Welcome to Happicademy

“A ship in harbour is safe but that is not what ships are built for”

— John A Shedd

For many types of mental health challenges it is important to seek professional help from a qualified therapist or clinician. However, many of us would just like to become more resilient, feel like our lives have a bit more direction, or learn new skills to meet life’s challenges head-on. That’s where evidence-based self-help comes in. 

Welcome to our online lab.

When it comes to self-help, the psychology behind the techniques really matters.

This site is run by a team of psychologists, led by Dr Lee Hulbert-Williams, and exists expressly to perform scientific testing of various self-help techniques.

If you landed here via Google or another search engine, you won’t be able to access any of the content here. The self-help and coaching materials on this site are undergoing active development and testing.

To fully access content, you would need to sign up for one of our studies. You’ll find some

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe

The self-help world is filled with books, online courses, and coaching that promise to enrich our lives. While it’s a realm of vast opportunities, the quality of such resources varies greatly.

Some of it is rooted in solid research and real-world success, truly helping people grow. Some of it is a waste of time, and may even hurt more than it helps.

It pays to choose wisely, seeking out those pieces of wisdom that resonate with us personally and ask what evidence we have that something will actually work.

Some examples

Much of our research focuses on testing the techniques and self-help tasks used in process-based cognitive behavioural coaching.

Food Cravings

Hulbert-Williams, L., Hulbert-Williams, N. J., Nicholls, W., Williamson, S., Poonia, J., & Hochard, K. D. (2019). Ultra-Brief Non-Expert-delivered Defusion and Acceptance Exercises for Food Cravings: A Partial Replication Study. Journal of health psychology, 24(12), 1698-1709. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317695424

Pain Tolerance

Pendrous, R., Hulbert-Williams, L., Hochard, K. D., & Hulbert-Williams, N. J. (2020). Appetitive augmental functions and common physical properties in a pain-tolerance metaphor: An extended replication. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 16, 17-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.02.003

Social Resilience

Hochard, K. D., Hulbert-Williams, L., Ashcroft, S., & McLoughlin, S. (2021). Acceptance and values clarification versus cognitive restructuring and relaxation: A randomized controlled trial of ultra-brief non-expert-delivered coaching interventions for social resilience. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 21, 12-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2021.05.001

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