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Researcher Spotlights

ABCT’s Spotlight on a Researcher seeks to enhance understanding of the process of research involvement among ABCT members by sharing the perspectives of established researchers. Our Spotlight highlights the diversity of research being conducted by ABCT members by including perspectives across varied backgrounds, settings, paradigms, and populations. If you’d like to nominate yourself or a colleague to be our Featured Researcher, click here to access our ABCT Spotlight on a Research Nomination.

Featured Researcher

Ana Bridges Ana Bridges - Ana Bridges, PhD, is a Professor, Director of Clinical Training, and licensed psychologist whose research focuses on understanding and ameliorating factors that interfere with mental health help-seeking in historically marginalized and oppressed groups.

Researcher Spotlights


Anu Asnaani Anu Asnaani - Anu Asnaani, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and licensed psychologist who has established the Treatment Mechanisms, Community Empowerment, and Technology Innovations laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT.
Sara Becker Sara Becker - Dr. Becker is a clinical researcher and licensed clinical psychologist dedicated to improving the quality and utilization of behavioral treatments for individuals with substance use disorders.
Colin Bosma Colin Bosma - Every year, ABCT's Research Facilitation committee awards a Graduate Student Research Grant to provide financial support for a student whose research shows great innovation, creativity, and broader significance.
Ana Bridges Ana Bridges - Ana Bridges, PhD, is a Professor, Director of Clinical Training, and licensed psychologist whose research focuses on understanding and ameliorating factors that interfere with mental health help-seeking in historically marginalized and oppressed groups.
Taylor A. Burke Taylor A. Burke - Dr. Taylor A. Burke is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. The primary aim of her research is to improve the prediction and prevention of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) among adolescents and young adults.
Jenna Carl Jenna Carl - My role is VP of Clinical Development & Medical Affairs at Big Health, a developer of digital therapeutics for mental health.
Christine Cha Christine Cha - Christine Cha is an Associate Professor (effective Fall 2021) in the Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she directs the Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Studies (LCDS). Her research program aims to refine our understanding of suicide and self-injury among youth.
Quyen A. Do Quyen A. Do - Quyen A. Do, M.Ed., is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a member of Dr. Shelby Scott's Promoting Resilience in DiversE (PRIDE) Family Studies Lab
Omar Gudiño Omar Gudiño - Gudiño directs the Services for At-Risk Youth & Families (SAYF) Lab, which conducts research on patterns of risk and resilience in ethnic minority youth exposed to trauma; the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for maltreated youth; and ethnic disparities in unmet need for mental health services
Gabrielle Ilagan Gabrielle Ilagan - We study whether daily fluctuations in invalidation are associated with fluctuations in BPD symptoms, and whether identity-related invalidation and self-validation may serve as a risk and protective factors, respectively, for Black and Latinx people with BPD symptoms.
Shawn Jones Shawn Jones - I actually have the "Pre-med" convert narrative to my career as a psychologist, so I did not have my first research experience until the summer of my junior year in undergrad.
Katharina Kircanski Katharina Kircanski - I conduct research as a federal employee in the NIMH Intramural Research Program.
Anna Lau Anna Lau - Dr. Anna Lau is Professor of Psychology and Asian-American Studies at UCLA.
Hannah Levy Hannah Levy - Hannah Levy is a staff psychologist at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.
Kelsey Pritchard Kelsey Pritchard - Pritchard's dissertation, “Interpersonal Emotion Regulation in Mood Disorders: Contextual, Biological, and Social Processes,” is a series of projects aimed to advance our understanding of intra- and interpersonal emotion regulation by examining biological and behavioral processes as mechanisms in affective change, emotional disorder risk, and negative interpersonal outcomes.
Keith Renshaw Keith Renshaw - Starting up a research lab and an independent program of research can feel daunting!
Laurel Sarfan Laurel Sarfan - Laurel is a fifth-year clinical psychology Ph.D. student at Miami University, where she is mentored by Dr. Elise Clerkin.
Shannon Sauer-Zavala Shannon Sauer-Zavala - Shannon Sauer-Zavala is a co-developer of the Unified Protocol and is currently developing and testing a novel treatment for borderline personality disorder – BPD Compass.
Ken Weingardt Ken Weingardt - Given this year's conference theme Cognitive Behavioral Science, Treatment, and Technology, we are excited to present for this inaugural feature a researcher who has spent his career evaluating and promoting technology-based enhancements for mental health.

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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