SPR Society for Psychotherapy Research
Mariane Krause, Ph.D.

President's Message

Mariane Krause, Ph.D.

Welcome to our March newsletter! It has been some weeks since being back from the Meeting of the Executive Committee, which took place in the amazing city of Buenos Aires. For many years, the first EC meeting of the year had not taken place in the southern hemisphere. Therefore, this time it was especially enjoyable to see Buenos Aires in the summer. We met at Belgrano University. After visiting its excellent facilities, I am sure it will be an excellent venue for our next International Conference in July 2019.

The EC (from left to right: Malena Braun, Latin America Chapter President; Marna Barret, SPR Executive Officer; Paulo Machado, Past-President; Martin grosse-Holtforth, General Vice President; Svenja Taubner, Europe Chapter President; Mariane Krause, President; Shelley MacMaine, North America Chapter President; Felicitas Rost, United Kingdom Chapter President) with the venue for the next conference banquet in the back.

First of all, we were delighted to welcome Martin grosse-Holtforth as General Vice President, Svenja Taubner as Europe Chapter President, and Malena Braun as Latin America Chapter President.

During our EC-Meeting, we made decisions I believe are important for the future of SPR, specially for strengthening the younger generations. We increased the number of student travel awards from 6 to 10 and extended the deadline for submission for these awards to March 15th. Furthermore, we created a new travel award for post docs or researchers within their first three years after obtaining their doctoral degrees. 4 awards of $1000 each will be available. Additionally, all international travel awards now include free registration for the conference. Our Communication Committee (ComCom) conducted a survey among the SPR student members, which yielded a very satisfactory participation rate. We hope this survey will give us important feedback on how to improve SPR for young/student members.

SPR is growing also in terms of interest and regional groups. We are happy to approve a new Interest Group in Psychotherapy & Technology, chaired by Andrés Roussos, and a new Regional Section for our colleagues from Israel. Congratulations to both!

50th International Annual Meeting

July 3-6, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This year’s international conference will be very special, because it will mark the 50th anniversary of our Society for Psychotherapy Research. For the occasion, our president elect, Bruce Wampold, is preparing a program with plenary and semi-plenary activities that will provide an overview of what SPR currently is, as a fully mature organization and the world’s first in terms of scientific production in the field of psychotherapy research. We have gone over all the details together with the local committee, led by Andrés Roussos, to ensure that our next conference will be an unforgettable experience for all.

Letters of acceptance have been already sent out. Presenters will be able to modify their abstracts between March 17th and April 1st, 2019. The early bird registration for the conference is open. Please keep in mind that reduced rates are available until May 1st. In order to encourage student participation, we kept rates for students quite low.

Buenos Aires: A wonderful city to visit before or after the conference

Paris? No, it’s Buenos Aires downtown. A fine place to explore through a Walking Tour.

Buenos Aires is an unmissable tourist destination.
Therefore, I wholeheartedly encourage you to schedule a few sightseeing days before or after the July 2019 conference.

To taste the world’s best meat, Puerto Madero provides fascinating views of the old port and a wide range of culinary choice.

Future Meetings

Plans for future meetings are looking good, with Amherst in 2020 and Heidelberg in 2021 already in the cards. The local committees, chaired by Mike Constantino and Henning Schauenburg, respectively, are already hard at work organizing the venues and our accommodation.


Executive Officer Report

Marna S. Barrett

As we begin the New Year, I am pleased to report that SPR remains in sound financial shape and our investments remain strong. Amsterdam was a tremendous conference and the profit made has allowed us to further expand funding for international student travel awards. The EC has now increased the number of awards from 6 to 10, has expanded the award to include free conference registration, and has added a new category with 4 awards for post-docs and early career (less than 3 years) members. Additionally, we are undertaking a redesign and enhancement of our website to make it more user friendly, provide more immediate updates, allow for easy access to webinars and other trainings, include videos of plenary sessions from our conferences, and ease the grant/award application process.


Program Chair Report

Bruce Wampold

Dear colleagues and SPR members,

It is a great pleasure and honor to invite you all to SPR’s Annual International Meeting. As this is our Golden Anniversary meeting (50 years!), the theme of this conference is “The Future of Psychotherapy Research: Building on our 50 Year Legacy.”

The meeting will be held in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, located on the western shore of the estuary of the Rio de la Plata, a view of which can be seen from the conference venue. Buenos Aires is known for its eclectic architecture, vibrant cultural life, delicious food, and of course superb wines. The average high temperature in July is 15oC (60oF) and the average low is 7oC (45oF).

We had 260 submissions for papers, panels, posters, discussions, and preconference workshops from all over the world. The conference will feature several sessions examining the contributions to psychotherapy made over the last 50 years as well as looking to the future. We will have a plenary session devoted to the theme, presented and moderated by Louis Castonguay.

We look forward to welcoming you to Buenos Aires in July!


Local Host's Report

Andrés Roussos

We are excited about hosting the 50th Annual SPR International Meeting in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires’ conference promises a stimulating program for both clinicians and researchers. Register now on the SPR website to get the Early Bird rate and book your accommodations using the link on the SPR website.

Also on July the 2nd there will be a solar eclipse, it while be a total eclipse of the sun in some places in Argentina and an almost full eclipse in Buenos Aires. You can find more info about the eclipse here https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/argentina/buenos-aires

We are very enthusiastic about the possibility of welcoming SPR members to the wonderful city of Buenos Aires, with a rich cultural life, so plan to leave some extra days in your trip to enjoy the city.

The conference website will be updated with information about activities and places to see. See you soon!!

Hasta pronto, and see you in Buenos Aires, July 3 to 6! 


Journal Report

Jeff Hayes

Psychotherapy Research: Reflections and Updates

Wolfgang Lutz’s six-year term as editor came to a close on December 31, 2018.

Under his leadership, the journal achieved a record number of submissions and the highest impact factor in the history of the journal. We are indebted to Wolfgang for many years of service to Psychotherapy Research, both as associate editor and as editor, his commitment to improving the standards and quality of the journal, and the consistently good-natured spirit that characterized his work. Wolfgang, you will be missed.

Many thanks are owed, as well, to the outstanding team of associate editors for their work in 2018. Collectively, Isabel Caro Gabalda, Catherine Eubanks, Christoph Flückiger, Lynne Knobloch-Fedders, Andrew Page have served the journal for many years and are transitioning to other responsibilities. Dana Atzil-Slonim will be staying with the journal as an associate editor. It has been a real joy to work with such a dedicated and talented team of professionals, and I am grateful to each of you for your contributions to the journal.

Christoph Flückiger succeeded Wolfgang as co-editor effective January 1, 2019. Welcome aboard, Christoph, and thank you in advance for your service to SPR in this important capacity. The associate editors for 2019 are Dana Atzil-Slonim, Tali Boritz, Fredrik Falkenstrom, Andrew McAleavey, Christian Moltu, and Eugenia Ribeiro. Each will serve a one-year term with possible reappointment for subsequent terms. A decision was made in Amsterdam to discontinue the publication of book reviews, given the limited space to publish empirical articles and the heavy volume of submissions of empirical papers. We are grateful to Ulrike Dinger and Carolina Altimir for serving as book editors these past several years. Many thanks, as well, to the more than 100 scholars who comprise the editorial board, and the large number of SPR members who provide occasional reviews for the journal. The success of the peer-review process is entirely dependent on your voluntary efforts, which are deeply appreciated. We will be reconstituting the editorial board in May and expect to turn over about one-third of the current board.

In 2018, 253 original manuscripts were submitted to Psychotherapy Research by authors from 38 countries. This is the second largest number of new manuscripts ever submitted to the journal in one year. By comparison, 264 original manuscripts were submitted in 2017, 244 in 2016, 218 in 2015, 214 in 2014, and 196 in 2013. The last two years are the only years in the history of the journal in which more than 250 new manuscripts were received. Of the 253 manuscripts submitted in 2018, 227 (90%) were empirically-based; the remainder were book reviews (2), method papers (10), theory papers (7), introductions to special sections (3), and honorary papers (4). Final decisions have been made on 220 of the 253 original manuscripts submitted in 2018. A total of 173 (68%) were rejected, 47 (19%) were accepted for publication, and decisions are still pending for 33 (13%) manuscripts.

In addition to the 253 original manuscripts submitted to the journal, 130 revised manuscripts were submitted. The average time from submission to first decision for all 383 manuscripts was 21 days. The average time from submission to final decision for all manuscripts was 35 7 days. These figures include manuscripts that were rejected by the editors without peer review, as well as decisions on revised manuscripts that did not undergo peer review, so the average time for authors to receive a decision on manuscripts that were sent out for peer review obviously was longer.

In 2018, the journal published 984 pages, up from 768 pages in recent years. This increased page allotment began to reduce the backlog of approximately 100 manuscripts that had been accepted previously for publication. This is a long-standing situation that we are working to resolve. To further address this problem, we instituted a guideline in 2017 whereby manuscripts cannot exceed 35 pages in length; we appreciate authors’ conscientious adherence to this guideline. Beginning in 2019, 1104 pages per year will be published in 8 issues (2 issues mailed 4 times a year). It is expected that increasing the number of pages per year to 1104 will reduce the backlog to an acceptable level.

In June of 2018, the journal’s one-year impact factor for 2017 was released. The impact factor for 2017 was 2.95, an increase from 2.56 in 2016 and 2.57 in 2015. These are the only three years in the history of the journal that the impact factor was greater than 2.00.

Wolfgang, Christoph, and I will meet with the publication staff from Taylor and Francis in May 2019. If you have suggestions, concerns, or questions, please send them to my attention at jxh34@psu.edu.

SPR European Chapter Report

Chapter President Svenja Taubner

Important dates for the European Chapter:

  • March election of the next European Chapter President (election period from 2020-2022)
  • 24th -26th of April, SPR young researcher Method Workshop in Siena, Italy
  • 19th - 21st September, 5th Joint UK and European Chapter meeting in Krakow

European Chapter student travel awards for Buenos Aires
The European Chapter will issue 10 student travel awards for the international Buenos Aires 2019 meeting.

Election of a new Chapter President
The leadership of the European Chapter of the SPR changes every two years. At the moment we have an outgoing president with Stig Poulsen (Denmark) and a current President with Svenja Taubner (Germany). Thanks to our nomination committee consisting of Hadas Wiseman (Israel), Wolfgang Lutz (Germany) and Helge Ronnestad (Norway), we have two excellent candidates running to become president elect: Dana Atzil-Slonim (Israel) and Ueli 8 Kramer (Switzerland). European chapter members are invited to select one of the candidates in March 2019. The new President Elect will take over leadership in 2020. Candidate statements will be send with the election invitation
The 7th SPR European Chapter Methods Workshop in 24th to 26th April 2019, Certosa di Pontignano, Siena
The European Chapter of the SPR proudly presents the 7th SPR European Chapter Methods Workshop for young researchers in Siena, Italy, at the Certosa of Pontignano. The workshop is dedicated to the topic: Pathways of Change. The workshop will be followed by a Symposium at the 27th of April on the same topic. Students pay 80€ for attending Workshop and Symposium. 10 Student travel awards have been granted. If you are interested to participate, please register for the workshop/ symposium by paying the fee to the SPR European Chapter Account and emailing the receipt to Franco Orsucci: f.orsucci@ucl.ac.uk. The full program and details how to register can be found here: http://www.mindforce.foundation/.

5th Joint UK & European SPR Chapters Conference - Separation and Unity, 19th to 21st September 2019 in Krakow
With great pleasure, we invite you to participate in the 5th Joint UK & European SPR Chapters Conference - Separation and Unity. The meeting will be held from 19th to 21st of September 2019 in Krakow, Poland.

The conference venue is at the Jagiellonian University and the banquet will take place at the UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mine 125m underground. The submission portal has opened from 1st March 2019. Due to Krakow being one of the most invigorating travel destinations in Europe, we strongly encourage you to make hotel reservations as soon as possible. Please visit the conference site for further information: https://www.sprconference.com/EU-UK-2019/


Latin American Chapter Report

Chapter President Malena Braun

The Latin American chapter has been actively preparing the Conference in Buenos Aires. We have been encouraging local researchers who had never attended an SPR Conference and guided them with the submission process.

We are hoping that having the 50th Conference in Buenos Aires will attract more members from the region.

There was a change in the Lat Am representative for the Com Com. We would like to thank Silvia Benetti for her hard work, and welcome Rocío Manubens as the new representative. The chapter is very active in the facebook page, sharing news about events and research. Membership continues to increase steadily and the regional conference in Colombia 2020 will open the chapter to new regions.

This year there will be three student travel awards (US$ 500) will be available to support participation at the international SPR meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Deadline for applying was march 10th.

Student members of LA-SPR are eligible to apply for a travel award if: (a) they are undergraduate, master or doctoral students; (b) they are in good standing in their graduate program (and they will still be a student at the time of their presentation); (c) their SPR membership is current; (d) they are first author on a paper or poster presentation; and (f) they will register for and attend the conference to present their work and receive their award in person.

Awards will only be granted to students that attend the conference.

Hope to see you all in Buenos Aires!

Shelley McMain

SPR North American Chapter Report

Chapter President Shelley McMain

Dear NASPR colleagues,

It’s my pleasure to highlight the activities of the North American Chapter:

  • NASPR Fall Chapter Meeting, September 27-29, 2018
  • International Student/Post Doc Travel Award Winners
  • April election of the next NASPR President-Elect (election period from 2019-2021)
  • New NASPR Student Development Committee

The Fall Chapter Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah
NASPR’s chapter meeting was held at the Snowbird Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah in September, 2018. The theme of the meeting was “Beyond the Average: Furthering the Study of Processes of Change”. We welcomed 126 attendees. We extend thanks to local hosts Zac Imel and Scott Baldwin for their work organizing the local arrangements. We also thank Kevin McCarthy who (along with Shelley McMain) chaired the conference program committee to help make this enlightening weekend possible. The North American Chapter awarded six $800 student travel awards and two post-doctoral awards to NASPR members to attend the fall chapter meeting mentioned above. Congratulations to three new student recipients (Jonathon Goode, Brian Keum, and Joseph Ryan Kilcullen), to our three returning student attendees (Alice Coyne, Brien Goodwin, and Colin Xu), and to our two post-doctoral award recipients (Erkki Heinonen and Nili Solomonov).

Student Travel Awards for SPR’s International Meeting.
The North American Chapter will award six $1000 student travel awards and two postdoctoral travel awards to NASPR members to attend the International chapter meeting in Buenos Aries in July 3-6, 2019. The application deadline was March 10, 2019.

It is with great pleasure that the NASPR steering committee announces the upcoming election for President-Elect. NASPR Leadership changes over every two years. Shelley McMain has served as our North American chapter president since 2017. She will remain president until this summer, at which time we welcome Kevin McCarthy will become president for the upcoming 2019-2021 term.

 Ken Critchfield

 Ken Critchfield  James F. Boswell

North American Chapter members are invited to cast their votes for either James F. Boswell (New York) or Ken Critchfield (Virginia) by April 6, 2019 by completing the survey available here:

The new President-Elect will begin their term in June 2019, and take over leadership as President in 2021.

New NASPR Student Development Committee
The North American chapter is proud to bring you up to date on the establishment of a Student Development committee. We are delighted to announce that our new committee members include: Nili Solomonov (Weill Cornell Medical College) and Angel Mak (Marquette University). As representatives of this committee, Nili and Angel will attend quarterly NASPR steering committee meetings, and collaborate with the steering committee to coordinate and initiate NASPR student initiatives.


United Kingdom Chapter Report

Chapter President Felicitas Rost

It’s been a very busy and exciting year for the UK Chapter. Our major activities involved our campaign against the publication of the NICE draft guidelines for depression in adults and preparing for two forthcoming conferences.

Huge Achievement – NICE has agreed to a meeting! As reported in June last year, seizing the opportunity to be able to draw on our members’ research expertise, SPR UK became instrumental in bringing together a collaboration of Stakeholders that included all major UK psychotherapy and mental health organisations. We produced a joint response to the NICE draft ‘guideline for depression in adults’, requesting a full revision. As summarised in the stakeholder position statement (published on the SPR website), we identified several serious methodological concerns, which, if not adequately addressed, render the guideline unfit for purpose and may result in misleading treatment recommendations for millions of people suffering from depression. We also anticipate damaging effects on health services, the professional workforce in general and the overall shape of future research.

I felt we needed to do something after NICE ignored our comments as part of the formal process of stakeholder involvement and we spearheaded a campaign lobbying for the need to address our methodological concerns adequately. We reached out to important UK parliamentarians and peers and received support from over thirty, including a former Minister for Health. We also began to inform the public about our concerns.

We achieved something remarkable and unprecedented in that NICE announced a third revision with a new publication date in Februarys 2020. We lobbied hard over the past three months and finally yesterday NICE agreed to meet with us to discuss how our serious concerns can be addressed adequately in this third revision. They also added in a further 12 consultation period prior to its final publication, allowing us to ascertain whether they have indeed been adequately implemented in order to produce a treatment guideline for depression that is fit for purpose.

Forthcoming Conferences
We look forward to the 5th EU-UK Chapters conference in Krakow in September - submissions for abstracts just opened! I am also pleased to announce a Joint Conference Day in early 2020 with UKCP in London – details will follow soon. It’s going to be another exciting event aimed at bringing clinicians and researchers closer together.

SPR UK Student Travel Awards

  • Apply now! We are pleased to be able to support 3 SPR UK student members with a
    £500 travel award to the upcoming international meeting in Buenos Aires.
  • We’ll award 5 student travel awards of £300 each to the EU-UK Chapters conference
    in Krakow. The application process will open in the spring.

Changes in the Local Council
Robert Elliott rotated off after many years of serving on the LC and representing the Scottish Local Area Group. Mark Widdowson rotated off the role as Honorary Secretary after serving two terms. We cannot thank them both enough for all the work they have done for the SPR UK Chapter! Charlie Duncan was nominated to fill the post as Honorary Secretary to be voted at our AGM in July. And last but not least, it’s my pleasure to warmly welcome two new LC members: Andreas Vossler and Jochem Willemsen.

The time has come again where we are looking to fill the post of president of SPR UK Chapter for the term 2020 to 2023. Call for Nominations is now open until the end of March!


Report from the Communication Committee (ComCom)

Webinar announcements March 2019

Chris Evans's "Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM): a great tool but people aren’t silicon! How to improve ROM by remembering carbon lifeforms, precision of estimation and reliability issues", March 28, Thursday, at 10 AM EST

All previous SPR webinars are available online @ https://vimeo.com/psychotherapyresearch

SPR Communication Strategy 2019
ComCom has been discussing findings from SPR members survey and working on the development of a communication strategy.

SPR Student Survey: Results
Communications Committee

Carly Schwartzman & Brittany King
A survey of the student members of SPR was conducted from December 2018 to January 2019 to assess student member satisfaction with the organization and international and chapter meetings. Of the 120 student respondents, 68.3% had attended an international meeting while 11.7% had never attended a meeting. Of those who had attended a meeting, 14 66.7% were somewhat or extremely satisfied with their experience. Open-ended commentary suggested that students most frequently enjoyed the collaborative, welcoming atmosphere of the meeting, the interesting symposia and discussion panels, and the networking opportunities and student events. Although students did not endorse feeling dissatisfied with the meetings, they frequently reported room for improvement in the following areas: conference expenses (e.g., banquet tickets, need for more travel awards), networking opportunities (e.g., with senior researchers and students), and parallel talks (e.g., too many panels occurring simultaneously). Similarly, those who were not able to attend a meeting noted that cost was the biggest barrier. Students also suggested that SPR could offer orientation for new student members and specifically, a guide for how to learn about and access SPR benefits. Students hoped to see more opportunities for student involvement with the organization as well. Finally, students were asked to suggest webinar topics of interest, which most frequently included statistics workshops, guidance on publication of papers and grant-writing, and clinical training seminars. The student representatives on the SPR Communications Committee will use this information to improve the student experience moving forward.

Welcome of new SPR ComCom member
ComCom welcomes Rocío Manubens as the new LA chapter ComCom member. Besides representing the LA chapter, Rocío will also be taking care of the wikipedia profile of the society.

Upcoming Events

50th International Annual Meeting, Buenos Aires, July 3-6 2019  More »

5th Joint UK & European SPR Chapters Conference, Krakow, Poland, Sept 19-21 2019  More »

Society for Pyschotherapy Research
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