British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

   
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Conference Evaluation  


2015 2014 2013 2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006 
2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999 

To jump to an evaluation for a specific year, please click on the links above.

The table below shows the average scores that each conference received from delegate feedback. For a more detailed evaluation of each conference please scroll down or choose a year by clicking on the links to the left.  

 

 2015

 2014

 2013

 2012 

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Return rate for evaluation forms

23%

13%

 21%

 31%

26%

34%

51%

45%

45%

34%

47%

44%

59%

48%

70%

53%

79%

Overall satisfaction (average score)

9.4

9.0

 8.4

 8.6

9.6

8.6

9.6

8.4

8.8

9.2

9.0

8.9

8.3

8.6

8.7

8.4

7.7

Structure of conference programme (average score)

9.2

9.0

 9.0

 8.4

8.8

8.2

9.0

8.0

8.2

8.8

8.6

8.5

8.3

8.3

8.4

8.1

7.1

Quality of the venue (average score)

9.2

8.6

 8.3

 8.2

8.6

7.8

8.0

6.8

8.0

8.8

9.2

8.7

8.2

7.8

8.1

8.5

8.1

BACP administration (average score)

9.4

9.1

 9.4

 8.9

9.0

9.2

9.6

9.4

9.0

9.4

9.2

9.2

9.0

8.9

8.9

--

--

Satisfaction with papers (overall average score)

8.0

8.1

 8.0

 8.0

7.9

7.9

8.3

7.9

7.9

8.0

8.4

7.6

7.5

7.5

7.4

7.6

6.9

Satisfaction with workshops (overall average score)

7.0

8.4

 8.4

 9.1

8.0

8.1

8.3

7.8

7.8

9.0

8.6

6.9

7.3

7.9

7.4

7.6

6.7

Satisfaction with posters (overall average score)

7.9

7.6

 7.3

 7.5

7.6

8.0

7.9

7.2

7.2

8.2

8.3

7.4

--

--

--

--

--

Satisfaction with symposia (overall average score)

8.7

8.1

 7.9

 7.8

7.7

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

2015

BACP’s 21st Annual Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference entitled 'Understanding professional practice: the role of research' took place on 15 – 16 May 2015 at East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.

Evaluation Report

Co-hosted with the University of Nottingham, the 21st Annual Research Conference hosted a varied programme of peer reviewed research from a range of theoretical schools, research methodologies and practice settings. The event was well attended with over 250 national and international delegates.

The two day programme consisted of three strands of symposia, workshops, poster and paper presentations covering a range of topics including (but not limited to) counselling and client perspectives, bridging research and practice, psychotherapy, young people and young adults, post-traumatic stress and Asperger’s syndrome. Over the two days the programme offered a variety of choice from a total of 86 individual presentations, comprising of, 1 pre-conference workshop, 2 keynote presentations, 3 symposia (14 individual presentations), 1 workshop, 23 poster presentations and 45 paper presentations.

Professor John Norcross (Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Scranton, USA) opened the 21st Research Conference with his pre-conference workshop on Thursday evening titled ‘Changeology: Tailoring the Stages of Change to the Individual Client’. This workshop was extremely well received and provided effective methods for adapting the treatment method and the therapy relationship to the stage of change. Professor Norcross was also the keynote presenter on the first day of the conference and presented his research titled ‘Creating a new therapy for each client: where practice and research converge’. This presentation discussed meta-analytic research and clinical practices compiled by an interdivisional APA task force on effective methods of adapting psychotherapy to individual patients. Professor Norcross’ research was again extremely well received by the audience, setting an excellent standard for the remainder of the conference.

Saturday’s proceedings were opened by Professor Glenys Parry (Professor of Applied Psychological Therapies, University of Sheffield) who was the keynote presenter for the second day of the programme. Professor Parry upheld the standard of excellence with  her research titled ‘First do no harm: how to make therapy safe as well as effective’ which explored three perspectives from this topic, critically examined the evidence on the risk of harm from therapy and discussed ways in which psychological therapies research and practice can improve to reduce the risks of harm. Professor Parry’s keynote address left her audience enthused with the topic being discussed throughout the day.

Three research awards were presented during the 2015 Research Conference:

CPR New Researcher Award 2015
The CPR New Researcher Award, sponsored by Wiley, was presented to Jeanette Hennigan (BSc in Psychology, MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Accredited Humanistic Counsellor) for her outstanding research titled ‘UK Secondary School Therapists’ online communication with their clients and future intentions’. Jeannette received £100 worth of Wiley book tokens for this award.

BACP Outstanding Research Award 2015
In his absence, Graham Westwell (Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at Edge Hill University, Lancashire) was announced the winner of the BACP Outstanding Research Award 2015 for his excellent research into ‘The Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy Scale: A Convergent Validity Study’. Graham received a beautiful personalised engraved crystal plaque to mark this award.

PCCS Books New Student Prize 2015
Elizabeth Harrison (University of Warwick) was awarded the ‘New student prize’ for her research in person-centred/humanistic counselling and psychotherapy titled ‘Can I be me? The experience of the person-centred counsellor working with suicidal clients online'. This prize is sponsored by PCCS Books and Elisabeth received a cheque for £500 for this award.

The Research Department sincerely thanks all the presenters for their efforts and commitment to ensuring a lively and friendly conference; our keynote presenters, the peer reviewers who set a high standard for contributions, the chairs of the conference sessions, all delegates who attended and the BACP events team. A special thank you also to the co-hosts at Nottingham University, who’s support helped to make the conference a great success.

 

2014

BACP’s 20th Annual Research Conference was entitled ‘Researching the Special Relationship’ which took place on 16 and 17 May 2014 at the Marriot Hotel Regents Park, London.

Evaluation report

Co-hosted with the American Counselling Association the 20th Annual Research Conference had a record audience with over 315 national and international delegates attending over the two days. The conference offered a packed programme with a variety of poster and paper presentations, workshops and symposiums.

The two day programme consisted of five strands of symposia, workshops, poster and paper presentations covering a range of topics around counsellor’s experience, client perspectives, practice issues, outcome measures eating disorders, bereavement, adolescents, race and religion. Over the two days, the programmed offered a variety of choice from a total of 98 individual presentations comprising of 1 pre-conference workshop, 2 keynote presentations, 5 symposia (22 individual presentations), 5 workshops, 24 poster presentations and 44 papers.

The event was opened by an inspiring and informative pre-conference workshop titled ‘Counselling for Depression’ delivered by Pete Sanders (retired person-centred therapist, experienced trainer and trustee of the Soteria Network UK) and Andy Hill (accredited counsellors, experienced trainer and Head of Research at BACP). The pre-conference workshop focused on a person centred and experiential approach to practice and informed attendees about humanistic counselling being established as an evidence-based psychological intervention.

Professor Louis Castonguay (PhD, Professor of Psychology, Penn State University, USA) was welcomed  to the stage on Friday morning and opened the proceedings of the first day with his keynote presentation entitled ‘Researching relationship and beyond to help us help (and train) others’.  Professor Castonguay discussed ways by which research (including studies on therapeutic relationship) can potentially improve the effectiveness and training of psychotherapy. Saturday’s conference was expertly opened by Dr Miranda Wolpert (Director, The Evidence Based Practice Unit at the Anna Freud Centre and  University College London) with the keynote presentation ‘Outcome measurement and the therapeutic relationship: help or hindrance?’. This presentation explored research findings relevant to the implementation of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and considered the potential advantages and disadvantages of widespread use of PROMs as part of routine care in counselling and mental health support services.

Two research awards were presented during the Research Conference:

CPR New Researcher Award 2014
The CPR New Researcher Award, sponsored by Taylor & Francis, was presented to Lorena Georgiadou (Counselling and Psychotherapy, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh) for her excellent research titled ‘‘My language thing...is like a big shadow always behind me’: International counselling trainees’ challenges in beginning clinical practice.’ Lorena received a cheque for £250 and £250 worth of Routledge book tokens for this award.

PCCS Books New Student Prize 2014
Jeanne Broadbent was awarded the ‘PCCS New student prize’ for her research 'Hear my voice': a phenomenological study of humanistic therapists' lived experience of traumatic bereavement and its impact on their professional identity development and practice. This prize is sponsored by PCCS Books and Jeanne received a cheque for £500 for this award.

There was a wealth of positive feedback received post-conference, with 100% of delegates stating that the conference fulfilled all, or at least some, of their expectations and reasons for attending. The high scores for poster, paper, symposia and keynote presentations emphasised the continued level of high quality research presented at the conference.
The Research Department sincerely thanks all the presenters for their efforts and commitment to ensuring a lively and friendly conference; our keynote presenters, the peer reviewers who set a high standard for contributions, the chairs of the conference sessions, all delegates who attended and the BACP events team. A Special thanks also to our co-hosts who travelled all the way from the US to join with us to make the event the success that it was.

2013

BACP's 19th Annual Research Conference was entitled ‘Synergy in counselling & psychotherapy research' and took place on 10-11 May 2013. It was held at the Forest of Arden Hotel, Meriden, Birmingham.

Evaluation report

Co-hosted with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP), the 19th Annual Research Conference offered a packed programme of peer reviewed research from a range of theoretical schools, research methodologies and practice settings. The event was well attended with over 200 national and international delegates from countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Spain and the USA.

The two day programme consisted of four strands of symposia and presentations covering topics around relational depth, stigma/body image, practice issues, outcome measures, children and young people, trauma, suicide, LGBT, culture, race and religion, training and supervision. Over the two days, the programme offered a wide choice from a total of 84 individual presentations, comprising of 1 pre-conference workshop, 2 keynote presentations, 4 symposia, 16 poster presentations and 44 papers.

A pre-conference workshop was delivered by Professor Michael Lambert (Brigham Young University), on the Thursday evening entitled ‘How to use clinical support tools to enhance counseling outcomes', a thought provoking session, which encouraged delegates to question their intuition regarding client's progress. Professor Lambert opened Friday's proceedings with his keynote presentation, ‘How to Double Client Outcomes in 18 Seconds: Using Mental Health Vital Signs feedback and problem-solving tools' where he demonstrated how therapists are so optimistic about their effects on clients, that they can overlook negatively responding clients.

Professor Roz Shafran (University of Reading) opened the second day of the conference with her keynote presentation entitled ‘Psychotherapy for perfectionism: Research and Clinical Practice'  which was extremely well-received. Professor Shafran discussed the issue of perfectionism and its association with a variety of mental health problems, and provided practical clinical information for practitioners who come across perfectionism in their practice.

Five Research Awards were made during the two day event:

Dr Beverley Costa and Professor Jean Marc Dewaele from Mothertongue Multi-Ethnic Counselling Service and Birkbeck College, University of London, were awarded the BACP Equality & Diversity Research Award for their research entitled ‘Psychotherapy across languages: differences between monolingual and multilingual therapists'.

Katherine McArthur (University of Strathclyde) was announced as the winner of the Outstanding Research Project Award for her research into ‘school-based humanistic counseling for psychological distress in young people: pilot randomized controlled trial'.

The CPR New Researcher Award, sponsored by Taylor & Francis, was presented to James McElvaney (Trinity College Dublin) for his research entitled ‘Clients' experience of therapy and its outcomes in quantitatively "good outcome" and "poor outcome" psychological therapy in a primary care setting.'

Coral Russell and Anne Napier from Lewisham Counselling and Counsellor Training Association (LC&CTA) were presented with the New student prize, sponsored by PCCS Books Limited, for their research presented in poster format entitled ‘Person-Centred counsellors' experiences of working with sex-addiction'.

The SAGE poster prize was awarded to John Petko (University of Central Florida) for his research entitled ‘Selecting a theory of counseling: what influences a counseling student to choose?'

There was a wealth of positive feedback received post-conference, with 100% of delegates stating that the conference fulfilled all, or at least some, of their expectations and reasons for attending. The high scores for poster, paper, symposia and keynote presentations emphasised the continued level of high quality research presented at the conference.


  

2012

BACP's 18th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Understanding counselling and psychotherapy: preferences, process and outcomes' and took place on 11-12 May 2012. It was held at Boxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh.

Evaluation report

Co-hosted with the University of Edinburgh, the 18th BACP Annual Research Conference, ‘Understanding counselling and psychotherapy: preferences, process and outcomes' held at the MacDonald Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh was was well attended with 230 delegates from countries including Canada, Denmark, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, USA, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Republic of Ireland, Singapore and Taiwan.

The event started with a thought provoking pre-conference workshop titled, ‘Practice Research Networks: Promises, Pitfalls and Potential' facilitated by Joe Armstrong, University of Abertay Dundee, Amanda Hawkins, Senior Manager RNIB and Mhairi Thurston, University of Abertay, Dundee. The workshop raised a number of questions surrounding the practicalities, benefits and difficulties in setting up, facilitating, and maintaining Practice Research Networks, setting up the mood of the conference over the following two days.

Professor John Cape opened Friday's proceedings with a presentation titled ‘What makes a good counselling and psychological therapy service?', specifically considering  the issues of accessibility, acceptability, appropriateness and effectiveness. Professor Else Guthrie opened Saturday's proceedings with a presentation regarding ‘Understanding counselling and psychotherapy clients with physical symptoms and medical conditions' with a focus on medically unexplained symptoms.

Three prizes were awarded over the two day event.

Helen Munday was announced as the winner of the CPR New Researcher Award, sponsored by Taylor & Francis with her research entitled: ‘Making use of the vignette technique to explore methods of bereavement counselling.' Helen will receive a Routledge/T&F book token to the value of £250 and £250 in cash from Taylor & Francis.

The PCCS Books Limited prize was won by the following students from Lewisham Counselling and Counsellor Training Association (LC&CTA): Alena Dierickx, Paul Cilia La Corte, Sukwinder Jandu, Belinda Smith and Anthony Maxom, for their contribution to Research into Person-Centred Counselling with their research presented in poster format entitled: ‘Are there aspects for depression as a state of being that facilitate profound relational contact in the person-centred psychotherapeutic process?' PCCS Books Limited sponsored the prize of £500 towards funding for the students to attend and present their poster at the conference.

The SAGE poster prize was awarded to Nic Streatfield,  Alan Phillips and Liz Brewster with their research, presented in poster format entitled: ‘Well-Connected - digital natives and psychological support' They received a £100 SAGE book token sponsored by SAGE.

The conference programme this year proved to be of both high quantity and quality with six strands of symposia, presentations and workshops covering topics around pluralistic approaches to counselling and psychotherapy, school based counselling, dementia, counselling for depression, domestic violence, to name just a few. Topics were covered from the point of view of clients, including outcomes and also from the perspective of therapists and trainee counsellors. In addition a varied range of methodologies were presented from randomised controlled trials to narrative forms of data analysis, case studies and interpretative phenomenological analysis.

2011

BACP's 17th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research and practice' and took place on 6-7 May 2011. It was held at the Liverpool Marriott Hotel City Centre, Liverpool.

Evaluation Report

This year's conference was held in Liverpool and attracted 190 delegates. Our co-host was the Society of Psychotherapy Research (SPR) and we very much enjoyed research presented by members of SPR throughout the programme. The conference offered delegates a stimulating and interesting programme combined with ample opportunities for networking. Although just 26.3% of delegates completed an evaluation form for the academic presentations, the completed evaluation forms showed a high level of satisfaction overall. Two excellent keynote presentations were given, by Professor Michael Barkham on Friday and Dr Thomas Schröder, (who was the co-host representative) on Saturday. The conference was opened by the Chair of BACP, Dr Lynne Gabriel.

The programme offered a wide range of papers, workshops and symposia together with a record number of poster presentations this year.  We were delighted to welcome 49% of the delegates as first time visitors and were very pleased to welcome back the remaining 51% of delegates who had been to the conference previously.

We were joined by delegates from Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal and Wales.

Over the two days there were 90 individual presentations, comprising 31 papers, four workshops, 20 posters, two keynotes, seven symposia and a pre-conference workshop given by Professor Michael Barkham from the University of Sheffield and Andy Hill, BACP Head of Research. The first keynote presentation was also by Professor Michael Barkham and was entitled ‘Re-Privileging practitioners at the heart of practice-based evidence'.  This was followed on Saturday by 'Researching therapists and their practice - a shift perspective' presented by Dr Thomas Schröder from University of Nottingham. The keynote speakers set the tone for the programme and discussion over the two days, which included an overview of the research evidence in counselling and psychotherapy, methodological debates about how to improve the quality of qualitative research, questions about how to increase the impact of research on practice and policy, and strategies for developing targeted research agendas in counselling and psychotherapy.

One of the aims of the research conference, to be welcoming and friendly, was achieved once again with delegates commenting on the great networking opportunities and friendliness of delegates and staff, including the hotel staff. The Friday evening drinks reception, co-sponsored by Taylor & Francis and BACP was a welcome break which hosted a talk from Andrew Reeves, CPR Editor giving an update on CPRs new web portal .The annual Sage prize (£100 book vouchers) was given to the best poster of the conference this year and was presented to Sara Perren for her outstanding research poster entitled ‘Acupuncture, counselling and usual GP care for depression: A randomised controlled trial to determine clinical and cost effectiveness'.

Administration, structure, quality and satisfaction
There was a return rate of just 32% for the general conference evaluation and only 26.3% for evaluation of the presentations; however, scores confirmed or improved levels of satisfaction as per previous years with pre-conference administration scoring 8.8 out of 10 and admin on the day scoring 9.2. Venue facilities scored 8.6 out of 10; 96% of respondents felt that the conference was value for money, with 42% funding themselves. Networking, presenting and professional development were the reasons given for attending by 84% of the delegates and the delegate pack was found to be useful for 95% of respondents. The network dinner and entertainment (The Jam Factory) scored 8 out of 10, with food and catering also scoring 8 out of 10. The overall impression of the conference scored a notable 9.6 out of 10. The overall conference structure was evaluated at 8.8 out of 10.

Presentations
Friday's papers received an average of 8.1 out of 10 and Saturday's papers scored an average of 7.8 out of 10 with scores for both days ranging from 9.4 to 4.3 out of 10. Workshop presentations scored an average of 7.7 out of 10 and the range of scores for workshops was 8.8 to 6.9.The Poster presentations scored an average of 7.6 out of 10 with a range of 8.8 to 6.8.

There were a range of general comments about the event on the evaluation forms which are available by contacting Stella in the Research department on stella.nichols@bacp.co.uk.  Among these comments were:

  • Very friendly environment for new-comers
  • the quality of research and the researchers' enthusiasm was an education and joy to experience
  • Such a wide range of presenters on offer and a thoroughly suitable venue
  • Diversity of poster presentations
  • Hearing rigorous quantitative methods alongside qualitative - diversity helped me clarify my own research orientation
  • I have gained much new knowledge
  • Very interesting to see the different processes used for research
  • Opportunity to talk freely with all attendees and being stimulated by debate
  • It would be good to have BME presenters
  • The two days were brilliant, thank you!
  • Posters were out of the way!
  • Please ensure posters are on the same floor as the main presenting area next year - otherwise a real good job as normal
  • A slight bias toward person centred research - more of it available? Would have liked more analytical/psychodynamic
  • Venue - walls were not sufficiently soundproofed
  • There was too much noise in the room (given flexible partitions)
  • Cost was a struggle
  • I was disappointed that there tended not to be any handouts this year, I only received handouts from most of the poster sessions and none of the other presentations except for my own symposium, where we did bring handouts.

All conference abstracts are online via this link: http://www.bacp.co.uk/research/conf_archive/2011.php

The research team and BACP wish to thank everybody concerned for making the conference a great success. We appreciate your continued support, and a special thank you to those who travelled far to be with us.

2010

BACP's 16th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research impacts' and took place on 14-15 May 2010. It was held at Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel, London.

Evaluation Report

The theme of this year's conference was ‘Research Impacts'. The emphasis was on how research informs practice and so impacts on both clients and practitioners. Similarly the impact research has on policymakers, commissioners and service managers shapes the way psychological therapies are delivered in the UK.

Over the two days there were 56 presentations from a total of 54 presenters, comprising 27 papers, six workshops, six posters, 15 symposium papers and two keynotes.

Professor Bernhard Strauss opened the first day with his keynote presentation, ‘Research impacts on training in counselling and psychotherapy - reality and fiction'. Dr Chris Mace opened the second day with his keynote presentation, ‘Coming soon to a screen near you? Impacts of research on practice'.

The keynotes were both inspiring and poignant in focussing on the impacts of research on practice. Professor Bernhard Strauss' keynote focussed on the impacts on training in counselling and psychotherapy. A discussion was made as to the importance of research in practice, but also of researching counsellor training itself and utilising research informed practice to develop trainee counsellors. Dr Chris Mace's keynote centred around three themes which researchers ought to offer practitioners, 1) prediction; 2) terminology and 3) possibility. In essence researchers need to inform practitioners of what the benefits on research are to them. Research can make predictions of what may work for whom, researchers can make the language of research accessible to practitioners and can offer the possibility for increasing evidence for the practice they offer. The take home message of both keynote presentations was the benefits of collaboration between researchers and practitioners in improving therapeutic practice.

Professor Sue Wheeler of the University of Leicester was awarded the BACP Outstanding contribution to research in counselling and psychotherapy award, sponsored by Taylor and Francis, in acknowledgement of her significant contribution to the field in a variety of areas. She is a leading figure in researching counsellor supervision, having authored systematic reviews and established a practice research network in this field, and her work in training lecturers in research methods is equally of national importance.

Administration, structure, quality and satisfaction 

We had a return rate of 33% for the general conference evaluation and 34% for the presentations evaluations. Levels of satisfaction were once again high with administration of the event scoring 9.2 out of 10; venue facilities scored 7.8 out of 10; 97% of respondents felt that the conference was value for money with 38% funding themselves; the delegate pack was found to be useful for 94% of respondents.

The network dinner evening scored 8 out of 10 with food and catering scoring 8.2 out of 10. The overall impression of the conference scored 8.6 out of 10.

Presentations

Following on from last year we measured both the presentation and content of the presentations.

For content, Friday's papers received an average of 7.7 out of 10 with scores ranging from 6.3 to 9.3 out of 10. Saturday's papers scored 8.1 out of 10 with scores ranging from 6.5 to 9.8 out of 10. Workshop presentations scored 8 out of 10. Poster presentations scored 7.8 out of 10. Symposia presentations scored 8.9 out of 10.

For presentation, Friday's papers received an average of 8 out of 10 with scores ranging from 6 to 10 out of 10. Saturday's papers scored 8.3 out of 10 with scores ranging from 6.6 to 9.8 out of 10. Workshop presentations scored 8.2 out of 10. Poster presentations scored 8.1 out of 10. Symposia presentations scored 8.9 out of 10.

2009

BACP's 15th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research Relationships' and took place on 15-16 May 2009. It was held at the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel, Portsmouth, co-hosted by the University of Portsmouth.

Evaluation Report

The theme of this year's conference was ‘research relationships'. The emphasis was on the relationship between the researcher and the researched, the researcher and the practitioner, the researcher and the client, and collaborative research relationships between individuals, organisations and countries. The relationship between policy and research was also examined.

Professor Peter Fonagy opened the first day with his keynote presentation, ‘Can mentalisation provide a common framework for the psychotherapies?' Professor Paul Gilbert opened the second day with his keynote presentation, ‘An introduction to compassionate focussed therapy: research and outcome'. Both keynotes were very well received.

Over the two days there were 63 presentations from a total of 61 presenters, comprising 36 papers, four workshops, 16 posters, three brief communications, two guest speakers and two keynotes. The keynotes introduced matters for discussion over the two days including, possible gaps in measuring what matters in counselling and psychotherapy and the lack of evidence for who will benefit from what type of therapy.

Professor Michael Barkham of the University of Sheffield was awarded the annual SAGE book prize in acknowledgement of his commitment to the development of rigorous practice based evidence to sit alongside RCT evidence.

Administration, structure, quality and satisfaction

We had a return rate of 43% for the general conference evaluation and 58% for the presentations evaluations. Levels of satisfaction were once again high with administration of the event scoring 9 out of 10; venue facilities scored 8 out of 10; 97% of respondents felt that the conference was value for money with 37% funding themselves; the delegate pack was found to be useful for 98% of respondents.

The network dinner evening scored 9 out of 10 with food and catering scoring 9.2 out of 10 which is a vast improvement on last year. The overall impression of the conference scored 9.6 out of 10.

Presentations

This year we measured both the presentation and content of the presentations as a result of feedback from last year's conference.

For content, Friday's papers received an average of 8.1 out of 10 with scores ranging from 7 to 9.6 out of 10. Saturday's papers scored 8.5 out of 10 with scores ranging from 7.4 to 9.8 out of 10. Workshop presentations scored 8.4 out of 10. Poster presentations scored 8 out of 10. Brief communications scored 7.5 out of 10.

For presentation, Friday's papers received an average of 8.2 out of 10 with scores ranging from 7 to 9.7 out of 10. Saturday's papers scored 8.2 out of 10 with scores ranging from 7 to 9.7 out of 10. Workshop presentations scored 8.4 out of 10. Poster presentations scored 8 out of 10. Brief communications scored 7.5 out of 10.

All conference abstracts are online at http://www.bacp.co.uk/research/conf_archive/2009.php . The research team and BACP wish to thank everybody concerned for making the conference a great success. We appreciate your continued support, and a special thank you to those who travelled so far.

2008

BACP's 14th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research and regulation: towards a knowledge based profession' and took place on 9-10 May 2008. It was held at Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, co-hosted by Cardiff University.

Evaluation Report

This year's conference attracted a record number of delegates (197), and the evaluation, completed by 46.8% of delegates showed a very high level of satisfaction with the programme. Two excellent keynote presentations, by Professor Mick Cooper (Friday) and Professor William Stiles (Saturday) set the tone for a vibrant and interesting couple of days.

Delegates had a wide selection of workshops and papers with a broad range of methodological perspectives to choose from and the poster presentations were again, a very popular part of the conference. From both the evaluation results and direct feedback we have received since, it is clear that delegates rated the overall quality of the research very highly indeed, with many commenting that the conference ‘gets better and better each year' as the field develops.

We were delighted to welcome delegates from Canada, Ireland, Portugal and the USA and from all parts of the UK. We received a warm welcome from our co-hosts, Cardiff University's representatives Professor Teresa Rees, CBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research, Cardiff University and John Cowley, Head of Counselling, Cardiff University and Deputy Chair of BACP.

Over the two days there were 58 presentations from a total of 68 presenters, comprising 35 papers, 6 workshops, 15 posters and two keynotes. The first keynote, ‘The Facts Are Friendly; What the Research Tells us About Counselling and Psychotherapy' was presented by Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling at the University of Strathclyde and the second keynote ‘Using Case Studies to Build Theories' was presented by Professor William B Stiles, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, Ohio, USA. The keynote speakers set the tone for the programme and discussion over the two days, which included an overview of the research evidence in counselling and psychotherapy, methodological debates about how to improve the quality of qualitative research, questions about how to increase the impact of research on practice and policy, and strategies for developing targeted research agendas in counselling and psychotherapy.

One of the aims of the research conference, to be welcoming and friendly, was achieved once again with delegates commenting on the great networking opportunities and friendly tone. The Friday evening drinks reception, co-sponsored by Taylor & Francis and BACP was a welcome break which hosted a talk from Andrew Reeves, CPR editor giving an update on CPR and Simon Burne with an update on the new BACP Research Foundation. The annual Sage prize (£100 book vouchers) was presented to Chris Brown from Lewisham Counselling and Counsellor Training Associates LLP, by BACP's CEO, Laurie Clarke in acknowledgement of her work with students, in particular for her continued efforts to encourage and develop their research skills. Despite the conference food and catering scoring less than 5 out of 10, the network dinner and entertainment on Friday proved popular, with many delegates joining the dance floor for modern jive lessons.

Administration, structure, quality and satisfaction

We had a return rate of 42.6% for the general conference evaluation and 46.8% for the presentation evaluations. Scores generally confirmed or improved levels of satisfaction as per previous years with administration of the event scoring an impressive 9.4 out of 10; venue facilities scored 6.8 out of 10; 86% of respondents felt that the conference was value for money with 39% funding themselves; the delegate pack was found to be useful for 96% of respondents. The network dinner evening scored 7.2 out of 10 with food and catering for the duration of the event scoring 4.8 out of 10. The overall impression of the conference scored 8.4 out of 10.

Presentations

Friday's papers received an average of 7.5 out of 10 with scores ranging from 6.4 to 8.7 out of 10. Saturday's papers scored 8.4 out of 10 with scores ranging from 7.2 to 9.6 out of 10. Workshop presentations scored 7.9 out of 10. Poster presentations scored 7.4 out of 10.

All conference abstracts are online at http://www.bacp.co.uk/research/conf_archive/2008.php The research team and BACP wish to thank everybody concerned for making the conference a great success. We appreciate your continued support, and a special thank you to those who travelled so far.

2007

BACP's 13th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research matters' and took place on 11-12 May 2007. It was held at York Marriott Hotel, York in association with York St John University.

Evaluation Report

This year's BACP annual research conference, Research Matters - co-hosted with the York St John University - raised important and timely research debates and discussion about how and why research matters. The conference was opened by BACP's Chair, Nicola Barden, who highlighted current research challenges for the psychological therapies. For example, as we develop core competencies and a core curriculum for counselling and psychotherapy training programmes, trainee practitioners will need to become research aware and informed, as a core component of training. Nicola also noted how research often enables what we feel to be translated into what we know: our intuitions become authoritative positions. This authoritative position is essential for the future of the profession and its regulation.

The opening keynote was given by Professor Robert Elliott (University of Strathclyde) and titled 'Practice-based research on the effectiveness of psychotherapy and psychotherapy training: research framework and protocols'. Professor Elliott raised the ongoing problem of the research-practice gap, arguing that it is partly maintained because of empirical 'top down' solutions and because therapists are often passive consumers of research. He went on to suggest that success in bridging the research-practice gap is more likely if an integrative 'bottom up' strategy is developed, that of practice-based evidence. Professor Elliott then explored a range of ways of tackling this issue, clearly stating that the best way practitioners can learn about therapy research is by doing research during their training.

The second keynote was by Dr Anthony Roth (Joint Course Director of the Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology, University College London), in which he critically examined whether research can help improve access to psychological therapy. In setting the scene, he first looked at some of the dimensions of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) project. Dr Roth then went on to discuss the issue of efficacy and effectiveness, using the example of CBT as a psychological therapy frequently recommended by NICE guidelines on the basis of efficacy data. Effective delivery of CBT in practice, however, like many other therapies, depends both on technique and on the therapeutic alliance. In conclusion, he identified that research can (at least some of the time) help:

  • tell us what's likely to work
  • question our assumptions about what works
  • question our beliefs about why things work
  • challenge our beliefs about our own effectiveness.

Professor David Richards (University of York) gave a special address on 'Stepped care: the challenges for the psychological therapy profession'. He provided an introduction into what stepped care is - highlighting two of its main principles:

(1) least burden for the client in the road to recovery; and (2) scheduled review. He pointed out that the 'over treatment' of a client is unhelpful for both client and service, and advocated stepped care as a method of planning and delivering psychological interventions. Professor Richards then provided an overview of the Stepped Care National Research Programme and highlighted that, in researching stepped care, it is important to evaluate effectiveness, efficiency and acceptability. The latter is particularly important given a government agenda that stresses patient choice.

In a special address, Professor Michael King (Royal Free and University College Medical School, London) launched the new BACP systematic scoping review, Counselling and Psychotherapy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People. Professor King described the quantitative and qualitative research findings from the review, which revealed that affirmative psychological therapies appear to help LGBT people to normalise their day-to-day experiences, face and counteract the homophobic nature of their early development, and receive therapy appropriately focused on issues brought to therapy, rather than their sexual identity. (This research review is available as a free PDF download from www.bacp.co.uk/research/publications.html)

Dr Peter Bower (University of Manchester) introduced a conference strand on systematic reviews. He pointed out that systematic reviews are mechanistic, procedural and objective, whereas the psychological therapies are complex, interactive, multi-layered and subjective - an assertion that caused much discussion throughout the strand. Following Dr Bower's opening address, the authors of a range of BACP commissioned systematic reviews provided updates of the evidence from these reviews, and debated the methodological issues of undertaking and disseminating reviews.

A diverse array of research topics was presented in the format of workshops, papers and posters. These included results from research studies, updates on research in progress, methodological approaches and theory-driven papers, and the more practical task of teaching research methods (all abstracts are available via: http://www.bacp.co.uk/research/conf_archive/2007.php). The clear message from the conference presentations is that research does matter - and did matter to those who attended - and that it can challenge, inform, stimulate and underpin a whole range of counselling and psychotherapy agendas in training and in practice.

Taylor & Francis once again kindly sponsored the Friday evening pre-dinner drinks reception, where Laurie Clarke, BACP's CEO, announced an exciting new initiative, the development of a BACP Research Foundation. Professor Julia Buckroyd - editor of CPR - also gave an update on CPR and announced that she will be stepping down as editor. Christina Birtwistle was awarded the annual SAGE prize in acknowledgement of her ongoing dedication to counselling and psychotherapy research.

In conclusion, the conference mapped out a whole range of issues of why research does matter to the psychological therapies.

BACP's Chair, Nicola Barden, closed the conference by saying that 'there is no doubt that research does matter and that we are no longer at a point of thinking we need to do research - we are now doing it. And what we are doing is starting to matter, as we hoped it would do'.

The Research Department sincerely thanks all the presenters for their efforts and commitment to ensuring a lively and friendly conference, the peer reviewers who set a high standard for contributions, the chairs of the conference sessions, our co-host (in particular Dr Lynne Gabriel and Dr Alan Dunnett), BACP's IT team and, of course, the BACP events team.

2006

BACP's 12th Annual Research conference was entitled 'The consumer and counselling research' and took place on 19-20 May 2006. It was held at Glasgow Marriott Hotel, Glasgow in association with The University of Strathclyde.

Evaluation Report

It was another bumper conference this year with a record number of delegates who met in Glasgow in May to debate research issues and to be challenged and stimulated by the speakers, presenters, exhibitors and publishers. The conference attracted 187 delegates, including people from Ireland, Germany, New Zealand and the USA, together with our local hosts from Scotland, Mick Cooper and Lorna Carrick on behalf of the University of Strathclyde.

The two days saw a total of 63 presentations, made up of 47 papers, 5 workshops, 9 posters and two keynotes. The first keynote 'Giving people what they want; empirically grounded psychological therapy' was presented by Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical and Applied Science at the Institute of Psychiatry and Clinical Director at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley Hospital, who challenged, irritated and stimulated in equal measure, according to delegate feedback. The second keynote 'Filling gaps for feeling gaps? Dilemmas for counselling researchers in an age of consumption' was given by Professor Liz Bondi, Professor of Geography and Co-director of Counselling Studies, University of Edinburgh, who received a warm response. At a drinks reception hosted by Taylor and Francis, publishers of CPR, Professor Julia Buckroyd updated the audience on progress in the production of CPR and announced the good news that it is now indexed and abstracted on PsycINFO.

In particular, it was great to welcome so many students to the conference this year: the profession needs to develop a cadre of researchers, and we hope the research conference will help encourage many such careers. Another aspect of particular interest was the poster sessions - it is always very interesting and stimulating to witness the versatility of presenters who find original and sometimes amusing ways of informing the entire conference audience of their work, in the space of just two minutes. Again, this is an aspect of the conference that we wish to develop.

The conference had a great atmosphere thanks to the warm welcome from our co-hosts and the friendliness of the delegates. A congenial social evening on Friday ensured old friends met up whilst new friendships were formed over dinner and dancing, and Laurie Clarke, CEO, presented Andrew Reeves from the University of Liverpool Counselling Service with the SAGE prize for the highest scoring presentation at the 2005 annual conference. Congratulations again to Andrew. As in previous years post conference evaluation emphasized that networking with colleagues and other researchers is an important part of the conference, along with appreciation of the friendliness of the event, an element we are keen to maintain.

Administration, structure, quality and overall satisfaction

An evaluation form was completed by 64 delegates (just a third of all delegates), using scores of 1 = Poor and 5 = Excellent. Scores continued to display good levels of satisfaction, with administration of the event scoring a notable 4.8; conference structure scored 4.4; programme content scored 4.2, with accommodation and venue/facilities scoring 4.4 and 4.2 respectively. An overall high satisfaction rate of 4.6 was given with 96% of respondents reporting the conference fulfilled their reason for attending. The delegate pack was found to be useful by 90% of respondents. The conference was rated good value for money by 84% of respondents.

Presentations

Friday's papers gained an average score of 3.9 (from a range of 2 to 5) with the average for Saturday's being 4.1 (from a range of 3 to 4.8). Workshop presentations registered an average of 4.5 (from a range of 4.3 to 5), and posters scored an average of 4.1 (from a range of 3 to 5).

All conference abstracts will appear in CPR. The Research team and BACP wish to thank everybody concerned for making the conference a great success. We appreciate your continued support, and a special thank you to those of you who travelled so far.

2005

BACP's 11th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research that makes a difference' and took place on 20-21 May 2005. It was held at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham in association with the Centre for Lifelong Learning. University of Birmingham.

Evaluation Report 

This year's conference brought together 191 delegates, and included two keynotes, 42 papers/wprkshops and 11 posters. These debated how counselling and psychotherapy research ‘does, can and should' make a difference. Alistair Ross from the University of Birmingham started these debates by suggesting that if you are not convinced research will make a difference, don't do it; resources are too limited, both intellectual and emotional. Professor Glenys Parry then gave both a positive and negative take on research making a difference. She noted that only three to five per cent of the profession is research active, but that more practitioners could be if research became more embedded into practice. In conclusion, she called for the need for both research-friendly practice and practice-friendly research.

Professor Mike Lambert, of Brigham University (USA), gave a keynote presentation on ‘Preventing negative treatment effects by measuring, monitoring and feedback'. He posed questions of how research can help predict probable patient failure early on. Questions like how do you improve if you don't have a measure to evaluate how well you do in terms of client outcomes? Dr Thomas Schroder, of the University of Nottingham and Derbyshire Psychotherapy Services, presented a second keynote on ‘Interesting times with challenging clients: on listening to practitioners' experiences'. He discussed how research had helped to identify therapist difficulties and coping strategies, and made reference to the International Study of the Development of Psychotherapists, a comparative stuffy of 8,000 therapists from 20 countries.

Along with keynotes, papers and posters, this year saw the launch of a new symposia that enabled work or methodology that was evolving to be included. Indications suggest this was a welcome addition, allowing for a wider and more inclusive set of presenters and debates.

The conference included an update from Professor Julia Buckroyd (Editor of CPR) who highlighted the pressures CPR faced in its development - such as those from stakeholders, including the research community, the NHS, funders, managers and practitioners. Nancy Rowland, BACP's Head of Research, updated delegates on research within BACP, noting ways in which BACP was actively bridging the gap between research and practice.

Sage Publications kindly donated a generous book token to be awarded to a research conference presenter (past or present). BACP's Chief Executive Laurie Clarke presented it to Karen Mackie form the University of Rochester (USA) on the basis that her paper gained the highest score in the 2004 evaluation of presentations.

The conference very much embraced the positive aspects that research can achieve. As Professor Glenys Parry pointed out, it can be exciting, stimulating, worthwhile and ethical.

2004

BACP's 10th Annual Research conference was entitled 'The World of Counselling Research' and took place on 21-22 May 2004. It was held at the Holiday Inn, London in association with American Counselling Association (ACA), Australian Counselling Association (ACA), International Association for Counselling (IAC), Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP), The Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors (KAPC), Malaysia Counselling Association (PERKAMA), New Zealand Association for Counsellors (NZAC) and Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)

Evaluation Report

It was with great enthusiasm that presenters, delegates and BACP staff met in London in May to celebrate and enjoy this year's anniversary conference, which attracted over 180 delegates each day. Eight international co-hosts joined with us to welcome delegates from around the world, including America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal and Turkey, together with more local hosts from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The two days saw a total of 77 presentations, made up of 62 papers, 7 workshops, 8 posters and a plenum paper by the renowned Dr Pittu Laungani. After a warm welcome from Val Potter, Chair of the Association, Friday's opening session continued with Professor Glenys Parry, Chair of the BACP Research Committee, who talked about 'What's on the Horizon' for research, and with Nancy Rowland, BACP's Head of Research speaking about 'Developing a Research Culture'. The opening session finished with Dr Laungani's plenum paper entitled 'Multicultural Perspectives in Counselling and Therapy'. Saturday's opening sessions enjoyed input from Laurie Clark, CEO of the Association with 'New Research Initiatives in BACP', including Laurie's announcement that BACP will be funding a new systematic scoping review on 'Multicultural Issues'. Laurie handed over to Professor Julia Buckroyd, the recently appointed Editor of CPR, who introduced 'The New CPR'.

The conference had a wonderful atmosphere and gained enormously from a wide mix of cultures and nationalities. The exhibition hall was decorated with traditional cloths and items from some of the co-host organisations, making a fantastic display. A congenial social evening on Friday ensured old friends met up whilst new friendships were formed over the international cuisine and dancing. Networking opportunities abounded and once again, the evaluation results emphasised the importance of this aspect of the conference, along with appreciation of the warmth and friendliness of the event.

An evaluation form was completed by 44% of delegates, using scores of 1 = Poor and 10 = Excellent. Scores continued to display good levels of satisfaction, with administration of the event scoring a notable 9.2, with 73% of respondents giving the highest score of 9 or 10. Programme structure and the venue scored 8.5 and 8.7 respectively, with an overall satisfaction rating of 8.9, with 68% of respondents giving a 9 or 10 in this category. Friday's papers gained an average score of 7.5 (from a range of 6.0 to 9.3) with the average for Saturday's being 7.8 (from a range of 5.3 to 9.5). Workshop presentations registered an average of 8.1 (from a range of 6.0 to 9.0), and posters scored an average of 7.4 (from a range of 6.8 to 7.8). Appreciation of the general warmth and friendliness of the event came through strongly in the evaluations, which is an element of this event we are keen to foster.

2003

BACP's 9th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Research and Diversity' and took place on 16-17 May 2003. It was held at the Holiday Inn, Leicester in association with The Institute of Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester.

Evaluation Report

The 9th BACP Research Conference was held in May 2003 at the Holiday Inn Leicester, with The University of Leicester's Institute of Lifelong Learning as academic co-host. With almost 160 delegates over the two days, the conference was a full and vibrant affair. This year's event attracted international presenters from Australia, Canada, Northern Ireland, Nigeria and the West Indies who joined a growing band of 'regulars' along with many new faces to make the conference a great success.

The following feedback is the result of the evaluation forms completed by 59% of the delegates present. BACP members made up 66% of the group, and 57% of the delegates were non-presenters. 71% of respondents attended both days of the conference. All ratings were on a scale of 1 (Poor) to 10 (Excellent).

Conference administration, programme structure, and venue quality
Administration for the event scored an impressive average of 9.0, with the programme structure scoring an average rating of 8.3 (the lowest score being 6). The venue scored an average 8.2 with 44% of respondents giving the top scores of 9 or 10.

Overall satisfaction
The conference proved a well-rounded success, with the score for overall satisfaction being 8.3 with half of the delegates giving the highest scores of either 9 or 10.

Presentations
The total of 53 presentations over both days were made up of 8 workshops, 43 papers and two plenum sessions, scoring an encouraging average of 7.5 with a spread of 4.5 - 9.2. Only 4 presentations received an average score of below 6 out of 10. Friday's workshops scored an average of 7.1 with the paper and plenum sessions for Friday scoring an average of 7.3. Saturday's paper and plenum sessions scored an average of 7.6 with Saturday workshops averaging 7.5. Four posters were presented on the Friday morning and remained on view throughout the conference.

We asked the following open-ended questions:

"What part of the conference did you find most helpful and why?"
"How can the conference be improved next year?" and
"Any further comments?"

These questions encouraged much positive feedback and constructive criticism. The most frequent answers (from which verbatim excerpts are cited below) were under the following headings:

Presentations
All strands were mentioned individually, with most mentioning the workshops, the children and young people strand and the auto-ethnography strand, and both plenum speakers were highly regarded. Comments included:

"Excellent keynote speakers", "the theme of pluralism and the presenters who modelled that point", "variety and number of presentations", "children and young people strand because particularly relevant to my work", "auto-ethnography strand - a breath of fresh air", "audience questions and feedback always civil and constructive", "challenged by the ideas presented", "variety and number of presentations", "Research and Diversity strand really made me reflect on my culture and practice", "summaries and discussion", "quality of papers excellent", "training (strand) relevant to what I'm researching", "spurned me on to new directions", " positive learning experience", "summary sessions at the end of the day".

Criticism/suggestions re presentations included:
"Longer breaks between sessions", "felt rushed all day", "a nursery strand of some kind to encourage novice researchers", "some presentations very basic", "longer presentations", "more time in workshops", "provide laptops for all presentations", "chairs need to be strict about time-keeping", "more poster presentations (needed)", "perhaps less choice", "too much on (some) overheads and the type too small", "fewer concurrent sessions", "possibly one or two workshops specifically on writing critical review with the purpose of sharpening research in progress", "late-comers to talks disruptive", "an injection of humour - a laughter workshop perhaps?" Via letter: "... some interesting papers......but I would not regard all of them as research, (often) no attention to reliability, validity or generalisability..."

Networking
The opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues was greatly appreciated and received many comments including:

"For networking it was excellent", "meeting people from a diverse selection of backgrounds", "meeting new people", "open-minded colleagues", "(enjoyed) all of it - especially networking", "networking = fun!"

Administration/support
"BACP organisers and liaison excellent", "I want to emphasis the helpfulness and efficiency of BACP staff", "food and admin great - I felt nurtured", "brilliant organisation", "thank you for a well organised and valuable conference", "BACP helpful, friendly - excellent team".

Criticism/suggestions for administration included:

"Clearer booking form please", "advance receipt of abstracts (needed)", "include 2 nights accommodation in the full package", "I would prefer an after dinner speaker to the disco".

The failure of technological equipment was a disappointment. It was mentioned that the presenters affected did very well despite this difficulty.

Venue:
In the main, the venue was a popular choice. The onsite parking was appreciated, as were the leisure facilities:

"Food excellent", "the staff at the Holiday Inn were pleasant and helpful", "LOVED the pool and gym", "retain a central geographical position".

Criticism/suggestions for venue included:

"Roast dinner x 3 - a bit more variety please and healthier eating options", "salad lunches!", "gala dinner somewhat disappointing", "a venue with access to grass - felt very closed in and urban", "crowded foyer area - not enough space and chairs to meet people", "rooms hot", "felt the hotel reception staff could have been more helpful", "location on roundabout negative".

General:
We are delighted to report once again, that delegates expressed time and again how they valued the friendly, welcoming, non-threatening and encouraging atmosphere which has now become the trademark of our research conference. Comments included:

"I really enjoyed the whole experience...the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming", "a rewarding experience thank you", "dancing/food/colleagues - everything was very good", "thank you for the student allowance; without it I wouldn't have been able to attend", "FAB"!, "keep the quality (of papers) as high as possible", "just keep up the excellent standard", "great experience and excellent standards", "great atmosphere, well done and thanks", "learned that I had a voice", "gaining confidence realising I can do it as well", "I'm so glad I came", "how to get published - useful step-by-step guide", "brilliant organisation - concept and help", "more please"!" Via email: "Thank you very much for all the work put into the best conference of the year. I appreciate your efforts."

And finally, the Hotel manager has asked us to pass on his apologies to our delegates. Due to various internal misunderstandings between hotel staff, we were not served our cold salad lunch on Friday, nor was our sponsors beer available for you (as pre arranged) from 7.00pm, prior to Friday's dinner. We hope this didn't spoil your conference experience.

2002

BACP's 8th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Working Together' and took place on 17-18 May 2002. It was held at the Commonwealth Institute, London in association with the Royal College of Nursing.

Evaluation Report

The 8th BACP Research Conference held in May 2002, was a two-day event in London with the Royal College of Nursing Counselling Service as co-host. The Conference attracted nearly 170 participants of which more than half came for both days. Presenters and delegates from as far as New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and the USA were amongst those who came to the Conference from abroad. The following feedback is the result of the evaluation forms completed by almost half of the delegates of whom a fifth were non-BACP members. Nearly 50% of returned evaluation forms were completed by non-presenters. All rating scores were on a scale from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

Overall satisfaction, quality, structure and administration
Overall, the delegates were indeed very satisfied with the conference with an average satisfaction score of 8.6 out of 10, (with no one scoring less than 6.0). The quality of the venue received an average rating of 7.8 out of 10 and the average score for the structure of the conference was 8.3 out of 10. The satisfaction with the BACP administration of the conference received a very encouraging average rating of 8.9 out of 10. Most of the scores were similar to those from last year (see table below for comparison).

Presentations
With 80 presentations in all, the number was up 54% from last year. Both the 60 paper presentations (including the plenum paper) and the 11 workshops were very well received with an overall average score of 7.5 out of 10 (spread 4.1-9.7) and with only 4 of these 71 presentations being rated with an average score below 6.0 out of 10.

The overall average score for the 60 paper presentations was 7.4 out of 10 (spread 4.1-9.4). The overall average score for the 11 workshops was 7.9 out of 10 (spread 6.0-9.7). The averages were similar or higher compared to those very encouraging scores from last year (see Table below). The presenters have all received the average rating score for their own paper/workshop.

Most helpful part of the conference (open ended question)
When asked 'What part of the conference did you find most helpful and why' the most frequent answers (from which fragments are cited below) were under the following headings:

  • Presentations:
    "Individual presentations, workshops, poster presentations, plenty of choice, excellent programme, range of method and presentation styles, very helpful, interesting and useful, challenging, motivated me to research, gave me ideas to follow up, finding out how other people approached research, related to my work/interests, small intimate sessions, time for discussion, feedback on my presentation, learned a huge amount"
  • Networking:
    "Opportunities to exchange ideas, social time, meeting other members of the profession, contact with other researchers, talking to and meeting others, enjoyed drinks reception, networking room"
  • Administration/support:
    "Excellent, efficient, extremely friendly, organisation and support from staff, helpful, friendly and professional approach, atmosphere very comfortable, non-threatening and encouraging"

Suggestions for future Conferences (open ended question)
When asked 'How could the Conference be improved next year' the most frequent answers (from which fragments are cited below) were under the following headings:

  • Papers/Programme:
    "More time for presentation, more diversity, less strands, longer sessions, more balanced emphasis on methodology and findings, weed out non-counselling research, further guidelines to presenters, balance the keynote speech, more than 2 min for posters, put good material at the end, less rushed, have a social event in the evening"
  • Venue:
    "More r-efreshments in rooms, sitting down for lunch, include salad/cold meal for lunch, no presentations in the main hall, residential, hotels isolating and too far away"
  • Administration/organisation:
    "Access to abstract booklet in advance, receive programme even earlier, involve more from 'non academic' background (managers, practitioners, people from industry)"

Any further comments? (open ended question)
Most of the comments given (which had not been put forward already) were positive feedback, and the most frequent comments (from which fragments are cited below) were under the following headings:

  • Venue/location:
    "Excellent food"
  • Administration:
    "Excellent organisation with support for presenters, helpful pre-conference information, accessible and very helpful and friendly staff, organisation helped me feel more relaxed and enjoy the whole event"
  • Presentations:
    "By far the best conference so far - real variety and quality of material, a shame the two strands on children and families were running at the same time, 2 minutes (instead of 1) for posters much better, too much to see/do, did not feel rushed - time for reflections, please do not feel obliged to go down the 'scientific' route to research, appreciated the guidance notes from BACP to help presenters"
  • General:
    "Proud to have been associated with it, liked the inclusive and informal atmosphere, loved the whole experience - even if scary at times, well done, thank you"

Next year's conference
The BACP Research Department will carefully consider the feedback from the 2002 conference as part of its planning for the 2003 conference in Leicester, with the University of Leicester as co-host.

From the feedback and all the letters and emails we have received after the Conferences it is clear that the 'trademark' of the BACP Research Conferences is, apart from high quality presentations, the "welcoming, comfortable, friendly, non-threatening, encouraging, supportive, helpful, informal and above all very inclusive atmosphere" - and we want to keep it that way!

2001

BACP's 7th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Evidence and Practice' and took place on 18-19 May 2001. It was held at the Holiday Inn, Bristol in association with The Counselling Program, Bristol University.

Evaluation Report

The 7th BACP Research Conference, which was held in May, was a two-day event and the Counselling Programme at Bristol University was this year's academic host. More than 140 delegates attended the conference (slightly more than last year) and of these nearly 60% attended both days. The following feedback is the result of the evaluation forms completed by an impressive 70% of the delegates. All rating scores were on a scale from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

Overall satisfaction, quality, structure and administration
Overall, the delegates were indeed very satisfied with the conference with an average satisfaction score of 8.7 out of 10. The quality of the venue received an average rating of 8.1 out of 10 and the average score for the structure of the conference was 8.4 out of 10. Most of the scores were up from last year (see Table 1. below for comparison). A new score this year to measure the satisfaction with the BACP administration of the conference received a very encouraging average rating of 8.9 out of 10.

Presentations
With 52 presentations in all, the number was up nearly 15% from last year. Both the 42 paper presentations (including the plenum paper by David Rennie) and the 6 workshops were very well received with only 8 of these 48 presentations being rated with an average score below 7.0 out of 10.
The average overall score for the 42 paper presentations was 7.4 out of 10 (spread 6.3 - 8.5). The average overall score for the 6 workshops was also 7.4 out of 10 (spread 5.3 - 9.5). The averages were close to those very encouraging scores from last year (see Table 1. below for comparison). The presenters have all received the average rating score for their own paper/workshop.

Most helpful part of the conference (open ended question)

When asked "what part of the conference did you find most helpful and why" the most frequent answers were under the following headings:

  • Networking/talking to and meeting others/sharing ideas
  • The range, variety, diversity and quality of papers and methodology
  • Presentations being helpful to own research/work
  • Feeling informed, encouraged, motivated, inspired, stimulated, excited and renewed
  • Well organised

Some quotes:

  • "To date I have been rather sceptical about the use of research in therapy, because of its quantitative role' but that is changing..."
  • "The Research Committee/BACP representatives appear to be more welcoming and supportive of the less academic researcher and the interested non-researcher. This shows great democracy and growth within the organisation and is appreciated."
  • "I am not a BACP member and have been quite reluctant about becoming a member, but I am pleased to say this experience has changed my mind - I am going to join immediately."

Suggestions for future Conferences (open ended questions)

Suggestions for improvements which were repeated by several delegates were mainly under the following headings:

  • Less expensive
  • More time and "a meeting room/place" (after each presentation) for networking, discussion/reflection and talking in small groups
  • Handouts from all presenters
  • More workshops including one on doing research/getting started
  • More posters

All but 4 of the delegates thought that the BACP Research Conference should continue to be a two-day event and the most popular choices for the 2003 conference venue (discarding the ones we have used recently) were York and Birmingham.

2000

BAC's 6th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Opportunities and Challenges in 21st Century' and took place on 20 May 2000. It was held at the Weston Building, University of Manchester in association with The Counselling Research & Training Group, University of Manchester. 

Evaluation Report

The following feedback, prepared by the Counselling Research Training Group at the University of Manchester, is the result of evaluation forms completed by 53% of the conference delegates. All rating scores were on a scale from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

Overall satisfaction, quality and structure

Overall the delegates were very satisfied with the conference with an average satisfaction score of 8.4 out of 10. The quality of the venue received an encouraging average rating of 8.5 out of 10, and the average score for the structure of the conference was 8.1 out of 10. These scores were all up from last year. (More details in Table 1. below).

Presentations

(Five parallel presentation-strands were running throughout the four sessions of the day)

The paper-presentations (two papers in each session) and the workshops (one in each session) were very well received with all but two of the day's 20 different sessions being rated with an average score above 7.0 out of 10. On average the overall score for all the presentations was higher than last year. (More details in Table 1. below).

Most helpful part of the conference (open ended questions)

When asked what was most helpful and why, the delegates replied with comments like:

"Networking" (13)

"Meeting other researchers and practitioners€ getting a feel of different research approaches and increasing [my] knowledge base"

"Sense of collaboration"

"Well presented, thoughtful and thought provoking papers made all sessions interesting and useful"

"The diversity of styles, agendas and positions taken up by presenters/participants"

"Very well constructed and put together, well done"

"Excellent services from BACP staff"

Suggestions for the research conference 2001

There were a few suggestions for improvements: A few delegates wanted a more critical discussion of papers but others welcomed the opportunity offered for those new to research to present as well. Several wanted more time in between papers, including tea breaks and more time for discussion, networking, and a number wanted the abstracts in advance of the conference. Nearly all agreed that May was a good month to hold the conference. However, many wanted more time for the conference including a majority (41/32) that thought the next conference should be a 2-day event.

NB: It has now been decided that Research Conference in Bristol next year is going to be a two-day event to be held on the 18 and 19 May 2001.

Conclusion

This was the sixth and largest BACP Counselling Research Conference held so far with over 140 people attending. The 35 papers and 3 workshops presented were rated fairly high and overall very high satisfaction with the conference was expressed. The BACP Research and Evaluation Committee will carefully consider the feedback on the conference as part of its planning for next year's event.

 

1999

BAC's 5th Annual Research conference was entitled 'Counselling: Effects and Consequences' and took place on 22 May 1999. It was held at Hilton National, Leeds in association with Psychological Therapies Research Centre, University of Leeds.

Evaluation report

The following feedback, taken from the full report carried out by the Psychological Therapies Research Centre, University of Leeds (available from BAC Rugby) is a result of the evaluation forms completed by 65 (an impressive 79% response rate) of the conference delegates. (All rating scores were on a 10-point analogue scale.)

Structure of the Conference Programme
The structure was very well received: The average rating was 7 out of 10, with 71% of respondents rating the programme at or above this level. Five delegates (8%) rated it at less than 5 out of 10.
Quality of the Venue (Hilton National Leeds)
The quality of the venue was rated extremely highly: The average score was 8 out of 10 with 89% of respondents rating at or above 7 out of 10. Only two delegates (3%) rated the venue at less than 5 out of 10.
Overall Satisfaction with the Conference
Ratings were very encouraging: The average score was 8 out of 10, with 86% of respondents rating the conference at or above 7 out of 10. Just one delegate rated their overall satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.

Satisfaction with morning Paper Session
(three parallel sessions each with three presentations under a common theme)
Counselling, Spirituality and Christian Belief overall received an average satisfaction rate of 6 out of 10, with 58% rating the session at or above 7 out of 10. Three of the 24 respondents (12.5%) rated their satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.
Factors Effecting Training and Supervision had an overall satisfaction rate of 7 out of 10, with 57% rating at or above this level. Only one of the 21 respondents rated their satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.
Effects and Consequences of Research on Counselling Practice appears to have been both the most popular and the most positively received morning session with an average overall satisfaction rate of 7 out of 10 and 76% of respondents rating the session at or above this level. Only two of the 37 respondents (5%) rated their satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.

Satisfaction with afternoon Paper Session
(three parallel sessions each with three presentations under a common theme)
Working together had overall an average satisfaction rate of 6 out of 10, with 53% of respondents rating the session at or above 7 out of 10. Five of the 19 respondents (26%) rated their satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.
What Works for Whom had an average overall satisfaction rate of 8 out of 10, with 76% of respondents rating at or above this figure. None of the 25 respondents rated their satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.
The Self session was extremely well received and the most popular in the afternoon with an overall rating of 8 out of 10 and 88% of respondents rating the session at or beyond this level. Only 1 of the 27 respondents rated their overall satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.

Satisfaction with Workshops (three parallel workshops)
CORE System averaged 6 out of 10 on satisfaction with only 38% rating at or above this level. Three of the 21 respondents (13%) rated their overall satisfaction at less than 5 out of 10.
Multi-media in Counselling Training Workshop received an average rating of 7 out of 10 with 64% rating this session at or above this level. Two of the 11 respondents (18%) gave a rating at less than 5 out of 10.
Exploring Images of Research and Researchers of Counsellors was positively received with an average rating of 8 out of 10 and 77% rating the workshop at or above this level. Two of the 22 respondents (9%) rated their overall satisfaction at less than out of 10.

Most Helpful Part of the Conference (open ended question)
Each of the six themed sets of papers had respondents identifying them as the most helpful aspect as had many of the individual papers and workshops. Overall however, the types of response most commonly offered came under the headings "range of presentations" and "opportunity to network". Between them, these two categories captured 45 of the 86 individually identified helpful aspects.

Improvement Suggestions for Research Conference 2000 (open ended question)
This question generated a substantial range of suggestions. Response categories with the most respondents included: "more discussion after papers" (13); "increase to two day conference"(13); "anticipate people will move within paper sessions" (10) and "more time for presentation of papers" (7). These suggestions should clearly be taken into consideration for next year.

Conference Venue 2000 (open ended question)
Location suggestions for the next Research Conference fell into four geographical areas: Scotland (8), the South (9), the Midlands (14) and the North (26). The bias towards the North may well be due to the mainly northern location of many of the delegates; however, it appears sensible to be looking for a venue for the 2000 conference somewhere in Midlands/North.

Conclusion
From the perspective of the host parties, this year's conference has been a great success. It seems the relative luxury of the Hilton Hotel was very well received and seen as representing very good value for money. The general standard of papers appears to be continually improving, and nobody seemed to mind the breaking with tradition of previous years by having no keynote speakers. What does come across loud and clear in many of the comments is that the BAC Research Conference is growing from strength-to-strength, and resourced by the superb organisational abilities of the new BAC Research team, we can only expect even better for the new millennium.

 
       
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