Condemning Violence against People of Asian Descent
It was such a short time ago that ABCT joined the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) in condemning violence against Asians and Asian Americans. In that statement, which can be found here, AAPA noted an increase in hate speech and physical violence toward people of Asian descent. And, yet, here we are again, mourning the loss of eight more innocent people, six of whom are of Asian descent and one of whom was a person of color. The trajectory of the killer indicates that more were to follow. As we noted then, there has been an increase in racism and racial violence toward Asians, Asian Americans, and Asian Canadians during the COVID pandemic, stoked in part by denigrating rhetoric from some in leadership positions. Sadly, we must once again condemn violence against individuals of Asian descent.
President, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
The Asian American Psychological Association issued a statement on the shooting and included a number of useful resources, including support organizations, bystander intervention training, dealing with prejudice, and more.
See the statement and resources here
Staff woke up to the news that another Asian hate crime occurred, this time in our backyard in NYC. To many of us, we are living in a time we do not understand or recognize. The continued violence and intolerance of people who are different from us must stop. The leadership of ABCT is saddened and frustrated that these senseless crimes continue at the expense of our fellow citizens in the US and Canada. As mental health professionals, grounded in science, we again suggest that our members look at our resources that encourage potential clients to embrace empathy and find other channels to direct their anger in other ways in a changing world.
We can’t fix hate or bigotry, but we have resources that might help you deal its aftershocks.
Condemning Violence Against Asians in North America
As an organization firmly committed to antiracism, ABCT expresses its support for the Asian American Psychological Association’s (AAPA) recent statement condemning violence against Asians and Asian Americans. In that statement, which can be found here, AAPA noted an increase in hate speech and physical violence toward people of Asian descent, most recently resulting in the death of an older Asian American in Northern California.
Indeed, multiple sources of information suggest an increase in racism toward Asians, Asian-Americans, and Asian-Canadians during the COVID pandemic. These have included declining sales at Asian-owned businesses, reports of increased bullying in schools, and violence toward those of Asian descent. A report by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council noted that Asian American women were three times more likely to report harassment compared to men.
We further note that the mislabeling of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or other racist monikers is not only a misrepresentation of the facts, but also contributes to anti-Asian rhetoric and actions.
ABCT denounces all forms of racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. We further wish to express our solidarity with those who are especially vulnerable, such as the elderly, those with limited English proficiency, and those who are undocumented.
David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP
President, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
The Mindful Way to Well-Being Lab, located in the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University, is directed by Sue Orsillo, Ph.D.
Trainee Lab Members
We asked each of the Mindful Way to Well-Being Lab's ABCT members:
What is your area of research interest?
How has ABCT been helpful to you?
If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?
I have two predominant research interests: (a) Multiculturalism and the adaptation and development of empirically supported, culturally sensitive treatments, and (b) Mindfulness and acceptance-based behavioral therapies for individuals with anxiety disorders.
ABCT has been incredibly helpful. I've made many professional connections through the organization and grown in my scholarship through convention presentations. Additionally, I am a co-chair for the Oppression & Resilience: Minority Mental Health Special Interest Group (SIG), which has brought many opportunities for connection, collaboration, and mentorship.
I would recommend students submit abstract proposals every year to moderate/chair convention presentations. Organizing presentations can broaden your professional connections and showcase topics you're passionate about during the convention. Additionally, I recommend getting involved in a SIG that matches your interest(s), and also getting involved in a leadership position. Some of the greatest professional and personal connections I've made in the field are due to my participation in SIGs.
My primary research interests focus on gender and sexual identity development, sexual consent negotiation, and the dissemination of acceptance-based behavior therapy to LGBTQ+ and gender-diverse populations.
The ABCT annual convention has provided me with many opportunities to present my own research, connect with leading investigators, and expand my own knowledge of evidence-based behavioral therapies.
I would strongly recommend submitting your research to the annual convention, joining a SIG, and taking advantage of their internship application resources.
Sue Orsillo, Ph.D.
Sue Orsillo is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at Suffolk University in Boston. She received her Ph.D. from University at Albany, State University of New York, and completed her internship and post-doctoral training at the Boston VA Healthcare System. In collaboration with her colleague Liz Roemer, Dr. Orsillo developed and studied an acceptance-based behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders. Together, Drs. Roemer and Orsillo have written several books, including Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapy: Treating Anxiety and Related Challenges, Worry Less, Live More, and The Mindful Way through Anxiety.
The Mindful Way to Well-Being Lab explores how acceptance-based behavioral therapy-informed strategies can help buffer against contextual stressors, build resilience, improve psychosocial functioning, and enhance quality of life. They explore how invalidation, experiential avoidance, and disengagement from personally meaningful activities contribute to psychological distress (particularly anxiety and associated depression) and study how prevention and intervention programs can target these processes and help people cultivate the skills they need to enhance their well-being and quality of life.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I have been a member for 20 years.
How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?
I haven't missed the ABCT convention since the first year I attended, in 1990. Attending the annual convention definitely helps me to stay current with the science and practice of clinical psychology and to connect with friends, colleagues, and students - past and present.
How do you stay current with developments in the field, both research and practice?
I definitely use a range of strategies to stay up to date on new developments in the research, practice, and teaching of clinical psychology. Most recently, I have come to deeply appreciate the ways in which social media can help keep me informed. For example, I find it incredibly helpful to follow a number of organizations (including ABCT, APA, SSCP, and the Association of Black Psychologists) and special interest groups (like the ABCT Sexual and Gender Minority SIG) on Twitter. I also learn from participating in email list serves, including those hosted by ABCT, the ABCT Oppression and Reslience Minority Mental Health SIG, and CUDCP. But I also rely on several tried-and-true methods, such as attending the annual ABCT convention, participating in CE workshops, and serving on journal editorial boards.
How has ABCT helped you/your lab professionally?
As noted above, for much of my career, ABCT has been my professional home and the place where I connect and network with other psychologists who share my passions and interests. ABCT has also provided multiple opportunities for my students to present their work though posters and symposia, to organize their own panels, and to become involved in organizational governance.
Does your lab have any traditions? Does your lab do anything together for fun?
The composition, needs, and interests of my lab shifts with each new student I admit and so our activities and traditions have changed depending on the members. Our most long-standing tradition is probably our Saturday night ABCT convention dinner - that has always been a time for current lab members and alumni to come together to share stories and laughs, enjoy excellent food and drink, and nurture our local and long-distance relationships.
What advice would you give prospective trainees?
My strongest advice to people applying to graduate school, and to students currently pursuing their doctorate, is to define your personal and professional values and let those values guide your behavior. As a first generation college student, I had no road map to follow when it came to pursuing an academic career. So I turned inward and reflected on what mattered to me most personally and I have tried my best to enact those values throughout my career. I would also advise those in training to nurture your relationships. My close friendship and collaboration with Liz Roemer, forged when she was an intern and I was a postdoctoral fellow, has brought tremendous meaning to my work.
Graduate Student Research Grant
The ABCT Research Facilitation Committee is sponsoring a grant of up to $1000 to support graduate student research.
The grant will be awarded based on a combination of merit and need. Eligible candidates are graduate student members of ABCT seeking funding for an unfunded (including internal sources of funding) thesis or dissertation project that has been approved by either the faculty advisor or the student's full committee.
Applications should include all of the materials listed in GSRG Application Guidelines (downloadable from the ABCT webpage) and one letter of support from a faculty advisor.
Please email the application, excluding the advisor letter, in a single .pdf to the chair of the Research Facilitation Committee, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD, at email@example.com. Include "Graduate Student Research Grant" in your subject heading.
Please ask your faculty advisor to e-mail a letter of support separately.
In summer 2019, the ABCT Board of Directors commissioned a Task Force for Equity, Inclusion, and Access (EIA). The goals for this Task Force were to examine how well ABCT was supporting historically marginalized groups, and to provide recommendations to the Board about how we can promote EIA in our organization. The Task Force sent a survey to the membership of ABCT and completed their review this fall, presenting the Board with their final report for the November 13, 2020 Board Meeting. There is much to address in this report from the Task Force. President Martin Antony touched on the issues of discrimination, equity, and inclusion in his columns last year. I will continue to share the Board's, ABCT governance, and staff response and progress to the recommendations over the coming year. Inclusive and sustainable change takes reflection and time. As an organization we are devoted to becoming more inclusive. That takes all of us working together, being accepting of different viewpoints, and understanding. Let me conclude by expressing my thanks to Task Force co-chairs Sandra Pimentel, Shireen Rizvi, and Laura Seligman, and members RaeAnn Anderson, Anu Asnaani, Sierra Carter, Christine Cho Laurine, Ryan DeLapp, Brian Feinstein, Cristina Lopez, and Jae Puckett for their hard work and dedication to making ABCT a more welcoming place for all.
David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP
President, Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Stabilizing Chaos: Fostering Psychological Resilience in the Wake of Adverse Events
Presented by Lata McGinn, Ph.D.Yeshiva University
Cognitive & Behavioral Consultants
In ABCT's continued effort to support our members, we are offering a free 1-hour podcast, "Stabilizing Chaos: Fostering Psychological Resilience in the Wake of Adverse Events." It is our hope that this information will be of assistance as we partner to meet the increased mental health needs of our community. The COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and the racist killing of George Floyd have led to national crises and have impacted all of our lives in unprecedented ways. For many in our communities, including essential workers and those who have lost family and friends as a result of the virus, the risk for trauma exposure is high. This podcast will offer practical strategies rooted in Psychological First Aid (PFA), an evidence-based approach for fostering resilience, helping people effectively cope in the aftermath of a trauma, and preventing the development of pathological symptoms. The webinar will also describe maladaptive coping that increases the chances of developing pathological symptoms, and present CBT strategies that prevent onset of symptoms and help individuals adaptively cope with chronic stress. The goal of this webinar is to support clinicians to feel prepared to navigate the increase in trauma exposure and chronic stress that their clients may soon be, or already are, experiencing. Participants will learn common trauma reactions, risk and resilience factors, the components of PFA, how to apply PFA and other CBT principles during these crises in a virtual setting.
Please note that this webinar will not be eligible for CE credit.
Have you visited ABCT’s YouTube channel
ABCT’s YouTube channel has great information, including how-to demonstrations giving you immediate nearly anxiety-free competency with starting telehealth in your own practice or getting tips on how to teach a class online, or, if you want to be on the receiving end, tips for getting into graduate school.
There’s also a slew of videos celebrating the pioneers who have shaped CBT theory and practice. Profitable, enjoyable, easy-to-digest material.
David A. F. Haaga, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, American University
Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for the Integration of Science and Practice
Emily L. Bilek, Ph.D., ABPP, University of Michigan
Sobell Innovative Addictions Research Award
Christopher Correia, Ph.D., Auburn University
Distinguished Friend to Behavior Therapy
Andrea Petersen, Wall Street Journal in-house writer, who consistently takes a CBT approach when covering mental health
Outstanding Service to ABCT
Lata K. McGinn, Ph.D., Yeshiva University and Cognitive Behavioral Consultants
Virginia A. Roswell Student Dissertation Award
Alexandra Werntz Czywczynski, M.A., University of Virginia and University of Massachusetts Boston
Leonard Krasner Student Dissertation Award
Nur Hani Zainal, M.S., Pennsylvania State University
John R. Z. Abela Student Dissertation Award
Christopher J. Senior, M.A., Catholic University of America
Student Research Grant
Kelsey Pritchard, University of Toledo
Honorable Mention: Christina L. Verzijl, B.A., University of South Florida
President's New Researcher
Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Student Travel Award
Katherine Venturo-Conerly, Harvard University
Elsie Ramos Memorial Student Poster Awards
Danielle Weber, M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: "Patterns of Emotional Communication in Same-Sex Female Couples Before and After Couple Therapy"
Gemma T. Wallace, B.A., Colorado State University: "Personality and Emotion Dysregulation Dimensions Differentially Predict Engagement in a Wide Range of Self-Injurious and Health-Risk Behaviors"
Rachel Weiler, MSc, PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium: "Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy a Good Fit for Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Patients?"
This award recognizes outstanding individuals who are not members of ABCT but who have shown exceptional dedication, influence, and social impact through the promotion of evidence-based interventions and who have thereby advanced the mission of ABCT.
Visit our Champions page for full details on how to nominate and for a full listing of champions
photo courtesy of Geralt
The Clinical Directory and Referral issues committee is highlighting the large number of SIGs that cover racial and ethnic diversity within ABCT:
ABCT is delighted to announce a new partnership with PsyberGuide.
Please watch these pages for an expanding list of CBT-relevant apps being reviewed by the staff at PsyberGuide and the editors at Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.
PsyberGuide (PsyberGuide.org) is a non-profit website reviewing smartphone applications and other digital mental health tools. Its goal is to help people make responsible and informed decisions about the technologies they use for management of mental health. PsyberGuide is committed to ensuring that this information is available to all, and that it is free of preference, bias, or endorsement.
PsyberGuide is funded by One Mind, a leading non-profit organization supporting collaborative brain research to provide patients who suffer from brain disease and injury better diagnostics and treatment. With over 325,000 emerging digital health technologies, and an estimated 15,000 of those designed for mental health, One Mind recognized the lack of advice or guidelines to help people navigate the expanding marketplace of mental health apps. Thus in 2013, One Mind established PsyberGuide to address this growing problem.
In 2017, One Mind welcomed Dr. Stephen Schueller as Executive Director. Dr. Schueller is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at University of California. Irvine. His work focuses on expanding the accessibility and availability of mental health services through technology.
PsyberGuide & ABCT established this partnership with the aim of disseminating reviews of digital mental health tools to a broad audience of researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental-health practitioners who are interested in using these tools in their practice of behavioral, cognitive, and biological evidence-based principles.
In the coming months, app reviews from both PsyberGuide and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice will be integrated on both sites to expand the reach of information on available apps. ABCT will be developing a dedicated app review page which will host a sample of relevant PsyberGuide reviews. PsyberGuide will also link to C&BP reviews on their site, where relevant.
PsyberGuide Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Schueller, said "ABCT has been a leader in advancing the use of innovative behavioral and cognitive treatments. Technological behavioral and cognitive treatments will play a role in the future of mental health care and we're excited to team with ABCT to ensure researchers and practitioners are equipped to effectively use technology to help improve people's lives."
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice's apps are reviewed with the idea of providing guidance to clinicians in choosing apps that allow them to best serve the needs of their clients. Reviews will often cover cost, targeted clients, basic purpose, the research data behind them, as well as quick overviews of their utility.
To see Cognitive and Behavioral Practice's review apps, click on the app that most interests you:
MMFT Review Summaries
Anxiety Coach is an app for iOS devices ($4.99 at time of publication; Mayo Clinic, 2016) marketed as a self-help program for anxiety for children and adults. The primary focus is to help individuals understand and identify anxiety symptoms, create a hierarchy, and develop plans for exposure tasks. The program was designed by clinical researchers with expertise in CBT for anxiety. There is potential to support ongoing therapy, such as to allow patients to provide real-time data when reviewing between-session anxiety and exposure details with a therapist. Whiteside and colleagues (2014) have published case studies and reported feasibility/acceptability data which are promising. Our expert reviewer felt that the focus of the app on helping users conduct exposure tasks is unique and valuable, and the program had good navigation and an easy to follow user interface.
SuperBetter is an iOS app and website that is marketed to help users pursue goals, which can include mental health goals. The app was developed using game theory and mechanics that mimic "behaviors and techniques that have been clinically shown to give individuals more control over their thoughts and feelings" according to the developer, Jane McGonigal, who has authored books on the subject of leveraging gaming to increase well-being. There are video-game features like "power-ups," "quests," "Power Packs" and a "Community" where individuals can join in to engage in forums or play together as "Allies." Our reviewer found a strong development team and breadth of content, but felt the overall quality of the content lacking in terms of potential to promote clinically significant levels of improvement without active or guided practice with real-world behavior change. Preliminary RCTs have shown feasibility, though attrition rates continue to be a concern. Our reviewer recommends caution if considering this as a stand-alone option for depression or as an adjunct to face-to-face therapy without further data on effectiveness and further development of human safety plans.
Sleepio is a 6-week treatment program for insomnia delivered online and through mobile app. The program includes evidence-based components including psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, cognitive thought challenging sleep scheduling and sleep tracking compatibility (with other wearable trackers). Our reviewer felt the navigation was easy to use and the platform engaging. The program has been tested in a large RCT and smaller trials with promising results. The program is more costly than online competitors ($300 for a 1-year subscription). Our reviewer felt it was a good option as stand-alone first-line intervention and a model internet-based CBT intervention.
TicHelper.com is an 8-week online treatment program for Tic Disorders in youth (8-adolescence) based on the empirically-supported Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) protocol and developed in collaboration with experts who developed and tested CBIT. The program includes evidence-based components including psychoeducation, training in developing competing responses and multiple videos to illustrate concepts. There is also some parent-focused content. Our reviewer felt the program was age-appropriate, appealing and easy to navigate. While the online program does not offer the tailoring allowed in face-to-face individual therapy, there are branching structures which allow some tailoring of content. There is pilot feasibility data on the prototype but no research trials published at the time of this review. Our reviewer notes that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses and the program is unique in the market of targeting this condition and using evidence-based treatment components.
Triple P Online is an online self-help parent training program aimed at reducing child behavior problems through evidence-based "positive parenting practices." The program is available through the website, www2.tripleponline.net, at time of review for $79.95. The program is comprised of 8 video-based modules. Our expert reviewer found the program to include high-quality content with relevant and easily locatable resources, and felt the navigation was easy-to-use and appealing. The program's main weakness lies in its lack of monitoring and adaptation to the user's state (e.g., child's and parent's behaviors), and real-time reminders for desired actions. Overall the program was found to be a valuable parent training resource for addressing child behavior problems by our reviewer.
Psychotherapy.net is an online magazine and video library and production company targeting clinicians, educators, and clinical trainees. At present, the website offers two video steaming subscription plans for individual use: 1) a "Choice plan", which allows access to 2 monthly videos for a fee of $39 each month; and 2) an "Unlimited plan" for $79 monthly, which allows unlimited access to the full online library of over 200 training videos. The primary strength of the website is the breadth of available psychotherapy training videos, which cover several major theoretical orientations, modalities, and clinical populations. However, our expert reviewer notes that the resource is limited by the current absence of information related to evidence-based practice recommendations.