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 interests lie in applications of personalised and stratified medicine to improve psychological care for children and young people. My research is informed by emerging transdiagnostic  frameworks of youth mental health (8-25 years) and individualized approaches within transdiagnostic therapies to address mood-related and emotional dysregulation problems, such as depression and disruptive behaviour. I use research methods that study:

(i) Mental health stratification. I am interested in stratification (vis e vie subtyping) of mental disorders in young people. The aim is to profile social, psychological, and neurocognitive markers of early onset mental illness and those youth prone to experiencing poorer health outcomes. 

(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. I also 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 care models where the focus is on improving access to personalised, integrated care for children and young people. To that end, I have been focused on 'staged care' which is a stratified care model that promotes effective treatment of anxiety/depression among young people. My work emphasises person-centered clinical decision making for tailoring treatment in accordance with the young persons goals, 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 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. 

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