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Dr Aimee Spector
  • Reader in Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology
  • Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

I graduated from the University of Manchester in 1996 with a BSc in Psychology. I then completed my PhD at UCL, which involved developing a new programme of psychological therapies for dementia (Cognitive Stimulation Therapy - CST). This was awarded in 2001. I then completed the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at UCL, graduating in 2004. In between having two children, I worked part-time as a Clinical Psychologist for older people at the Bedfordshire and Luton Partnership Trust. I returned to UCL in 2007 and remain there to date. I currently work three and a half days a week of which one day is committed to managing a randomised controlled trial on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for anxiety in dementia. Outside of my UCL time, I run a one-day training course in CST, enabling its wider dissemination in practice.

Research Themes
Research Summary

My research broadly focuses on psychosocial interventions for dementia. For my PhD, I developed and evaluated a novel treatment for dementia called Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). CST is now recommended by UK government guidelines (NICE, 2006) and is widely used in the UK and internationally. My research continues to develop CST, for example I am involved in a large clinical trial developing and evaluating carer-led CST (iCST) and another trial evaluating its longer-term benefits. Smaller projects have looked at detailed neuropsychological mechanisms of change and qualitative outcomes in CST. I currently lead a trial evaluating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for anxiety in dementia and have overseen a trial evaluating a sensory-based intervention for dementia ('Sonas'). Other interests include staff training, quality of life and the development of outcome measures and models in dementia. For example, I have published two new outcome measures for dementia and new conceptual 'Biopsychosocial' model for dementia.

Teaching Summary

I coordinate the Older Adults teaching on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate (DClinPsy) and teach within this module. In the past I have coordinated academic seminars for the course, and facilitate one annually. I regularly supervise DClinPsy trainees for their major research and teach undergraduate psychology students on theories and therapies in dementia. I co-supervise three PhD students.

Academic Background
2004 DClinPsy Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Clinical Psychology University College London
2001 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Philosophy University College London
1996 BSc Bachelor of Science – Psychology University of Manchester
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