Dr. Sarah Parry is the Strategic Research Lead for Pennine Care NHS Trust’s Young People’s Mental Health Research Centre and a committee member of the Faculty for Children, Young People, and their Families within the British Psychological Society. This webinar, and Q&A, looked at a range of projects to explore the breadth of lived experiences around unusual and distressing sensory experience to explore research priorities with young people, parents/carers, and important adults in their lives, such as teachers and mental health professionals.
About the talks
Dr. Sarah Parry – Connecting the dots around unusual and distressing sensory experiences
Sensory experiences, such as hearing voices, seeing visions, or sensing presences mean different things to different people. However, these are common experiences through childhood and adolescence, and have a range of names depending upon how they are made sense of and how they are experienced by the individual. For example, some people refer to (imaginary) companions, headmates, or simply voices. Alternatively, they might be referred to as hallucinations, psychosis-like symptoms, or multisensory experiences. Over the last few years, we have undertaken a range of projects to explore the breadth of lived experiences around unusual and distressing sensory experience to explore research priorities with young people, parents/carers, and important adults in their lives, such as teachers and mental health professionals. In this workshop, we reflect upon what we have learnt, what we still need to find out, present upcoming clinical research to test and evaluate newly developed approaches to support, and consider ‘what next’.
Key learning points
- To understand unusual and distressing sensory experiences from the perspectives of young people.
- To consider intersections between unusual and distressing sensory experiences in the context of mental health conditions (e.g., eating disorders).
- To critically reflect upon underlying assumptions that may inform decision making in relation to treatment.
Katie Lancaster – A thesis working towards understanding experiences of mania during adolescence.
The thesis aims to explore experiences of episodes of mania during adolescence, with a focus on understanding symptom development and helps-seeking. Despite some shared features between young people and adults with mania, differences exist due to developmental factors, making identification difficult. The lack of comprehensive research on the lived experiences of young people with mania highlights the needs for this study. The main research question revolves around how individuals with lived experiences of mania during adolescence reflect upon symptom development, help-seeking, and access to support. The study will use interviews to capture reflections on the emergence and understanding of the phenomenon of mania during adolescence. Participants, age 18 and older, will be people who have experienced symptoms of mania before age 25, invited to reflect upon their experiences and offer recommendations for timely and tailored support in the future.
Key learning points
- To understand some of the research into adolescent mania.
- To understand the purpose of the thesis.
- To understand clinical implications and why the topic is important to psychology research.
About the speakers
Dr. Sarah Parry is the Strategic Research Lead for Pennine Care NHS Trust’s Young People’s Mental Health Research Centre and a committee member of the Faculty for Children, Young People, and their Families within the British Psychological Society. Research interests and outputs include unusual and distressing sensory experiences (e.g. hearing voices) during childhood and adolescence, workplace wellbeing in health and social care, and trauma-informed care within children’s homes for care experienced young people. Sarah has published two books, one on brief talking therapies and another on self-care and resilience. Sarah supervises doctoral research in the areas of distressing sensory experiences, comforting experiences of voice hearing, early onset and first episode psychosis, and issues pertaining to wellbeing and decision making in CAMHS and early intervention services.
Katie Lancaster is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Lancaster University and currently working towards her thesis on exploring the emergence of mania during adolescence and young adulthood.
Charlotte Linham is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Lancaster University who is looking to complete her thesis on people with experiences of involvement of people in peer support networks for non-suicidal self injury.
Yvonne Jesuorobo is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Lancaster University who is currently working towards developing her thesis on unusual sensory experiences in children and adolescents, with a view to explore how CAMHS practitioners offer support to this population.
Sophie Blunden – I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Lancaster University. I am passionate about advocating for marginalised groups and for voices which are not often heard. Currently, I am undertaking a thesis researching help-seeking for suicidal thoughts among adolescents through peer support networks.
Hannah Leach – Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Lancaster University. Hannah has worked with young people in the charity sector and the NHS. She is working towards her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Lancaster University. Her current research is on the flow of compassion between young people and the voices they hear.