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, 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.


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?


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 research area of interest is in applications of personalised medicine in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and personalised healthcare for children and young people. My research interests are especially linked with the clinical psychology treatments I deliver: CBT for youth anxiety/depression and family-based interventions. I use research methods that study:

(i) Transdiagnostic characterisation of mental disorders. I conduct transdiagnostic research in affective development and psychopathology and using our knowledge of transdiagnostic characterisation of illness to inform how to personalise therapy.  I am particularly interested in understanding individual differences in affective development that underpin (i) comorbid internalising and externalising problems, and (ii) depression in young people

(ii) Personalised psychological interventions. I study approaches to personalising therapy for mental health problems such as disruptive behaviour, externalising problems, and depression, as well as factors that may either predict or moderate treatment outcomes. My work emphasises the salience of parent/family factors that influence treatment outcomes from psychotherapy for young people.

(iii) Stratification in mental health where the focus is on clinical staging to personalise treatments for children and young people. To that end, I have been focused on 'staged care' which is an integrated care model that promotes prevention of anxiety/depression among young people.

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 child neurodevelopment and 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 dysfunction and mental disorders. This is pursued by employing cognitive neuroscience research methodology to understand subtypes of mood disorders based causal theories of depression, in order to personalise treatment approaches according to notable neurodevelopmental characteristics of illness. 

2. Role of irritability in comorbid externalising and internalising problems among young people. Irritability is a common dimension of mental ill health and may explain comorbid problems of externalising and internalising problems. I am interested in cognitive and emotional regulatory processes associated with irritability implicated in mood, self-harm and suicidality. 

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. Population health approaches for mental health ('right care, right time, right place'). I have been focused on 'staged care' which proposes that universal 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