Many of us battle with fear and anxiety in our daily lives, but David Barlow was one of the first clinical psychologists to take this fight into the laboratory. Not only did he conduct much of the research characterizing the etiology of anxiety, but Barlow also can be credited with many of the breakthroughs in the treatment of anxiety disorders. His use of situational and interoceptive exposure as a treatment for panic disorders laid the foundation for the wider development of empirically validated cognitive behavioral therapies that have come to replace less scientifically sound treatment methodologies. In order to combat the surfeit of disorder-specific treatments that abound in today’s clinical environment, Barlow is now focusing on developing a transdiagnostic treatment model. This model unifies the core principles of all emotional treatment models and thus can be applied to many different psychopathologies. Barlow hopes this more universal approach will enable treatments to be more readily disseminated to clinicians and, ultimately, to the patients who need them most. He is a recipient of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for his lifetime of significant intellectual achievements in applied psychological research and their impact on a critical problem in society.
Watch Barlow’s Award Address at the 24th APS Annual Convention.