Professor Paul Salkovskis qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1979 at the the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital. He worked in Yorkshire as a clinical psychologist before moving to the University of Oxford as a Research Clinical Psychologist. In Oxford he became Professor of Cognitive Psychology, before leaving to work at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry as Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science and Clinical Director in the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Institute of Psychiatry (2000-2010). He led the SLaM and national outpatient OCD service. He is now Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath where he is also director of a joint University/NHS national specialist anxiety disorder clinic and Programme Director for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme at Bath. From April 2018 he will be Director of the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. He is President Elect of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) and co-chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2018 EABCT congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, in September.
He is currently Editor of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and on the editorial board of many international journals including Spanish ones. He is an active Patron of several OCD and anxiety disorder charities and is committed to co-production with service users in research and service provision. He has published well over 300 articles and chapters on the understanding and treatment of psychological problems and anxiety disorders and doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet.
Neither Hurting nor Harming: Using CBT to empower people with OCD to choose to change
Obsessive-compulsive disorder results when people misinterpret otherwise normal intrusive cognitions as indicating not only that harm may occur, but that they may be responsible for it through what they do or fail to do. The preventative action is motivated by the way in which the person interprets intrusions. Such responses have two effects. Firstly, they can increase the occurrence of intrusive cognitions and secondly, maintain or even increase the person’s beliefs about threat and their responsibility for it.
Cognitive-behavioural treatment builds on this modification of behavioural theory and Exposure and Response Prevention. The primary focus of intervention is to help the patient understand their problem as one of anxiety rather than danger in order to weaken the motivation and drive for compulsive responses as a prelude to helping the patient to choose to respond differently. Ultimately the purpose of such interventions is to allow the person affected by OCD to reclaim their life, a process which should be integral to treatment.
The importance of treatment flexibility and integrity will be emphasised; detailed supervision is the best strategy to ensure these. Although some discomfort is likely as people reclaim their lives, CBT really doesn’t have to hurt,!
The process of treatment will be illustrated through practical clinical case material, including where possible video of actual therapy. Examples of more complex and “difficult to treat” issues will be included.
Challacombe, F., Oldfield, V. & Salkovskis, P.M. (2011) Break Free from OCD Vermillion Press (a book intended for patients as a self help guide….some less experiencedtherapists also find it useful)
Bream, V, Challacombe, F, Palmer, A & Salkovskis, P.M. (2017) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for OCD Oxford University Press: Oxford (A very recent Therapist Manual)