Convention Main Page

52st Annual Convention 2018 |
Message from ABCT's President
 Printable Version
Presidential Address-CBT in the Digital Age:
Enhancing Effectiveness and Reach of Research and Psychotherapy

Saturday, November 17, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Location: Marriott Ballroom 1, 2 & 3, Lobby Level

Keywords: Technology/Mobile health | Assessment | CBT

Presentation Type: Special Session

Presenter(s): Sabine Wilhelm, Ph.D.

Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

This year's ABCT conference focuses on Cognitive Behavioral Science, Treatment, and Technology. Our field has come a tremendous way in establishing CBT as the empirically supported treatment of choice for a wide range of mental and behavioral health problems. Nevertheless, our field has also faced consistent challenges in expanding timely access to care, disseminating care that is consistently high in quality and fidelity, and determining which treatment components work - and for whom. Lack of progress on these key issues is due in large part to the time and cost that it has traditionally required to address these issues. We are entering an exciting period in which emerging technologies offer novel solutions to these barriers. Technology-based solutions are often more efficient, cost effective, and agile. I will discuss a number of technology-enabled solutions to our field's age-old challenges. I will also caution the audience that, as we venture into exciting new domains for research and treatment, we must stay attentive to potential pitfalls of these emerging technologies. These include issues of ethics and data privacy, low rates of engagement with technology-based treatments, a wide research to market gap, and lack of empirical support for most app-based treatments. I will conclude with suggestions for how we may approach these potential pitfalls effectively.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe novel technology-enabled solutions to barriers the field faces
  • Explain potential challenges of technology-based research and treatment
  • Describe ways to address the challenges inherent to technology-enabled research and treatment

Recommended Readings:

Mohr, D.C., Zhang, M., & Schueller, S. M. (2017). Personal sensing: Understanding mental health using ubiquitous sensors and machine learning. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 13, 23-47.

National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (n.d.). Opportunities and Challenges of Developing Information Technologies on Behavioral and Social Science Clinical Research. Retrieved August 15, 2018 from

Neary, M., & Schueller, S. M. (in press). State of the field of mental health apps. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.



Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
305 7th Avenue, 16th Fl., New York, NY 10001 | Phone (212) 647-1890 | Fax: (212) 647-1865
Copyright 2003 - 2024 ABCT. All rights reserved. Terms of Use