The award is presented to a person who, in the opinion of the APA Committee on Scientific Awards, has made distinguished theoretical or empirical advances leading to the understanding or amelioration of important practical problems.
Chris was given the honour in recognition of his ground-breaking conceptualization of eating disorders and the development and implementation of their most effective psychological treatment. He was the first to propose a transdiagnostic approach that has revolutionized the way in which eating disorders and other mental health disorders are treated. He has been a leader in promoting scalable treatments for the broader community in global mental health, including innovations that digitalize the way therapists are trained. He has had a profound impact on colleagues and students, many of whom have achieved international eminence.
Chis said “This is an immense honour. However, obviously it could not have been done without the support of my colleagues. In particular, Marianne O’Connor, who ran the team for almost 40 years, and Zafra Cooper who contributed greatly to what we have achieved”
He was presented the award at the online APA Awards Ceremony on the 20th October. It has only twice before been presented to a psychiatrist; Joseph Wolpe in 1979 and Aaron Beck in 1989.