Careers & Compassion: The Ingredient We All Need To Serve To Ourselves

Join trainee psychologist Sarah Corthorne, clinical psychologist Katherine Wakelin, and veterinary lecturer Megan Davis as we discuss the importance of compassion and self-kindness in our profession.

Posted: 08/03/2023


Global, Online


21st March 2023, 19:00 GMT


Sarah Corthorne (trainee Clinical Psychologist, University of Surrey)

Katherine Wakelin (Specialist Clinical Psychologist, NHS Trauma Service & University of Surrey)

Megan Davis (Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Practice, University of Surrey)

Careers & Compassion: the ingredient we all need to serve to ourselves

Compassion is the foundation of understanding and connecting with others. Trainee Clinical Psychologist Sarah recognised this and sought to continue the impressive research conducted by Specialist Clinical Psychologist Katherine in 2022. Together with Vet Megan Davis, they are conducting a research project that investigates the effectiveness of a two-week compassionate imagery course in reducing negative feelings of self-criticism and work-related anxiety among vets and vet students. Join us as we explore the vital role of compassion in promoting kindness and well-being, not only towards others but most importantly, towards ourselves. Embracing the power of compassion can truly enhance our careers and enrich our lives.

Join this discussion to hear about:

  • Career collaborations in vet and human health
  • Up-to-date research supporting veterinary mental health
  • Ways you can get involved to help develop useful mental health resources
  • How to get involved in their workshop at BSAVA Conference this year

The study is open to all vets and vet students worldwide. Those who want to participate can express their interest here. Participation involves completing an initial survey and watching short videos (10-15 minutes) daily for two weeks (you may not be immediately chosen for this), during which you will also be required to complete a short exercise. After completing the video series, you will receive a follow-up survey, as well as a survey at 4 and 8 weeks post-intervention. 

You may also want to check out Katherine’s preliminary study from 2022, entitled ‘Feasibility and efficacy of an online compassion-focused imagery intervention for veterinarian self-reassurance, self-criticism and perfectionism‘.

Sarah Corthorne:

I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist in my second year of the PsychD programme at the University of Surrey. This involves working part-time in the NHS on clinical placements and conducting research for my thesis. I have experience working with a range of mental health difficulties in adults and young people. I am currently running a randomised control trial to explore the effectiveness of a two-week, online compassion-focused imagery intervention to improve mental wellbeing in veterinarians. My interest in compassion started in 2018 when I led a research project to explore whether shame can attenuate the efficacy of compassionate imagery.

Katherine Wakelin:

I am a Specialist Clinical Psychologist in an NHS trauma service for Military Veterans. I am trained to work with a wide range of mental health difficulties and am particularly passionate about Compassion Focused Therapy for high levels of shame and self-criticism. Alongside my NHS role, I work part-time as a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. Within this role, I recently won Sarah Brown’s Mind Matters 2022 research grant to extend my doctoral thesis research in veterinarians. Therefore I am now supervising trainee Sarah Corthorne’s thesis research investigating the effectiveness of a Compassion-Focused Therapy course for veterinarians. It has been very positive to see how welcomed our research has been within the veterinarian community, and I am excited to see the potential impact.

Megan Davis:

I qualified as a vet from the Royal Veterinary College in 2012 and spent 6 years in clinical practice, before moving into education and starting a role working with the final year vet students at the University of Surrey. I have a huge passion for mental health and wellbeing, and a large part of my role is providing pastoral care to students. Back in 2019, I started working with the team at the School for Psychology at Surrey, initially to ask for their input on a session we wanted to run for our final year students. This turned into a much wider conversation and ongoing collaboration, which continues to this day!

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