Excellence Awards

The submission portal is now open

The Scientific Committee invite submissions of Pre Conference Workshops, Clinical Skills Class, Symposia, Panel Discussions/Debates for the BABCP Annual Conference 2020.

Excellence awards are designed to commend independent contributions to the science and practice of CBT. Three awards will be made, subject to an acceptable number of entries.

Best Newcomer Award: An award will be given for the best oral presentation by an early career clinician/researcher, either in an Open Paper or a Symposium session.

Best Poster Presentation: An award will be given for the best poster by an early career clinician/researcher.

[Note: Newcomer and Poster Presentation awards are open to PhD students, clinical trainees, and any individuals with no more than two year's research experience following their most recent qualification.]

Best Case Report Poster: A separate award will be given for the best case report poster submission. Individuals at any stage of their career will be considered for this award.

We particularly encourage submissions from current and recent trainees in CBT within CBT diplomas, clinical psychology doctorate courses and IAPT courses.

If you are eligible for an Excellence Award, please ensure that you self-nominate when submitting your Open Paper or Poster, or email Janine Turner - janine.babcp@reading.ac.uk to self-nominate if you are presenting in a symposium, including the name and number of the symposium.

For further information please contact Janine Turner - conference@babcp.com

The awards are a fantastic way of highlighting the depth and breadth of the clinical and scientific work being done by CBT-ers and disseminated through the BABCP. Please check out the criteria and nominate your open paper or poster when you are submitting via the conference website before the closing date; don't assume the awards are “for other people”!

Scientific Committee


Belfast 2016 Excellence Awards:

  • Best Newcomer (Open Paper or Symposium): Roberta Bowie
  • Best Poster: Katy Sivyer
  • Best Case Report: Nick Stewart

Congratulations to our winning presenters.

The Scientific Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Annual Conference Excellence Awards. It was a pleasure to review the potential prize winners this year, and to see studies ranging in focus from process identification to improved training and delivery. Our 2016 judges were Professor Carolyn Becker of Trinity University, and Dr Michael Duffy of Queen’s University Belfast.  

The Open Paper and poster prizes are awarded to early career researchers and clinicians. Our winning Open Paper presenter was Roberta Bowie, of the Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, for her study entitled Exposure with and without safety-seeking behaviours in spider phobic students. Roberta and her co-authors, Fergal Jones and Blake Stobie, carried out a well-controlled experimental study showing the potential clinical impact of safety behaviours in phobic anxiety. This paper was commended by the judges as “A solidly designed study addressing an important question, with useful results.” The study demonstrated that completing exposure without safety behaviours was associated with both short and longer term superiority in a behavioural approach task relative to a comparison group which used safety behaviours.

Two other papers were also shortlisted in the open papers category.  Debra Malkin presented an original study examining the combination of psychological and pharmacological therapy in her study Combining the use of prazosin with evidence based psychological approaches for the treatment of nightmares within PTSD. In addition, Charlotte Paterson was shortlisted for her ambitious data synthesis, investigating Effectiveness of psychotherapy in acute mental health inpatient care: a meta-analysis.

The winner of the Best Poster award was Katy Sivyer, University of Oxford, with co-authors Rebecca Murphy, Elizabeth Allen, Zafra Cooper and Christopher G. Fairburn. Katy’s study, entitled Regular Eating as a Mediator of Enhanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Eating Disorders comprised a mediation study embedded within a large randomised controlled trial. Although regular eating was identified as a possible mediator of treatment efficacy, demonstrating temporal sequence was highlighted as a key target for future research. Judges commented on both the strength of the study design and the excellent presentation. Also shortlisted were posters by Rachael Neal Validation and psychometric analysis of a novel measure: The Depressive and Obsessive Reassurance Seeking Scale (DORSS), and Lisa Keane, Goal Achievement and Low Mood: The role of Mental Imagery and Implementation Intentions. Both of these studies were commended for their novelty and potential importance in highlighting targets for future research.

Anybody can submit a Case Report poster. The number and quality of these submissions seems to be rising year on year and they are a key way of testing and demonstrating clinical innovation and illustrating the application of CBT science ‘in real life’. Our judges this year both expressed how difficult it had been to rank the submissions given the valuable work across the board. Our winning author was Nick Stewart, Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Bath, with his report: Treatment of health anxiety in parallel with investigations for potentially serious physical illness. The judges appreciated the way that it addressed an important and potentially very tricky clinical scenario, the challenge of treating during major medical testing. The intervention and results were presented in a way that makes it possible for an interested reader or delegate to evaluate or replicate the approach, which was clearly and concisely linked to formulation and cognitive behavioural theory.

Two other Case Report posters were shortlisted. Virtual Reality in Emetophobia Treatment: A Single Case Experimental Design by Dr Anna Smith with Dr Patrick Davey from the Anxiety Disorders Residential Unit, Bethlem Royal Hospital illustrated an approach to tackling the problem arising when progress has stalled because of the difficulty of exposure to actual vomiting experiences. The presentation of the data was clear and many delegates got to try out the VR technology. Brief BA for depressed adolescents delivered by a non-specialist clinician: A case illustration by Lizzie Hodgson with co-authors Dr Laura Pass, Dr Hannah Witney and Professor Shirley Reynolds has significant dissemination implications and once again the intervention was described concisely but concretely so you could see ‘what was done’ and the outcome was clearly visible in the repeat measures. Descriptions of interventions and use of data are two areas that have really strengthened the empirical value of Case Reports at the BABCP conferences recently – keep it up, everyone!

Don’t forget to nominate your eligible presentations for consideration – next year it could be you…


Warwick 2015 Excellence Awards:

  • Best Newcomer (Open Paper or Symposium): Caitlin Hitchock
  • Best Poster: Alex Lau-Zhu
  • Best Case Report: Rachel Paskell

Congratulations to our winning presenters.

The Scientific Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Annual Conference Excellence Awards for best Case Report poster, and best early career clinicians and researchers Open Paper and Poster presentations.

With submissions ranging from qualitative studies to meta-analyses, including excellent experimental studies and salient clinical investigations, the range and depth of work in the CBT world that bridges science and practice continues to impress.

Our final judges this year were Professor Michelle Moulds, Director of the Clinical Master of Psychology Program at the University of New South Wales, and Professor Rob DeRubeis of the University of Pennsylvania.  

Our winning Open Paper presenter was Caitlin Hitchcock at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, for her presentation The Prospective Role of Cognitive Appraisals and Social Support in Predicting Child PTSD with co-authors Alicia Ellis, Paul Williamson and Reginald Nixon.

This paper was commended by the judges for impressive recruitment in a hard to reach population and sophisticated analyses that ‘really do tell us something’. Michelle Moulds highlighted the clarity of the presentation and the theoretical and clinical implications.  Rob DeRubeis commented: ‘The idea that fewer negative appraisals account for more than does more adaptive ones is quite possibly reflective of how things work, and thus how they could work better for those burdened with their own or others’ negative appraisals’.

Two other papers were also noted in this category.  One was Jeremy Oliver’s paper Everyone counts: assessing equality of access and retention in a Step 4 IAPT service. The judges identified this as a thorough and labour intensive study, impressive for a clinical trainee and welcomed the presentation of important service level data at the BABCP alongside experimental work and clinical trials.  Also, Ioana Cristea presented The efficacy of Cognitive Bias Modification for mental health problems: A meta-analysis, which was described as informative and provocative.

The winner of the best Poster award was Alex Lau-Zhu, also of the MRC CBU in Cambridge for Disrupting intrusions while sparing voluntary memory of experimental trauma: therapeutic promise and theoretical puzzle, with co-authors Rik Henson and Emily A Holmes. This study examined the dissociation of voluntary and involuntary memory systems: intrusions were disrupted by administering the computer game Tetris after viewing a ‘traumatic’ film, but recognition memory, free recall, priming effects and attention biases were spared. The judges praised the well conducted research. Also making a positive impression in this category were Kate Cooper’s poster Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Health Anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis, described as a ‘very solid, professional meta-analysis’, and Vera Hughes’ poster Psychological Factors in Parkinson’s Disease, described as ‘important work regarding anxiety and PD’.

There was a fascinating range of case reports at Warwick this year. The best Case Report Poster award went to Rachel Grace Paskell, at the Univeristy of Bath with co-author Caroline Vacara of 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust. Her poster Demonstrating the benefits of going ‘back to basics’ in working with a client with complex long-term problems, including OCD had several strengths. It demonstrated the application of the cognitive model of OCD via a clearly described approach to helping somebody reach their goals, and illustrated the crucial value of evidence based practice, challenging notions that it doesn’t apply to ‘complex cases’. The Case Report submissions of Vera Hughes, Andrew Merwood and Isabel Clarke were also on the short-list.


Each year at the BABCP Annual Conference, awards are made for excellence. There are awards for best poster, best case-report and also the best newcomer award, based on a presentation by an early career researcher or clinician. The final judges were Dr Maureen Whittal, from the University of British Columbia, and Professor Ernst Koster, of Ghent University in Belgium.

The judges found it particularly challenging to rank order the presentations for the Best Newcomer Award. All the shortlisted presentations were excellent and reflected considerable effort in the completion of the studies.

Farjana Nasrin of the Institute of Psychiatry with her co-authors won with their presentation ‘Effects of a brief behavioural activation intervention on approach and avoidance tendencies in acute depression’.

Dr Nasrin’s presentation examined the processes that mediate the therapeutic effects of brief behavioural activation (BA) for depression. Her study compared clinically depressed individuals receiving a single session of BA to a wait list control group, and demonstrated the potential for BA to bring about changes in approach behaviour, using an objective, experimental task. Judges were particularly impressed by the novel research design and quasi-experimental approach taken to addressing an important question.

According to Professor Koster, “The implications point to a potential maintaining factor in depression.” Dr Whittal also commended Dr Nasrin for the considerable effort put into the one session treatment and the work involved in collecting the data. Overall, this was an outstanding piece of research.

Highly Commended

Rachel Hiller, University of Bath - ‘Trying to fall asleep while catastrophising: What sleep disordered adolescents think and feel’.

Melissa Atkinson, University of the West of England – ‘Mindfulness as a novel approach to eating disorder prevention: A preliminary controlled evaluation’.

Ann O’Hanlon
of Queens University Belfast with her co-authors Gerard McAleer and Joanne Younge of Belfast Health and Social Care Trust won with their poster “Seven Decades of Social Anxiety: A Treatment Case Study”

This poster reported on therapy with a 70-year old woman who had suffered from social anxiety for decades. The therapist and client began with self-care and behavioural activation to alleviate depression, and then Clark and Wells’ (1995) social phobia approach was followed, including experimentation with giving compliments, playing the piano as badly as possible in public, dropping cutlery and giving a speech! After fifteen sessions depression and anxiety were minimal.

According to Professor Koster this was “…an intriguing case description on an under reported age category.” The judges noted the strong formulation and treatment, and particularly the way that the authors featured ”take home messages” for the CBT reader in the implications for clinical practice. As Dr Whittal commented, ‘teachable moments’ were incorporated through the way that the example behavioural experiments were described.


Vera Hughes, University of Bath – ‘The Treatment of Compulsive Checking in an Older Gentleman with Cognitive Impairment: A Case Presentation’.

Rosanna Chapman, University of Bath – ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Emetophobia and The Role of Negative Beliefs about Emotional Expression’.

The winning submission was from Magdalena A. Zdebik, University of Montreal, entitled “Developmental trajectories of childhood internalizing symptoms from 17 months to 8 years of age: Early risk and protective factors for adolescent internalizing problems”.

This impressive study examined risk and protective factors for internalising problems prospectively in a large population based sample. It investigated trajectories of internalising symptoms from 17 months to 13-years. The poster identified two types of internalising trajectories: timidity and anxious/depressed. Anxious/depressed trajectories predicted adolescent internalising symptoms, but early childhood factors, including high risk environments, poorer maternal mental health and family functioning, also had their own enduring significant effects on adolescent mental health. It was suggested that CBT could be customised to address the specific child vulnerabilities alongside parent and family functioning for potential preventive interventions.

The judges thought it a “beautiful” poster based on an impressive study with an excellent sample size and a lengthy follow-up. It addressed an important question presenting a great deal of material in a clear, well organised and easy to understand way.


Ly Huynh, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia – ‘Observer Vantage Perspective and Rumination: Understanding their Relationship in Depression’.

Lizzie Clark, University of Sussex – ‘Can people with anxiety and depression learn mindfulness? A Meta-Analysis’.


Professor Ken Laidlaw and Professor John Taylor assisted in judging the excellence awards at the 2013 conference. As the number of open paper and poster submissions was exceptionally high this year, choosing the winners was particularly challenging. Prizes for the best symposium paper, poster (both for new researchers only), and case report poster were presented as follows.

Natasha Vorontsova received the Open Paper Excellence Award for her presentation entitled “Taking account of depression in a study of ‘jumping to conclusions’ by people with persecutory delusions.The results of Dr Vorontsova’s research highlight distinct cognitive versus affective processes that influence persecutory delusions, and identify co-occurring depression as a potent influence on their maintenance. Also highly commended were presentations by Dr Thomas Ward, who used symptom analogues to highlight the negative appraisals that are particularly characteristic of individuals with clinical versus non-clinical psychotic experiences; and Dr Miriam Lommen for her work exploring emotional reasoning as a potential intervention target for anxiety.

The Poster prize was awarded to Dr Emma Hill for her poster entitled “A new decentering and perspective broadening training intervention for recurrent depression”. Dr Hill’s research provided preliminary support for the utility of a novel, brief intervention in the treatment of depression. Also highly commended was Sara Dawson, for her work examining gaze aversion in children with callous-unemotional traits.

In the case report category, Dr Sian Newman won the award for her poster entitled “Using Guided Self-Help to treat the impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury: Talking Heads”. This case report was an excellent example of adapting CBT to meet the unique needs of the client, specifically delivering behavioural activation to an individual with significant memory and concentration difficulties. Finally, highly commended was Lottie Morris for her case study of utilising purely cognitive techniques to treat an individual with OCD.

The three award winners receive free registration to next year’s annual conference, and an invitation to present again.


The scientific committee was extremely impressed by the high quality of oral presentations by newcomers delivered at the conference this year, and very much enjoyed all the sessions that they attended. We were also delighted to see an increasing number of delegates nominating themselves, or being nominated by others, for this award. Ultimately, the award for excellence in oral presentations by a newcomer was given to Dr Michael Browning to recognise the innovative work he is doing using neuroimaging to explore the mechanisms of attentional bias modification. The judges commended Michael on all three of the talks that he presented during the conference, in particular his unique work that highlights the means by which cognitive neuroscience can contribute to our understanding and development of cognitive behaviour therapies.

The scientific committee was also extremely grateful to Professor Iris Engelhard who assisted members of the scientific committee in judging the poster and case reports awards. For these awards attention was paid not only to the scientific quality of the work presented and its relevance to CBT, but also to the clarity of presentation and visual appeal of the posters. Again there was stiff competition but we are delighted to announced that Dr Frances Meeten won the best poster by a newcomer award for her poster "The bidirectionality hypothesis: are clinical constructs both causes and effects of symptoms? and Dr Rebecca Ison won the case report award for her poster "Image rescripting with people who hear voices: A case series" .

Each of the award winners receives £500 towards registration and attendance at BABCP London 2013 and will also have the opportunity to present their work at the conference. You can read more about the research of each of the award winners in a future issue of CBT today.


Our newest presenters at the 2011 BABCP conference were considered for three Excellence Awards: two for new researchers presenting the best open paper and poster, and one for the best case report poster.

Dave Pasalich received the open paper excellence award for his presentation entitled ‘Do callous-unemotional traits moderate relationships between coercive and affective-based dimensions of parenting and child conduct problems?’ Judges were impressed by the rigorous approach taken to tackling this question. The results of Dr. Pasalich’s research speak to the issue of why parenting programmes are currently ineffectual for some children with conduct disorder.

The poster prize was awarded to Elizabeth Mason for her poster entitled ‘Insomnia pre- and post-treatment for anxiety and/or depression’. This research utilised a mixture of empirical research and case studies to explore the interplay between sleep and affective disorder. The research findings were interesting and novel, and presented in a clear and attractive poster.

In the case report category, Sinead O’Connell won the award for her poster entitled ‘Delivering CBT in a complex case presentation of OCD and co-morbid depression with a diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder’. This case report clearly articulated the challenges associated with delivering CBT in the context of difficulties in accessing and articulating cognitive and affective states, and approaches to overcoming these problems.

We are very grateful to Professor Steve Hollon for judging the poster excellence awards. Prof. Hollon particularly asked that we noted the high standard of posters overall. We noted the rising numbers of delegates providing case report posters, which is very encouraging. Members of the scientific committee also commented on the large audiences attracted by open paper sessions this year, reflecting the quality and relevance of the work submitted. The three award winners receive free registration to next year’s annual conference, and an invitation to present at BABCP Leeds in June 2012. We will be running the same awards at next year’s conference and so please look here for information.


Open Paper: Dawn Proctor. Metacognitive Therapy Versus Exposure Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Poster: Jo Illingworth. Transfer effects of Cognitive Bias Modification for Anxiety: Training a Benign Attentional Bias reduces Negative Interpretation Bias.

Case Report: Sirous Mobini. Treating a 33-year old man with severe Learning Disability for Specific Phobia: Application of Cognitive-Behavioural Interventions.