Applied Psychology Research and Collaboration
At Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology, our research and knowledge exchange work is recognised on both a national, and international stage. Our activities address a broad range of key areas within applied psychology, psychological therapies, policy support and both service and organisational development, and we see our work as key aspect to enhancing the quality of our professional training, consultancy and knowledge transfer.
We are currently involved in research and knowledge exchange projects in a number of exciting areas. These include health and wellbeing research across the lifespan, clinical health psychology, neuropsychology, public mental health, and arts and health. You can find out more about our current research projects by reading our research clusters document.
You can also find out more about individual research projects and publications by browsing our staff profiles, or through our online research and theses environment, Research Space.
Dr Sue Holttum was a leading author and editor on the British Psychological Society (Division of Clinical Psychology) report ‘Understanding Depression: Why adults experience depression and what can help’. Presented in a Webinar on 9th October 2020, the report summarises the latest research evidence on causes of depression and things that can help individuals and society. The report had input from service users as well as many psychologists working with depression. A key message is that society needs to change, because of the ways in which some aspects of it can make us more likely to experience depression. The report also highlights the role of exclusion, inequality and oppression in causing and maintaining depression for many people. The report can be downloaded free of charge here.
Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Anne Cooke co-edited the report, ‘Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange, or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help’. It has been written by a group of eminent clinical psychologists drawn from eight universities and six NHS trusts, together with people who have themselves experienced psychosis. It provides an accessible overview of the current state of knowledge, and its conclusions have profound implications both for the way we understand ‘mental illness’ and for the future of mental health services. Click here to watch a video of Anne launching the report in New York.
Sport and Disabilities
Prof Jan Burns works with athletes with intellectual disabilities to assess the impact of disability on elite sports performance. Jan is Head of Eligibility for the International Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) and works with the International Paralympic Committee on athlete classification. The purpose of this work is to develop sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities globally and to help them reach their peak performance. Jan is also one of the nine international partners working on an Erasmus funded ‘IDEAL - Intellectual Disability, and Equal opportunities for Active and Long-term participation in Sport’ project. Other strands within this research area includes work with people who have autism and also the mental health of elite athletes. Jan has carried out many projects with SPEAR - the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research, based in the University. Many doctoral students have contributed to this area of work and have had the opportunity to work internationally and some have gone on to become trained Paralympic classifiers.
Art Therapy and Drawing on Service User Experience
Dr Sue Holttum’s work with the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) and with clinical psychology doctorate trainees has yielded a number of co-authored publications, including: the first national consensus on art therapy practice for people who have a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder; school-based art therapy with children under 12; how art therapists with experience of being mental health service users can contribute to their clients’ recovery and some challenges involved; adult and child service users' experiences of art therapy, and a paper arising from BAAT CEO Dr Val Huet’s PhD on an art-based intervention for stress in health and social care staff. Sue supervises PhD and clinical psychology doctorate research projects on art therapy. Sue's working with the BAAT Special Interest Group on Psychosis resulted in The BAAT Guidelines on Art Therapy for People with a Psychosis-Related Diagnosis. As well as leading on a review of research evidence to feed into the BAAT Guidelines, Sue provided guidance for art therapists to carry out service user consultations in different localities so that service users could contribute to the Guidelines. Many of their comments and artworks are featured within them, alongside quotations from art therapists.
Mindfulness, compassion and wellbeing
Dr Fergal Jones is participating in a number of research collaborations examining mindfulness-based and compassion-focussed approaches to wellbeing. These include collaborating with researchers at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre on an NIHR Research for Patient Benefit grant funded project that is examining the effectiveness of mindfulness-based, supported self-help for people with mild to moderate depression; collaborating with colleagues at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust to evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness-based self-help in supporting the wellbeing of NHS staff; working with Prof. Ian McLaren at the University of Exeter to understand how mindfulness interacts with basic human learning processes (some of this work has been funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust); and working with Dr Chris Irons of Balanced Minds and Dr Diana Ierfino to develop and evaluate an online, self-help intervention that draws on compassion-focussed therapy.
We offer research training and supervision for trainees enrolled in the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, for individual PhD students, and for students in the MSc programmes.
For our Clinical Psychology programme, we typically draw research supervisors from the programme staff and from staff in NHS trusts. We offer mentorship support for new supervisors who plan to supervise a DClinPsych thesis. We also offer research supervision workshops for NHS staff who are new to supervising research.
Find out more
For additional information about departmental knowledge exchange and consultancy projects please contact Dr Alex Hassett. For details on our research, or research supervision, please contact Dr Fergal Jones, or our Research Administrator, Hannah Tubb.