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ABCT CHANGE Leaders (Challenging How ABCT Now Governs and Evolves) Program

Call for Applications

The Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (ABCT) is pleased to announce our Call for Applications for the inaugural cohort of CHANGE (Challenging How ABCT Now Governs and Evolves) Leaders. CHANGE Leaders will have an opportunity to engage in co-governance (e.g., sharing of power) of ABCT and receive both sponsorship and mentorship from ABCT leaders over a two-year term (from May 1, 2023 through April 30, 2025).

What is the ABCT CHANGE Leaders Program? This is a new program aimed at engaging early career professionals, diverse scholars, and advanced students in a two-year, co-governance activity with assigned leadership sponsors while ABCT takes active steps to broaden and improve the diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and justice focus of its work. The ABCT Board recognizes that important structural change in our organization should come from an intersectional and collaborative process with persons who have been historically excluded, overlooked, or marginalized in their efforts to engage with organizational leadership. This unique leadership program aims to expose participants, in part, to the structure and activities of ABCT, through interactions with program directors, the Board and other leadership groups, in an effort to demystify how ABCT operates. This knowledge then will be used by CHANGE Leaders to work collaboratively with existing leadership to make a difference at a systems level.

CHANGE Leaders selected will be provided with up to $1500 in travel support reimbursement annually to attend two consecutive ABCT conventions (e.g., in Seattle and Philadelphia, respectively) and receive complimentary registration to both conventions.

Who should apply? We invite applications from ambitious terminal Master’s or doctoral students, early-stage investigators, or clinicians (<7 years since Ph.D., Psy.D., M.D., D.O., or terminal Master’s degree) who identify as minority or historically excluded (e.g., by race, ethnicity, nationality, indigeneity, LGBTQIA+, first generation college graduate, neurodivergent, and/or those with disabilities) who are motivated and interested in clinical science, leadership opportunities, and making an impact on the future of ABCT. As noted, we welcome applications from those primarily interested in clinical or research careers in our field, as well as advanced students in Master’s or doctoral programs.

10 CHANGE Leaders will be selected for the initial two-year program.

Program Directors

Dr. Ana Bridges, Department of Psychological Science at the University of Arkansas

Dr. Donte Bernard, Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri

Dr. Jill Ehrenreich-May, ABCT President, Department of Psychology at the University of Miami

Deadline for Applications is April 15, 2023

ABCT CHANGE Leaders Program Benefits. Each participant accepted into the ABCT CHANGE Leaders Program will be appointed for two-years terms, and will be assigned an ABCT Sponsor who is a current or prior ABCT leader (e.g., board members, coordinators, etc.) with a commitment to sponsoring diverse clinicians and scholars. ABCT CHANGE Leaders will meet with their Sponsors virtually a minimum of three times per year, and sponsorship activities will include listening and promoting ideas of CHANGE Leaders, orienting them to the organization’s structure and practices, providing mentorship as needed, and helping direct CHANGE Leaders to organizational resources. In addition, ABCT CHANGE Leaders will:

  1. Meet with ABCT Board members on the Thursday morning of the annual ABCT convention and in at least one other Board meeting in each year of their term to discuss organizational initiatives and share ideas.
  2. Develop (and potentially implement) action plans for programming, activities, or education to help support these goals developed in partnership with their Sponsor or other ABCT leadership.
  3. Provide feedback on relevant ABCT initiatives.
  4. Engage in opportunities for presenting, moderating discussions, and related activities of individual or group interest at ABCT conventions and throughout the year.
  5. Engage in a supportive and sponsored process for career development with a cohort of peers interested in promoting diverse future leadership for ABCT and other organizations.
  6. Be identified as an “ABCT CHANGE Leader”.

In order to support this program and its goals, all CHANGE Leaders selected will be expected to attend scheduled meetings with the CHANGE Leaders group, program directors, and their Sponsors from May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2025. Following a governance overview and orientation meeting, monthly meetings will be held for approximately 1 hour with program directors, plus at least 3 half-hour meetings with individual Sponsors annually, in addition to the Thursday morning meeting with the Board at the ABCT Conventions, and at least one additional Board meeting during each program year.

How to Apply? To apply for the ABCT CHANGE Leaders Program, candidates are invited to submit the following material here ABCT CHANGE Leaders Application by April 15, 2023. Questions may be directed to Dr. Ehrenreich-May at [email protected]:

  1. A 1 page cover letter describing one’s current position(s), prior leadership experience, reason(s) for interest in the CHANGE leadership program at ABCT, and a description of how participation in the CHANGE leadership program would benefit the applicant (personally and/or professionally).
  2. A current CV.
  3. Completed endorsement form from someone (e.g., a peer, colleague, mentor, community partner) with sufficient knowledge of your leadership potential to support your application. ABCT CHANGE Leaders Endorsement Form

Related Information

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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Manage your Membership information, email preferences, and more.


Membership in ABCT grants you access to three journals.


We are now accepting Abstract submissions for Continuing Education Ticketed Sessions at the 2024 ABCT Convention in Philadelphia, PA.