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Nic Hooper

Dr Nic Hooper


School of Psychology

+44 29208 70718
Tower Building, Room 10.11, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Media commentator


I am a Psychology Lecturer who specialises in an approach to mental health named Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

In addition to a number of scientific articles, I have written three books (The Unbreakable Student, The Research Journey of ACT and The Science of Children's Wellbeing), one journal (The ACT Journal) and one annual diary which is in its 5th year of production (The ACT Diary).

I am also a co-director of Connect-PSHE (which is an organization that offers a psychological wellbeing curriculum for primary school children) and my Youtube channel (Dr Nic Analyzes) describes ACT in relation to popular media.

My work, and The Unbreakable Student in particular, has featured in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Psychologist Magazine, BBC Radio, and a whole host of regional news outlets. As a result of such exposure, I have given many invited talks to Universities and Colleges across the world.

You can find more details about my books, interviews, podcasts and blogs at my personal website.
















Book sections



For the most part, I research Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the theory of language that underpins it, Relational Frame Theory (RFT). Over the years, these two areas have allowed me to conduct lots of interesting research but the projects that are taking my time at the moment are as follows:

  1. I am working with colleagues at Bristol University and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory to train perspective-taking skills, from an RFT perspective, in a robot.
  2. I am working with colleagues at Bangor University to research the impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of those who care for children with Additional Learning Needs. Part of this project will involve creating an e-learning ACT intervention.
  3. In collaboration with multiple universities, I am researching the impact of materials that I myself have played some role in creating. For example, we are evaluating the impact of Connect (a wellbeing curriculum for primary school children) and The Unbreakable Student (a self-help book for University students).
  4. With colleagues at University of South Wales, I am researching the cross-cultural impact of the thin ideal on wellbeing, and the protective role of psychological flexibility.
  5. With a colleague at University of Buckingham, I am investigating the utility of ACT in improving performance in elite athletes.
  6. With a PhD student, I am researching mindfulness, with a view to understanding if it is possible to foster a state of mindfulness without formal mindfulness exercises.


At undergraduate level:

  • I am an Academic Personal Tutor (APT) at all levels.
  • I teach academic tutorials for the 2nd year Social Psychology / Developmental Psychology / Research Methods modules.
  • I deliver lectures for the 1st year Biological Psychology and Individual Differences module.
  • I am the Module Leader for the third year module Behavioural Intervention
  • I supervise third year project students.

At post-graduate level, I am repsonsible for:

  • Delivering lectures to the conversion course Masters students on the topic of Individual Differences.
  • Supervising PhD students.
  • Supervising the research projects of students undertaking the DClinPsych qualification.

Finally, I am also the Disability Officer for the school.


I completed my Psychology BSc and my PhD at Swansea University. My PhD investigated thought suppression from the perspective of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), and whether acceptance-based techniques would be more useful than avoidance-based techniques in the management of unwanted thoughts.

Following my time at Swansea, I moved to University of Kent, where I researched the impact of mindfulness on the social psychological concepts of the fundamental attribution error and sterotype threat.

In 2011, I took my first teaching position, at Middle East Technical University in Northern Cyprus. After quite the adventure abroad I returned to the UK, where I have since lectured at Warwick University, UWE Bristol and now Cardiff University.

I'm actually from Cardiff originally (a place called Ely) and it has taken me 20 years to find my way home.

Professional memberships

From 2015 to 2017 I served on the Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large for the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), which is a 10000-member community of researchers and clinicians interested in ACT / RFT. I am still a member of ACBS and tend to review conference submissions each year.

Academic positions

  • Nov 2021 – Present: Lecturer, Cardiff University.
  • Jun 2014 – Oct 2021: Lecturer then Senior Lecturer (2017), UWE Bristol.
  • March 2013 – May 2014: Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick.
  • Aug 2011 – Feb 2013: Assistant Professor, Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus.
  • Aug 2010 – July 2011: Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Kent.
  • Sept 2006 - May 2010: PhD Researcher, Swansea University.

Committees and reviewing

In addition to reviewing empirical manuscripts for many international journals, and serving as the technical editor on the ACT for Dummies book (2015), my expertise has also led to me providing endorsements for the following books:

  • Owen, R. (2022). Facing the Storm. Routledge.
  • Withey, J. (2022). How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off. Robinson.
  • White, R., et al. (2021). The Flexible Mind. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Harris, R. (2021). ACT for Trauma. New Harbinger Publications.
  • Sinclair, M., Rodriguez, E., & Eisen, M. (2021). The Little Anxiety Workbook. Crimson. London.
  • Harris, R. (2019). ACT made simple (2nd edition): An easy-to-read primer on acceptance and commitment therapy. New Harbinger Publications.
  • Bennett, R., & Oliver, J. E. (2019). Acceptance and commitment therapy: 100 key points and techniques. Routledge.
  • Harris, R. (2018). ACT questions and answers: A practitioner's guide to 150 common sticking points in acceptance and commitment therapy. New Harbinger Publications.
  • Hill, J., & Oliver, J. (2018). Acceptance and Commitment Coaching: Distinctive Features. Routledge.
  • Ona, P. Z. (2018). Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster. Exisle Publishing.
  • Gordon, T., Borushok, J., & Polk, K. L. (2017). The ACT approach: A comprehensive guide for acceptance and commitment therapy. PESI Publishing & Media.
  • Harris, R. (2013). Getting unstuck in ACT: A clinician's guide to overcoming common obstacles in acceptance and commitment therapy. New Harbinger Publications.


I have 4 doctoral supervision completions. I was 1st supervisor to Dr Josh-Hope Bell, who completed a standard PhD. I was 2nd supervisor to Dr Fabio Zucchelli, who completed his PhD by publication, and I was 2nd supervisor for Dr Ellie Brown and Dr Sharana Abdin in the completion of their Professional Doctorates in Health Psychology.

I'm currently 1st supervisor for one PhD student, Emily Searle, who is investigating whether it is possible to situate a wellbeing intervention within a PSHE primary school curriculum. I am co-supervisor for a PhD student at University of Bath, Emma Osborne, who was awarded funding as part of the Southwest Doctoral Training Scheme to investigate the mechanisms of mindfulness. And I am co-supervisor for a PhD student in Uganda at Makerere University, Khamisi Musanje, who is investigating the usefulness of an ACT intervention in the workplace.