For 23 years, the BACP Research Conference has been a place where researchers and practitioners come together to exchange ideas on important research findings,  presented in open discussion with constructive critical debate and helpful dialogue. The conference fosters a climate where all are welcome to share in both the learning and social experience.

Over this time the conference has been attended by representatives - both presenters and delegates - from 23 countries, making it a truly international event.

Pre-conference workshop

10 May 2018 (evening): Professor Tim Bond and Dr Barbara Mitchells
BACP's new guidance: Exploring ethical research design and ethical problem solving for research in the counselling professions

This workshop is open to all delegates. Please let us know on the booking form that you will be attending.

Keynote presentations

Robert Elliott

11 May 2018: 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, PhD, is Professor of Counselling 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.

Pim Cuijpers

12 May 2018: Professor Dr Pim Cuijpers
Four decades of research on counselling for depression: directions for the future

"In the past four decades about 500 randomised trials have examined the effects of psychological treatments of adult depression, including about 60 on counselling. In this presentation I will give an overview of what this body of research says about the effects of counselling and the comparative effects of counselling, CBT and other well-examined therapies. Overall this research shows that all types of therapies have comparable effects, and that much research on counselling 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, and Head of the Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology. He specialises 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.

Pim has published on a range of subjects in the field of clinical psychology, including psychoeducational treatment and early interventions, psychotic disorders, caregivers of dementia patients and bibliotherapy. He 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 on Highly Cited in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in "top 1% cited scientists in the area of psychiatry and psychology". Expertscape, an organisation that ranks researchers by their expertise in biomedial topics, ranks him as the world’s number one top expert on depression.



Abstracts submitted to BACP Research Conference are considered for the following awards:

CPCAB Counselling Research Award

This award is designed to raise awareness of research that has important implications for counselling training or practice. By publishing videos about the award-winning projects on the Counselling Channel, it aims to make research more accessible and engaging.

Find out more about the CPCAB award

PCCS Books Student Prize 2018

This award aims to recognise excellence in counselling and psychotherapy research by an undergraduate or postgraduate student. The winner will be selected from abstracts submitted to and accepted by the conference peer review group, in consultation with PCCS Books.

The award winner must present their research at the BACP Research Conference. They will receive £250 in cash towards their expenses and £150 of PCCS book vouchers.