Dr Kaitlin Harkess

Dr Kaitlin Harkess
 Position Clinical Senior Psychologist
 Org Unit Psychology
 Email kaitlin.harkess@sa.gov.au
 Mobile +61 4 3477 9475
 Location Hughes ,   North Terrace
  • Awards & Achievements

    Ian Wilson Liberal Research Scholarship 2014

    The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

    University of Adelaide 3 Minute Thesis Competition Winner 2013

    The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

    Faculty of Health Sciences 3 Minute Thesis Prize 2013

    Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

    School of Psychology Poster Prize 2013

    Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

    Psychology Award for Excellence in Teaching 2012

    School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

    Australian Postgraduate Award 2012

    Department of Industry, Australian Government, Australia

  • Research Interests

    I am interested in examining the practical psychotherapeutic benefits of a yoga practice, as well as biological mechanisms of its effect, with a particular focus on yoga’s comprehensive ability to fight stress. In my current research I am seeking to elucidate the mechanism through which the practice of yoga exerts both psychological and biological benefits. This falls under the broad field of Psychoneuroimmunology, where the relationship between a person’s psychological state, their nervous and immune systems, is examined. In addition, I am examining the effect of a yoga practice on epigenetic, genetic and gene expression factors.

    Investigation in this area is important as the practice of yoga is becoming increasingly more mainstream. Previous research has suggested yoga is efficacious in improving psychological well-being and enhancing immune function, in addition to increasing strength, flexibility and balance, yet the field has been plagued by methodological problems, such as a lack of control groups. Further scientific investigation of the benefits of yoga as a form of mindfulness psychotherapy are needed to develop a strong body of evidence supporting the practical application of yoga as an effective contemporary psychotherapy in clinical psychology.

  • Publications

    Harkess K. N., Delfabbro P, Mortimer J, Hannaford, Z., & Cohen-Woods S (in press). Brief Report on the Psychophysiological Effects of a Yoga Intervention for Chronic Stress: Preliminary Findings. Journal of Psychophysiology.

    Cohen-Woods, S., & Harkess, K. N. (2015). Gene-Environment Interactions, Stress, and Depression. doi:10.1007/978-981-4560-53-5_41-2


  • Professional Associations

    AHPRA registered Psychologist (clinical psychology registrar)

    Australian Psychological Society's Yoga in Psychology Interest Group - Committee Member (SA Branch)

    APS – Associate member 

    Golden Key International Honours Society

  • Professional Interests

    Clinical Psychology, Psychoneuruoimmunology/Psychobiology, Yoga & Psychology

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Entry last updated: Tuesday, 29 Mar 2022

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