Student Spotlight Award Recipient - Lauren Johnson

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Congratulations to Lauren B. Johnson on being selected as one of the Student Spotlight Award recipients!

The purpose of this award is to highlight students who are doing important work in the CBS community whether for research, clinical, and/or volunteer-humanitarian efforts.

This is a way to highlight their achievements, let the ACBS community know important work students are doing, and possibly provide a platform for mentoring/collaboration/professional development/conversations around highlighted areas.

Learn more about Lauren:

Background of CBS Research/Clinical/Volunteering efforts/achievements:
While completing my first clinical practicum, I had the opportunity to receive significant training and supervision in ACT while implementing the intervention with several patients. Following that experience, my interest in CBS continued to grow, which prompted my application to serve as a student representative for the Pennsylvania Board of ACBS. Being a student representative has allowed me to engage with other like-minded individuals interested in enhancing their practice of CBS interventions while also contributing to the goals of increasing student engagement in ACBS, planning training events, and creating a strong CBS community within the greater Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Recently, our chapter initiated an ACT consultation group based on the Portland Model, which has been yet another excellent chance to continue growing as an ACT practitioner through peer-to-peer consultation, skill-building, and other valuable activities. At my current practicum placement, there is a significant focus on utilizing ACT and I have been able to advance my skill-set greatly through the diverse training opportunities available. Outside of individual therapy, I receive supervision from an ACT perspective and will begin co-leading an ACT group in the upcoming month. Additionally, I serve as a therapist for two clinical research studies centered on using ACT for individuals with chronic medical conditions. The first focuses on using ACT to reduce shame, stigma, and depression among individuals living with HIV. The second, ACT with Cystic Fibrosis, focuses on reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms in individuals with CF and uses a telehealth adaptation to enhance accessibility.

Three sentence summary of CBS research/clinical/volunteering efforts/achievements: 
My engagement in the CBS community has grown immensely through my position as a student representative for the Pennsylvania Chapter of ACBS, use of ACT in clinical practice with diverse populations, participation in ACT consultation/supervision, and role as a therapist for research studies examining the impact of ACT for individuals with HIV and Cystic Fibrosis. These activities have continued to remind me of the applicability of CBS interventions to a vast number of psychological and health-related conditions as well as enhanced my ability to effectively apply ACT to address the diverse challenges that my patients face. I plan to continue advancing my knowledge in CBS through ongoing engagement in my current activities, starting to co-lead an ACT group, and seeking to present CBS-related research at the 2019 ACBS conference.

I was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. I received my BA from Vanderbilt University where I triple-majored in Psychology, Sociology, and Philosophy. Subsequently, I completed a Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University. Currently, I am a third-year clinical psychology PhD student at Drexel University working with Dr. Arthur Nezu and Dr. Christine Maguth Nezu. My clinical and research interests center around trauma and suicide, with a particular focus on military and veteran populations. Given my significant interest in military mental health, I decided to pursue military service and recently commissioned into the Air Force. Upon completion of my doctoral studies, I will begin my active duty service as an Air Force clinical psychologist. Over the past couple years, my research, clinical, and volunteer experiences focused on ACT have been immensely beneficial in adding a powerful intervention to my clinical toolbox. I believe my continued efforts to grow as an ACT practitioner will have significant value as I currently treat and will continue to treat military personnel. Stepping outside of my school-related responsibilities, I engage in numerous activities in support of a values-driven life. I enjoy reading (especially books that are adapted into films), doing yoga, travelling, eating seafood, and hanging out with my adorable Burmese cat, Tilly.

Future goals:
I have a clinical interest in utilizing ACT to address the mental health needs of military personnel and a burgeoning research interest in examining ACT principles and strategies to enhance the treatment of moral injury and/or PTSD within military and veteran populations.