2012 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award

David H. Barlow

Boston University

David H. Barlow has made enormous theoretical and empirical contributions in many areas of clinical psychology. He is best known for his efforts to develop psychological treatments for anxiety disorders. His early work on the treatment of agoraphobia laid the groundwork for exposure-based treatments that are today regarded as the gold standard. As we learned more about the relationship of agoraphobic avoidance to the occurrence of panic attacks, Barlow led the way in the development of treatments for the remediation of panic symptoms.

Much of Barlow’s research is based on the notion that anxiety is a disorder of emotion. He holds this to be the case regardless of the specific emotional disorder, and this has led him in the later years of his career toward the development and testing of a unified protocol for the transdiagnostic treatment of such disorders. After years of developing and evaluating treatments for specific disorders, he has turned to the development of treatments based on those disorders’ similarities rather than their differences. In so doing, he is furthering one of his core professional values, the need for dissemination of treatments from the laboratory to the clinic.

Barlow has been a productive contributor to our profession, author of more than 500 papers and 30 books, editor of several journals, and president of several important professional societies. As president of the Society of Clinical Psychology, he was instrumental in a number of efforts to examine the efficacy of psychological treatments and their mechanisms of action, foreshadowing the development of the clinical science movement within clinical psychology. His career has been a truly remarkable one, and his impact on clinical psychology will be felt for many years to come.