Abct 53rd Annual Convention November 21–24, 2019


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Recommended Readings: Petry, N. M. (2012). Contingency management for substance 

abuse treatment: A guide to implementing this evidence-based practice. New York, NY: 

Routledge.Rash, C. J., Stitzer, M., & Weinstock, J. (2017). Contingency management: 

New directions and remaining challenges for an evidence-based intervention. Journal of 

Substance Abuse Treatment, 72, 10-18. Dephilippis, D., Petry, N.M., Bonn-Miller, M.O., 

Rosenback, S.B., & McKay, J.R. (2018). The national implementation of contingency 

management (CM) in the Department of Veterans Affairs: Attendance at CM sessions 

and substance use outcomes. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 185, 367-73.

9:00 a m  – 11:00 a m 

L504-L505, Lobby Level

Special Session

Directors of Clinical Training/Internship Training 

Directors Meeting

Debora J. Bell, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia

Key Words: Professional Issues

Join this informal discussion of issues of common concern to those responsible for 

the training of clinical psychologists. The first half of this session will be devoted to issues 

most relevant to academic doctoral program directors. Representatives from internship 

programs are invited to join the meeting for the second half of the session, which will be 

devoted to the discussion of issues of concern to both groups.

9:30 a m  – 11:00 a m 

Embassy A, Embassy Level, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Behavioral Medicine and Integrated Primary Care SIG

• Review of SIG Rationale/Mission • Introduction of New members and repre-

sentative • Review of decisions from last year • SIG accomplishments in the past year • 

Award presentations • Panel discussion • Collection of dues



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9:30 a m  – 10:30 a m 



Embassy C, Embassy Level, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Neurocognitive Therapies / Translational Research 

(NTTR) SIG

At this year’s NTTR SIG meeting, we will be introducing our new SIG Leadership, 

discussing improvements to our Mentorship Program, discuss future Preconference Insti-

tutes and activities of the ABCT Think Tank focused on increasing visibility of neurosci-

ence informed research at ABCT.

9:30 a m  – 11:00 a m 

Embassy D, Embassy Level, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Hispanic Issues in Behavior Therapy SIG

Student research presentations, research awards, business planning including stu-

dent issues, and networking.

9:30 a m  – 11:00 a m 

International North, Ballroom Level, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Anxiety SIG

Please join us for a panel discussion on traditional and non-traditional career paths 

and opportunities for networking and mentoring. All are welcome; you do not need to be 

a member to attend.



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10:30 a m  – 12:00 p m 



Atrium Ballroom A, Atrium Level

Clinical Roundtable 10

Embracing the Dialectics in the Implementation of 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in the Veterans 

Health Administration (VHA)

m

oderators



A. Nicole Winchester, Psy.D., Cincinnati VA Medical Center

 

Laura Meyers, ABPP, Ph.D., Orlando VAMC

P

anelists





Sara J. Landes, Ph.D., Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare 

System


 

Ren F. Stinson, ABPP, Ph.D., Minneapolis VAMC

 

Elizabeth Chapman, MSW, Ann Arbor Veterans Healthcare 

System


 

Jeanette R. DeVevo, LCSW, US Department of Veteran Affairs, 

Phoenix


 

Melanie S. Harned, Ph.D., University of Washington

Earn 1 5 continuing education credits

Primary Category: Military and Veterans Psychology

Key Words: DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), Veterans, Implementation

The need for evidence-based treatment to address the national health crisis of suicide 

in critical. Unfortunately, veterans suicide rates are 1.5 times higher than the rates of 

non-veterans. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has demonstrated time and time again 

clinical efficacy to address not only the life-threatening behaviors seen in multiple diag-

nostic presentations, and ultimately how to assist patients in building a life worth living. 

While the research and clinical knowledge supports implementation and use of DBT in 

mental health settings, there is difficulty in implementing this complex model in a large 

system such as the Veterans Health Administration. Implementation of DBT in the VHA 

system is on a scope and scale vastly different than most research has conceptualized and 

examined. VHA provides treatment services to millions of veterans across the thousands 

of locations in treatment settings ranging from outpatient, to inpatient, and residential. 

Recent research from VHA providers has started to highlight the unique challenges and 

barriers to implementation of DBT, as well as demonstrating the benefits of using DBT in 

veteran populations, as well as factors that increase facilitation of DBT implementation.

 The focus of this clinical round table is to gather prominent VHA clinical leaders 

that have been part of the grassroots implementation of DBT at various facilities across the 

country. Topics that have been researched and that will be the focus of the clinical round 

table include: service utilization costs associated with DBT participation, barriers and fa-

cilitators of DBT implementation in VHA care, training options, overcoming conflicting 

VA pressures and priorities (e.g., suicide prevention initiatives, political pressures, access 


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concerns), and needed resources for DBT implementation. There are many similarities 



that are seen with implementation of DBT in community settings, including the con-

cern of maximizing the return on a training investment. The panel will also dive into the 

unique aspects of implementation of DBT including providing DBT services and main-

taining a program in the VHA. As one practices DBT in the VHA, embracing the concept 

of dialectics (the D in DBT) is paramount to implementation of this needed service.

10:30 a m  – 12:00 p m 

Atrium Ballroom B&C, Atrium Level

Invited Panel 2

Realizing ABCT’s Mission in a Politicized World

Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., American Psychological Association

Laura D. Seligman, Ph.D., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Brandon Gaudiano, Ph.D., Brown University & Butler Hospital

Megan Gordon-Kane, Feminist Women’s Health Center

Anita Brown, Ph.D., Georgia Psychological Association

Lauren MacIvor Thompson, Ph.D., Perimeter College of Georgia State 

University

Key Words: Public Policy

ABCT is “committed to the enhancement of health and well-being by advancing the 

scientific understanding, assessment, prevent and treatment of human problems through 

the global application of behavioral, cognitive, and biological evidence-based principles.” 

How can ABCT as an organization and individual ABCT members leverage this mission 

and knowledge to inform public policy and legislation? Members may be energized by 

recent issues- such as Georgia’s restrictive abortion laws- but enhancing the health and 

well-being of others through the application of evidence-based principles extends to many 

domains. Panelists will address the realities of policy development in our modern era and 

discuss the best strategies for ensuring that science appropriately informs the process. Pan-

elists will also address the challenging realities of working within divisive and partisan pol-

itics to find solutions that advance health and well-being. Challenges include “fake news,” 

the public’s lack of understanding of science, attempting to advance multiple priorities 

that require political good will, “irrational” decision making, and working within the legal 

and ethical bounds of the organization and our disciplines. Panelists include Dr. Laura 

Seligman, an active member of ABCT’s Women’s SIG, Dr. Anita Brown, an advocate 

for psychology within the state of Georgia, Dr. Lauren Thompson, a historian specializ-

ing in law and health, Ms. Megan Gordon-Kane, an advocate for state level reproductive 

justice policies from Atlanta based Feminist Women’s Health Center, and Dr. Brandon 

Gaudiano, an expert in science and pseudoscience. The panel will be moderated by Dr. 

Lynn Bufka, who oversees policy and research development for professional practice at the 

American Psychological Association.



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10:30 a m  – 12:00 p m 



Marquis Salon D, Marquis Level

Mini Workshop 14

CBT for Looming Vulnerability Distortions in Anxiety

John Riskind, Ph.D., George Mason University

Earn 1 5 continuing education credits

Basic level of familiarity with the material

Primary Category: Adult Anxiety

Key Words: Anxiety, Cognitive Biases / Distortions, CBT

The proposed mini-workshop will expose participants to a set of new constructs, 

strategies and novel interventions derived from the looming vulnerability model of anx-

iety that can be incorporated into standard CBT (Riskind & Rector, 2018). In the gen-

eral CBT paradigm for anxiety today, threat perception is a core etiological process that 

involves distortions of the probabilities and costs of negative events. Threat perception is 

framed as a static snapshot of a dynamic emergent process. For example, potential roman-

tic rejection or contamination exposure can be growing/approaching quickly or slowly. 

There is considerable evidence that anxiety is associated with to a cognitive bias to distort 

and overestimate dynamic emerging properties of threats: individuals who are afraid of 

spiders overestimate the speed and approaching movement of spiders, individuals who 

have contamination fear overestimate the rapid spread of germs in their direction, and 

individuals with social anxiety disorder tend to overestimate the extent that ambiguous 

social events represent rapidly growing threats of social rejection. Standard CBT has been 

shown to successfully reduce some of these distortions (Katz et al., 2017). However, addi-

tional interventions that target “looming vulnerability distortions” may help to augment 

the efficacy of CBT. Dorfan and Woody (2006) showed that while imagery instructions 

to imagine a drop of urine that was placed on their hands as spreading impeded standard 

habituation, instructions to image the urine as static facilitated habituation. Although 

condensed to reach a larger audience, the present material was well received as a work-

shop[s at last year’s ABCT.

At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

•  Describe the theory and research that support a looming vulnerability model as 

a cognitive perspective to anxiety and fear.

•  Describe novel techniques for targeting and correcting these cognitive and per-

ceptual distortions that can provide adjunctive tools for CBT protocols.

Recommended Readings: Riskind, J. H., & Rector, N. (2018). Looming Vulnerability: 

Theory, Research and Practice. Springer Nature.Riskind, J. H., Rector, N. A., & Taylor, S. 

(2012). Looming Cognitive Vulnerability to Anxiety and its Reduction in Psychotherapy. 

Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 22, 137-162.Dorfan, N. M., & Woody, S. R. (2006). 



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Does threatening imagery sensitize distress during contaminant exposure? Behaviour Re-



search and Therapy, 44, 395-413

10:30 a m  – 12:00 p m 

Imperial Salon A, Marquis Level

Mini Workshop 15

Treating Impulsive, Addictive, and Self-Destructive 

Behaviors

Peggilee Wupperman, Ph.D., John Jay College/The Graduate Center/City 

University of New York



Earn 1 5 continuing education credits

Basic to Moderate level of familiarity with the material

Primary Category: Treatment - Other

Key Words: Addictive Behaviors, Eating, Aggression / Disruptive Behavior / Conduct 



Problems

Clients with dysregulated behavior often have trouble engaging in treatment, com-

pleting home-practice, and/or attending sessions regularly. As a result, treatment outcomes 

are often disappointing, and drop-out rates are high. To address these issues, Mindful-

ness and Modification Therapy (MMT; Wupperman, 2019) offers time- and cost-effective 

strategies for helping clients break free from dysregulated behavior. MMT integrates key 

elements from Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and 

Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, and other evidence-based 

approaches. Preliminary trials of MMT have shown decreases in alcohol use, drug use

binge eating, physical aggression, and verbal aggression in both self-referred and court-re-

ferred clients. Retention has been greater than 80% across studies. Case studies have 

shown decreases in trichotillomania, skin picking, smoking, compulsive shopping, and 

other dysregulated behaviors. MMT can be used as a stand-alone treatment or as a pre-

cursor to decrease problematic behaviors before moving to more-intensive therapy. In this 

workshop, participants will master strategies that help improve motivation, engagement, 

and outcome in clients presenting with dysregulated behavior. Participants will learn to 

(1) conceptualize and address behavioral dysregulation in ways that decrease treatment 

obstacles, and (2) help clients begin moving toward lives that feel more meaningful and 

fulfilling. Implementation of strategies will be demonstrated through descriptions of ther-

apeutic procedures, discussions of case vignettes, and presentation of videos. A guide for 

integrating the strategies within existing treatment will be presented along with sample 

handouts that can be modified to fit treatment goals. Adaptations to address client diver-

sity will be discussed.

At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:



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•  Conceptualize dysregulated behaviors with empirically supported methods.



•  Integrate evidenced-back strategies to improve treatment engagement in clients 

with dysregulated behavior(s).

•  Describe strategies to address common treatment obstacles (homework noncom-

pliance, missed sessions, ambivalence about treatment, etc.). Customize strate-

gies and techniques to fit diverse client needs and treatment plans.

Recommended Readings: Wupperman, P. (April 2019). Treating Impulsive, Addictive, and 

Self-Destructive Behaviors: Mindfulness and Modification Therapy. New York, NY: Guil-

ford Press. https://www.guilford.com/books/Treating-Impulsive-Addictive-and-Self-De-

structive-Behaviors/Peggilee-Wupperman/9781462538836Arkowitz, H., Miller, W. R., & 

Rollnick, S. (Eds.). (2015). Motivational interviewing in the treatment of psychological 

problems. Guilford Publications.Wupperman, P., Gintoft-Cohen, M., Haller, D.L., Flom, 

P., Litt, L.C., & Rounsaville, B.J. (2015). Mindfulness and Modification Therapy for be-

havior dysregulation: A comparison trial focused on substance use and aggression. Journal 

of Clinical Psychology, 71, 964-978.

10:30 a m  – 12:00 p m 

Marquis Salon B, Marquis Level

Panel Discussion 17

Telehealth and mHealth: Innovations and Challenges in 

Clinical and Research Applications Across Private Sector, 

VA, and DoD Settings

m

oderator



:  Jessica Stern, Ph.D., NYU Langone Health Steven A. Cohen 

Military Family Clinic

P

anelists




Ariane Ling, Ph.D., NYU Langone Health Steven A. Cohen 

Military Family Clinic

 

Gina Raza, Ph.D., Puget Sound Healthcare System; Virginia 

Tech-Carilion School of Medicine

 

Jessica Watrous, Ph.D., Naval Health Research Center

Earn 1 5 continuing education credits

Primary Category: Military and Veterans Psychology

Key Words: Military, Veterans, Technology / Mobile Health

Use of technology has become an increasingly large part of mental health treatment, 

dissemination, and research. Use of technology through telehealth services and mHealth 

applications has become an important tool particularly amongst the military and Veter-

an community, an underserved population; reasons include, the international spread of 

military personnel, physical and psychological limitations for in-person attendance, in-

creased demand and geographical limitations to healthcare settings, among others. With 

increased use of technological advancements in research and clinical practice come ethical 



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and logistical considerations and challenges. The panelists represent individuals involved 



in research and/or clinical practice for servicemembers and Veterans in the primary sec-

tors involved in military health: Dr. Watrous, a civilian contractor conducting research 

with a Department of Defense (DoD) research command in San Diego, Dr. Raza, a VA 

clinician at VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, and Dr. Ling, a clinician in a private 

sector military mental health clinic at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Watrous will discuss the importance of using telehealth and mHealth for treat-

ment and research with the military population given their global reach. She will explore 

how electronic data collection strategies, mHealth, and telehealth, will allow for increased 

study beyond the catchment area of San Diego, including those stationed abroad. Addi-

tionally, she will share challenges faced in implementing these strategies. Dr. Raza will 

discuss how telehealth has been used across the West Coast Veteran population within the 

VA. Additionally, she will explore programmatic and logistical challenges, as well as ethical 

considerations. Furthermore, she will discuss the use of VA applications in treatment. Dr. 

Ling will discuss considerations in providing telehealth to Veterans in the community. She 

will focus on the use of telehealth for higher-risk individuals, including those with Dual 

Diagnosis presentations, an area yet to be explored more widely clinically and in research. 

She will discuss clinical and ethical considerations, as well as logistical challenges in apply-

ing telehealth services for less-explored and higher-risk indications.



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10:30 p m  – 12:00 p m 



M101, Marquis Level

Panel Discussion 27

Expanding the Reach of CBT Through Community, 

Industry, and Neuroscience Partnerships

m

oderator



:  Angela Fang, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard 

Medical School

P

anelists




Cassidy A. Gutner, Ph.D., Boston University School of 

Medicine


 

Amanda Baker, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital/

Harvard Medical School

 

Stephen Schueller, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine

 

Sabine Wilhelm, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; 

Massachusetts General Hospital

 

Philippe R. Goldin, Ph.D., University of California, Davis



Earn 1 5 continuing education credits

Primary Category: Dissemination & Implementation Science

Key Words: Neuroscience, Technology / Mobile Health, Industry

Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely recognized as an effective psy-

chological treatment for multiple clinical conditions, meta-analyses consistently indicate 

that approximately 50% of patients do not achieve remission during CBT. The conven-

tion theme this year promotes new partnerships to expand the impact of CBT through 

improved service delivery and translation from related disciplines such as technology 

and neuroscience. Designed to address diverse approaches to improve CBT outcomes, 

this panel discussion includes panelists who are leading the effort to develop collabora-

tions with community health systems, industry, and neuroscience partners to expand the 

reach of CBT outside of the traditional office-based therapeutic context. Cassidy Gut-

ner will provide a broad perspective on implementation within the VA and through a 

global healthcare company. She will discuss interactions with stakeholders at multiple 

levels (patients, clinicians, administrators, policy makers) and community providers in 

providing clinical supervision. Amanda Baker will discuss interactions with companies 

providing both psychophysiological equipment and smartphone application companies 

to track CBT-related outcomes. Stephen Schueller will address the intersection of mental 

health and technology through his experience as Executive Director of Psyberguide, an 

online resource that reviews mental health apps to help individuals make informed health 

decisions. Sabine Wilhelm will discuss the rationale of partnering with industry sponsors 

to improve access to CBT, and strategies for establishing effective collaborations. Philippe 

Goldin will discuss leveraging findings in neuroscience to improve clinical practice and 

interacting with neuroscience-based apps to engage patients, clinicians, and the public in 



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mental health treatment. Angela Fang will moderate the discussion connecting the panel-



ists’ work to themes in clinical science.


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