Fellowship recognition for widening access to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Published: 8 August 2013

Professor Chris Williams has recently been awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.

Professor Chris Williams has recently been awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). He is one of only 16 people to have been granted this accolade since 1972, and includes the developer of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) Professor Aaron Beck.Professor Chris Williams

CBT is the most widely used evidence-based form of psychotherapy. Professor Williams has been at the forefront of developing ways of helping people access CBT approaches aiming to help overcome the frustrations of waiting lists when accessing therapy. He has created a user-friendly and evidence-based way of delivering CBT using accessible and award-winning books, classes, and online websites so that people can work on their problems at home or in a library in their own time. Two of his books (Overcoming depression: a five areas approach and Overcoming anxiety: a five areas approach) have been included in the national book prescription scheme across England and are included in every library (http://readingagency.org.uk/news/blog/announcing-the-reading-well-books-on-prescription-scheme.html). In Scotland NHS 24 use his core books and popular free access online life skills course Living Life to the Full (www.llttf.com) to provide support for anyone who self-refers for telephone based support contact (http://www.nhs24.com/UsefulResources/LivingLife) . The same online course currently has over 200,000 registered users and receives over 31 million hits a year.‌

In England his self-help system is widely used within the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) clinical services, and by NHS Direct who are piloting the Living Life to the Full Interactive Online treatment package (http://www.bris.ac.uk/social-community-medicine/people/project/1668). Professor Williams is Patron of two national charities (Anxiety UK and Triumph over Phobia), and has worked collaboratively with the charity AWARE Defeat Depression in Ireland to help disseminate the same course delivered in a group-based setting. Supported by Tesco, the courses run regularly at sites across Eire  (http://www.aware.ie/life-skills-group-programme/) , and also separately in Northern Ireland, Scotland and across the UK.

A major service development using the same approach has occurred in Canada with the Bounceback programme (www.bouncebackbc.ca )  which has offered support to over 15000 people, and the Living Life to the Full classes offered across British Columbia and a growing range of other provinces (http://www.llttf.ca/education/find/). Innovative work has led to translations into Romanian, Chinese, Polish, Bengali, Portuguese and more, with projects as diverse as community based delivery to women in Bangladesh and a proposed national roll-out of his eating disorders online course in Australia

The award of the Honorary Fellowship acts as recognition for this role in disseminating and widening access to CBT approaches.

Find out more

Professor Chris Williams

Institute of Health and Wellbeing

College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences 

First published: 8 August 2013

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