Lata K. McGinn, Ph.D.
Yeshiva University/Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology/Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Greetings from New York City! As the 2009 Program Chair, I would like to welcome you to the Big Apple and the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Many thanks to President Robert L. Leahy and the ABCT Board for inviting me to serve as Program Chair. It has been a privilege to organize this convention and I am honored to serve alongside all the talented and dedicated members who come together each year to help organize this conference.
The theme this year is "Universal Processes: Mediating Roles in Vulnerability and Treatment." As new generations of diagnostic manuals and CBT treatments emerge, it becomes imperative for us as scientists and thinkers to determine if the myriad psychological disorders and treatment models share processes in common. Nascent research suggests that common processes may cut across the various disorders and mediate the development (vulnerability models) and treatment (mechanisms of change) of psychopathology. The 43rd meeting sheds a spotlight on theoretical models and research studies undertaken to identify and understand these common processes.
David H. Barlow, the recipient of last year's ABCT Lifetime Achievement Award, kicks off our theme this year with a bang. In his provocatively titled address, "Dimensions, DSM-V, and Transdiagnostic Approaches: Time to Get Radical," he will present a conceptual model of empirically supported common dimensions shared by all disorders. In his invited address, Oxford University's Christopher Fairburn contributes to the theme with a presentation on a transdiagnostic approach to the treatment of all eating disorders.
In "Fearful Brains in an Anxious World," Joseph LeDoux, New York University Professor and author of popular books such as The Emotional Brain, will share his insights into the neural system underlying fear conditioning and describe its application to the treatment and prevention of anxiety disorders. Finally, in his presidential address, Robert L. Leahy will propose a conceptual model of emotional schemas that highlights the importance of emotions and individual reactions to painful emotions in perpetuating human suffering.
I am also excited to share two new invited panels that I have organized this year. The first panel gives us with the opportunity to honor Aaron T. Beck. Attendees will be presented with an intimate look at the past, present, and future of cognitive therapy and its founder as Tim Beck engages in a no-holds-barred discussion with Steve Hollon and Robert L. Leahy. Audience questions will also be encouraged. If there are questions you have always wanted to ask the "father" of cognitive therapy, this is a singular opportunity.
Next, it is my great pleasure to present a once-in-a-lifetime panel, "Overcoming the Glass Ceiling-Lessons Learned and Lessons to Give: A Conversation With the Trailblazers." In a town-hall meeting, Michelle Newman and I will moderate what we promise to be a lively discussion between preeminent women in our field: Dianne Chambless, Edna Foa (this year's Lifetime Achievement Award honoree), Robin Jarrett, Marsha Linehan, Barbara McCrady, Susan Mineka, Rosemery Nelson-Gray, Patricia Resick, and Antonette Zeiss. This unique panel will recognize their seminal contributions, discuss the challenges they encountered during early years, and conclude with lessons that emerging female professionals can draw from their experiences.
This year we received the largest number of submissions to date-a testament to ABCT and the cherished role it plays in our lives. We received over 2,000 submissions and, with the help of our highly competitive peer-reviewed submission process, we have before us an exceptional program. With a number of presentations contributing to this year's theme, the Symposia, Panel Discussions, Clinical Round Tables, Workshops, Institutes, Clinical Grand Rounds, Master Clinician Seminars, and AMASS will offer the latest advances in research and clinical practice.
We are also launching a new format for one of the Clinical Grand Rounds (CGR) sessions. Typically focused on the demonstration of a technique by a clinician, one of the CGR sessions this year will allow attendees to watch the demonstration of two techniques on the same "patient." Join Judith Beck and Steve Hayes as they demonstrate how to conduct cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion, respectively, on one patient.
Serving as a Program Chair is both daunting and rewarding. It was made less daunting by the invaluable assistance given to me by several individuals during this process. I would first like to thank the members of the 2009 Program Review Committee for their expertise, timeliness, and commitment to the peer review process. A special nod also goes out to the "super-reviewers" who agreed to review abstracts on any topic over an extended time line.
I also want to thank the Convention and Education Planning Committee Chairs for their creativity in developing an exceptional program: Patricia Averill (Institutes), Scott Compton (AMASS), (Continuing Education), Carolyn Pepper (Workshops), and Joe Scardapane (Master Clinician Seminars). A special thanks to Art Freeman for his invaluable counsel, good cheer, and support as the Coordinator of Convention and Education Issues and to Robert Klepac for his input as the liaison to the Board.
Many thanks to past Program Chair Sandy Pimentel for organizing this year's CGR sessions and for her invaluable guidance and support throughout the year. The Program Chair Survival Manual, compiled by past program chairs Joanne Davila, Maureen Whittal, Dean McKay, and Sandy Pimentel, was also indispensable. Past-President Anne Marie Albano and President Robert L. Leahy were always at hand to offer support throughout.
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Mary Ellen Brown, Director of Education and Meeting Services, who seamlessly oversees the convention and patiently trains a new generation of Program Chairs each year with good humor and skill. Secondly, I would like to thank Christina Porter, our ScholarOne representative, for her consummate professionalism and unequaled customer service. ABCT is indeed fortunate to have both these individuals guiding our ship each year.
I would also like to thank my student and Assistant Program Chair Karen Burns for her hard work and dedication in helping me put this convention together. Finally, I thank Dean Lawrence Siegel for his generosity and support, as well as all my students, teaching assistants, colleagues, friends, and family for graciously allowing this process to take precedence over other needs and responsibilities.
I am particularly pleased to be chairing a convention taking place in my hometown. I encourage you to take advantage of New York City. Located in the heart of Times Square, the Marriott Marquis will offer you dazzling views of the city. You will be a stone's throw from Broadway and will hopefully take in at least one show. If you know the origin of the term Big Apple, you may be interested in visiting jazz clubs or other music venues. For those who have never visited NYC, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island await. You may also be interested in paying homage to those who lost their lives near Ground Zero. And finally, I trust that you will delight in the culinary extravaganza that is New York City. Local Arrangements Chair Jan Mohlman and I promise to provide you a whole host of dining options while you are in town. With this magnificent city as our backdrop, I hope that you will enjoy the 43rd ABCT convention as much as I have enjoyed chairing it.
Welcome to the Big Apple!
After several years "away from home," ABCT returns to its home city for the 43rd Annual Convention. Founded in New York and housed in New York, ABCT has demonstrated that, like the song says, if we can make it here, we can make it anywhere.
New York is, without question, one of the world's great cities. The conference experience will be enhanced by the energy, vitality, and magic of New York. Our conference venue at the Marriott Marquis places us in Times Square, the heart of Manhattan.
The challenge at any ABCT conference is how to see, hear, and participate in myriad activities. Add the wonders of New York and the conference experience is made both more complex and even more exciting.
A quick cab ride from the hotel will take you anywhere in Manhattan. Maybe a ride down to Katz's deli for the best corned beef sandwich anywhere (think Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal . . . "I'll have what she's having"). A short walk from our hotel will put you in the theatre district: filled with song and dance as well as fabulous restaurants. Come early, if you can, to experience the museums, the neighborhoods, and the shopping. There is so much to see and do in New York. Please enjoy it all!
Review the program carefully. We have planned another superb conference with the very best speakers, the broadest range of topics, and among the world's experts in the theory, research, and practice of the behavioral and cognitive therapies.
Coordinator of Convention and Education Issues