The Clinical and Health Psychology area focuses on a range of issues related to understanding and managing psychological disorders and distress, models of psychological adjustment, and the interface between health and psychology. We are committed to the scientist-practitioner model, which is founded on the principles of integrating theory and research with clinical practice.
Members of this research area contribute to the undergraduate psychology curriculum (i.e., classes on abnormal, clinical, and health psychology), and are responsible for the postgraduate Clinical Training Program, which includes the Master of Clinical Psychology and PhD (Clinical Psychology) degrees. The Clinical Training Program prepares students for practice as clinical psychologists through the integration of theory, clinical practice and research. Coursework covers topics such as psychopathology, health psychology, assessment, treatment, and ethics. Students undertake professional training by way of clinical placements, both at the ANU Psychology Clinic and external agencies in the region and across Australia. They also complete in-depth clinical research projects under the close supervision of expert academic staff.
Research in the Clinical and Health Psychology area spans a broad range of topics, in both child and adult clinical psychology. Examples include:
- Child Psychopathology: including parent-child relationships; emotional and behavioural disturbances (e.g., youth antisocial behaviour); family-based treatment and prevention; child maltreatment; and how the development of language and communication abilities relate to childhood psychological disorders
- Psychological Disorders: including anxiety disorders, depression, psychotic disorders, obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding, body dysmorphic disorder and trichotillomania), post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and behavioural addictions (compulsive buying and problem gambling)
- Experimental Psychopathology: various studies investigating the cognitive, neurobiological, motivational, self-psychological, interpersonal, and social mechanisms of mental illness
- Psychological Treatment: the evaluation of evidence-based psychological treatments such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and e-therapies.
- Health Psychology: psychological aspects and management of medical illnesses and symptoms (such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, and sleep disorders), as well as work-related stress among doctors and healthcare providers