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Feature Story: Mike Best February 2018

Mike Best broadens his clinical and research skills at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia and the Psychosis Research Unit in Manchester

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Like many students in Queen’s Psychology’s Clinical program, PhD student Mike Best made early and consistent efforts to position himself for opportunities to be recognized for his innovative work. As a result of his dedication, Mike has recently returned from visiting scholarships at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia and the Psychosis Research Unit in Manchester, UK.

Mike was chosen from over 500 applicants to receive a scholarship to the annual Student CBT workshop at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia where he and the other scholarship winners had a private question and answer session with Drs. Judith and Aaron Beck. Mike also had the opportunity to have a private lunch with Drs. Beck to talk about their current work in developing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Schizophrenia.

Through the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement from his CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Mike spent the fall term working at the Psychosis Research Unit ( in Manchester, UK with Professor Tony Morrison (an innovator of CBT for psychosis) and his team.

“These opportunities have greatly supplemented my training experience at Queen’s and have allowed me to broaden both my clinical and research skills,“ Mike explains. “I received a combination of clinical training in CBT for psychosis, mentorship in the managing of large clinical trials, and research experience examining mechanisms of change during CBT for psychosis and the relationship between treatment fidelity and outcomes.”

“Mike embraced challenges such as the 3-minute thesis competition, giving talks and chairing sessions at scientific conferences, and seeking clinical work with complex populations who are often underserved by psychology”, explains Mike’s supervisor Dr. Christopher Bowie. “This hard work opened doors for Mike’s ‘pre-doctoral sabbatical’ experience with the world’s leading clinician-scientists”.

“I have no doubt that the skills I have learned and the connections I have made with some incredible new colleagues will serve me well as I continue my training”, Mike says.

Dr. Bowie confirms, “These opportunities speak to the top reputation that the Queen’s Psychology program and students have around the world.