Past SPR UK events

The Society for Psychotherapy Research organises a regular programme of International, European and UK conferences. For further information, application forms, conference papers and photographs, please click on the links below.


SPR-UK Chapter Meeting


Ravenscar, March 2010

Ravenscar 2010This year’s Ravenscar conference saw sunshine, fun, stimulating debate and research news from across the UK. The conference was a success, attended by 41 delegates from the UK, Ireland, Norway, Belgium and Portugal. Clinicians and researchers from all therapeutic approaches, psychoanalytic, CBT, systemic, cognitive analytic, humanistic and person-centred, rubbed shoulders in their common passion for research. The friendly and open atmosphere, combined with its small size, provided the perfect opportunity for new researchers to cut their teeth presenting to a supportive and interested audience, while the more experienced could make contact with former colleagues or new collaborators.

The conference kicked off with a keynote address on affect phobia from Leigh McCullough of Harvard Medical School and Modum Bad Psychiatric Centre, Norway. Her cross-cultural examples of adaptive and maladaptive affects, and her use of evocative metaphors, made it an engaging and clinically useful presentation.  Twenty-two fascinating presentations followed, ranging from large publicly-funded professional research teams to small doctoral projects. Themes included ‘Change, Trajectories and Measuring’, ‘Relatedness and Group Therapies’, ‘Therapy and Lives’, ‘Trials and Beyond’, and ‘Extending the Boundaries’, with a plethora of quantitative and qualitative methodologies represented.  Parallel sessions on the Saturday afternoon presented a choice of four workshops. The final address by Glenys Parry and Kim Dent-Brown on their independent evaluation of the IAPT demonstration sites provided a tantalising glimpse of early results.

And play…
The conference wasn’t all work however, and the cosy bar enticed a few delegates to debate into the wee hours with a pint or two, their wan faces on the Thursday and Friday mornings testifying to the quality of the ale. The traditional charades game on the Saturday night was well attended, featuring some fiercely competitive and consummate acting talent. More healthy fun was had on the traditional Friday afternoon walk to Robin Hood’s bay, with one group bravely breaking some rules by attempting to evade a keep-out sign, to be reprimanded by some burly men with hard hats and big diggers. Their punishment for this wilful disobedience was being forced to find an alternative path, and in doing so slipping down a bank with a few muddy bottoms and red faces resulting. Stunning views, piercing blue skies and a refreshing drink at the Bay Hotel in Robin Hood’s Bay made it all worthwhile, however.   Remembrance At the Friday evening dinner, Chris Evans and Susan McPherson gave moving tributes to the lives and work of Phil Richardson, Jane Knowles and Brian Lake, who recently passed away. While not all of us knew them personally, the legacy of their work and the warmth with which they were remembered will ensure they live on in all our minds.

Looking ahead
At the end of the conference, SPR members attended the AGM. New officers were appointed and plans for the future development of SPR made. While finances appear healthy, proposed changes to the terms of reference for regional chapters by the international SPR executive threaten the continued existence of the UK chapter. It appears likely that international SPR will pass a resolution at the International Asilomar conference June this year to require chapters to have a minimum of 100 members, our current 91 therefore falling just short.  A consensus was reached to resist the move towards merger with the European chapter with the attendant loss of financial and management independence. Several ideas for attracting new members were discussed; details will follow.  Some suggestions regarding day conferences were mooted.  Sheila Butler and Jeremy Halstead offered to coordinate day events to be held in London and Yorkshire respectively, sometime in the autumn.  Next year the international conference moves to Bern, Switzerland, and the steering group decided to relocate the UK chapter conference to Liverpool, where we will share the venue with the BACP annual conference. Although some appeared wistful for Raven Hall, an extremely popular venue of many years’ standing, others cheered up when they heard that the BACP normally have dancing in their evening ‘do’! 

We look forward to seeing everyone in Liverpool next year. 

Alesia Perkins SPR-UK Steering group ordinary member


  • Ravenscar - March 2010 - Presentations
  • Ravenscar - March 2009 - UK
  • University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia: 6/7 December 2007
    (Australia Regional Group Meeting)
  • Madison, Wisconsin USA - June 2007 - International
  • Ravenscar - March 2007 - UK - (Presentations available)
  • Edinburgh - June 2006 - International
  • Leicester - December 2006 - SPR, UK Winter Meeting and AGM
  • Montreal - June 2005 - International
  • Lausanne - March 2005 - European & UK
  • Rome - June 2004 - European
  • Ravenscar - March 2004 - UK
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