I’m an early career research fellow, and have held a number of both research and clinical posts since graduating in psychology. Clinically, I’ve worked in medium-secure mental health settings and most recently as a low-intensity CBT therapist/Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner in IAPT (Primary care psychological therapies service). As a researcher, I developed through my MSc in Psychological Research methods, which I completed part time alongside a Research Assistant Post on the ADepT trial: A pilot trial for a novel, wellbeing focused depression therapy https://www.exeter.ac.uk/departments/mooddisorders/research/currentprojects/adept/ . This trial had a small team, meaning I had a wealth of opportunities to turn my hand to lots of aspects of applied clinical research, lead secondary research streams and develop the skills to be an independent researcher.
In my fellowship, the overarching aim is to develop and evaluate new training initiatives for different clinicians in primary care settings: IAPT therapists and GPs. The aim of the training is to improve outcomes for individuals with complex emotional needs in the context of personality difficulties or disorder. We know that within IAPT, individuals with these difficulties in addition to a primary problem of depression or anxiety, can and do benefit from treatments, but do less well than others without these difficulties. In this setting, training will focus on developing therapist skills in subtly adapting practice to accommodate these additional personality difficulties, and evaluation will focus on whether this has an effect on therapist attitudes, perceived skills and also preliminary evaluate if this translates into improved outcomes. Within the GP workforce, a substantial amount of my work will focus on identifying the training needs and developing a suitable training intervention to address this. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is the early stages of this development work, where I will be consulting with practitioners, service users and other academics – having the opportunity to hear lots of different perspectives on the current issues and how to move forwards.
I don’t have to compromise between being part of exciting research groups making a meaningful difference and ‘farm life’ in North Devon, with an enviable blended working pattern between the Mood Disorder’s Centre and WFH on the farm (with a short 1 mile commute to the surf after work)!