A central emphasis of the day was how best to harness the strong research skills Clinical Psychologists are equipped with after training, in order to have the greatest impact and benefit on services. Talks by Professor Paul Salkovskis and Professor Reg Morris, inspired discussion around the challenges that arise when balancing and integrating research alongside clinical practice, with Rachael finding the debate particularly interesting, “I really enjoyed discussing how clinical research can increase a much needed evidence-base to help inform practice. Hearing stories of this reciprocal relationship between research and practice was inspirational.” These discussions particularly resonated with the interests of the pPOD group with much of our research relating to applications in Clinical Psychology.
Another highlight for the team were talks centred on early psychological intervention in the perinatal period and parenting. Dr Anja Wittkowski (University of Manchester) shared her research findings on mother and baby units, evaluating treatments to optimise the mother-infant bond, as well as on fathers’ experiences of pregnancy and early parenting, and stressed the need for the systematic collection of patient outcomes in these units to improve practice. It was great to hear about current research which seeks to take an expanded view of parental mental health in the perinatal period, and complements the research being carried out by the pPOD team.
It was an interesting day with a diverse range of talks on the important role Clinical Psychologists have to play in a range of settings both in the UK and abroad, the team were inspired by the work being carried out by a number of speakers and the opportunities to develop within this profession.