Dean Buckmaster


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I am currently employed as a Full-Time Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Canberra and primarily teach in the Master of Clinical Psychology Program (MCP). I am an endorsed Clinical Psychologist and Supervisor with over 20 years of experience in different public, community, and private mental health settings. My clinical background includes the assessment and therapy with adolescents, adults, and older adults experiencing moderate to severe mental illness. A driving value informing my work is developing accessible evidence-based treatment programs for vulnerable client populations such as youth with multiple social and emotional problems including those displaying signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. After moving to the University of Canberra Clinical Psychology program, my focus is now on working with our students to develop an effective and accessible early intervention treatment program for Canberra youth. This allows me to integrate my passion for both the accessibility to evidence-based psychological treatment for vulnerable youth combined with my drive for excellence in clinical teaching, supervision and applied research. 

I have been awarded a total of $640,000 in research funding. In 2019, in collaboration with Professor Rickwood and Dr. Watsford, I was successfully awarded an external grant from the Capital Health Network (CHN) for $450,000  for the project titled, "Early Intervention for Mood Regulation in Emerging Adults." This project, the Woke Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program, aims to develop, implement, and evaluate an early intervention treatment program for ACT youth aged 15 - 21, vulnerable to developing Borderline Personality Disorder.  In 2022, after the positive outcomes and program evaluation, an additional $2000,000 was awarded by the CHN for ongoing funding. As Clinical Director of the program, I am responsible for the design, implementation, funding, and training functions of the program. Given the excellent client and student outcomes, a proposal for an expanded full-time program has been submitted to the CHN.

The Woke DBT program is delivered by supervised MCP students, as part of their second-year placement, representing a unique asset of the UC clinical program. It provides access to evidence-based treatment to Canberra youth for whom this type of comprehensive program is rarely available. It provides a critical workforce development opportunity as students on placement get an immersive learning experience working with complex clients including ongoing training and supervision in DBT. Access to this type of program and learning is rarely offered in post-graduate clinical psychology programs. It provides meaningful applied research opportunities for UC students including multiple MCP and psychology Honours students, and a current Ph.D. student. 

I currently provide clinical supervision and research supervision to psychology Honours, MCP, and Ph.D. students.

My interests include:

  • Evidence-based program design, implementation, and evaluation
  • Youth mental health
  • Emotion regulation and Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Early intervention 
  • Complicated Grief
  • Innovative teaching practices

My teaching philosophy is based on using impactful deliberate practices to promote effective early learning experiences for clinical students. I do this through the development and selection of innovative teaching materials and modalities, including case examples, role plays, assignments, handouts, and memory devices to teach specific treatment strategies. I am student-centered and collaborative in my approach and look to build on the strengths of our students and their sense of mastery and competency as provisionally registered Clinical Psychologists. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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