Special Interest Group in Addiction Psychology

About Us

The Special Interest Group in Addiction Psychology (SIGAP) formed in response to the lack of representation of psychology in the fields of addiction and dual diagnosis in Ireland. It aims to promote psychological models of understanding and treating addiction in its various forms. Addiction Psychology is a field of research and practice that is concerned with a wide variety of addiction difficulties, including substance, alcohol and behavioural. This fosters the application of information obtained from scientific research in an effort to appropriately understand, evaluate, treat and support individuals dealing with addiction.

The core aim of SIGAP is to develop interest and competence in applying psychological science to the area of addiction treatment in Ireland. We believe professional psychologists are being under-utilized in addiction treatment settings and that those in need of treatment would benefit from more involvement of the discipline. As many psychologists in addiction treatment work in isolation, the group is concerned with supporting and advocating for psychologists working in both public and private settings. As evidence-based practice has only been partially incorporated into routine practice in Ireland, SIGAP is interested in encouraging evidence-based best practice and the sharing practice-based evidence. To this end, our objectives are to contribute to the knowledge base of addiction psychology, to champion addiction related education in relevant professional trainings, and to guide policy formation and service development locally and nationally.

The area of addiction research and treatment is a fascinating and rewarding field to work in. The skills of a professional psychologist can be of significant benefit to individuals in need of help, and to the teams that support them. Unfortunately, not many psychologists work in these settings in Ireland compared to other countries where they play leadership roles. The Special Interest Group in Addiction Psychology hopes to try and address the gap in services. We create space for professionals to meet and talk about the work they do, and we also hope to increase the amount of training psychologists and other disciplines receive in addiction over the course of their training. Our aim is that people in need of treatment get the best support possible.


Our Core Aims:

Developing interest and competence in the area of addiction psychology
Advocating for psychologists working in addiction 
Encouraging evidence-based best practice and sharing practice-based evidence
Contributing to the knowledge base of addiction psychology
Guiding policy formation and service development locally and nationally 

In order to achieve these aims, the group will provide guidance on continuing professional development trainings and workshops, from a content and process point of view, support research, offer peer support, and develop a forum for a conversation about how to respond to the problem of addiction. 


SIG Addiction Psychology addictionpsychology@psychologicalsociety.ie


Dr Colin O'Driscoll


Dr Paul Hayes


Dr Seán Foy


Siobhan Kennedy

Membership Secretary

Dr Seán Meehan

Ordinary Member

Audra Larkin

Ordinary Member

Paula Callaghan

Ordinary Member