Vic Meyer

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Victor Campbell Meyer
Other namesVic Meyer
Known forBehavioral therapy (exposure response prevention)

Victor Campbell Meyer, or Vic Meyer, was a British psychologist at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School of the University of London (now UCL Medical School) and has been called the father of behavioral case formulation,[1] an approach toward understanding complex psychiatric problems using learning principles derived from scientific psychological research and uniquely adapted to the individual case by means of the experimental method[2] as a way to develop an effective intervention regimen.[3] Meyer is credited by the British Psychological Society for his influential work in creating case formulation[4] along with three other innovators:[5] Hans Eysenck, Monte B. Shapiro,[6] and Ira Turkat.[7] Turkat credited Meyer as the pioneer of the framework of what is generally known today as case formulation,[8] a required core skill for all British practicing psychologists since 2011.[5]

Early years[edit]

Prior to becoming a psychologist, Meyer was an RAF pilot. His plane was shot down in France during the Second World War, and he was captured as a Prisoner of War.[9]

Early career[edit]

Early in his career as a psychologist (mid 1960s), Meyer created the first successful psychological treatment for obsessive-compulsive motor rituals[10] known as response prevention—today a well established, scientifically validated treatment method used around the world[11] for children[12] and adults[13] so afflicted. Meyer devised this procedure from his analysis of scientific animal studies on ritualistic behavior and then applied it to human cases in the psychiatric setting, which at the time, were considered intractable.[14] The treatment procedure is currently called exposure and response prevention (ERP) and its success clinically and scientifically has been summarized as "spectacular" by prominent psychology professor, Stanley Rachman decades following Meyer's creation of the method.[9] Meyer was among the first psychologists to show that complex psychiatric problems could indeed be treated successfully by psychological methods.[15]

Boards and program creations[edit]

Meyer was the Founding President of the British Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapies (originally known as the British Association of Behavioral Psychotherapy)[16] and served as its first president in 1972.[17] He also created the first behavior therapy training program in the United Kingdom at the Middlesex Hospital.[18]


Meyer was known as the top clinical trainer in behavior therapy in the United Kingdom. American psychologist Ira Turkat[19] who worked with Meyer,[20] described Meyer as the most fascinating interviewer he had ever seen, who not only attracted therapists from around the world to London to observe his interviewing and case formulation skills, but Meyer often traveled across the globe interviewing patients in front of audiences of mental health professionals to teach his case formulation approach.[21] Meyer's interview demonstrations in front of mental health professional audiences excited other psychologists' interest.[22]


  1. ^ Bruch, Michael (2015). Beyond Diagnosis: Case Formulation in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 2nd Edition. Chichester, UK: Wiley. ISBN 978-1-119-96076-8.
  2. ^ Meyer, Vic & Turkat, Ira (1979). "Behavioral analysis of clinical cases". Journal of Behavioral Assessment. 1 (4): 259–270. doi:10.1007/bf01321368. S2CID 144133076.
  3. ^ Meyer, Vic & Chesser, Edward (1970). Behavior Therapy in Clinical Psychiatry. Penguin Books.
  4. ^ Bruch, Michael & Bond, Frank (Eds.) (1998). Beyond Diagnosis: Case Formulation Approaches in CBT. Chichester, England: Wiley. ISBN 978-0471982227.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b "Good Practice Guidelines on the use of Psychological Formulation" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Monte Shapiro Obituary". 2000.
  7. ^ Turkat, Ira (Ed.) (1985). Behavioral Case Formulation. New York: Plenum Publishing. ISBN 978-0306420474.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Turkat, Ira (2015). Foreword To Beyond Diagnosis (Second ed.). Wiley.
  9. ^ a b "Behavior Therapy for OCD: Its Origin".
  10. ^ National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guidelines, No. 31. National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2006.
  11. ^ Richard, David & Lauterbach, Dean (Eds.) (2006). Handbook of Exposure Therapies. Waltham, MA: Academic Press. ISBN 978-0125874212.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Herbert, Martin (2006). Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: From Theory to Practice, 3rd Edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-01257-4.
  13. ^ Foa, Edna (2010). "Cognitive behavioral therapy of obsessive-compulsive disorder". Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 12 (2): 199–207. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2010.12.2/efoa. PMC 3181959. PMID 20623924.
  14. ^ Meyer, Vic (1966). "Modification of expectations in cases with obsessional rituals". Behaviour Research and Therapy. 4 (4): 273–280. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(66)90023-4. PMID 5978682.
  15. ^ Hill, O. (2002). "Edward Stewart Chesser". British Medical Journal. 325 (7359): 341. doi:10.1136/bmj.325.7359.341. PMC 1123846.
  16. ^ "BABCP".
  17. ^ "The Development of BABCP".
  18. ^ BABCP News, November 2002, p.4
  19. ^ Turkat, Ira (2015). "An Historical Perspective on the Impact of Case Formulation". The Behavior Therapist.
  20. ^ Turkat, Ira & Meyer, Vic (1982). The behavior-analytic approach. In P. Wachtel (Ed.) Resistance: Psychodynamic and Behavioral Approaches: Plenum.
  21. ^ Turkat, Ira (2012). "Case formulation—the heart of the matter". The Psychologist.
  22. ^ Butt, Tevor & Sedlack, Z. (1979). "When is a Behavioural Therapist not a Behavioural Therapist?". Behavioural Psychotherapy. 7: 7–10. doi:10.1017/S0141347300005218.