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Sarah Appleton


Trainee Clinical Psychologist

I am currently in my third and final year of Clinical Psychology training.

Throughout training, I have enjoyed working across the lifespan using a variety of therapeutic models. I have undertaken four core clinical placements which included working in a Step 3 Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, a Child and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS), an Older Adult Psychology Service and a Community Learning Disability Service. Across my placements, I had the opportunity to work with both the individual and their surrounding system to try and understand psychological distress and facilitate positive change.

I have a keen interest in Clinical Health Psychology and am currently undertaking my final year specialist placement in a Clinical Health Psychology Service in Reading. During this placement, I am working in a Bariatric Service and a General Medicine (Renal and Dermatology) Service, offering psychological assessment as well as individual and group based interventions that draw upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches.

I am particularly interested in understanding the factors that contribute to and maintain overweight or obesity, such as an individuals tendency to eat in response to their emotions. Reflecting this, my dissertation thesis aims to investigate the efficacy of a standard NHS-recommended behavioural weight loss programme in reducing emotional eating, understanding whether positive change in emotional eating translates into greater weight loss and maintenance. It is hoped that this study will provide greater insight into the relationship between emotional eating and weight, and the need to address the emotional factors underpinning overeating in clinical practice.   

Prior to training, I completed an undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol (UoB). Following this, I pursued my interest in research by volunteering in the UoB Nutrition and Behaviour Unit. During this time, I was lucky enough to assist with two different projects; one investigating the impact of natural variation in eating topography on subsequent food consumption, and another investigating the effect of eating rate on BMI.  Before starting clinical training, I worked as an Assistant Psychologist gaining experience in the psychological management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue.


Ferriday, D., Bosworth, M. L., Godinot, N., Martin, N., Forde, C. G., Van Den Heuvel, E., Appleton, S. L.,...& Brunstrom, J. M. (2016). Variation in the Oral Processing of Everyday Meals Is Associated with Fullness and Meal Size; A Potential Nudge to Reduce Energy Intake?. Nutrients8(5), 315.