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2021 ABCT Election



We encourage you to take a moment and familiarize with this year’s candidates below. One thing that you will immediately notice is that we have only one candidate running for the office of President-Elect this year. We want to share that this is not for lack of promotion or trying. ABCT uses a very democratic system to nominate our officers. To start, to launch the elections process, we place an article in the June issue of the Behavior Therapist which outlines what positions are currently available, encourages members to nominate colleagues or themselves, and contains an officer nomination form. The form and information are listed in multiple issues of tBT, made available on our website, and sent via email and list serve announcements. Next the potential candidates with the most number of nominations are placed on the ballot. When only one member runs for an office, the Leadership and Elections Committee reaches out to multiple members to gauge their interest in and encourage running. Sadly, this year there were no additional takers for the position of President-Elect.  Recognizing this has happened before, the committee recommended to the Board that, rather than arm twisting someone into running when they were not enthusiastic, we go with the one candidate who is interested in serving and has the credentials and experience to do a great job as president. The Board agreed and asked that we make public why there is only one candidate for the office of President-Elect. You, as a voting member of ABCT can vote for our candidate or you can write-in a candidate.

Going forward, the Leadership and Elections Committee obviously would like to see a more successful nomination process. If you have suggestions, kindly let us know by writing me, Patricia DiBartolo, Ph.D. at [email protected]

Better yet, consider running in our 2023 election when we will be looking for a President Elect and Representative-at-Large who will be the liaison to Membership Issues. I can ensure you the me and my committee will continue to address this issue over the coming months.

Please note, we also are wordsmithing a few bylaws changes that you will have a chance to vote on in the election. The Board has been working on the ABCT strategic intent document and has expanded our purposes and core values.

Thank you for your active participation and support. ABCT polls open Monday, November 1 at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

Patricia DiBartolo, Ph.D.

Leadership and Elections Chair

Click on the names below to learn more about this years candidates!

Nominee for President

Sandra Pimentel, Ph.D.

Sandra Pimentel Headshot

Biographical Statement

I am a Jersey girl and first-generation Portuguese-American, from a large, loving, loud family that shaped my worldviews on hard work and the centrality of community.

I currently work in the Bronx, a vibrant community reminiscent of my hometown of Newark, NJ. I am Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center/AECOM and the Director of the Anxiety and Mood Program in the child division. I am dedicated to community engagement initiatives (e.g., voter registration drives).

I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University, internship at NYU-Bellevue, and a NIMH T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center, where I continued as faculty for several years and as Associate Director of the CU Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Training and mentorship are the bedrock of my professional identity. I am also, as they say, a “kid person,” specializing in CBT for youth and emerging adults. I have taught and supervised countless trainees and CBT-trained and consulted to hundreds of clinicians in multiple large-scale dissemination initiatives.

I have served ABCT continuously since 2007 as: Program Chair and chair of several committees; Convention and Education Coordinator; and elected Board positions, including Representative-at-Large and presently as Secretary-Treasurer.

Oh, and my favorite philosopher is Yogi Berra.

Position Statement

We crashed into this pandemic with the weight of our personal and professional lives. For all its horrors, I have never been prouder to be a psychologist—as providers of care and as advancers of science, while also reconciling our roles as complicit privilege-holders and desperately needed social justice agents. Like many of you, I have been invigorated and exhausted.

I love ABCT and our Strategic Plan’s core values: science, quality, diversity, mentorship, and accountability. We need to live these now more than ever, while also recognizing where we have failed and where we are doing better. I co-chaired ABCT’s Task Force for Promoting Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, and the report generated by this dedicated group will further guide our sincere self-examination and the work ahead.

As Secretary-Treasurer, I am pained by the financial hit ABCT will take with two consecutive virtual conferences. As your President, I will aim to be a financial steward who recognizes that actively investing in diversity at the table enrichens us (literally and figuratively). I will also establish programming priorities that remind us that we are more than our conference.

Due to the pandemic, we have not gathered as an ABCT family. While members are working harder, there are rippling effects of membership attrition, lost collaborations, and more challenges for students who may have fewer resources for connecting to mentors. As President, I will work across our organizational structures to creatively re-engage our members with one another and ABCT. I will advocate for, include, nominate, appoint, and promote BIPOC, LGBT+, and those individuals traditionally minoritized and marginalized.

My Portuguese grandmother was known for having everyone over for dinner—family, neighbors, stoppers-by. There was always room at the table. As your President, I will make our table as welcoming (and possibly as loud) as hers.

I deeply appreciate and respect ABCT’s history. Despite our present challenges, I remain hopeful—the roll-up-your-sleeves kind of hope—and would be honored to serve as ABCT’s President and get to work.

Nominees for Representative-at-Large

Daniella Cavenagh, Ph.D.

Daniella Cavenagh Headshot

Biographical Statement

Throughout my career I have been primarily a clinician and educator. My clinical work has ranged from treating multidiagnosed, trauma-exposed public sector medical patients, to veterans, to high-functioning private practice clients. I have taught CBT at the graduate and postgraduate level, and supervised interns, fellows, residents, and licensed professionals. I earned a Ph.D. from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, completed clinical internship at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, and postdoctoral fellowship at Kaiser Permanente. I began my career at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the CBT Training Track Coordinator at San Francisco General Hospital. I learned Spanish in this role to better treat immigrant clients from Latin America. In 2008, I transitioned to private practice and held adjunct faculty appointments at Argosy University and Drexel University College of Medicine. In the last ten years, I served as Director of Education at the Beck Institute and as a psychologist at the Philadelphia VA before returning to private practice. I have been an active member of ABCT for over 20 years, most recently serving as chair of the Clinical Directory and Referral Issues Committee. I am a Beck Institute CBT Certified Clinician and Adjunct Faculty member, a Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, and am Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology.

Position Statement

ABCT is our professional home, and a house united stands strong. In my 20+ years as a member, I’ve noticed that it sometimes feels like there is an ABCT for researchers and an ABCT for clinicians. I want to bridge this gap by bringing a clinician’s perspective to the Board and helping advance an equitable role for clinicians in promoting ABCT’s initiatives. In the recent past, ABCT has paid greater attention to clinician needs via the expanded directory listing and the popular mini-workshops. I believe there is more we can do to foster inclusion and create more room for collaboration with our research-focused members to help disseminate and implement their work. Advancements in behavioral health require all of us to work together towards that common cause.

The Board has ambitious goals for the advancement of behavioral health that include expanding awareness of and access to CBT for both professionals and consumers, with an emphasis on underrepresented populations. The Board has responded to current events and social advances with a renewed awareness of the need to equitably include all persons and foster opportunities for members who may be marginalized. As an immigrant with two decades of working with a very diverse range of clients and students, I bring experience and perspective that would be useful as ABCT seeks to fulfill its commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.

In short, I’m running to represent those who have traditionally had less of a voice in our organization, either because of who they are or what they do. It would be an honor to serve as the Liaison to Academic and Professional Issues.

David Rosmarin, Ph.D.

David Rosmarin Headshot

Biographical Statement

My professional life is split across clinical-administrative and academic roles. Twelve years ago, I founded Center for Anxiety [] on a part-time basis as a single practitioner in a New York City office, and today the practice has grown to a team of over 30 clinicians in both New York and Boston, servicing over 1,000 unique patients per year. In addition, I am an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and I direct a laboratory and clinical program at McLean Hospital with over $2M in research and clinical funding. Managing these dual roles has provided me with unique opportunities to face and overcome adversity and turn crises into opportunities.

ABCT has been my professional home since graduate school, and I have always appreciated the unique opportunities to learn about both scientific advancements and clinical innovations, and of course to connect with like-minded colleagues and friends. Previously, I was the (founding) chair of the Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology’s Diversity Committee, and in that capacity I undertook a number of DEI initiatives, many of which remain in place to this day.

I am deeply committed to the alleviation of human suffering through evidence-based psychotherapeutic approaches, and to fostering a sense of unity through commitment to our core values.

Position Statement

Some of the best opportunities for innovation and advancement occur in the context of adversity. As Winston Churchill famously said in the wake of the Second World War, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Many professional associations, including ABCT, are facing significant challenges at the present time due to dwindling memberships and financial deficits after 2 years of virtual conferences, alongside a pressing need to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). At the same time, ABCT is the preeminent North American organization that unites academic researchers and clinicians with a single mission of advancing the science and practice of cognitive behavioral therapies. That mission has never been more needed than today, as emotional and behavioral problems mount to new heights.

If I am elected Representative-at-Large, my primary goal will be to increase the association’s membership through outreach efforts to master’s-level clinicians, including social workers, mental health counsellors, and marriage/family therapists. Such disciplines are the overwhelming majority within mental health disciplines, yet represent just 6% of ABCT membership, and thus constitute a vista for expanded impact and dissemination of evidence-based treatments. I will similarly aim to bolster ABCT’s ongoing efforts to increase representation of diverse ethnic, racial, and other minority groups, particularly within the association’s scientific programming.

My second goal will be to increase supports to help clinicians develop private practices of any size. Most healthcare graduate programs provide little to no coursework or guidance regarding the business-related aspects of running a mental health service for the public. Strategies and resources such as billing, legal consultation, accounting, marketing (e.g., website design), electronic medical records, and more could potentially be developed as a benefit to ABCT members.

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.

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