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2006 ATB Award Winner
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Paul Salkovskis M.Phil. (Clin. Psychol), PhD, C.Psychol., FBPsS

            

Paul Salkovskis is currently Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London and Clinical Director at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. He is editor of “Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy”, the official scientific journal of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy.

He completed his training at the Institute of Psychiatry in the late 70s, after which he worked as a full time clinician in the health service, also conducting research as part of this work. He subsequently transferred to a clinical research position in 1985 at the University of Oxford; at the time he left in 2000, his title was Professor of Cognitive Psychology. 

His transfer to an academic position did not interfere with his commitment ot clinical work, which continues at a high level to the present day.

His main contributions have been in the areas of cognitive models and treatments of anxiety disorders and in health psychology. His theoretical paper (in 1985) on a cognitive theory of Obsessive compulsive disorder was a synthesis of the work of Beck and Rachman, and highlighted the role of the way in which intrusions were interpreted as a sign of “responsibility” for harm or its prevention. Such interpretations were described as motivating compulsive behaviour, paving the way for new cognitive strategies for the treatment of OCD. He worked closely with David M Clark on the development and validation of the cognitive model of Panic Disorder, and with Hilary Warwick on severe and persistent Health Anxiety (“Hypochondriasis”). With all of these disorders he has developed and refined innovative cognitive-behavioural treatment strategies. Paul also developed the concept of “safety seeking behaviour”, highlighting its role in the maintenance and treatment of anxiety disorders. This influential work has resulted in new ways of thinking about the use of behavioural strategies in cognitive therapy, resulting in a proper integration rather than a hybridized approach. In health psychology he has researched aspects of health screening and developed the concept of “evidence based patient choice”. More recently he and his team have been considering issues including dissemination of treatment and the application of the cognitive model of health anxiety to chronic pain.