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BACP Research Conference 2018

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24th Annual Research Conference


Counselling changes lives: research that impacts practice    


11 & 12 May 2018, London


Co-hosted by University of Roehampton


Keynote presentation Friday 11 May 

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Professor Robert Elliott

"Evidence and politics in the humanistic-experiential psychotherapies: A love-hate story"

I provide a personal account of 40 years as a psychotherapy researcher, beginning from a love of the micro-texture of the client’s experience of significant change events, but then feeling called upon to marshal evidence to defend the humanistic-experiential psychotherapies from existential threats posed by the evidence-based practice movement.  I follow this with a three-prong, methodologically pluralist strategy for providing robust evidence for a given approach to psychotherapy or counselling. I offer some ways forward for implementing this strategy, including walking away from the NICE guidelines and refocusing on psychotherapy change process research.  I conclude by returning to my first love: psychotherapy micro-process research on significant change events.

Robert Elliott, Ph.D., is Professor of Counselling in the Counselling Unit at the University of Strathclyde, where he directs its research clinic and teaches on its new MSc Counselling course.  One of the founders of Emotion-Focused Therapy, he has led EFT training in 15 countries.  He has research interests in depression, social anxiety, psychotherapy change process research and the effectiveness of humanistic-experiential psychotherapies. A professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Toledo (Ohio), he is co-author of Facilitating emotional change (1993), Learning emotion-focused psychotherapy (2004), and Research methods in clinical psychology (2002), as well as more than 150 journal articles and book chapters. He is past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and previously co-edited the journals Psychotherapy Research, and Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies.  He has received the Distinguished Research Career Award of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and the Carl Rogers Award from the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. Robert is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren; he enjoys running, science fiction and all kinds of music.


Keynote presentation Saturday 12 May

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Professor Dr Pim Cuijpers 

"Four decades of research on counseling for depression: Directions for the future"

In the past four decades about 500 randomized trials have examined the effects of psychological treatments of adult depression, including about 60 on counseling. In this presentation I will give an overview of what this body of research says about the effects of couseling and the comparative effects of counseling, CBT and other well-examined therapies. Overall this research shows that all types of therapies have comparable effects, and that much research on counseling is negatively affected by researcher allegiance. I will also discuss priorities for future research, with a focus on the contribution of research to reduce the disease burden of depressive disorders. 

Pim Cuijpers is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and Head of the Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology. Pim Cuijpers is specialised in conducting randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses on prevention and psychological treatments of common mental disorders. Much of his work is aimed at prevention of mental disorders, psychological treatments of depression and anxiety disorders, and Internet-delivered treatments. He has also published on a broad range of subjects in the field of clinical psychology, including psychoeducational treatment and early interventions, psychotic disorders, caregivers of dementia patients and bibliotherapy. Pim Cuijpers has published about 750 peer-reviewed papers, chapters, reports and professional publications, including more than 500 papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals (more than 130 as first author). According to Thompson Reuters, he is one of the "most influential scientific minds" and was listed in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in "top 1% cited scientists in the area of psychiatry and psychology" (http://highlycited.com). According to Expertscape, an organisation that ranks researchers by their expertise in biomedial topics, professor Cuijpers is the world’s number one top expert on depression.

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CPCAB Counselling Research Award 2018

The aim of this award is to assist with the dissemination of research that has important implications for counselling training or counselling practice. Through highlighting significant research, documenting it on video and disseminating it for free online, the CPCAB Award aims to make research accessible and engaging to all counselling trainees and practitioners. All relevant abstracts submitted to the BACP Research Conference will be taken into consideration for this award.  The award is dependent upon successful peer review and presentation at the BACP Research Conference.

Selection of relevant abstracts for consideration will be made by the conference peer review group, at which stage, those selected will have the opportunity to confirm that they wish to be considered for this award.  The winner will be selected by CPCAB and a presentation will be made to the author at the Research Conference 2018.  Following this, the author would deal directly with CPCAB on production of the video. For details of previous award winners, please visit CPCAB Counselling Research Award.

Although there is no separate application form for the above award, submissions must follow the normal conference guidelines above.