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Kenneth Laidlaw, PhD

Professor Ken Laidlaw, PhD is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Program Director of the DClinPsy Clinical Psychology Training Program as well as Director of Postgraduate Research Programs within CEDAR (Clinical Education, Development and Research) at the University of Exeter. Professor Laidlaw has devoted his professional career to enhancing the wellbeing of older people through the application of CBT. Dissatisfied with prevailing ideas that depression was a natural outcome of ageing, and at the time, the accepted logical that CBT was not efficacious with older people, he has worked to overcome myths, misconceptions, and unhelpful stereotypes. In recent years, Professor Laidlaw has been developing age appropriate techniques within CBT to augment this efficacious treatment. In 2000, Professor Laidlaw was privileged to spend a year with Professors Beck in Philadelphia as a visiting scholar.

Currently, Professor Laidlaw is a Practitioner Psychologist Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). He maintains ongoing research activity in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for late life depression and anxiety, especially with complex, chronic and comorbid conditions having published more than 100 papers, books, book chapters and practitioner reports, etc. He has established research links with colleagues in the US, Australia, and Scandinavia. He carried out the first UK RCT of CBT for late life depression, and more recently (2017) published the first age-comparison meta-analysis of CBT for late life GAD. Research interests revolve around late life depression and the anxiety disorders, applied research in gerontology and quality of life and attitudes to ageing. Ken was the lead researcher on the development of a cross-cultural attitudes to ageing (AAQ) measure sponsored by WHO piloted (n = 1900) and field-trialed (N = 5500) in 19 countries worldwide (see Laidlaw et al, 2007; 2018), and subsequently published in a number of peer-reviewed papers with international collaborators.

In recent years Ken has regularly presented keynotes and workshops at the European and World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.