Maria is an experienced clinical neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist with a background in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research and clinical practice.  She is currently an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at JCU Singapore.  She  held one of the inaugural Queensland Health Research Fellowships, and was a Director of Psychology in Queensland Health. She was also Director of Professional Programs (Clinical Psychology) in JCU Australia.   Her research centres on the use of positive psychology frameworks to investigate the factors that influence health and wellbeing in the community, as well as after different types of neurological injury or mental illness.  Maria is part of a global network investigating Mindfulness Based Strengths Practice (MBSP).  She enjoys working in collaborative research teams, mentoring staff, and working with research students to develop projects that have real world impact, and will be finished on time!

If you are interested in positive psychology and neuropsychology, feel free to get in touch!

  • PY5001: Psychological Assessment (Level 5; SIN)
  • PY5006: Clinical Neuropsychology (Level 5; SIN)
  • PY6010: Evaluation and Research (Level 6; SIN)
  • Positive Psychology
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Positive Health
  • Well-being
  • Rehabilitation
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Mental Health Outcomes
  • 2018 to present - Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology, James Cook University (Singapore)
  • 2012 to 2018 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2013 to 2015 - Associate Professor, Research Leader, Community Rehabilitation North Queensland & MICCRH, JCU (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2010 to 2012 - Health Research Fellow, Queensland Health (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2006 to 2012 - Director of Psychology Services, Townsville Health Service District (Townsville, QLD)
  • 2004 to 2006 - Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, University of Tasmania (Hobart, TAS)
  • 2003 to 2004 - Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Mind, University of Sydney (Sydney, NSW)
  • 1997 to 2003 - Lecturer in Psychology, James Cook University (Townsville, QLD)
  • 1995 to 1997 - Casual Lecturer and Tutor, Griffith University (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 1993 to 1995 - Clinical Neuropsychologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane, QLD)
  • 1991 to 1993 - Casual Lecturer and Tutor, University of Tasmania (Hobart, TAS)
  • 1991 to 1992 - Research Assistant, Psychiatry, Royal Hobart Hospital (Hobart, TAS)
  • 1990 to 1991 - Research Assistant, Psychology, University of Tasmania (Hobart, TAS)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2017 - Fellow, APS College of Clinical Psychologists
  • 2017 - Fellow, APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists
  • 2010 to 2012 - Queensland Health Research Fellowship

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 13+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Maria Hennessy from 2013 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service - Private Practice Study, Research & Education Trust Fund

Prevention of mental health problems following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury - a Randomized Controlled Trial

Indicative Funding
The ORBIT-RCT aims to prevent the development of mental illness following traumatic brain injury using a novel brief intervention program in the first 6 months post-injury. Individuals will be recruited at the time of injury and randomly allocated to either a treatment as usual condition (TAU) or to a brief interactive positive psychology intervention program (PPiP). Positive psychology interventions have a growing evidence base in clinical practice (eg Duckworth, Steen & Seligman, 2005) and fit well within a dual factor model of mental health outcomes that emphasises the need to explore TBI recovery from both illness and wellness perspectives (Hennessy, 2013). Participants will be followed up at 6 months, and 12 months to determine the success of the brief intervention in reducing diagnosable psychiatric illness at 12 months post-injury.
Laurence Marshman and Maria Hennessy (College of Medicine & Dentistry and College of Healthcare Sciences)
Traumatic Brain / Head Injury; Mental Health; Prevention; Neuropschological Assessment; Randomised Controlled Trial; Mental Health Outcomes

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Development of a positive health framework to improve the understanding of recovery after chronic subdural haematoma: A prospective study. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The role of contentment, adult attachment and perceived parental emotional expressivity on adaptive emotional regulation in youth at risk who dysregulate in school (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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