Jonathan Abramowitz, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
It is an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to the 49th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies! I am thrilled that this year's conference is in Chicago. What an exciting city-and our hotel venue is sensational. There's no better location to enjoy a break from the normal routine while taking in the latest clinical and scientific advances in cognitive-behavior therapy! I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight some features of the convention that make it a "can't miss" event.
One facet that draws me back to ABCT year after year is that the field's leading clinicians and researchers are so accessible. You can attend exclusive workshops presented by distinguished clinicians, discuss the latest research trends and findings with prominent scholars, and who knows who you'll bump into at a poster session, in the elevator, or just waiting in line for coffee-an old classmate, a former supervisor, the director of a graduate or postdoctoral program you're interested in attending, or a luminary in the field. I have always been in awe of how available everything and everyone is at the ABCT convention; and we have designed this year's meeting to maximize accessibility so you are sure to get the complete (and "one-and-only") ABCT experience as you learn ways to enhance your own practice or research program.
This year, the convention theme is "Improving Dissemination by Promoting Empirically Supported Principles of Psychopathology and Change." That's a mouthful, so let me break it down for you! One goal of this theme is to showcase clinical work and research that enhances our knowledge of cognitive and behavioral mechanisms and processes of change. Such knowledge provides a richer understanding of psychopathology and intervention compared to the traditional descriptive approach that we find in the DSM. A second goal is to address the fact that cognitive and behavioral interventions, despite their effectiveness, are too often underused. In addition to the many clinical and research sessions covering a wide array of mental health topics, we have an extraordinary lineup of visionary and thought-provoking invited addresses to keep you inspired long after what will be a very stimulating convention.
Our Annual Convention is rich with history on the one hand and with innovation on the other. The history comes from how the theories and conceptual models that form the basis for CBT have developed, based on scientific findings, to inform today's clinical practice. The innovation comes from the continued advances in research and the delivery of CBT that is on display year after year.
I look forward to seeing you in Chicago!