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BACP Research Conference 2015  



'Understanding professional practice: the role of research'


Co-hosted by the University of Nottingham

15 & 16 May 2015, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham
with a pre-conference workshop on Thursday evening 14 May


This event has now passed. Details of the 2016 conference will be posted here shortly.


The draft programme can be viewed by clicking here.

The conference brings together researchers, students, practitioners, academics and trainers from different backgrounds and traditions for lively exchange and critical debate beyond the confines of theoretical schools, research methodologies or practice settings. The latest research findings are presented in the context of open debate on topical issues around counselling and psychotherapy. Each year, the conference links with an academic co-host, which is the University of Nottingham for 2015, who as co-host, enriches the programme and the overall experience for delegates.  

The research conference fosters a climate of open inquiry where new researchers and students, as well as practitioners, academics and leaders in the field come together to share their common enthusiasm for learning and their desire to continually improve their practice drawing on the latest research evidence. New research not only adds to the evidence base for the profession, but is also an important tool for policy makers.

There has been a steady increase in the number of international research submissions over the years, with a growing number of international researchers, continents and countries represented at the conference including: America, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates, making the BACP Annual Research Conference a truly internationally recognised event.


Pre-Conference Workshop  

We are delighted to announce that the pre-conference workshop will be facilitated by the internationally renowned Professor John Norcross with his workshop entitled:

Changeology: Tailoring the Stages of Change to the Individual Client

The workshop will run on Thursday evening from 6.00 - 8.00 p.m. (Thursday 14 May)

All conference delegates are welcome to attend.


Keynote presentations

Professor John Norcross (University of Scranton) - 'Creating a new therapy for each client: where practice and research converge' (Friday 15 May) 


Psychotherapy is a treatment method and a healing relationship fit to the individual client; however, only in the past two decades has sufficient research been conducted to operationalize these noble intentions into robust matching guidelines. This invited address will review the meta analytic research and clinical practices compiled by an interdivisional APA task force on effective methods of adapting psychotherapy to individual patients. We will consider six client dimensions (reactance level, stages of change, preferences, culture, coping style, religion) that can be used to tailor treatment, as well as some promising directions (attachment style, expectations) for doing so. In this way, practice and research converge in evidence-based responsiveness that demonstrably improves treatment success. 

John C. Norcross, Ph.D., ABPP, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Scranton, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University, a board-certified clinical psychologist in part-time practice, and an internationally recognized authority on behaviour change and psychotherapy.  Author of more than 400 scholarly publications, Dr. Norcross has co-written or edited 20 books, most of them in multiple editions. These include Psychotherapy Relationships that Work, Psychologists' Desk Reference, Clinician's Guide to Evidence-Based Practice in Mental Health, Self-Help that Works, Leaving It at the Office: Psychotherapist Self-Care, the Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical & Counseling Psychology, and Systems of Psychotherapy: A Transtheoretical Analysis (with Prochaska), now in its 8th edition.  He has also published two self-help books: Changeology and Changing for Good (with Prochaska and DiClemente). Dr. Norcross has served as president of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division of Clinical Psychology, the APA Division of Psychotherapy, and the International Society of Clinical Psychology. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists
as well as on APA's governing Council of Representatives. Dr. Norcross edited the Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session for a decade and has been on the editorial boards of a dozen journals. Dr. Norcross has also been a clinical and research consultant to a number of organizations, including the National Institutes of Health. He has received multiple professional awards, such as APA's Distinguished Career Contributions to Education & Training Award, Pennsylvania Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation, the Rosalee Weiss Award from the American Psychological Foundation, and election to the National Academies of Practice.  His work has been featured in hundreds of media interviews, and he has appeared multiple times on national television shows, such as the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and Good Morning America.  An engaging teacher and clinician, John has conducted workshops and lectures in 30 countries. He lives in the northeast Pennsylvania with his wife, two grown children, and their two new grandkids. 

Professor Glenys Parry (University of Sheffield) - 'First do no harm: how to make therapy safe as well as effective' (Saturday 16 May)


Many people benefit from counselling and psychotherapy; by any of the criteria used in health services research they have been shown to be effective in helping people improve their wellbeing and quality of life.  However, like other effective interventions, therapy carries risks as well as benefits. Recent research has shown that whilst there is no evidence that psychological therapy causes harm in a systematic or general way, some people experience adverse effects of therapy and a worrying number feel that it has caused them lasting damage.  Despite this, psychotherapy researchers have not made safety a priority; we are very poor at recording and reporting adverse events during therapy or adverse outcomes after therapy.  To be effective, practitioners need to believe in what they do, but this can lead to complacency and ignorance of how to detect and prevent negative effects.  In my keynote I will critically examine the latest evidence on the risk of harm from therapy to summarise what is known (and not known) about the prevalence, causes and mechanisms of bad therapy process and outcomes, and the implications for practice. 

I am a health services researcher, clinical psychologist and cognitive analytic psychotherapist. My career spans five areas - research, teaching, clinical practice, health services policy, and NHS senior management. I have a longstanding commitment to using research to improve practice (and vice versa) and have led or contributed to many national policy initiatives in clinical psychology and psychological therapies. I have conducted research in the fields of mental health, life event stress, social support, health inequalities and psychological therapies.

Research Interests
My interests include the application of research to policy and practice, service evaluation, process and outcomes of psychotherapy in health service settings and psychotherapeutic competence. Recent research includes methods of improving the quality and effectiveness of psychological services for people with long term depression, and understanding and preventing adverse effects of psychological therapies. 


Submission guidelines

All presenters should read the submission guidelines prior to submitting their abstract, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Please note that the deadline for submitting an abstract has now passed.


Tips for presenters

Click here to see tips for presenters

Click here to see tips for posters

Click here to see tips for workshops


PCCS Books Prize 2015

PCCS Books are sponsoring a £500 cash prize for a piece of person centred/humanistic research; undergraduate students, postgraduate, and PhD/Doctoral students will be eligible for this award. The winning research, which must be presented at the conference, will be selected at the peer review stage and the award will be made at the conference. Specific application to this prize is not necessary as all person centred/humanistic submissions from undergraduates/postgraduate or PhD/Doctoral students will be considered for the award (including papers, workshops, posters, methodological innovation and symposia formats).


Conference Fees

All presenters must pay for their place at the conference. This fee covers the conference attendance only, it does not include accommodation or the Friday evening networking dinner. Accommodation must be booked separately. There is one discounted presenter fee per paper (maximum of one discounted presenter fee per presentation, additional presenters pay normal price).

Submissions which include an element of participatory research during the session, (eg, using conference delegates in your session as part of your research) will not be accepted.


Conference Structure

It is anticipated that four to six strands will run simultaneously on each day with papers, workshops and symposia running throughout the day. Posters will be presented separately with a dedicated ‘viewing period'. The final programme is compiled as part of the review and selection process and successful submissions are compiled to form coherent themes.


Copyright issues

If you are invited to present your work at the BACP Research Conference, your abstract will appear in the conference abstract booklet and it will also go on to the BACP website, post conference. It is the author / presenter's responsibility to ensure that no copyright laws are breached in terms of intellectual property and authors, and that the work is their own. BACP bears no responsibility for any breach of copyright.



The BACP Research Conference provides a forum for the exchange of research information between members and non members who are both welcome to attend. The conference is open to anybody to present their research if they fulfil the reviewing criteria. This conference is a not for profit event. Views expressed in any presentation are the views of the presenter and / or their organisation and are not necessarily those of BACP. Inclusion in the programme does not imply endorsement of the research or of the presenter's views and BACP take no responsibility in guaranteeing its quality. Any queries in relation to the official approval / appropriateness of any research presented at this conference should be directed to the authors / presenters; BACP bears no responsibility in this regard.