Convention 2011
 Invited Speakers Invited Speakers

Invited Speakers Presidential Address

Saturday, Grand Ballroom, 5:15 - 6:15 PM

Exploring the Interaction of Learning, Culture and Hormones in Anxiety

Debra A. Hope
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral interventions in relieving the suffering of individuals with anxiety disorders is well established. Despite this success on the treatment front, a number of important questions about anxiety remain unanswered. One fundamental unanswered question is why gender predicts one's risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Common hypotheses that gender is a proxy for differential learning histories, culturally transmitted social roles or hormonal effects have less research support than generally assumed. Exploring what we know, and need to know, about gender and anxiety will lead to a better understanding of etiology and treatment mechanisms and, ultimately, may contribute to innovations in treatment.

Dr. Hope received her BA with Honors in Psychology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1983. She went on to study under the mentorship of Richard G. Heimberg at the State University of New York at Albany and received her Ph.D. in Psychology in 1990 after completing her predoctoral internship at Medical College of Pennsylvania/Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Hope is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. . She maintains an active program of research, publishing nearly 100 articles, chapters, and books. She is the lead author on the most widely used treatment manual for social anxiety that is published in Oxford's Treatments That Work series.

Key words: anxiety, gender, treatment

Invited Speakers Invited Address

Saturday, Grad Ballroom Centre, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Relationship Science and the Improvement of Preventive and Educational Interventions for Couples

Thomas Bradbury

Although intimate relationships are uniquely capable of promoting the health and well-being of couples and their families, these benefits remain elusive for many people. Scholars have therefore worked to specify behavioral antecedents of relationship distress and dissolution and to devise communication-based interventions that will prevent these adverse outcomes. I analyze this work, first to suggest that prevailing models have reached their limit, and second to identify new directions for improving the impact, durability, and reach of our interventions. Drawing from my own observational and longitudinal studies, I argue that (a) relationship outcomes are multiply determined, and over-determined, by personal vulnerabilities, interpersonal processes, and stress, underscoring the need for multifaceted approaches to modifying relationship functioning; (b) strong emphasis on modifying negative interpersonal exchanges may be unwarranted, suggesting the value of building upon couples' idiosyncratic strengths; (c) the couples most likely to struggle can be identified early in their relationships - and are most difficult to reach with traditional interventions -- indicating a need to focus basic and applied efforts on vulnerable segments of the population; and (d) preventive interventions can have unintended effects, underscoring the need to investigate how couples respond directly to interventions and incorporate them into their daily lives.

You will learn

  1. How the conceptual foundation of preventive interventions differ from the conceptual foundation for couple therapies
  2. The current status of efforts to promote healthy couple functioning and to prevent relationship distress and dissolution?
  3. What has been learned from applied research undertaken to prevent relationship distress and dissolution

Invited Speakers Invited Address

Friday, Grand Ballroom Centre, 9:15 - 10:15 AM

What's Next for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy? Moving Beyond Efficacy to Mechanisms and Dissemination

Zindel Segal
University of Toronto

With Hofmann's (2010) unanticipated, but robust, finding of efficacy for mood and anxiety disorder treatments that feature, at their core, the practice of mindfulness meditation, one can hear a collective sigh of relief. Having established MBCT's broad appeal and effectiveness, the question of how exactly this multi-modal treatment achieves its benefits remains largely unanswered. It is still not clear, for example, what the relative contribution of cognitive therapy principles versus mindfulness practice is to outcome. Clarifying mechanisms of action is of more than academic interest, as it will likely inform the approach taken to training the next generation of MBCT practitioners. In addition, a focus on mechanisms can only enhance efforts to address the largest obstacle faced by patients interested in this form of care, namely limited access. In response to this challenge, efforts aimed at disseminating mindfulness-based treatments more generally, have been under way for the past 5 years. The goal here has been to render these in-person treatments into internet compatible formats that would enable their delivery via live videoconferencing, interactive websites, or mobile applications. These developments will be reviewed and evaluated. The need to conceptualize mindfulness-based interventions in terms of their active ingredients, before the inexorable migration to the web begins, will be emphasized.

Zindel Segal, PhD, is the Cameron Wilson Chair in Depression Studies and Head of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is also Head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Segal has studied and published widely on psychological treatments for depression for more than 25 years, especially the nature of psychological prophylaxis for this recurrent and disabling disorder. More recently, he and his colleagues have pioneered the combined use of mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy as an effective relapse prevention treatment. Patients who practice mindfulness develop metacognitive awareness of their emotions which, in turn, reduces their reactivity to negative affect. Dr. Segal's publications include Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, and The Mindful Way Through Depression, a patient guide that outlines this approach.

Recommended Readings:

Segal ZV, Bieling P, Young T, et al., Antidepressant monotherapy vs sequential pharmacotherapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or placebo, for relapse prophylaxis in recurrent depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010 67:1256-64.

T Hofmann SG, Sawyer AT, Witt AA, et al., The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010 78:169-83.

Morris ME, Kathawala Q, Leen TK, et al., Mobile therapy: case study evaluations of a cell phone application for emotional self-awareness. J Med Internet Res. 2010 30;12(2):e10.

Key Words: Mindfulness, Mechanisms of Action, Depression

3 Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the statistical framework for identifying treatment mediators and moderators.
  2. Learn about three important mechanisms of action in MBCT
  3. Survey new developments in internet-based therapies for depression and anxiety disorders.

Invited Speakers Invited Address

Friday, Grand Ballroom Centre, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Evidence-Based Practice: What’s New and How It Can Help You

Bonnie Spring
Northwestern University

The National Institutes of Health discerns two phases of translational research that follow T1 “bench-to-bedside” treatment development. T2 evidence-based practice and T3 implementation are new frontiers for translational science (Westfall, Mold & Fagnan, 2007) and the subject matter for this presentation. Treatment guideline development, a core T2 activity, is an arena where standards are evolving rapidly. Earlier this year, the U.S. Institute of Medicine released two publications that raise the bar for systematic reviews and treatment guidelines. Whereas guidance from the U.K.’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence (N.I.C.E) has long been considered a gold standard for evidence-based mental health practice, N.I.C.E. guidelines lag behind IOM recommendations in several key respects. The American Psychological Association’s Advisory Steering Committee on Treatment Guidelines currently is midstream in navigating these waters to chart a course for U.S. guidelines in mental and behavioral health treatment. Implementation science addresses the ultimate translational frontier: how to get evidence-based practices adopted and used. New technological supports for evidence-based practice are coming on line, as illustrated by a joint venture to be announced between ABCT and

Learning objectives:

  1. Define how the National Institutes of Health differentiates among T1, T2, and T3 translational research.
  2. Explain one respect in which the Institutes of Medicine recommends making the standard for treatment guidelines more rigorous.
  3. Contrast one ineffective and one more effective method of guidelines implementation.

Invited Speakers A Tribute to Dr. G. Alan Marlatt

Friday, Grand Ballroom Centre, 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Last year G. Alan Marlatt was awarded ABCT's Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Marlatt's research prominence was a result of his making quantum leaps into new and uncharted areas of research that led the way for others. His contributions have been many and varied- not just one innovation but mainstay concepts in the addictions field-relapse-prevention, harm-reduction, taste-rating tests, the balanced placebo design, and most recently his research on mindfulness.

As a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Marlatt was supposed to deliver an Invited Address on his career research accomplishments at this Convention. Upon learning of Alan's death, the convention committee decided to have his invited talk presented by four colleagues who worked closely with him. Their talks will address the following topics and will pay tribute to different aspects of his research:

Effects of Alcohol Using the Balanced Placebo and Taste-Test Procedures
Dennis Donovan, University of Washington School of Medicine

Relapse Prevention - Katie Witkiewitz, Washington State University

Harm Reduction - Mary Larimer, University of Washington

Mindfulness - Sarah Bowen, University of Washington

Moderator - Linda Sobell, Nova Southeastern University

Goals for CE Credit

  1. To learn about the historical development of relapse prevention
  2. To learn about the historical development of harm reduction
  3. To learn about how the use of the balanced placebo design and taste test procedures
  4. To learn how mindfulness can be used in treating addictions


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