6. Halford, W K., Moore, E. M., Wilson, K., Dyer, C., & Farrugia, C. (2006) Couple Commitment and Relationship Enhancement: Professional leaders manual. Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
5. Halford, W K., Moore, E. M., Wilson, K., Dyer, C., Farrugia, C., & Judge, K. (2006) Couple Commitment and Relationship Enhancement [Audiovisual production available as DVD or videotape]. Brisbane: Australian Academic Press.
4. Halford, W. K. (2001). Brief Couple Therapy. New York:Guilford.
3. Scott, J. L., & Halford, W. K. (1999). CanCope: a guide for women coping with breast cancer and their partners[Audiovisual production available as DVD or videotape]. Brisbane: Epic Productions.
2. Halford, W. K. (1999). Marriage in millennium three: a research and development agenda for marriage education. Canberra: Australian Department Family and Community Services.
1. Halford, W. K., & Markman, H. J. (Eds.) (1997) Clinical Handbook of Marital and Couple Interventions. Chichester, England: Wiley.
37. Bakhurts, M., & Halford, W. K. (in press). Australian couples. In: Falconier, M. K., Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (Eds.) Dyadic Coping: International Perspectives. London: Routledge.
36. Hiew, D. Halford, W. K. & Shuang, L. (2014). Loving diversity: Living in intercultural relationships. In: A. Abela & J. Walker (Eds.) Contemporary Issues in Family Studies: Global Perspectives on Partnerships, Parenting and Support in a Changing World.(pp. 87 - 99). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
35. Halford, W. K., Petch, J., & Bates, K. (2014). Empirically based couple relationship education. In E. Lawrence & K. Sullivan (Eds.) Relationship Science and Couple Interventions in the 21st Century.New York: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199783267.013.005
34. Pachana, N.A., Baillie, A., Helmes, E., Halford, K., Murray, G., Kyrios, M.,
O’Donovan, A., O’Brien, M., Schwartz, S., & Sofronoff, K. (2012). Taking
clinical psychology postgraduate training into the next decade: Aligning
competencies to the curriculum. In: S. McCarthy, L. Dickson, J. Cranney, A. Trapp & V Karandashev (Eds.), Teaching Psychology Around The World, Volume 3 (pp. 72-86). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
33. Halford, W. K., & Hayes, S. (2012). Taking it to the streets (and information super highways): Using technology to enhance the reach and impact of marriage and relationship education. In P. Noller & G. Karantzas (Eds.) Positive pathways for couples and families: Meeting the challenges of relationships (pp. 283-297). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
32. Halford & Van Acker, E. (2012).Are governments and marriage strange bedfellows? Social policy and couple relationship education.In P. Noller & G. Karantzas (Eds.) Positive pathways for couples and families: Meeting the challenges of relationships (pp. 453-466) New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
30. Halford, W. K., Chambers, S., & Clutton, S. (2010). Couples coping with cancer. In: N. A. Pachana, K. Laidlaw, & B. Knight (Eds.). Casebook in Clinical Geropsychology: International Perspectives on Practice (pp 73-90). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
29. Halford, W. K., & Casey, L. (2010) Taking it to the people: using technology to enhance the impact of couple relationship education. In K. Hahlweg, M. Grawe & D. Baucom (Eds.) Enhancing Couples: The Shape of Couple Therapy to Come. Gottingen: Hogrefe.
28. Casey, L., & Halford, W. K. (2010). Couples and the silicon chip: applying technology to couple services. In K. Hahlweg, M. Grawe & D. Baucom (Eds.) Enhancing Couples: The Shape of Couple Therapy to Come. Gottingen: Hogrefe.
27. Nicholson, J.M., Sanders, M. R., Halford, W. K., Phillips, M., & Whitton, S. W. (2008). The prevention and treatment of children’s adjustment problems in stepfamilies. In J. Pryor (Ed.) The International Handbook of Stepfamilies: Policy and Practice in Legal, Research, and Clinical Environments. (pp. 485-522). New York: Wiley.
Note: Coordinator roles prior to 2009 and tutor roles prior to 2006 are not included.
I will likely supervise one student in 2015 as I have close to a full load supervising post graduate theses. My research focus is on couple relationships. If you are interested in one of the ongoing projects below, and can attend the weekly couple research lab group meetings at 1pm on Fridays, you are welcome to apply.
a) Relationship values and couple relationship satisfaction in diverse cultural groups. In this work we are examining how values about what constitutes a good relationship vary across cultures, and how those values relate to satisfaction within couple relationships.
b) On the decision to cohabit. This study will examine values people hold about when a couple should cohabit, and how cohabiting couples’ relationship satisfaction is affected by the values they hold.