Convention 2012

Message From the Program Chair
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Jeff Goodie Welcome to National Harbor, MD, and the 46th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). National Harbor and the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center provide an exciting and historic venue for our meeting. Sitting on the shores of the Potomac River and nestled between George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate 10 miles down the river and the Washington Monument 10 miles to the north, National Harbor, MD, affords a picturesque location with easy access to restaurants and entertainment, while providing the space for the convention to occur under one roof.

The theme of our meeting this year is Principles of Behavior Change: The Compass for CBT. As we developed this year’s conference, we focused on highlighting the compasses for behavioral and cognitive therapies, particularly principles of behavior change. As we adapt behavioral and cognitive therapies to environments, such as traditional behavioral health clinics, primary care settings, Web-based applications, or even the battlefield, the principles of behavior change, old and new, guide our research and practice, wherever it occurs.

We have an amazing group of invited speakers who have all shaped the field of behavior change and provide compasses for behavioral and cognitive therapies. Alan Kazdin, who will be receiving ABCT’s 2012 Award for Lifetime Achievement, will push us to consider novel models for delivering clinical care to those who need it most. Michelle Craske, internationally known for her work in fear and anxiety disorders, will discuss methods for optimizing learning during exposure therapy. On Friday we will also have intimate conversation with the father of cognitive therapy, Aaron Beck, about the past and future of cognitive therapy. Then on Saturday, Kelly Brownell, named by Time magazine in 2006 as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People,” will discuss the role of strategic science and our roles in changing how and what the nation eats. Toni Zeiss, winner of last year’s ABCT Award for Lifetime Achievement, will discuss the role of interdisciplinary teams in delivering evidence-based care throughout the Veterans Affairs’ health care system. On Saturday evening, Bob Klepac’s Presidential Address will focus on the need to further develop the strengths of ABCT and CBT.

Beyond our invited speakers are hundreds of events and 1,400 posters that will expand your scientific knowledge, clinical skills, and professional development across behavioral and cognitive therapies. These events and posters were selected from the largest field of submissions ever to an ABCT conference. The science presented in symposiums spans a broad range of assessment and treatment topics. Be sure to see this year’s Spotlight presentation by Scott Coffey on “Prolonged Exposure Therapy for Individuals With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Dependence.” Clinicians may be particularly interested in Sunday’s star-studded presentation “Experts in Search of Common Ground: Practical Advice for Clinicians.” Educators may be particularly interested in the “Special Panel Report of the Inter-Organizational Task Force on Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology Doctoral Programs” occurring on Saturday. Graduate students and those looking for postdoctoral opportunities won’t want to miss the popular Internship and Postdoctoral Overview Panel and the Meet and Greet. We worked hard to include a broad selection of presentations and topics and are confident you will find many presentations of interest to you.

Of course, the ABCT convention is about growing as a professional, but just as important, it is about connecting with colleagues and having fun. This year we have a high-spirited Local Arrangements Committee will help guide you to the fun in and around National Harbor and have planned an exciting dance party on Saturday night. If the ancient Mayans were right, this will be the last ABCT ever, so be sure to connect with your colleagues and join the Saturday night celebration!

ABCT is always a time for professional growth and an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues. On behalf of everyone who committed time and effort to developing this year’s conference, I hope you find ABCT’s 46th Annual Convention to be a professionally invigorating and personally satisfying experience.

Jeffrey Goodie, Ph.D., Program Chair



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