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Applied practitioner health psychologists share Society award

23 March 2018

Dr Claire Hallas and Sasha Cain are the joint winners of the 2017 Practitioner of the Year Award from our Professional Practice Board.

They are pioneers in the developing subdiscipline of applied practitioner health psychology, leading over the last 15 years on the development of health psychologists working therapeutically with individual clients and the applications of health psychology in varied healthcare settings

Claire Hallas and Sasha Cain have both spent 10 years in the Division of Health Psychology Committee holding lead practitioner roles (including chair of the Practitioner & Workforce Planning Committees, Agenda for Change and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies -IAPT)  developing the subdiscipline and defining practitioner health psychology roles, skills, training and competences within the NHS, IAPT and wider healthcare system.

They have personally spent over 35 years of combined work in applied health psychology practice in the NHS, public health and private health practice.

In 2012 they established SCCH Consulting LLP, a health psychology consultancy in which their vision is to design and deliver innovative evidence-based personalised behaviour change interventions and healthcare services to maximise health outcomes and care.

Their achievements are inextricably linked as they collaborate on all their work to increase professional rigour, maintain a high level of governance and fidelity, and maximise the application of their skills from their diverse work experiences.

They deliver personalised psychological behaviour change interventions and programmes for their clients in public health, third-sector organisations and the NHS.

In addition, Claire and Sasha have always spent time on continuing to define and promote the subdiscipline of applied practitioner health psychology. In 2014 they created a LinkedIn Professional group for UK applied practitioner health psychologists and funded annual networking meetings and skills-training workshops over the next two years.

Since then they have built significant interest in the subdiscipline by developing these events into an annual one-day Practitioner Health Psychology Conference, which has quickly established itself as a leading UK conference in its field.

For these reasons they share the award.

When finding out about their Award, Claire and Sasha said:

“We are delighted to receive the Practitioner of the Year Award from the Professional Practice Board of the BPS and thank all our colleagues who over the years have supported us, our work and our vision to develop the skills and work roles of applied practitioner health psychologists.

“We thank the PPB for recognising our commitment to the professional advancement of applied practitioner health psychology in the UK and we are delighted to have been recognised for our professional work, which promotes the development of innovative processes and creative therapeutic intervention methods that underpin our personalised health behaviour change interventions.

“It is an honour for our work to be recognised as enhancing best practice and our future will continue to focus on building the annual Applied Health Psychology Conference and on the integration of applied health psychology practice and evidence into local and national health behaviour change strategy, services and policy.”

Nicola Gale, the President of the Society, said:

“I congratulate Claire Hallas and Sasha Cain on their award. It is a well-deserved recognition of their achievements 'and of their commitment to developing the application of Health Psychology into varied applied healthcare settings'


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