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2009-2010 Board of Directors

2009-2010 Board of Directors:

President: Frank Bond, University of London (UK)

President-elect: Robyn Walser, National Center for PTSD (Dissemination and Training Division), VA Palo Alto Healthcare System (US)

Past President: Steven Hayes, University of Nevada, Reno (US)

Secretary/Treasurer (year 1 of term): Sonja Batten, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (US)

Member-at-large (year 1 of term): Joseph Ciarrochi, University of Wollongong (Australia) 

Member-at-large (year 2 of term): JT Blackledge, Moorehead State University (US)

Member-at-large (year 1 of term): Carmen Luciano, University of Almeria (Spain)

Member-at-large (year 2 of term): DJ Moran, Family Counseling Center, Trinity Services (US)

Student-representative: Priscilla Almada, University of Mississippi (US)


The Bios and Platform statements for the newly elected members are below:

President elect: Robyn Walser, Ph.D.

Robyn D. Walser, Ph.D. is Associate Director of Dissemination and Training Division of the National Center for PTSD and Director of TL Consultation Services. As a licensed psychologist, she maintains an international training, consulting and therapy practice. Dr. Walser is an expert in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and has co-authored 3 books on ACT including a book on learning ACT. She has been doing ACT workshops since 1998; training in multiple formats and for multiple client problems. Dr. Walser is also an expert in traumatic stress and has authored a number of articles on this topic and has presented her research findings and papers at international and national conferences. She is invested in developing innovative ways to translate science-into-practice and continues to do research on dissemination of ACT and other therapies. As a member of the ACT/RFT community since 1991, I have been interested in its growth and committed to its values. Since the inception of ACBS I have been dedicated to supporting the organization, serving as Member at Large, serving on the committee to establish guidelines for the recognition of trainers, and serving as Ad Hoc Chair for the committee to develop bylaws for international chapters and SIGs. As president I would continue this service, focusing on growth and larger member involvement in the organization while also looking to address some of the challenges important to the organization such as training and dissemination needs. And, on a more personal note, I am dedicated to this important work that is about a progressive behavioral science that is working to more adequately address the challenge of human suffering…it would be a privilege to serve this community in that endeavor.

Secretary/ Treasurer: Sonja Batten, Ph.D.

Sonja Batten, Ph.D., serves on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Deputy Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. She studied ACT with Steve Hayes at the University of Nevada Reno, applying ACT to posttraumatic problems in living, substance abuse, and depression. She was a collaborative study member on the grant evaluating the efficacy of ACT for opiate addiction. She has continued treatment development of ACT for PTSD and PTSD comorbid with substance abuse, and has been fortunate to conduct ACT trainings internationally over the past decade. Statement I have been delighted to serve on the Board of ACBS since its inception in 2006. As Member-At-Large for the past three years, I have had the fun task of working with my esteemed contextual behavioral colleagues to develop a scientific organization like no other. Contributing to the decisions to adopt values-based dues and challenging ourselves to come up with a trainer recognition system that we hope is valid and engaging, being part of this Board of Directors has been a unique opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much over the years. As Secretary-Treasurer, I would welcome the opportunity to bring my skills at being organized and detail-oriented, as well as my institutional knowledge of ACBS from its roots, to the ongoing collaboration with my ACBS colleagues in bringing our organization to its next levels of development in training, education, research, and practical applications.

Member at large (slate 1) Carmen Luciano, Ph.D.

Full Professor, 1995-present in University Almería, after 1986-95 Universidad Granada. Ph.D. Psychology by Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 1984. Fulbright Post-doc, 1985 in Boston University & CCBS. Director ACT Institute ( and Máster/Doctorate Functional Analysis Program in University Almería ( Research funding by National and Autonomic govertments. Publications on basic research on language, emergence of novel behavior and transformations of functions (RFT) with applications in developmental areas, psychopathology (Experiential Avoidance Disorder) and ACT clinical methods, especially values clarification and defusion. Statement I will work for ACBS to make clear the bridge between the behavior analysis background and research on relational frame theory. I would work for promoting research on several areas: (a) the development of novelty by identifying the conditions under which relational framing takes place and the impact of transformation of functions in several human domains; (b) the isolating the conditions under which develops the verbal regulation of behavior, mainly, the destructive regulation of private events (as in destructive experiential avoidance); and (c) the necessary conditions, or transformation of functions, needed for the ACT clinical methods to generate the creative hopeless, acceptance, values clarification and defusion effects. In addition, I should improve my work for extending the impact of BA and RFT in the international domains, and by promoting research on the conditions necessary for learning the conceptualization and the abilities defining ACT.

Member at large (slate 2) Joseph Ciarrochi

I have authored and edited five books, and over 40 peer reviewed articles related to the promotion of mental health and emotional well-being. I’ve written a book with Ann Bailey on integrating ACT and CBT. I’ve also co-edited a book on ACT, and cowrote a special journal issue on the link between ACT and CBT. I have conducted ACT in organizations and produced a substantial number of free materials (e.g., visual metaphors) for ACT practitioners. Mission Statement I have spent five years helping to build a values-based ACT community in the Oceania region. If elected, I would do every thing in my power to continue building an international community that is devoted to the reduction of human suffering, promotion of vital living, and in general, the improvement of the human condition. I would like to help ACBS to do the following things: *** communicate the important ACT and RFT findings to non-ACBS members ***communicate the practical value of RFT and basic behavioural research to practitioners, ***promote a tighter link between practitioners and science, by providing a supportive environment for practitioners to discuss their research ideas and receive statistical and methodological support. ***provide support for international student travel (as the students will form the backbone of our future community)

Student Representative: Priscilla Almada

Priscilla V. Almada is a graduate student at San Jose State University under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Gregg. She is currently pursuing research investigating the impact of different intervention strategies on psychological processes related to food cravings and actual eating behavior. Her research interests include cultural alternatives to applied ACT practices, 3rd wave behavior therapies, behavioral medicine and stigma. Platform Statement: I value continuing a conversation that Dr. Hayes began last summer concerning the Roots of Compassion. To harness the flexibility of seeing the world through the eyes of others, I would like to continue to take more mindful efforts to inspire diversity within our community. I wonder how we can further create an environment in which all aspiring behavioral scientists can be nurtured. I wonder what kinds of conversations we have missed out on by not hearing the voice of all of our global partners. I daydream about the conversations we could have.



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 these 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.

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