Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology

A monthly blog from the chair of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology updating DSEP members and the wider sport and exercise community on DSEP committee developments.




Hello again to all DSEP members, and anyone who is reading this who might not be a member yet (but I am sure is keen to find out more about joining the Division – click on the following link for details: https://www1.bps.org.uk/networks-and-communities/member-microsite/division-sport-exercise-psychology/joining-and-benefits).


The DSEP committee got through a lot of business at the recent DSEP committee meeting in April. Not least revisiting and updating the division’s strategic plan. We have produced a draft plan for 2018-2020, and as soon as it is finalised we will share it with members of the division. We are also in the process of reviewing the DSEP committee structure to maximise our effectiveness by making the most out of committee meetings, while expanding the range of ways divisional members can get involved in taking our professional and the division forward. As soon as we have further details these will be communicated out to our members.


As you might have already seen through our various communication channels, new for this year is the June ‘free to members’ division day to be hosted at the BPS London offices. The focus of the event is on mental health in sport and exercise, and it has proven to be extremely popular. The 80 available places were all taken within a couple of weeks of the event first being advertised, which demonstrates a keen desire for more events with this type of focus. I am increasingly of the opinion that sport and exercise psychologists should be right at the heart of mental health developments in sport and exercise settings, and should occupy central positions as the Government looks to implement the ‘Mental Health and Elite Sport Action plan’. I have been in touch with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Sport on behalf of the division, and was also recently invited to attend an APPG meeting on mental health and young people as a BPS representative. I think we as sport and exercise psychologists need to further enhance our knowledge, understanding and skills around mental health, and it might be the case that we will need to look at our training route to ensure trainees get sufficient training in this area. Mental health and wellbeing is also going to be one of the core themes of the 2018 DSEP Annual Conference on the 3rd and 4th December in Belfast, so if you want to find out more about mental health in sport and exercise it would be a great event to attend.


Talking of the annual conference, the organising committee continue to do a fantastic job in putting together what will be a fantastic event. The conference is taking place at the amazing Hilton Belfast, and as well as a great conference programme I know the team have some great ideas about an associated social programme as well. To find out more about the conference visit the conference website: https://www.bps.org.uk/events/division-sport-exercise-psychology-annual-conference-2018. If you are looking to present at the conference the closing date for oral submissions is 31st May – so make sure you get an abstract submitted!


We also have a CPD event taking place on 11th July at the University of Hertfordshire titled ‘Practicing what you preach: The what, where, when, and how of the self-practice of cognitive-behavioural intervention’. If you want to find out more or book a place please visit: https://www.bps.org.uk/events/practicing-what-you-preach-what-where-when-and-how-self-practice-cognitive-behavioural


I was luckily enough to be invited up to the northern applied practice hub based at Leeds Carnegie last month to present on athlete leadership. I was very well looked after and the event was well attended, it was also great to see that a local sport psychiatrist had also got involved as well – offering great development opportunities and potentially the development of local referral networks as well. This all reinforced to me how important the applied practice hubs are to our development as a profession.


Well, that is all from me for now, I am sure there will be lots of updates in the next blog at the start of July. In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, and suggestions please do not hesitate to drop me an email: [email protected]


Stewart Cotterill

DSEP Chair


Fri, 11/05/2018 - 15:58

Well I can’t believe it is already two months since my first blog post as DSEP Chair. Much has happened since that first post, as the DSEP committee continues to implement our plans to further enhance the service we provide to our members and to further enhance understanding of our profession nationally and internationally.

Planning for the 2018 conference that is taking place in Belfast in December are continuing at pace. Dr Gavin Breslin (conference lead) and his conference team are working hard to deliver another outstanding DSEP annual conference. Further details of the conference will be out soon including submission guidance and deadlines.

It is fantastic to see the successful launch of the Northern Applied Practice Hub-site based at Leeds Beckett University with the ASPSIG group. Well done to everyone involved in getting the hub up and running. There are other hub sites in development, but if you either want to know more, or wish to explore setting up a hub site in your region please email Dr Tim Holder (Applied Hub Site lead). At the next DSEP Committee meeting (April) we will be looking to revise and update the Division’s strategic plan, there will be opportunities before the meeting to feed in your thoughts and suggestions. But in the first instance if there is something you think we should be doing feel free to email me ([email protected]).

At the current time the DSEP Exec group (Chair, Past Chair, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer) are planning a 1-day CPD day for DSEP members. Details are still to be finalised, but we are looking at a day in June, to run a full-day event at the London offices focusing on mental health in sport and exercise. Linked to this theme, I was fortunate enough to be invited along to a meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Sport and Exercise Psychiatry Special Interest Group (SEPSIG) last week. There is significant opportunity for DSEP members and SEPSIG members to collaborate and to share knowledge and understanding. Also, practically, there is a great opportunity to develop multi-discipline mental health support within sport and exercise settings.

At the most recent Professional Practice Board (February) it was confirmed that HCPC are happy for Chartered Psychologists to use the chartered title in conjunction with the HCPC protected title. So, appropriately qualified DSEP members could choose to call themselves ‘Chartered Sport and/or Exercise Psychologists’.

The Division’s online presence continues to go from strength to strength. At the time of writing this post we have 5575 followers on Twitter, suggesting we are developing a growing international online community interested in sport and exercise psychology. If you have information you wish to share with our followers on Twitter copy us into the post (@BPS_DSEP) and we can retweet. Also, if you are not on twitter feel free to email me and we can put out information that way. Finally, changes are taking place to the DSEP website behind the scenes. Once the revised content is sufficiently developed we will publish the changes online so the Division has a website that better serves the needs of our members while also doing a very good job as an outward facing website that provides clarity on our profession and who qualified sport and exercise psychologists are.

Well, that is all from me for now, I am sure there will be lots of updates in the next blog at the start of May after the next full DSEP committee meeting in April. In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, and suggestions please do not hesitate to drop me an email: [email protected]


Stewart Cotterill

DSEP Chair

Tue, 06/03/2018 - 09:26

First, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone with an interest in sport and exercise psychology a happy new year, and a very prosperous 2018. This is the first of what will become a regular feature on the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP) website, a monthly blog from the Chair of the Division providing updates on areas of work for the division, updates from the British Psychological Society that are relevant to the Division, and also any broader sector-related updates.


First though as I take over as the new Chair of the Division I would like to take this opportunity to thank the now ‘Past Chair’ Dr Jamie Barker who has done a fantastic job over the last two years. The Division has seen significant growth in a number of different ways, and Jamie has overseen the implementation of a number of new initiatives including the applied practice hubs and the research working groups. Second, I would like to both thank and congratulate Brian McCann and his conference team for organising and running such a fantastic conference in Glasgow in December. The conference was very well attended (despite the weather) and delivered an innovative and thought provoking programme, so thank you again to all of you.


As I take over the Chair job there are a few things the committee and I are looking focus on in the immediate future. First of which is to re-visit the Division Committee’s strategic plan to ensure we are still on track to deliver the vision for the Division. Building upon this firm foundation I am keen that the Division looks to work more collaboratively both within the BPS (such as with other Divisions), and with external organisations both in the UK and globally.


We are also going to start exploring how we can better co-operate with different forms of ‘ the media’ (such as newspapers, television and radio) to develop a wider understanding of who sport and/or exercise psychologists are, what we do, and why you should employ a HCPC registered sport and/or exercise psychologist rather than one of the many alternatives that might be available. As a profession, and as a Division, we need to better answer these questions and make clear that everyone in all walks of life uses psychology, and by extension everyone in sport uses sport psychology, and everyone in exercise uses psychology). The crucial difference though is what a fully qualified/trained psychologist can offer and how these legally registered individuals can make a difference in a way that goes beyond what non-registered practitioners can offer.


I am sure once you have looked at this blog you will click on some of the other pages on the DSEP website. We are aware that in its current state it is not meeting the needs of the Division or the wider public who seek information about sport and exercise psychology. As a result, we are in the process of completely overhauling the content so it meets our needs going forward. Finally, we are also keen to provide greater opportunities for members of the Division to get involved in the work of the committee. As such, the committee will be looking to develop sub-groups that will have a specific focus and function. These groups will have a specific focus (e.g., CPD, marketing and promotion, grants and awards), and will enable members with specific knowledge and expertise to get involved where they can have the greatest impact. More information on these groups and how to get involved will be available later in the year.


So here’s to a fantastically successful 2018 for the Division and all of our members. If you have any questions, comments, and suggestions please do not hesitate to drop me an email: [email protected]


Stewart Cotterill

DSEP Chair

Mon, 08/01/2018 - 10:51

Dear DSEP members,

In order to explain more clearly to National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who they should and should not employ to provide Sport and Exercise Psychological services, we the Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology (DSEP) committee have developed and recently circulated the letter (see link below) . Accordingly, please feel free to distribute this  letter to your further networks to increase awareness regarding the provision of sport and exercise psychology services.

Letter sent to NGB's by DSEP

Dr. Jamie Barker

Chair, DSEP

Tue, 21/03/2017 - 16:55


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