Professor of Clinical Psychology
- Director, Oxford Centre for Psychological Health
- Director, Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and Research
- Director, Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre
- Course Director, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)
- Clinical Director, Oxford Health Specialist Psychological Interventions Clinic
Paul qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1979 at the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital. He worked for six years in Yorkshire (in Huddersfield then Leeds) as a full-time NHS clinical psychologist before moving to Oxford in 1985 as a Research Clinical Psychologist. In Oxford he was subsequently awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship and became Professor of Cognitive Psychology. He left in 2000 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 (2000-2010). He led the SLaM and national outpatient OCD service, and the outpatient NCG service.
In 2010 he was appointed Programme Director for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme at Bath, with the brief of starting an entirely new programme based on best practice in the field. He has continued clinical work in the NHS throughout his career and on his return to Oxford set up a NHS National Specialist Clinic. He is strongly committed to the continued improvement of psychological treatments and dissemination of evidence-based and empirically grounded approaches in partnership with stakeholders.
His main area of research and clinical work is in the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders in general, and more specifically in OCD, Panic and Agoraphobia, and health anxiety. He has contributed to psychological understanding and treatment in all of these areas. Paul’s research interests include a range of transdiagnostic factors including both cognitive (appraisal) and behavioural (safety seeking) factors. He also has expertise in Health Psychology and is a Practitioner Health and Clinical Psychologist. Paul has worked on Health Screening, Health Decision Making and the identification and treatment of psychological issues in “Medically Unexplained Symptoms” and “Long Term Conditions.” He has published extensively in all of these areas.
Paul is Patron of several OCD and Anxiety charities. He is President BABCP and Editor in Chief of the BABCP Journal Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy and an Honorary Fellow of the Association. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and full member of the Divisions of Clinical and Health Psychology and is on the Register of Applied Psychology Supervisors. He was awarded the British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology MB Shapiro Prize for Distinction in Clinical Psychology in 2017.
He is regarded as an expert in several areas of clinical psychology, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders in general, and more specifically in OCD, Panic and Agoraphobia and health anxiety, having contributed to the psychological understanding and treatment of these areas. He also has expertise in Health Psychology, having working on Health Screening, Health Decision Making and the identification and treatment of psychological issues in “Medically Unexplained Symptoms” and Long Term Conditions. He is registered with the HCPC as a Health and Clinical Psychologist and is similarly Chartered with the BPS. He was recipient of several prizes including the Aaron T Beck award and the Monte Shapiro Award. He is regularly invited to present at national and International Conferences.
Paul is currently Editor of the BABCP Journal, Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and is on the editorial board of several other journals. He is Patron of OCD and anxiety disorder charities. His main research interests include the study of cognitive (appraisal) and behavioural (safety seeking) factors in the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders. He has led CBT skills training both nationally and throughout the world. He is currently president of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.
A preliminary investigation of excessive reassurance-seeking and attachment-related behaviours in adolescents with OCD
Walters SL. et al, (2020), Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 24
CBT with an Adolescent with Hoarding Disorder—a Single-Case Experimental Design
Knight R. et al, (2019), International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 12, 146 - 156
'You should always look at the washing machine without actually being in it!' Thematic framework analysis of patients' understanding of transdiagnostic cognitive behaviour therapy and its mechanisms.
Sighvatsson MB. et al, (2019), Psychol Psychother
Effects of a Brief Transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy on Disorder Specific Symptoms
Kristjánsdóttir H. et al, (2019), Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 47, 1 - 15
An experimental study in community volunteers of the effects of focusing on views about seeking help for obsessional problems
Elliott S. et al, (2018), Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 19, 1 - 5