We welcome abstract submissions from all methodological perspectives and all theoretical orientations, from students, practitioners and experienced researchers alike. We accept submissions for research papers, discussion papers, methods workshops, rapid papers, poster presentations and symposia. An abstract is required for every submission type as they all undergo blind peer review.

All abstracts must be submitted through our online submission form. These forms follow a set structure and format to allow you to submit the relevant information and to ensure consistency across all submissions. This enables the peer reviewers to assess the quality of the research against the criteria in a fair and impartial manner.

You should also read the Terms and conditions.

To be successful, your abstract should be written in an appropriately formal and scholarly tone of voice that successfully conveys the quality and rigour of your project. It may be written in the third person or the first person, depending on the specific methodological approach taken in your research. You might find it easiest to prepare your submission in a document before you complete the form so that you have all the relevant information to hand.

We’ve developed the online form to be as straightforward as possible, but if you do have any difficulties accessing or using it, please contact us. You can either call the Research Team on 01455 883318 or email research_conference@bacp.co.uk.

The deadline for all submissions is 11.59 pm on Friday 1 November 2019.

What happens next?

After the submission deadline, abstracts are forwarded to a panel of experienced researchers for independent review. You'll be notified of the outcome of the peer review of your submission in early 2020 and will also receive feedback.

If your submission requires amendments, you'll be sent the reviewers’ comments with a deadline for returning the amended abstract. All decisions by the peer review panel are final.

Completing the submission form - standard information

When you complete the online form, you will be asked for the following standard information:

  • your details:
    - your name
    - email address for correspondence
    - email address for inclusion in the abstract booklet (optional)
    - telephone number (for use by our office only)
    - affiliation and professional role
  • names of any co-presenters or co-authors
  • title of your session
  • up to five keywords
  • main abstract text

We ask for your name, email address and telephone number so that we can contact you about your submission for the conference. We'll only use this information to contact you about your submission and won't share it with any third parties unless you give consent for us to do so in the submission form.

Your main abstract text will be sent to the peer reviewers. To maintain the integrity of the peer review process, please make sure you don't include any details that might identify you, your co-authors, presenters, panellists or discussants, or  or your place of work or study. 

All submissions should be a maximum of 350 words (excluding title, sub-headings and keywords).

Research paper

This format is suitable for researchers to present completed research projects. Accepted papers are given a 30 minute time slot, normally made up of 20 minutes presentation and 10 minutes for questions and discussion.

Paper presentations are an opportunity to share your research with peers and colleagues, particularly the findings and implications of your work for counselling and psychotherapy practice.

Paper presentations cannot be used for data collection by presenters.

You should structure your proposal using the following headings:

  • Aim or purpose - what did the research aim to answer?
  • Design or methodology - how did you do the research?
  • Ethical approval - who gave ethical approval for the research?
  • Results or findings - what did you find?
  • Research limitations - how reliable and valid are the findings?
  • Conclusions or implications - what is the take home message?

Discussion paper

A discussion paper is an opportunity to present research-related work which is not in itself a completed empirical research project. This format would suit researchers who have completed a review of research literature in a particular area and with a clear question.

Alternatively, the discussion paper format allows researchers to present an overview of research from which they have identified issues and questions relevant to the counselling and psychotherapy research community, such as trends in research focus, gaps in activity or methodological developments.

The 30 minute slot should consist of no more than 15 minutes presentation with the remaining time used to facilitate discussion, debate and questions with delegates.

Discussion paper presentations cannot be used for data collection by presenters.

You should structure your proposal using the following headings:

  • Background and context - summarise the issue(s) for discussion and provide an overview of the relevant questions and debates, ensuring that you link this to relevant research literature.
  • Questions and issues to consider in the session – provide some starting points for delegates and to help structure group discussion.
  • Audience - who will benefit from attending the session? How will the session be of use to conference delegates?

Methods workshop

Methods workshops are an opportunity for researchers in the field to contribute to the development of research knowledge and skills in trainees and practitioners. They should introduce a particular method of data collection or analysis, which can include a focus on the ethics involved with researching a particular topic or population.

Workshops should provide opportunities for practical and experiential learning by including exercises or learning materials that allow delegates to practice the method presented. The learning should be rooted in up-to-date research examples of the method presented.

Workshops cannot be used for data collection by presenters or facilitators.

You should structure your proposal using the following headings:

  • Planned learning outcomes
  • Structure and overview of content
  • Target audience - will delegates need prior research knowledge or experience to attend? Is the workshop particularly suitable for trainees or novice researchers? 

Rapid paper

Rapid papers are an opportunity to present early development work of a research project and gain friendly constructive feedback from peers and colleagues. This format is ideal for anyone doing counselling or psychotherapy research that is yet to have findings and who would like feedback on developing ongoing work.

Accepted rapid papers have a 10 minute presentation slot and will normally be part of a larger session including other rapid papers. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the main session.

Rapid paper presentations cannot be used for data collection by presenters.

You should structure your submission using the following headings:

  • Aim or purpose - what did the research aim to answer?
  • Design and methodology - how did you do the research?
  • Ethical approval - who gave ethical approval for the research? If ethical approval is yet to be received, please briefly explain how, and when, you intend to obtain ethical approval.
  • Planned analysis of results – how do you intend to explore your results?
  • Challenges – what has been difficult or surprising so far and what, in particular, would you like feedback on in the session?

Poster

Poster presentations are an opportunity to share your research with peers and colleagues in a pictorial and eye-catching way. Posters are displayed together in a central conference room so that conference delegates can speak with poster presenters about their research. Each poster presenter is also given a one-minute slot within a special poster session to introduce their research to all the conference delegates.

The poster presentation format is suitable for completed research at all levels and for ongoing research. New poster presenters may find our Poster tips (pdf) helpful.

As well as the standard information above, you'll be asked whether the research was conducted when you were a student or trainee. This is so we can assess your eligibility for specific research awards.

You should structure your proposal using the following headings:

  • Aim or purpose - what did the research aim to answer?
  • Design or methodology - how did you do the research?
  • Ethical approval - who gave ethical approval for the research?
  • Results or findings - what did you find?
  • Research limitations - how reliable and valid are the findings?
  • Conclusions or implications - what is the take home message?

Symposium

A symposium brings together a themed collection of studies in a larger programme of research, or similar studies from various researchers.

For a symposium, you'll need to submit an overview abstract, giving details of what connects the symposium papers. You'll also need to submit separate abstracts for the symposium papers. There should be a minimum of three and a maximum of four separate papers submitted, plus the overview. Although a symposium is regarded as a whole, each paper will be peer reviewed separately.

Symposium presentations cannot be used for data collection by presenters.

As well as the standard information above, you'll be asked for the email addresses of each of the paper presenters.

You should structure your overview submission using the following headings:

  • Aims of the symposium
  • Contribution of each symposium paper to the overall theme
  • Implications of the symposium theme for counselling and psychotherapy theory, research and practice

You should structure the abstracts for each of the papers using these headings:

  • Aim or purpose - what did the research aim to answer?
  • Design or methodology - how did you do the research?
  • Ethical approval - who gave ethical approval for the research?
  • Results or findings - what did you find?
  • Research limitations - how reliable and valid are the findings?
  • Conclusions or implications - what is the take home message?