Message From the Program Chair
L. Kevin Chapman, Ph.D., Private Practice
Welcome to Philadelphia!
As the 2014 Program Chair, I am delighted to welcome you to the city of brotherly love and the 48th annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies!
Philadelphia is rich in history and is home to a plethora of "firsts" in addition to the prodigious amount of food, music, and activities for everyone.
To uncover many of these unknown "firsts," I would invite all of you to explore this diverse city between meetings.
Along these lines, our Local Arrangements Committee, chaired by Mike McCloskey, will undoubtedly ensure that you have a phenomenal experience while in the remarkable city of Philadelphia.
I am extremely thankful for President Dean McKay and the ABCT Board for inviting me and subsequently approving and supporting me as Program Chair.
Serving as Program Chair has provided me with a unique perspective into the complexities involved in synthesizing various components to create a dynamic program.
The theme of this year's meeting is "Enhancing CBT by Drawing Strength from Multiple Disciplines." Grounded in empiricism at its inception, cognitive and behavioral therapies have continued to be the cornerstone of the contemporary practice of psychology. The evolution of CBT has included the infusion of findings from diverse empirical backgrounds that have created systematic approaches to alleviate mental illness. This year, it is time to further explore our diverse roots by synthesizing these multiple influences into one unique conference for our constituents. Consistent with this theme, the meeting will focus on presentations that highlight newer technological insights in addition to theoretical perspectives from the behavioral and social sciences that enhance the effectiveness of CBT.
We are delighted to have David Clark from the University of Oxford open this year's convention with his invited address "Developing and Disseminating Effective Psychological Therapies for Anxiety Disorders: Science, Economics & Politics" illustrating the close interplay between theoretical and experimental development within CBT that has facilitated dissemination to the general public. Next, Liz Phelps from NYU will deliver her invited address "Mechanisms of Fear Control" and ultimately describe innovative ways to achieve more lasting fear reduction.
Lauren Alloy from Temple University will present on "Reward Hypersensitivity in the Onset and Course of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders" and will additionally address why the paradox of bipolar spectrum disorders is associated both with high achievement and marked impairment. Next, Tom Ollendick from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will present "Treatment of Phobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Where To From Here?" This discussion will focus on moderators and mediators of change in interventions for youth with anxiety disorders. Finally, in his Presidential Address, Dean McKay will present "Embracing the Repulsive: The Case for Disgust as a Functionally Central Emotional State in the Theory, Practice, and Dissemination of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy," a discussion of the numerous ways disgust is implicated in psychopathology. In addition, an event that you don't want to miss during the convention is the special conversation hour with Aaron T. Beck.
Worth noting is an important addition to the submission process, which will presumably enhance your experience at this year's meeting. This was the first year that we implemented primary topic submission criteria as an attempt to streamline this year's meeting by delineating "tracks" for our various constituents. The submission process this year went relatively smoothly and has resulted in the ability of our attendees to select different poster sessions, Panel Discussions, Symposia, Clinical Round Tables, and ticketed events based upon track preferences. I am confident that you will find this to be an exciting addition to our meeting.
Furthermore, we received close to 2,000 submissions that were subject to a rigorous peer review process, which included a record number of peer reviewers this year. As such, this process has culminated in a phenomenal meeting, which underscores this year's theme, from Posters, Symposia, Panel Discussions, Clinical Round Tables, Workshops, Institutes, Mini Workshops, Clinical Grand Rounds, Master Clinician Seminars, and AMASS sessions. These presentations truly draw from multiple disciplines with topics ranging from how more recent technological advances can improve our interventions to more novel modifications to existing treatments.
I would also like to add an exercise in #exposure for many of you. Consistent with more recent technological advances, I would like to encourage you to follow @abctnow on Twitter and (hashtag) #abct2014 during the convention so that you can be privy to many of the happenings during the meeting. You will also find many of the ABCT usual suspects posting links to articles, photos from convention, and other convention happenings on Twitter (follow: @annemariealbano @drjonabram @psyd @drdanpsych @jlgoodie @docmckay-who needs to tweet more, and a plethora of others).
It has been a distinct honor to serve as Program Chair for ABCT. Going from being a lost graduate student attending the convention to a contributing professional member has been a rewarding experience. There are so many colleagues who have made this event possible. First, I would like to extend a special thanks to the members of the 2014 Program Review Committee for their expertise, diligence, and flexibility throughout the peer review process. This year's program would not have been possible without your efforts. Second, the chairs of the Convention and Education Planning Committee did a truly exceptional job with this year's program: David Atkins (AMASS), Jeff Goodie (CIT), Lauren Weinstock (Institutes), Sarah Kertz (Master Clinician Seminars), and Barbara Kamholz (Workshops). An extra special thanks to Jeff Goodie who also served as the Coordinator of Convention and Education Issues as well as Sabine Wilhelm, Mauren Whittal, and James Herbert, our Representatives-at-Large.
Finally, words cannot express how thankful I am for two people in particular. My exceptional Assistant Program Chair and graduate student, Ryan DeLapp, has been a cornerstone throughout this process. His diligence, support, and flexibility have not gone unnoticed. Last and definitely not least, I would like to thank Mary Ellen Brown, Director of Education and Meeting Services. Her support and wisdom of our organization have undoubtedly facilitated this process in its entirety. Thank you, Mary Ellen and Ryan.
Best wishes to you all and please have a most enjoyable convention!