Society for Psychotherapy Research

Last updated
Society for Psychotherapy Research

The Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) is a learned society founded in 1970. It is multidisciplinary, international association for research into psychotherapy. The idea of an international society of psychotherapists was discussed at an annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in 1968. [1]


The Society has chapters in the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, Latin America, and North America. [2] The Society for Psychotherapy Research also has what it describes as "Area groups" in Australia, Italy, and other specific locations. [2]

The academic journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, Psychotherapy Research , is published bi-monthly by Routledge. [3]

Aims and history

SPR encourages the development of research on psychotherapy as well as aims to support and enhance both the empirical basis and applied value of research on psychotherapy. Psychotherapy research is stimulated, for instance, by providing small research grants for pilot studies which, in turn, enable researchers to later obtain larger grant funding. The society also plays an important role in providing opportunities to psychotherapy researchers for interaction and dialogue by organizing regular meetings to enable communication about research, share methodological innovations, and disseminate research findings and knowledge of their applications. It makes use of print and electronic media to disseminate the results of psychotherapy research and to share ideas related to research methods.

The creation of a Society for Psychotherapy Research goes back to a meeting of psychotherapy researchers in San Francisco in 1968, which was associated to the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. [1] This meeting was sponsored by small donations of the APA Division of Psychotherapy and the American Academy of Psychotherapists. The founders of the group were Kenneth I. Howard and David Orlinsky, with support from Lester Luborsky, Nathaniel Raskin, and Hans Herrman Strupp. [1] The first official conference took place in Highland Park, Illinois in 1969. [1]


As of December 2017, the society consists of four regional chapters, two area groups, and five interest sections. [2] The regional chapters are:

In some areas, there are many active SPR members and local meetings are organized. The area groups are: [2]

In addition to the chapters and area groups, there are sections on specific topics that are of interest to members. [2] As of December 2017, there are five special interest sections:


The society has approximately 1,100 members worldwide.[ citation needed ] Membership includes a free subscription to Psychotherapy Research.

Total SPR members in 2011 and 2017 SPR 2017 eng.png
Total SPR members in 2011 and 2017

Annual meetings

The international annual meetings take place at the end of June and have been organized since 1970. All scientific programs of the meetings are available online, back to the year 1972. [4]

List of international annual meetings


The past presidents of the SPR have been: [5] [6]

1970 Kenneth I. Howard1980 Mardi J. Horowitz1990 Horst Kächele2000 Robert Elliott2010 Lynne Angus
1971 David E. Orlinsky1981 Stanley D. Imber1991 Lorna Smith Benjamin 2001 Franz Caspar2011 Guillermo de la Parra
1972 Hans Herrman Strupp 1982 Alan S. Gurman1992 Leonard M. Horowitz2002 Karla Moras2012 George Silberschatz
1973 Lester Luborsky 1983 Arthur H. Auerbach1993 David A. Shapiro2003 Mark Aveline2013 Hadas Wieseman
1974 Allen E. Bergin 1984 A. John Rush 1994 Clara E. Hill2004 John Clarkin2014 Jeanne Watson
1975 Sol L. Garfield1985 Jim Mintz1995 Klaus Grawe 2005 Michael J. Lambert2015 J. Christopher Perry
1976 Aaron T. Beck 1986 Larry E. Beutler 1996 Paul Crits–Christoph2006 Erhard Mergenthaler2016 J. Christopher Muran
1977 Morris B. Parloff1987 Larry E. Beutler 1997 William B. Stiles2007 Jacques Barber2017 Paulo P. Machado
1978 Irene Elkin1988 Charles R. Marmar1998 Marvin R. Goldfried 2008 Bernhard Strauß2018 Mariane Krause
1979 Edward S. Bordin1989 Leslie S. Greenberg1999 William E. Piper2009 Louis G. Castonguay2019 Martin grosse Holtforth

Related Research Articles

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction with adults, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual's well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. There are also numerous types of psychotherapy designed for children and adolescents, such as play therapy. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders. Others have been criticized as pseudoscience.

Psychologist Professional who evaluates, diagnoses, treats, and studies behavior and mental processes

A psychologist is a person who studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimenting with, and observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments. Psychologists usually acquire a four-year university degree, often with post-graduate work required. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists usually cannot prescribe medication to patients. Psychologists can work with a range of institutions and people, such as schools, prisons, in a private clinic, in a workplace, or with a sports team.

Counseling psychology is a psychological specialty that encompasses research and applied work in several broad domains: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes among counseling psychologists include a focus on assets and strengths, person–environment interactions, educational and career development, brief interactions, and a focus on intact personalities.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) is a representative body for psychologists and psychology in the United Kingdom.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is a professional association of psychologists, educators, and practitioners whose scholarship and practice derive from the work of B.F. Skinner. ABAI organizes conferences in the U.S. and abroad, publishes journals, and offers accreditation programs for behavior analysis training programs. As of March 2021, ABAI has 97 regional associate chapters both in the United States and abroad, many of which offer their own annual conferences. As of 2019, ABAI had over 9,000 members and membership in its affiliate chapters was greater than 28,000.

Body psychotherapy, also called body-oriented psychotherapy, is an approach to psychotherapy which applies basic principles of somatic psychology. It originated in the work of Pierre Janet, Sigmund Freud and particularly Wilhelm Reich who developed it as vegetotherapy. Branches also were developed by Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos, both patients and students of Reich, like Reichian body-oriented psychotherapy.

John Rowan was an English author, counsellor, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor, known for being one of the pioneers of humanistic psychology and integrative psychotherapy. He worked in exploring transpersonal psychology, and wrote about the concept of subpersonality.

Society for Conservation Biology Environmental organization

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an 501(c)3 non-profit international professional organization that is dedicated to conserving biodiversity. There are over 4,000 members worldwide, including students and those in related non-academic sectors.There are 35 chapters throughout the world.

The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a professional association of psychotherapy organisations and practitioners in the United Kingdom. It is restricted to registered clinical psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is a professional body for counsellors and psychotherapists practising in the United Kingdom.

Larry E. Beutler ABPP is a clinical psychologist.

The American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) is a not-for-profit multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to enhancing the practice, theory and research of group psychotherapy.

Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) was founded in 1969 as the Biofeedback Research Society (BRS). The association aims to promote understanding of biofeedback and advance the methods used in this practice. AAPB is a non-profit organization as defined in Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

Hans Hermann Strupp was born in Frankfurt, Germany and died in the U.S. He moved from Nazi Germany to the U.S. and he pursued a PhD in Psychology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where the Department of Psychiatry granted him with a Certificate in Applied Psychiatry for Psychologists. One of the founders of this School was Harry Stack Sullivan whose work had a large impact on Strupp's academic career and thinking.

The Pacific Seabird Group (PSG) is an international professional ornithological society based in the US, dedicated to the study and conservation of Pacific seabirds and their environment. The objectives of the Pacific Seabird Group are exclusively scientific, educational, conservational, and nonprofit. In furtherance of these objectives, PSG's principal activities are (1) to increase the amount and quality of scientific research on Pacific seabirds, (2) to educate PSG's members and the general public of the ecology and importance of Pacific seabirds and their environment, (3) to disseminate publications and other information to accomplish this end, and (4) to advocate for the conservation of Pacific seabirds wherever they occur.focusing on the behavior, ecology, and conservation of seabirds.

The International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) is an interdisciplinary not-for-profit organization, representing all fields of enquiry involved with the exploration of relationships between both psychological and political processes and phenomena. Members include psychologists, political scientists, psychiatrists, historians, sociologists, economists, anthropologists, as well as journalists, government officials and others. The Society is international, with members from all regions of the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The Central Office is located in North Carolina, USA. Throughout its history, the ISPP has offered encouragement to those who actively engaged in a wide spectrum of disciplinary approaches to political psychology. Members receive the Society's journal, Political Psychology and also access to the annual Advances in Political Psychology; ISPPNews, the Society's newsletter; reduced registration fees at ISPP's Annual Scientific Meeting; occasional discounts on non-ISPP publications; and voting privileges. ISPP has the following stated aims:

Klaus Grawe was a German psychotherapeutic researcher.

Jay Lebow is an American family psychologist who is senior scholar at the Family Institute at Northwestern University, clinical professor at Northwestern University and is editor-in-chief of the journal Family Process. He is board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Lebow is known for his publications and presentations about the practice of couple and family therapy, integrative psychotherapy, the relationship of research and psychotherapy practice, and psychotherapy in difficult divorce, as well as for his role as an editor in the fields of couple and family therapy and family science. He is the author or editor of 13 books and has written 200 journal articles and book chapters.

Vittorio Lingiardi

Vittorio Lingiardi is an Italian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Full Professor of Dynamic Psychology and past Director of the Clinical Psychology Specialization Program (2006-2013), Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. He has coordinated with Nancy McWilliams the second edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, the PDM-2.

Terence J. G. Tracey is an American psychologist, author and researcher. He is professor emeritus of counseling and counseling psychology at Arizona State University. He is also a visiting professor at University of British Columbia. He has served in many administrative positions at Arizona State University including department head and associate dean. He is the former editor-in-chief of Journal of Counseling Psychology.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Que es la SPR?". (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Society for Psychotherapy Research - International". Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  3. "Journal Details - Psychotherapy Research". Taylor & Francis . Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  4. "Past Events - Society for Psychotherapy Research". Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  5. "Past Presidents - Society for Psychotherapy Research". Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  6. "Governance - Society for Psychotherapy Research". Retrieved 2017-12-08.

Further reading