Research at UKCP

Research is central to the future of the psychotherapy profession. Through our work we aim is to raise the profile of the profession, utilising the expertise of our membership.


UKCP’s strategic aims

  1. Ensuring research supports the UKCP’s policy objectives to increase access to psychotherapy.
  2. Improving education about research and promote its importance within the UKCP membership.
  3. Developing an effective system for collating clinical data from our membership.
  4. Combining existing and new research to improve the evidence base for psychotherapy, as well as promote its importance for wellbeing and mental health.
  5. Collaborating with psychotherapy researchers to define and address the needs for future research.


How we will work towards achieving these aims 

  • Among the UKCP members are many influential researchers. We are working to strengthen connections with our research-active members to support impactful and widespread dissemination of their work, as well as to assist us in our drive to inform policy.
  • Collaboration is essential the UKCP’s research strategy to develop innovative, high-impact research. We are working to enhance connections across the board with universities, the NHS and charitable organisations.
  • We will be collaborating both internally and externally to promote the importance of research within training programmes and across the profession as a whole.

Current research projects

University of Sheffield

UKCP has provided funding to Professor Michael Barkham and his team at the University of Sheffield to conduct in-depth analyses of longitudinal IAPT datasets. This research will contribute to the evidence base for psychotherapy in treating depression in adults.

Co-funding PhD on routine outcome measures

UKCP and BACP are co-funding a PhD at York St John University about the use of Routine Outcome Measures (ROMs) in therapeutic practice. This mixed-methods research will explore ROM use from the perspective of both the therapeutic practitioner and the client. This three-year PhD began in June 2022.

Special issue EJPC

We're collaborating with the European Journal of Psychotherapy (EJPC) on a special issue about diversity and inclusion in psychotherapy. A call for papers was issued to UKCP members and the selected articles have been sent for peer review. More updates to follow shortly.

Research Events

UKCP regularly holds research events on a variety of topics, including reflexivity and case study ethics. Visit our events page to find out about upcoming research events.

Get involved – connect and collaborate

We are always looking for new ways to support our members with research and to connect with non-UKCP academics and practitioners. We are actively seeking to hear more about existing research and to discuss collaborations across all modalities. Our current areas of focus include:

  • New ways of assessing psychotherapy and evaluating its effectiveness
  • Collaborating on, and supporting, studies of effectiveness across therapeutic modalities and client populations
  • Innovative research, investigating the therapeutic process
  • Practice-informed research and research-informed practice.

If you would like to get involved or discuss active research projects or proposals, please email the research team.


Research working group

As a relatively small organisation with limited resources, we have been working hard to think of ways to improve research for the organisation and the membership. To help us accomplish this, we have put together a board level Research Working Group.

The group will be focusing on how to better support the membership with research, whilst also addressing external research strategy.

This will include:

  • Improving education and guidance about conducting psychotherapy research
  • Assessing how we may be able to support therapists to gain ethical approval to conduct research
  • Enhancing networking and collaboration opportunities
  • Promoting research funding opportunities

Research noticeboard

Are you a UKCP member involved in a research project?

Our noticeboard aims to help psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors:

  • recruit participants for a study
  • notify members of ongoing research projects
  • identify collaborators.

If you’re a UKCP member interested in circulating information about research to other members, please fill out this form and our research team will be in touch. Requests to post on the noticeboard will be reviewed on the 20th of every month. Those accepted will be posted on the 25th of every month for a duration of four weeks.

Please note: requests may not be accepted for a variety of reasons, including the volume of requests or the research topic.

This is an investigation into how free and safe clients of counselling and psychotherapy feel to discuss their fears about death, beliefs about life after death and any paranormal experiences they may have had, with their counsellor or psychotherapist. Death, as the big mystery we all face, is a source of questions and anxieties. Counselling and psychotherapy should be a safe place for clients to disclose and discuss their innermost fears and anxieties.

Online survey of 5-8 mins for people who are in or have had therapy in the past. Please contact:

My name is Vivian Lee and I am a Masters student in Psychodynamic Practice at the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford.

My main aim is to draw on the experience of psychotherapists in contributing to a better understanding of how best to help refugees and asylum seekers when carrying out psychodynamic/analytic therapy. Many refugees and asylum seekers experience complex and powerful feelings such as hopelessness and despair. I plan to investigate how these feelings impact the therapist and to consider what impact this might have on the therapeutic relationship. The study also seeks to explore the refugees’ and asylum seekers’ resilience, what kinds of therapeutic practice psychotherapists consider best enhance the resilience of both the client and the therapist a like.

The study will be qualitative in nature. Semi-structured interviews will be employed as they provide an in-depth exploration of the topic, allowing participants to expand their responses where appropriate.

Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapists who have two or more years of experience working with refugees and asylum seekers in a range of settings and organisation contexts are encouraged to participate. The main exclusion criteria is if you have seen refugee clients in an NHS setting.

We will meet in person at a time and place that is convenient for you for approximately 60 minutes either in a room at University of Oxford, or in a private and confidential place at your work as mutually agreed.

Participants can find out more information by contacting me at: 

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