Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, Paul Salkovskis, has been elected President-elect of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) – the leading body for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the UK and Ireland.

With over 11,000 members, the BABCP promotes evidence-based CBT. Expanding quickly, the membership organisation of practitioners and researchers has been at the forefront of promoting evidence that can improve health services across the country. Professor Salkovskis is currently editor of the BABCP Journal Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy and two years ago was made an Honorary Fellow for the organisation.

As one of the leading voices on CBT in the UK, he has held previous positions at the University of Oxford and Institute of Psychiatry in London and has developed a specific focus on anxiety disorders, including OCD, and hypochondriasis. A graduate from the Institute of Psychiatry in 1979, he worked as a clinical psychologist based in general adult psychiatry and in liaison psychiatry until 1985.

Unique doctoral provision at Bath

Director of Studies for the University's Doctorate in Clinical Psychology since 2011, Professor Salkovskis has been instrumental in developing unique doctoral provision at Bath by ensuring those following the course gain level 2 accreditation with the BABCP – all other courses that have this accreditation are post-registration.

On his election as President-elect he commented: “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the leading evidence-based approach to psychological treatments, and I am delighted to become President-elect of the BABCP which does so much to champion this message. I will be in office at a time of considerable growth both in research and service provision, and very much look forward to being part of its development.”

BABCP President, Professor Chris Williams, said: “As a leading charity that runs on behalf of its members we are delighted that Professor Salkovskis can bring his many talents and energies to our Board. This is at a time of great change in our membership and the political landscape as well as the changing research environment with Brexit and more. We very much value the opportunity afforded by Professor Salkovskis taking on this key role, and hope that the University of Bath will recognise the unique public engagement and charitable service opportunities the Presidential office conveys.”

BABCP Company Secretary and General Manager, Ross White, added: “As a leading charity among those supporting mental health therapies, Professor Salkovskis will bring much added value to BABCP Board at a time when the organisation is quickly expanding, implementing significant change within and also facing a rapidly changing operating environment.

“This, of course, follows on from the valued and progressive work Professor Salkovskis has already committed to BABCP in his role as Editor of Behavioural Cognitive Psychotherapy, now a leading academic journal in the sector. Professor Salkovskis will play a highly important role as BABCP aims to continue to grow its influence in the area of psychotherapy, the wider mental health sector and beyond.”

International links

Over recent years Professor Salkovskis has developed extensive links with other researchers and resources locally, nationally and internationally focused on the application of cognitive theories. He also has international collaborations with a range of other research centres, including in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Morocco and the US.

Engaging publics in evidence from this work has been central to Professor Salkovskis’ recent work. He is a strong advocate for public engagement and media commentator and has even taken the message about evidence-based CBT out on the road, across the country by bike, raising awareness about obsessive compulsive disorder with OCD-UK.

He will start as BABCP President in August 2018.

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