Dr Vilas Sawrikar

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Contact details

Address

Street

Medical Quad
Teviot Place
Doorway 6, Rm 1.M8

City
Edinburgh
Post code
EH8 9AG

Background

I am a Lecturer of Clinical Psychology in the School of Health and Social Sciences, registered Clinical Psychologist, and Health Data Analyst/Statistician. Clinical psychology is a career change for me. I have also previously worked as a Health Economist implementing components of National Health Reform, including optimisation of hospital funding systems and resource allocation into practice. I aim to combine both professional skills focusing on translational research in child and adolescent mental health.

Qualifications

PhD in Clinical Psychology

Ms in Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology

Graduate Diploma in Psychology

Ms Applied Statitistics

B Economics

Responsibilities & affiliations

Academic Lead of Personalised Youth Mental Health (PRYMH) Research Team

Programme Director of Msc of Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches 

Deputy Director of Centre of Applied Developmental Psychology

Neurocognitive Psychology Group Member

PGR PhD & MsR Application Review Panel Member

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate teaching

MSc Mental Health in Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches:

- Evidence-based Psychological Interventions for Children and Young People 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Areas of interest for supervision

Research projects related to: (i) Depression in Young People, and (ii) Parenting, Parental/Family factors, and Child and Youth Psychopathology 

Research summary

My interests lie in applications of personalised and stratified medicine to improve psychological care for children and young people, particularly for disorders of impulsivity and emotional dysregulation, such as mood and disruptive behaviour disorders.  There are 3 related components of research (basic and translational):

(i) Mental health stratification. I am interested in stratification of mental disorders in young people. My research is informed by clinical staging and transdiagnostic theory profiling social, psychological, and neurocognitive mechanisms underpinning trajectories of mental illness. 

(ii) Personalised psychological interventions, where the focus is on applying transdiagnostic theory to individualising therapies for child and youth mental health, as well as factors that may either predict or moderate treatment outcomes.  I like to focus on parent/family factors that influence treatment outcomes and how family-directed support and family-based interventions is an area for enhancing youth outcomes.

(iii) Personalised integrated care, where the focus is on applying mental health stratification in operationalising personalised care for children and young people. I focus on 'staged care' which is a stratified care model that promotes finding the right treatment, first time for affective disorders. My work emphasises person-centered clinical decision making for tailoring treatment in accordance with the young persons' and parents' preferences and motivations for treatment.

Please refer to the research projects below about current activities focusing on personalising treatments for children, young people, and families/carers.

Current research interests

Clinical child and family psychology: internalising and externalising problems; family-based influences on mental health (e.g., parenting, parent cognition; attachment; early adverse experiences), and child risk characteristics (e.g., temperament, emotion dysregulation, neurobiology).

Past research interests

Health cost and funding systems to determine allocation of economic resources

Project activity

I invite prospective students to contact me if they are interested in these current research projects: 

1. Neurocognitive psychology associated with mood and comorbid disorders. This aim is to understand phenotypes of mood disorders that underpin comorbid psychopathology in youth populations (irritable-impulsive, anxious), in order to personalise treatment according to notable neurodevelopmental characteristics. 

3. Patient activation and self-management of mental health. The focus is on understanding processes in help-seeking, accessing, and engagement in various forms of family-management, self-management and professional help. To this end, I am interested in decision-making processes informed by behavioural economics to understand how best to promote family- and self-management of mental health.

4. Right care, first time - personalised care. I have been focused on 'staged care' which proposes that personalised healthcare can help reduce the occurrence and burden associated with affective disorders. Specific work includes building an evidence base for clinical staging for children and young people, stage-appropriate psychotherapy, stage-based stepped care, and workforce training in evidence-based practice and stage-based care.

View all 27 publications on Research Explorer