Dermot Barnes-Holmes

Dermot Barnes-Holmes


  • Phone+442870123265
  • Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Name Dermot Barnes-Holmes       [email protected]


Current Employment

Professor of Psychology, Ulster University, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK (2020–


Previous Employment

Professor of Behaviour Analysis, Ghent University, Belgium  (2015-2020)

Foundation Professor of Psychology, Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland (2008-2015)

Foundation Professor of Psychology and First Head of Department, Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland (1999-2008) 

Statutory (Senior) Lecturer in Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland (1997-1999)

College Lecturer (Tenured) in Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland (1991-1997)

College Lecturer (Temporary) in Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland (1990–1991)



D.Phil. (Psychology) Ulster University, Coleraine, Northern Ireland (1987-1990)

CNAA Certificate in Further and Adult Education, Garnett College (later merged with Greenwich University), London, UK (1986–1987)              

B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology, Ulster University Coleraine, Northern Ireland (1982-1985)                 


Main Research Interests/Achievements             

Interest: Experimental Analysis of Human Behaviour

Achievement: Ranked as the most prolific author in the world in the experimental analysis of human behaviour from 1980-1999 Source: Dymond, S. (2002). The next generation: Authorship trends in the experimental analysis of human behavior (1980-1999). Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, 20, 1-7.

Interest: Relational Frame Theory (RFT)

Achievement: Co-Edited seminal text on RFT and co-authored 12 of its 13 chapters; volume cited over 3000 times with individual chapters cited 100s of times

Interest: Translational Research in Behaviour Analysis

Achievement: The first non-USA based researcher to win the ABA International Don Hake Translational Research Award from the American Psychological Association; previously titled the Don-Hake Basic/Applied Research Award, it has been awarded annually for over 30 years

Interest: Learning and Cognition

Achievement: Twenty-sixth recipient of the Quad-L Annual Lecture Award, given to a distinguished contemporary scientist actively engaged in research in some facet of learning/memory/cognition; elected by the faculty and graduate students of the University of New Mexico Psychology Department.

Interest: Relational Frame Theory and Human Psychopathology

Achievement: Odysseus Group I awarded by Flanders Research Foundation (2015-2020), designed for researchers who are internationally recognised as pioneers in their field. The award is combined with a permanent position at a Flemish university and sufficient project funding to establish a research team. I was the sole recipient of a Group 1 award in 2014. The research programme was entitled: Toward a Relational Frame Theory Account of Human Psychopathology within a Functional-Cognitive Framework.

Publications/Citations (

Google Scholar: Total Citations = 23,081; h-index = 82; i10-index = 288 (11 December 2020)

Research Funding

Involved in attracting 37 separate research grants between 2000-2020

Largest single research grant as principle investigator: Odysseus Group I (2015-2020)



Other Examples of Academic Reputation/Achievement

Supervisor for doctoral level research (40+ Doctorates awarded between 1993 and 2020).

Involved in attracting over 3,500,000 euro in competitive funding since 2000.

Served on, or currently serving on, the editorial boards of all of the main journals in behavior analysis, including: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior; Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; The Behavior Analyst; The European Journal of Behavior Analysis; Journal for Contextual Behavioral Science. I have also served on (or currently serving on) the editorial boards of, The European Journal of Psychology; The International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy (Associate Editor); The Psychological Record. 

Served on the (Irish) Health Research Board from 2002-2005 (appointed by the Irish Minister for Health).

Elected to the Council of the Psychological Society of Ireland from 2004-2007.

One of the founding members of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science.

President of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science 2007-2008, and awarded fellowship status of the organization in 2012.

Awarded fellowship status in 2016 by the Association for Behavior Analysis, International.

I am invited regularly to deliver lectures and keynote addresses around the world, including, in Spain, North America, South America (Bogata, Columbia), Japan (Kyoto and Tokyo), Sweden, Germany and Australia (see below for some examples).

Barnes-Holmes, D. (24 April, 2005). Relational frame theory and analogical reasoning in children and adults: Can behavior analysis make an important contribution to the study of higher cognition?  Invited annual guest speaker for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lecture Series on Behavior Analysis, USA.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (6 April, 2005). Analogical reasoning in children and adults: What does behavioral psychology have to offer? Invited guest lecture delivered to the Department of Personality, Assessment and Treatment Psychology, University of Almeria, Spain.

Barnes-Holmes, D., & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (8 March, 2006). Do you really hate Americans? The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a direct measure of implicit beliefs. Invited guest lecture delivered to the Department of Psychology, University of Wales, Swansea, UK.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (24 April, 2009). Implicit association or implicit relation: Will the real implicit attitude please stand up? Invited guest lecture delivered at Ghent University, Belgium.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (12 July 2011). RFT (and ACT) -- So Far, So Good -- But What Next? Invited opening event keynote address delivered during the ACBS World Conference XI, Parma, Italy.

Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Stewart, I. (11 March 2012). An Introduction to RFT. A one-day workshop held at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan (event repeated in Tokyo on 17 March).

Barnes-Holmes, D. & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (14 November 2013). ACT and CBT: Building Bridges (and Not Walls) with RFT. ACT/Contextual Behaviour Science Conference, London, UK.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (October, 2015). Relational frame theory: Finding its historical and intellectual roots and reflecting upon its future development. Psychology Quad-L Lecture, 2015, University of New Mexico, USA.

Barnes-Holmes, D. & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (May, 2016). RFT, ACT, and CBT: What are the connections? Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, International, Chicago, USA.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (23 June, 2017). Relational frame theory: Pushing the conceptual and empirical envelope (but not too far). Association for Contextual Behavior Science World Conference, Seville, Spain.

Barnes-Holmes, D., & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (22 May, 2017). Relational frame theory and units of analysis for human language and cognition: Implications for understanding and treating human psychological suffering. Special one-off meeting entitled, Processes to Procedures: Understanding and Treating Psychopathology in the Post DSM Era. Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (19 April, 2018). Relational frame theory and a multi-dimensional multi-level framework. University of San Carlos, Brazil.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (26 May, 2018). Relational frame theory: Past, present, and future. The Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior Tutorials, San Diego, California, USA.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (10 May, 2019). Experimental psychopathology and an up-dated version of relational frame theory. EPP Master Lecture, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Barnes-Holmes, D. (29 September, 2019). An up-dated version of relational frame theory and how it connects more directly with the concerns of applied behavior analysis. 10th International ABAI Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education


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