2012-2013 Board of Directors

2012-2013 Board of Directors

2012-2013 ACBS Board

Joseph Ciarrochi, Ph.D., University of Wollongong (Australia)

President - Elect:
Sonja V. Batten, Ph.D., United States Department of Veterans Affairs and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USA)

Past President:
Patricia Bach, Ph.D., lllinois Institute of Technology (USA)

Secretary Treasurer:
Daniel "D.J." Moran, Ph.D., Pickslyde Consulting (USA)

Member at Large 1:
Mary Sawyer, Psychologist, One to One Counselling and Education (Australia)

Member at Large 2 (basic science):
Michael P. Twohig, Ph.D., Utah State University (USA)

Member at Large 3 (basic science):
Akihiko (Aki) Masuda, Ph.D., Georgia State University (USA)

Member at Large 4:
Jason Luoma, Ph.D., Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, & Training Center (USA)

Student Representative:
Maureen Flynn, M.A., University of Mississippi (USA)


Joseph Ciarrochi, Ph.D.
University of Wollongong (Australia)

Dr. Joseph Ciarrochi is an Associate lecturer at University of Wollongong and has been extensively involved in ACT sense 2001. I have authored and edited five books, and over 60 peer reviewed articles related to the promotion of mental health and emotional well-being. I've written a book on integrating ACT with CBT, and am currently working with community members on three books related to adolescence, weight issues, and ACT and positive psychology. I am leading the push to form a new journal for ACBS, a journal that is intended to be of interest to both scientists and practitioners. My main mission is to build a community that can better support people in the field to conduct psychological interventions.

President- Elect

Sonja V. Batten, Ph.D.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USA)

I began my Contextual Behavioral Science studies in Reno in 1994 and have served ACBS as a board member for the past 6 years. I hold a leadership position in an ACBS Chapter, serve on multiple committees and was the Director for the 2005 Conference. As an original board Member-at-Large, I participated in the creation of the founding policies and procedures for ACBS; as Secretary-Treasurer since 2009, I have worked extremely closely with our Executive Director and board to ensure financial stability, analyzing when to be fiscally conservative and when to take calculated risks for our society’s growth. In my day job, I lead national mental health policy development for the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. and have learned how to balance strategic thinking with ensuring accountability and successful execution of immediate plans. Based on my ACBS experience and my professional career, I believe that I am uniquely experienced to be able to move the organization forward. Now that our society has over 5,000 members, we must learn to foster expansion without losing what is special about ACBS – our values, community, and international connections. If elected, I will promote organizational development that provides ACBS with the structures to be successful in the long-term while encouraging processes that increase personal connections, commitment, and collaboration. I feel that I have more of myself to give to our community, and I would be honored to be chosen as President to serve the brilliant, creative members of ACBS who inspire me. 

Past President

Patricia Bach, Ph.D.
lllinois Institute of Technology (USA)

Patty Bach is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology training doctoral students of clinical psychology. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Nevada. Research interests include exploring the role of verbal processes in the etiology and treatment of psychopathology, and especially relationships among core ACT processes and psychosis, obesity, and stigma; and understanding symptoms of psychosis in terms of relational frame theory. She provides applied psychological services at the Mid-American Psychological Institute conducting ACT therapy, supervision, consultation and training. Patty is a co-author of ACT in Practice: case conceptualization in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy "ACBS is special. I first became part of the ACT/RFT community while a student at the University of Nevada in the 1990’s. After moving far from the then heart of the ACT community I was thrilled to discover the ACT listserv and connect online with fellow travelers from around the world, and then to see the fledgling group grow into ACBS. I would like to see ACBS continue to innovate in disseminating ACT and RFT, providing web-based and live forums for scientists, practitioners, and students of functional contextualism to ask questions, share ideas and innovations, and provide and receive first-rate training. I’d like to further tap our collective enthusiasm and talent and see more of our membership involved in the functioning of ACBS as we continue to grow. ACBS is special; I’ve been privileged to serve as secretary/treasurer and to help organize and host an ACT summer institute, and I would be honored to serve our community in the role of president."


Daniel "D.J." Moran, Ph.D.
Pickslyde Consulting (USA)

Since 1994, I have dedicated the heart of my work toward the Contextual Behavioral Sciences. I served in volunteer and appointed positions aimed at our organization’s mission, including elected Member-At-Large for the ACBS Board. Other highlights include serving on the inaugural Recognized ACTrainer committee, co-directing the 2008 ACT Summer Institute, and currently serving on our Continuing Education Board. I’ve held leadership positions in related organizations, including President of the Behavior Analysis Society of Illinois. My career prepared me to significantly contribute to ACBS as Secretary-Treasurer. Because I value helping people, I founded the MidAmerican Psychological Institute and Pickslyde Consulting. I also directed a non-profit community center for five years and staffed it with ACT practitioners. These enterprises provided services for thousands of people, and income and opportunities for ACBS members. These ventures succeed because I commit time to accounting, balancing books, paying therapists and the various financial concerns of these ACT-based businesses. I actually enjoy quarterly meetings with my accountant, read Harvard Business Review as avidly as Behavior Therapy, and get a geeky rush of excitement when QuickBooks tells me that my company ledgers reconciled! If elected, I’ll blend my ACT skills and business acumen to optimize ACBS’s financial status so we can actively broaden our mission to more fully address the challenges of the human condition. I will investigate the feasibility of getting Developing Nations Fund donations to be tax-deductible, oversee the growth of student scholarships, and contribute my ideas for reducing operating costs to preserve our organization’s future.

Member-at-large 1

Mary Sawyer, Psychologist
One to One Counselling and Education (Australia)

I am a psychologist working in private practice in Sydney Australia since 1997. I was a Registered Nurse in a former life with years of clinical experience in critical care in Sydney hospitals. Later I completed my Psychology qualifications at Macquarie University. Before setting up private practice, I lectured in psychology and psychosocial care at University of Western Sydney (UWS) and Australian Catholic University ACU National in Australia and Hong Kong. My portfolio of duties included research, curriculum development, teaching and administration of offshore teaching in Hong Kong. In the past, I have been successfully contracted to a range of New South Wales (NSW) state government organisations to develop and facilitate curriculum using ACT based processes for drug and alcohol programs. Since 2003, I have been facilitating introductory ACT workshops, and conduct ACT talks for Mental Health Professionals and General Practitioners across Sydney. I am well known for my work in the local community of ACT practitioners and have hosted an ACT discussion group for several years and give free public lectures to large audiences on ACT. My latest challenge is teaching Relational Frame Theory (RFT) to our monthly ACT group. By being part of the ACBS board, I would continue to promote my passion for training and the professional development of others, especially those regions that are disadvantaged by distance and resources, such as country areas of Australia and developing nations in the South East Asian regions. I see role as a promoter of quality ACT training in collaboration with the latest research and RFT.

Member-at-large 2 (basic science)

Michael P. Twohig, Ph.D.
Utah State University (USA)

I received my B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and completed my clinical internship in the CBT track at the University of British Columbia. I am a licensed psychologist in Utah and an Associate Professor of Psychology at Utah State University. I run a research laboratory and a university based clinic that focuses on using ACT and exposure therapy to treat anxiety disorders. I also do translational research on basic behavioral principles. I have published over 70 scholarly works including two books. My research is funded through multiple sources including the NIMH and International OCD Foundation. I have participated in ACBS since its beginning and watched it grow at an amazing rate. Two of the things that I believe makes ACBS special are its openness to new members and ideas and its strong scientific foundation. I feel that if we keep an open mind, allow new and contradictory ideas to exist within this organization, but hold scientific ways of knowing high regard, that ACBS will grow in a sound way for many years. I am proud of many of the new things that are occurring in ACBS such as the journal and the research grants. I am offering my services to help the organization grow in similar ways that are consistent with the values of the organization.

Member-at-large 3 (basic science)

Akihiko (Aki) Masuda, Ph.D.
Georgia State University (USA)

Aki Masuda is an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University (2007-present). In 2006, he received a Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from University of Nevada, Reno under the supervision of Dr. Steven C. Hayes. To date Aki has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on ACT and related topics. His current research/clinical interests are broad, including the applicability of ACT to ethnically, culturally, and cross-nationally diverse groups of people, stigma and prejudice, disordered eating problems, Zen and Buddhism, and psychological flexibility as a corner stone of behavioral and physical health. Statement: If elected, I would like to primarily focus on two things. First, I will work for ACBS to fill in the gap between applied work and basic work within ACBS. I would like to do so by facilitating and promoting open dialogues among practitioners and researchers. Second, I would like to expand our understanding and practice of ACT within the diverse cultural and cross-national contexts. To date, ACT has been studied and practiced with diverse languages under various cultural contexts (i.e., verbal community). I think this second 2nd focus is important because Understanding ACT in diverse contexts is likely to elucidate the very essence of ACT, and such understanding is likely to bring us into one as a whole.

Member-at-large 4

Jason Luoma, Ph.D.
Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, & Training Center (USA)

Jason Luoma, Ph.D., is Director of Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, & Training Center. After discovering ACT in 1997, he moved to Reno where he trained with Steven Hayes as an intern and early career psychologist. He has published over a dozen articles related to ACT, a book on ACT, and co-authored two successful NIH grants on stigma. His current research focuses on stigma and shame in addictive behavior along with a secondary focus on training and dissemination. As director of a center dedicated to promoting evidence-based practice, he supervises a postdoctoral fellowship in ACT and provides training locally and internationally. He also maintains an active clinical practice.

Statement: The ACBS community has inspired me like no other professional community I have ever participated in. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to ACBS as director of the first ACT Summer Training Institute and the 8th ACBS World Conference, a founding member of the ACBS Training Committee, and current chair of the ACBS Training Committee. I hope to continue my service as member at large. As both a researcher and clinician, one of my priorities is to support conversation and sharing between basic researchers and clinicians who apply basic principles in their work every day. As a business person, I hope to be more involved in the financial decisions of ACBS, to help this relatively new organization utilize its money wisely and efficiently. And as a human being (and enthusiastic contributor to the follies), I will work to foster a sense of community where all can feel they are contributing to something larger than themselves.

Student Representative

Maureen Flynn, M.A.
University of Mississippi (USA)

Maureen Flynn is a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi and has studied ACT with Kelly Wilson for the past 4 years. She will be interning at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Reno, Nevada this fall. She has co-authored book chapters on ACT and substance abuse, assessing, treating values processes, acceptance in CBT, and similarities and differences between ACT and traditional CBT. She is broadly interested in treatment development research, particularly mechanisms of action. Most of her research so far has focused on values and acceptance component analyses. She has co-facilitated workshops and presented papers at the ACBS World Conference and ABAI for the past 3 years.I am devoting my life to using science to help people live fuller, richer, more meaningful lives and teaching others to do the same. The ACBS community has been instrumental in this endeavor over the past few years. I would like to give something back to this community in some small way. As the student representative, I hope to help increase student engagement in the ACBS community and help make the student voice strong.


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.

Douglas Long