David Clark
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Professor Clark is well known across the world for his work on panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and several other anxiety disorders. He is behind the IAPT (increasing access to psychological treatment) project in the UK which involves large scale training and implemention of CBT. This was recently summarised in the book Thrive, written together with professor Richard Layard.

PRE-CONGRESS WORKSHOP on 05.09.2018, 09:00-17:00:

Cognitive Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults and Adolescents

Social anxiety disorder is common and remarkably persistent in the absence of treatment. It frequently leads to occupational and educational underachievement. Interpersonal relationships are impaired. Dissatisfaction with the way that life is progressing often triggers depressive episodes.

Clark and Wells (1995) proposed a cognitive model that aims to explain why social anxiety disorder is so persistent. A distinctive form of cognitive therapy that targets the maintenance processes classified in the model was developed. Randomised controlled trials in the UK, Germany and Sweden have demonstrated that the new treatment is highly effective. Comparisons with other active treatments have established that cognitive therapy is superior to: two forms of group CBT, exposure therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, SSRIs, medication-focussed treatment as usual, and placebo medication. Such a comprehensive demonstration of differential effectiveness is extremely rare in psychotherapy.

This workshop presents the Clark & Wells model and illustrates the key treatment procedures that have been developed from the model. These include: the self-focused attention and safety behaviours experiential exercise, video-feedback, externally-focused attention training, behavioural experiments, and procedures (discrimination training and memory re-scripting) for addressing early experiences that influence patients’ current behaviour in social situations. The treatment procedures are illustrated with case material and videos clips from therapy sessions. Guidance on the use of the most appropriate measures for identifying therapy targets and monitoring progress is also provided. Finally, the workshop explains why some procedures that are common in other CBT programs (e.g. thought-records, positive self-talk in a phobic situation, exposure hierarchies) are NOT used in Clark & Wells’ cognitive therapy program. As social anxiety disorder usually starts in adolescence, the workshop covers how to use the treatment in adolescents as well as adults.

You will learn

  1. To identifying key processes in maintaining social anxiety disorder
  2. The main procedures in cognitive therapy for social anxiety disorder
  3. How to track change in the maintenance processes during therapy.

KEYNOTE on 06.09.2018, 09:00-10:00:

Developing and disseminating effective psychological therapies for common mental health problems: Science, Economics and Politics.

The prospects for people with mental health problems have greatly improved. We now have effective psychological therapies for a wide range of mental health conditions. However, in most countries only a few members of the public benefit from these advances. This talk shows how effective psychological therapies can be developed from sound psychopathology research and how combining psychology with economics and politics can make them widely available to the public. The discussion of dissemination will particularly focus on two initiatives. The first is the English Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme which currently treats over 600,000 people with depression and/or anxiety disorders each year, obtains clinical outcome data on 98% of these individuals and places this information in the public domain. Around 50% of patients treated in IAPT services recover and two-thirds show worthwhile benefits. The second initiative is the rapidly expanding field of digitally assisted therapy which is allowing therapists to treat more patients, in a way that is often also very convenience for the patients themselves.