Dr Vilas Sawrikar

Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Contact details



Medical Quad
Teviot Place
Doorway 6, Rm 1.M8

Post code


I am a Lecturer of Clinical Psychology in the School of Health and Social Sciences and a registered psychologist. I completed my postgraduate studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where I completed a combined Masters/Phd in in Clincial Psychology. 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.


PhD in Clinical Psychology

Ms in Clinical Psychology

Graduate/Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology

Ms Applied Statitistics

B Economics

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

My area of interest is evidence-based practice in psychological interventions (EBPIs) for children and young people. The main thrust of the work is bridging the gap between research and practice guided by the 'Triple Aim' of quality healthcare: improve client outcomes, improve population health, and improve cost efficiency. I am particularly interested in these aspects of EBPI in the treatment and prevention of externalising and affective disorders among children and young people. The work integrates a life course approach to EBPI preventing vulnerable young people from a life time of poor mental health.

Key issues addressed include:

Client outcomes: Despite the availability of EBPIs, evidence of suboptimal treatment outcomes in 'real-world' clinical settings exists. The aim is to determine how best to design treatments in ways that are sensitive to, and capitilise on, individual differences in developmental pathways to mental illness and response to psychological interventions. I explore novel approaches to optimising treatment outcomes through theory-driven developments in psychotherapy practice and treatment formats. 

Population health: The work focuses on targeting the treatment gap that exists between mental health need and treatment engagement among young people and their families, especially among vulnerable populations. Areas of interest include health service delivery models to improve access to ESTs, novel treatment formats , as well as individual treatment engagement behaviours. 

Cost efficiency: With a focus on optimal service delivery, I examine how treatments can be delivered efficiently while being effective and accessible.

Past research interests

Health cost and funding systems to determine allocation of economic resources

Project activity

There are several lines of research being undertaken with these aims: 

1. Optimising parenting interventions for conduct problems: This is pursued through examining child- and parent-level correlates of conduct problems relevant to predicting and moderating outcomes. Areas of research include (i) conduct problem subtypes, (ii) transdiagnostic conceptualisation of behavioural and emotional problems, and (iii) parenting processes (parental attributions, expressed emotion) potentially worthy of focus in parenting interventions. 

2. Longitudinal trajectories of childhood-onset mental illness: With half of all lifetime disorders emerging in childhood, intervening in these early years is important to succesful early intervention. In line with this, I am interested in understanding individual differences in the course of mental illness through transitions in early stages of life, beginning from behavioural-emotional problems in childhood to later onset of affective disorders. I am particularly interested in transdiagnostic conceptualisation of behavioural and emotional problems (child irritability and anger) in childhood as well as social determinants of child mental health in this context.

3. Risk and resilience in youth and young adulthood. I examine both risk and protective processes associated with emotional health in the context of stressful life events during transitions in adolescence and young adulthood.

4. Treatment accessibility and engagement. This is pursued through examining (ii) dissemination of early intervention programs, (ii) digital health technology to support mental health care, (iii) social-economic and health service determinants of service utilisation, and (iv) policy and program development for improving treatment accessibility, help-seeking, and engagement.

View all 10 publications on Research Explorer