Dr Paul Daniel O'Halloran

Senior Lecturer, Coordinator Rehabilitation Counselling Courses (Postgraduate and Undergraduate)

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Public Health

HS1-317, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

Centre for Sport and Social Impact


BBSc, GDipHlth(Psych), PhD La Trobe, FAPS



Membership of professional associations

Full member of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors, Member of Australian Psychological Society college of Sport and Exercise Psychologists, Member of Australian Psychological Society college of Health Psychologicalists, Member of Motivational Intervieiwng Network of Trainers

Area of study

Rehabilitation Counselling

Brief profile

Dr Paul O'Halloran is the coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counselling Courses (postgraduate and undergraduate)  and the Honours Program within the Bachelor of Health Sciences.  Paul is also the deputy director of the Sport Exercise and Rehabilitation Research Focused Area at La Trobe University       

He is also the primary coordinator of subjects such as Sport and Exercise Psychology, Rehabilitation Counselling, Service Delivery Systems, Behaviour Change in Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Pharmacology and Rehabilitation Counselling Practicum.

Paul’s primary research interests relate to:

  • behaviour change in sport and rehabilitation settings
  • motivational interviewing
  • increasing participation in physical activity and sport
  • improving rehabilitation outcomes
  • promotion of wellbeing and performance in elite athletes
  • evaluation of programs designed to increase participation in sport and physical activity


Paul has worked clinically as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist, Rehabilitation Psychologist  and Health Psychologist for over 10 years. His work in Sport Psychology with athletes competing at a national and international level has related primarily to performance enhancement. Paul’s work has a Health and Rehabilitation Psychologist has involved assisting people with chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and hip fracture with adaptive behaviour changes (using techniques such as Motivational Interviewing) to increase physical activity. Paul is a member of the Australian Psychological Society college of Sport and Exercise Psychologists and an office bearer on the Executive committee of the Australian Psychological Society college of Health Psychologists. Paul also serves on the Victorian committe of the Australian Psychological Society college of Sport and Exercise Psychologists. He is also a full member of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors and the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.

Research interests

Chronic disease

- Increasing sport and physical activity


- Motivational Interviewing, Behaviour Change

Teaching units

  1. PHE3SEP: Sport and Exercise Psychology
  2. PHE5REC: Rehabilitation Counselling
  3. PHE5SDS: Service Delivery Systems
  4. PHE5RCP: Rehabilitation Counselling Practicum
  5. PHE3BCR: Behaviour Change in Rehabilitation
  6. PHE3MHP: Mental Health and Pharmacology
  7. PHE5RRD: Rehabilitation Research Design
  8. PHE4THA: Thesis A
  9. PHE4THB: Thesis B

Recent publications

O’Halloran, P, Blackstock F, Shields N, Boswell, E, Taylor NF (in press) Motivational interviewing increases physical activity and self-efficacy in people living in the community after hip fracture: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation.

McDougall H, O’Halloran, P, Sherry, E, Shields (2016) Needs and Strengths of Australian Para Athletes: Identifying the Subjective, Psychological, Social, and Physical Health and Well-Being. The Sport Psychologist, 30, 1-12.

Moore, M., Warburton, J., O'Halloran, P., Shields, N., Kingsley, M. (2016) Effective Community-based Physical Activity Interventions for Older Adults Living in Rural and Regional Areas: A Systematic Review. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 24 (1), 158-167.

Wright BJ, O'Halloran PD, Stukas, A. (2016) Enhancing Self-Efficacy and Performance: An Experimental Comparison of Psychological Techniques. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 87 (1), 36-46.

Schofield, M, O’Halloran, PD, Forrester-Knauss, C, McLean, S, Paxton, S.C. (2016). Depressive Symptoms among Australian University Students: Who is At Risk. Australian Psychologist. 51(2):135-144.

Garton, P, Murphy, G.A, & O’Halloran, P.D. (2016) A practical tool to improve outcomes in Work Injury Management.  WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation. Vol.53(4), p.927-937.

Kenez, P, O'Halloran P, Liamputtong P. (2015). The portrayal of mental health in Australian daily newspapers, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39, (6), 513–517.

McDougall H, O’Halloran, P, Shields, N., Sherry, E.  (2015) Comparing the Well-Being of Para and Olympic Sport Athletes: A Systematic Review.  Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 32, 256 -276.

Holden J, Davidson M, O'Halloran PD (2015). Motivational Strategies for Returning Patients with Low Back Pain to Usual Activities: A Survey of Physiotherapists Working in Australia. Manual Therapy. 20 (6), 842-849.

Buckley KL, O’Halloran PD, Oates JM (2015). Occupational vocal health of elite sports coaches: An exploratory pilot study of football coaches. Journal of Voice. 29 (4) 476-83.

O’Halloran, P.D., Blackstock, F., Shields, N., Holland, A., Iles, R., Kingsley, M., Bernhardt, J., Lannin, N., Morris, M.E., & Taylor, N. F. (2014). Motivational interviewing to increase physical activity in people with chronic health conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 28(12):1159-71 .

Forbes D, Alkemade N, Hopcraft D, Hawthorne G, O'Halloran P, Elhai JD, McHugh T, Bates G, Novaco RW, Bryant R, Lewis V. (2014)  Evaluation of the Dimensions of Anger Reactions-5 (DAR-5) Scale in combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 28(8):830-835.

Holden, J., Davidson, M., & O'Halloran, P. D. (2014). Health coaching for low back pain: a systematic review of the literature. International journal of clinical practice, 68(8), 950-962.

Ruddock-Hudson M, O'Halloran P, Murphy G. (2014). The Psychological Impact of Long-Term Injury on Australian Football League Players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. 26(4):377-394.

Iles RA, Taylor NF, Davidson M, O'Halloran P (2014). An effective coaching intervention for people with low recovery expectations and low back pain: A content analysis. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. 27(1):93-101.

Aspridis, A., O’Halloran, P.D, & Liamputtong, P. (2014). Female Bodybuilding: Perceived social and psychological effects of participating in the Figure class. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal.  22, 24-29.

Capalb, D., O’Halloran, P. & Liamputtong, P. (2014). Why older people engage in physical activity: An exploratory study of participants in a community-based walking program. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 20 (1), 74-78. 

Holland, A.E., Mahal ,A.,  Hill, C.J., Lee, A. L., Burge, A.T., , Moore, R., Nicolson, C. , O'Halloran, P., Cox, N.S., Lahham, A., Ndongo, R., Bell, E., & McDonald. C.F (2013). Benefits and costs of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a multi-centre randomised controlled equivalence trial. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 13(1), 57.

Wright, B.J.  & O'Halloran, P. (2013). Perceived Success, auditory feedback and mental imagery: What best predicts improved efficacy and motor performance? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 84, 2, 139-146.

Iles, R.A., Taylor, N.F., Davidson, M., & O'Halloran, P. (2012). Patient recovery expectations in non-chronic non-specific low back pain: a qualitative investigation. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 44, 781-787.

Ruddock-Hudson, M., O’Halloran, P., & Murphy, G. (2012). Exploring the psychosocial reactions to injury in the Australian Football League. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24, (4) pp. 375-390.

Iles R, Taylor NF, Davidson M, O’Halloran P. (2011). Telephone coaching can increase activity levels for people with non-chronic low back pain: a randomised controlled trial. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 57 (4).

Aldcroft, S., Taylor, N., Blackstock, F., & O’Halloran, P. (2011). Psycho-educational rehabilitation programs in producing health behaviour change in people with coronary artery disease: a systematic review of controlled trials. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, 31 (5).


Older publications

McIver, S., McGartland, M, & O’Halloran, P.D. (2009). Overeating is not about the food”: Women describe their experience of a yoga treatment program for binge eating. Qualitative Health Research, 19(9), 1234-1245.

McIver, S., O’Halloran, P.D., & McGartland, M (2009). Yoga as a treatment for binge eating disorder: A preliminary study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 17 (4) 196-202.

Iles, R.A., Davidson, M., Taylor, N. F., & O’Halloran, P. (2009).Systematic review of the ability of recovery expectations to predict outcomes in non-chronic non-specific low back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 19(1): 25-40.

Carey, B., Block, S., Ross, F., Borg. V., & O’Halloran, P. (2008). Preschool teachers and Stuttering: A survey of knowledge, attitudes, and Referral practices. ACQ (Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Learning, and Hearing), 10 (1): 7-11.

O’Halloran P.D (2007).  Mood Changes in weeks 2 and 6 of a graduated group walking program in previously sedentary persons with type 2 diabetes. Australian Journal of Primary Health (13): 68-73.

O’Halloran P.D., Murphy G., & Webster K. E. (2005). Moderators of mood during a 60-minute treadmill run. International Journal of Sport Psychology (36): 241-50

O’Halloran, P. D., Murphy G., & Webster K. E. (2004). Mood during a 60-minute treadmill run: Timing and    type of mood change. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 35(4), 309-327.

O’Halloran, P. D., Murphy G., & Webster K. E. (2004) Reliability of the bipolar form of the Profile of Mood States using an alternate test protocol. Psychological Reports, 95, 459-463.

McIver, S., O’Halloran, P.D., & McGartland, M. (2004). The impact of Hatha Yoga on Smoking Behavior. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10 (2), 22-23.

O’Halloran P.D., Murphy G., & Webster K. E. (2002). A measure of beliefs about improvements in mood associated with exercise. Psychological Reports, 90: 834-840.

O’Halloran P.D., Kirkby R., & Webster K. E. (2001). Mood changes during exercise. Australian Journal of Primary Health – Interchange, 7(2):24-31  

Research projects

1) Smartphone-based delivery of Motivational Intervieiwng to Increase Physical Activity: An RCT

2) Evaluation of the Australian Sports Commision sporting schools program

3) Evaluation of the VicHealth Participation and Health through Sport Programs

4) Stress and jockey performance: Psychological and physiological contributors

5) Development and trial of a web-based toolkit to facilitate the return to sport transition after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction1

6) Let’s get physical: Improving participation in sport and active recreation after musculoskeletal injury

7) Beyond Blue Project Stride. Real Courage/Better Out Than In campaign designed to improve mental health in men