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ABCT & BARE Mental Health and Wellness

ABCT is partnering with BARE Mental Health and Wellness to address ABCT’s April 2022 RFP for Expanding Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in ABCT. See below for more information on this partnership, and how you can share your experiences, needs, and values as it relates to inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and justice (IDEAJ) in the context of ABCT.

Statement for Scope of Work and Introduction

Dear ABCT community,

Our company, BARE Mental Health and Wellness, was selected as the contractor in response to ABCT’s April 2022 RFP for Expanding Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in ABCT. As we embark on our work with ABCT, we wanted to share more about ourselves and the work we are planning with ABCT.

After years of conversations about our experiences as Black women professors and psychologists, and the need for systemic level change in our institutions and field, we founded Black Advocacy, Resistance, and Empowerment for Mental Health and Wellness (BAREMHW) in March 2020 with a primary mission of addressing disparities in access to health, wellness, education, and employment for Black Americans. Our approach to this work is multi-pronged, addresses intersecting forms of oppression and includes direct outreach to minoritized and marginalized communities as well as consultation and training services to healthcare and education institutions, law firms, businesses, and nonprofit organizations looking to develop and maintain equitable, just, inclusive, and diverse environments for members, employees, and clients.

We were hired by ABCT to consult on long-term, organizational needs and changes related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA). Our work builds on ABCT’s 2019-2020 Task Force for Equity, Inclusion, and Access (EIA) Report to the Board of Directors. Specifically, as stated in the RFP, the primary scope of our work includes: determining whether ABCT needs an IDEA staff member and/or an ongoing relationship with a consultant, or other staffing arrangement, writing job description(s) and assisting with finding candidates for the position(s), defining the role of an IDEA committee and writing role descriptions for committee members.

In order to effectively determine the role, scope of work, values and goals for IDEA staff and an IDEA committee, we first need to better understand ABCT and the experiences of the organization’s members as it relates to IDEA to guide that work. We have outlined the phases of our consultation and planned timeline below. We invite the entire ABCT community to give voice to your experiences with ABCT as part of the process, and we will share a more detailed invitation soon.

  • Phase 1 – Needs Assessment (July – November 2022): 
  1. A systematic review of ABCT’s written policies and practices, strategic plan, and public facing material (e.g. website, social media platforms) with a focus on the integration of IDEA.
  2. A survey that can be accessed by current and past members, as well as potential members that will allow these participants to contribute their perspectives on organizational, systemic, and interpersonal barriers IDEA in the context of ABCT
  3. Focus groups and individual interviews with current and past members, as well as potential members that will allow these participants to contribute their perspectives on organizational, systemic, and interpersonal barriers to IDEA in the context of ABCT.


  • Phase 2 – Data Analysis and Consultation Report (December 2022 – January 2023):
  1. Analyze data gathered through the needs assessment
  2. Produce a written consultation report that includes an executive summary, de-identified summary of collected data, and a strategic plan which will include concrete recommendations to address the needs outlined in the needs assessment.
  3. Provide job descriptions for all proposed IDEA staff and committee position(s) as well as a roadmap for equitable recruitment and hiring processes for the IDEA staff and committee position(s).


  • Phase 3 –  Implementation of Strategies to Address IDEA Needs of ABCT (TBD): Support ABCT in the implementation of strategies to address the recommendations. Timeline and specifics to be determined based on the outcome of the previous phases.


  • Phase 4 – Accountability and Follow-up (TBD): One-year follow-up to formally assess the progress of ABCT based on the implementation of strategies to address recommendations that arose from the needs assessment. The purpose of this follow-up is to ensure the organization’s accountability as it relates to the IDEA strategic plan and to support the organization in navigating any barriers to success in addressing IDEA needs.



Jess and Tahirah

Description of Focus Groups, Individual Interviews, and Survey

We would like to understand your experiences, needs, and values as it relates to inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and justice (IDEAJ) in the context of ABCT. Additionally, we would like to understand the ways in which your professional and personal identities (and identity-related experiences) intersect with your experiences with ABCT.  To do so, we invite you to participate in a focus group/individual interview and survey.

We value your voice in shaping the future of ABCT as a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just organization.  It is with this in mind that we we want to emphasize the need for ABCT to prioritize minoritized and underrepresented voices in shaping this future as well as diversity of voice in terms rank, role, and mental health profession (e.g. mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists).

The focus groups, individual interviews, and survey present opportunities for you to share your experiences of ABCT, the current challenges you and the organization face in terms of IDEAJ as well as your hopes, desires, and expectations for ABCT’s future as an organization committed to IDEAJ. The focus groups, individual interviews, and survey responses will help us to better understand the history, nuances, and complexities of ABCT in the context of IDEAJ and greatly inform the IDEAJ strategic plan moving forward.

We are inviting you to sign up for a focus group (~90 minutes) or individual interview (~60 minutes).  Focus groups and individual interviews will be facilitated by BARE Mental Health and Wellness (i.e. Tahirah and Jess) and are limited to no more than 8 participants. Most focus groups and interviews will take place virtually, although we will have some availability for focus groups and interviews in person at the ABCT Convention.  Please see the statement of confidentiality below.

You have several sign-up options:

(1) Organize your own focus group members and choose one point person to sign up for the group.

(2) Let us know your availability and we will place you in a focus group with others who share your availability.

(3) Opt to engage in an individual interview.

To sign up for either a focus group or individual interview, please use this link:

You will receive a confirmation email from BAREMHW with a Zoom link, date, time, and brief demographic survey within one week of completing the sign up form.

The survey is an opportunity for you to share your experiences of ABCT in depth.  We encourage everyone to complete the survey regardless of participation in focus groups or individual interviews. The link to the survey is here:


We ask that all focus group participants maintain the confidentiality of the space and refrain from sharing responses from others in your group with anyone outside of the focus group.  We (BAREMHW) commit to maintaining confidentiality. Focus groups and individual interviews will be recorded using the BAREMHW Zoom account (for virtual focus groups and interviews) and audio recorder (for in-person focus groups and interviews) for the purpose of data analysis, presentation of findings, and recommendations. These recordings will not be shared with ABCT or anyone else outside of the BAREMHW team and will be deleted once the final consultation report is submitted to ABCT. Similarly, raw survey data will not be shared with anyone outside of the BAREMHW team and will be deleted once the final consultation report is submitted. We will aggregate themes from across all de-identified survey responses, focus groups, and individual interviews. These themes, along with our analysis and recommendations will be included in the consultation report we submit to ABCT.  As consultants, we commit to anonymity as we aggregate and share themes in the consultation report.

We realize that some may be eager, ambivalent, or even skeptical about the process and about participating. We encourage everyone to reach out to us ([email protected]) to ask questions and give voice to the experiences that have contributed to any eagerness, ambivalence, or skepticism.

We are looking forward to engaging with you. Please contact us with questions you may have and we will get back to you.

Tahirah & Jess

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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