PROGRAM CHAIR: Alyssa Ward, Ph.D.
Atlanta Marriott Marquis & Hyatt Regency Atlanta
ABCT's annual convention brings the cognitive-behavioral community together to explore current developments in research and practice and to stimulate thinking about the myriad issues that surround CBT and how it intersects with other disciplines. While attending the annual meeting, in addition to networking with your peers, you will experience provocative speakers, professional development sessions, local culture, and face-to-face roundtables with mentors, colleagues, and luminaries.
ABCT is aware that the state of Georgia has recently passed extreme and, to many of our members, offensive legislation regarding abortion. As you may have already seen on our email list, some concerned members have asked us to reconsider having a convention in Atlanta this year. We have undertaken an extensive analysis of the pragmatics and finances of this suggestion, and it is simply not possible to move the meeting. ABCT booked this meeting in 2016, long before the new laws were signed and took effect. If we were to move or cancel our 2019 convention, ABCT would incur substantial hotel cancellation fees and loss of revenue, that could cost the organization nearly a million dollars. The annual convention is our main source of revenue for our annual operating budget, and ABCT would be unlikely to recover from this impact, at least not for many years.
Because we understand how important this issue is to some of our members, and the conflict that some might face regarding convention attendance, the Board, Program Committee, and staff are now attempting to organize a special convention session focused on the science relevant to this specific issue, and how science can and should be involved in policy and legislative decision making more generally. “Extending the impact of cognitive behavioral science” is the theme for 2019, and we believe this is where and how such impact becomes possible.
We will keep you updated on these offerings.