The Washington Singer building - home to the University of Exeter's School of Psychology

Experts at Exeter for major therapy conference

Over 1,000 delegates from around the world have arrived at the University of Exeter for a major conference on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) Annual Conference runs from 15 to 18 July.

The conference is showcasing the most current innovations in CBT research and practice.  An evidence-based form of psychotherapy for anxiety and depression problems, CBT also has a growing role in the treatment of long-term medical conditions. From the alleviation of low mood and excessive worry, to eating disorders and chronic pain, from soldiers returning from conflict zones to survivors of terrorist bombings, CBT has been shown to be effective in enabling people to reclaim and sustain their quality of life.

Health professionals, academics and researchers have travelled to Exeter from the rest of the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Keynote speakers include Professor Paul Gilbert, author of the bestselling books Overcoming Depression and The Compassionate Mind.

Several academics from the University’s School of Psychology are presenting their research. Clinical research at Exeter brings together researchers with the common goal of advancing theoretical knowledge and clinical practice through basic and applied research. Theirprimary research area is in mood disorders: psychological processes implicated in unipolar and bipolar disorder and evidence-based approaches. The Mood Disorders Centre is the platform for clinical research. The group is enjoying a period of growth and expansion, through the University’s £80 million investment in science and through building bridges with the NHS and Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.

The conference begins with a free event for members of the public on the University campus. This open meeting – called What CBT does – looks at the important role of therapeutic approaches in an ever-widening range of medical settings.

Dr Paul Farrand, of the University of Exeter’s School of Psychology, says: “Bringing the public together with professionals and service users at the open meeting is a good way to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. One of the areas we will look at this year is what CBT does to improve the quality of life for those with long-term medical problems.”

Dr Warren Mansell, co-chair of the BABCP Conference, says: “Our Annual Conferences have gained a global reputation, which attract many of the leading figures involved in CBT.”

Professor John Taylor, BABCP President, says: “I am particularly pleased to be holding our conference in Exeter. The University has earned an international reputation in CBT research and practice, while the South West is also one of our most active regions. The international Iine-up we have gathered this year is impressive and will enhance the already cutting edge of CBT knowledge and expertise in the UK.”

Date: 15 July 2009

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