2006 Election Bio and Platform Statements

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The results of the 2006 Election are as follows: President Kelly Wilson, University of Mississippi President-Elect Dermot Barnes-Holmes, National University of Ireland, Maynooth Secretary-Treasurer Patty Bach, Illinois Institute of Technology Members at Large Sonja Batten, VA Maryland Health Care System & University of Maryland School of Medicine Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, National University of Ireland, Maynooth Eric Fox, Western Michigan University Robyn Walser, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Palo Alto Student Representative Jason Lillis, University of Nevada, Reno ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The ACBS Bylaws say: The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary-Treasurer, a student representative, and four Members-at-Large of the Board of Directors. Each shall perform the usual duties of the respective office and specific duties provided elsewhere in the Bylaws or as assigned by the Board of Directors. Elections for officers shall be held every year. The President, President-Elect, Past-President, and student representative shall each serve a one-year term and may not hold any other offices within the Association. The Members-at-Large shall be elected every two years. In each two-year cycle one of the Members-at-Large shall have a strong background and interest in basic science relevant to the purposes of the Association. The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve a three year term. *(For the sake of continuity, the Members-at-Large will serve 2 and 3 year terms in these early years. The Members-at-Large with the assistance of the Board will determine which 2 of the 4 current members will step down after 2 years.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The bios and platform statements of the 2006 Board are below: Kelly Wilson (President) Kelly Wilson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor (associate in the fall) of psychology at the University at Mississippi. He received his B.A. from Gonzaga University in 1989, and his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1998. After running a National Institutes on Drug Abuse clinical trial in Reno, he joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 2000 where he founded the Mississippi Center for Contextual Psychology. Kelly has devoted himself to the development and dissemination of ACT and RFT for the past 17 years, publishing 26 articles, 18 chapters, and 4 books. He has presented workshops to more than 3000 individuals in 10 countries, and has participated as co-investigator on a wide range of projects in the U.S., Sweden, Spain, and the United Kingdom. He is currently co-investigator on grants at the University of Houston and in the Dorset Healthcare Trust in the England.

Statement: The group that gave birth to ACBS started small. We shared a set of content interests, an analytic strategy, and importantly, a set of values. As recognition of the work has expanded, so has the size of our community. We have the opportunity to set a pattern for growth that institutionalizes the values that drew us together. If given the opportunity to serve I will work:

  • to produce structures and processes within ACBS that insure its development as an inclusive, diverse, and nonhierarchical organization,
  • to foster deep inclusion of students within the organization,
  • to retain a strong connection among individuals doing basic and applied research and those who are applying the work in human service settings,
  • to foster open-source technologies, emphasizing free and low cost access to materials that facilitate the development and dissemination of basic and applied work.

We have an opportunity to imagine and build an ideal workgroup within ACBS. I would be honored to play a role in that development.

Dermot Barnes-Holmes (President-Elect) Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Ph.D. is foundation Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Dermot has published over 170 scientific articles, book chapters, and books, and he was ranked as the most prolific author in the world in the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior during the period 1980 to 1999. He has served on, or is currently serving on, the editorial board of a wide range of journals. He has graduated 20 doctoral students and in the past six years has been involved in attracting approximately $800,000 in competitive funding for research on Relational Frame Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Statement: If elected I would focus on facilitating the development of the international basis of the ACBS, seeking to build links with other relevant organizations both inside and outside of the science and profession of psychology. I would also work towards consolidating and further developing the relationship between basic and applied research across a range of domains. Finally, I would coordinate any necessary changes in the structure and administration of ACBS that will likely emerge during the first full year of its operation as a formal organization. Here is what the by-laws say about the new Board.

Patty Bach (Secretary-Treasurer) Patty Bach, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Nevada in 2000. Her primary activities include graduate training in clinical psychology and ACT and RFT research. Her major research interests are ACT in the treatment of psychosis; the role of AADRR in psychopathology; and implicit behavior. Other professional activities include ACT training and psychotherapy practice.

Statement The ACT/RFT community has been a largely informal group and we are now large enough to benefit from an organization that will facilitate dissemination of relevant research and technology while being inclusive of all fellow travelers. ACBS can be a useful forum for the sharing of ideas and information among researchers, practitioners, educators, students, and other interested parties. This is an exciting stage in the development of functional contextual science and practice. Issues that I matter about include facilitating the dissemination of third-wave technologies and basic science while managing the growth of ACBS responsibly; I’d like to see ACBS balance the challenges of providing a unified voice for the advancement of contextual behavioral science in contexts where strength in numbers matters; promoting quality training, research and practice; and maintaining the core values of a focus on empirical science and practice, inclusion, collegiality, and benefit to others that have been the hallmarks of our tradition.

Sonja Batten (Member-At-Large) Sonja Batten, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland and Coordinator of the Trauma Recovery Programs for the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, where she supervises psychology interns and staff in ACT. She studied ACT with Steve Hayes and Victoria Follette from 1994 to 1999. During that time, she primarily utilized ACT in the treatment of individuals dealing with posttraumatic problems in living, substance abuse, and depression. She was a project therapist on the grant evaluating the efficacy of ACT for polysubstance abusing opiate addicts, and collaborated with other study personnel on the development of the ACT protocol for this population. She has continued work on treatment development of ACT for PTSD and PTSD comorbid with substance abuse, collaborating with Sue Orsillo, Steve Hayes, and others. She has conducted ACT workshops since 1998 and was the Director for the 2005 ACT Summer Institute in Philadelphia.

Statement: One of my priorities within the ACT community is to ensure the quality of training that practitioners and students receive. The demand for ACT training around the world will soon outstrip the number of qualified ACT trainers. It behooves the ACT community to ensure excellence in training experiences. At the 2004 ACT Summer Institute, existing ACT trainers developed a proposal for the process of certifying new trainers. As Member-At-Large, I would like to assist in the piloting and implementation of the process for certifying new ACT trainers. Specifying how new individuals become trainers facilitates outstanding training, provides a new goal for students and trainees to strive for, and decreases the likelihood for any trainer to have a proprietary hold in a given location or specialty area. I feel that my educational, program development, and ACT trainer experiences give me the breadth to serve the ACT community well in this position.

Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Member-At-Large) Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where she has been on the faculty since 2001. Yvonne received her degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown in 1991. Her Ph.D. was concerned with the establishment of relational framing in young normally-developing children and she graduated in 2001.

Statement: My primary professional activity is academic -- 50 publications, 300 public presentations -- mostly on RFT and ACT. Doing ACT since 1998, mostly trauma and depression. I increasingly appreciate the overlap between ACT and RFT as ACT-driven questions about therapeutic processes come under scrutiny in our research and RFT begins to shape the way I think about clients' problems. This integration is what I think separates the efforts of this organisation from practically all other areas in psychology. This community seems to be about drawing together the experiences of clever, creative, skilled and committed human beings/professionals who believe that something important has been learned. As an RFT and ACT person, I am lucky to be able to appreciate the overlap between the two while having a healthy respect for the individual merits of each. Everyone has something important to contribute. I would be privileged to represent the organisation in whatever way members deem fit.

Eric Fox (Member-At-Large) Eric Fox, Ph.D, is an assistant professor of psychology at Western Michigan University. He earned his BA and MA in psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was exposed to contextual philosophy, RFT, and ACT as a member of Steve Hayes's lab. He later earned a Ph.D. in Learning & Instructional Technology from Arizona State University. His research and professional interests include instructional technology and the implications of contextualism, RFT, and ACT for educational practices.

Statement: There are two primary ways in which I would like to contribute to the development of ACBS. The first is through the continual development of the online services and technologies that underlie the ACBS website, ContextualScience.org. I believe the dynamic, collaborative nature of the site and our community can be enhanced even further, such as by integrating the various ACT and RFT mailing lists into the site’s online forums. In addition, I would like to see the association establish a peer-reviewed contextual behavioral science journal that publishes and displays in one place the remarkable breadth of ACT and RFT research currently being conducted. There are exciting new open-source software solutions to both publishing and managing peer-reviewed journals available, and I would be very interested in helping employ such solutions for this purpose.

Robyn Walser (Member-At-Large) Robyn D. Walser, Ph.D, is a psychologist for the National Center for PTSD at the VA Palo Alto and she works as a consultant, workshop presenter and therapist in private business. Dr. Walser received her degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada-Reno. During her graduate studies she developed expertise in, traumatic stress, substance abuse and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She has been doing ACT workshop trainings in multiple formats and for multiple client problems since 1998. She is currently developing innovative ways to translate science-into-practice and is responsible for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge and treatment interventions to health care professionals and trainees across VA facilities nationally. She continues her research aspirations and is currently involved in research on several projects investigating use of mindfulness and ACT in PTSD populations. Additionally, Dr. Walser was program director for the ACT Summer Institute in 2005.

Statement: I became involved in behavior analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the fall of 1991 when I first started graduate school at the University of Nevada, Reno. In that first year, I attended an ACT workshop and participated in research and clinical projects related to ACT and RFT. I discovered that I had joined a very exciting and valuable area of study in psychology. This approach appealed to both my scientific and clinical aspirations. It made sense to me all the way from its theoretical underpinnings to its application in therapy. Since that time I have focused a larger part of my career on ACT and its clinical application; becoming involved with research, therapy and trainings. I have presented on ACT at multiple professional conferences, written chapters and articles and am currently co-authoring two books. I have been conducting ACT workshops both nationally and internationally since 1998. I also conduct ACT therapy and supervision on an on-going basis, ACT consults for multiple VA’s and I am currently researching ACT in its application to PTSD at the National Center for PTSD. Last year, I was honored to serve as the Program Director for the ACT Summer Institute. I have enjoyed my role as a psychologist, scientist, and friend in ACT. I plan to continue my program of study and application and will always be a supporter of ACT in its commitment to reduction of human suffering. As Member at Large for ACBS, I will work to promote the values and ideals of the organization, including the open posture the organization takes and I will work to promote science and its key role in advancing our understanding of ACT and RFT.

Jason Lillis (Member-At-Large) Jason Lillis received a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland, M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. A student of Steven Hayes he expects his Ph.D. in May 2007. In the fall he will be starting a full time clinical internship at the Palo Alto VA Hospital. He is currently doing research work on applying ACT to problems of weight loss maintenance, andto ethnic prejudice.

Statement: During my training, my most enjoyable experiences have been meeting, getting to know, and working with people in this community. Watching us all grow together has been a true joy. Now that we have matured into an organization, I think we have the chance to reach more people with our message, work, and values. As student representative I would endeavor to give a voice to student issues and concerns, while attempting to create avenues for students to get involved in the work, meet other students, and network with professionals. ACBS is the embodiment of the ACT/ RFT vision of community and I would be honored to be a part of the planning committee representing the student voice.