Dr Janie Hong (she/her) received her PhD from the University of British Columbia and is a licensed clinical psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a founding partner at the Redwood Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Research, where she maintains a small private practice for adult clients. Dr. Hong is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. At Stanford, she provides individual therapy for adults through the Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic and supervises and trains postdoctoral fellows and psychiatry residents in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). With her patients, she works to establish an individualized CBT model of how a patient's problems relate to one another, identify treatment goals and interventions, and monitor treatment progress in response to the interventions. She currently works exclusively with patients in California via telehealth.
Dr. Hong's research and clinical work has focused on expanding our templates of mental health to include diverse populations. From the start of her career, she has wanted to understand the ways a person's ethnic and/or cultural background shapes beliefs and behaviors. She aims to incorporate a person's cultural beliefs into treatment (without inflating stereotypes) and prevent feelings of shame for not meeting Western mental health models. Over time in her practice, she has found the work she has done with culturally diverse individuals can also apply to neurodiverse individuals and those with other diverse identities. She is deeply committed to helping diverse individuals articulate how they may differ from prevailing behavioral and emotional norms, teaching them skills to work within these norms and showing them ways to advocate for their differences.
First, we would like to know a little about your practice.
What are your personal strengths as a practitioner?
I see every patient as someone who deserves the time to be understood as more than just a diagnosis or set of diagnoses and to have a treatment plan that is transparent and has clear goals. In therapy, the patient and I work to not only target symptoms and problems but also consider cultural context and how they are wired to think and navigate the world. I also adapt the way treatment is delivered to meet the learning style of my patients (e.g., visual-spatial learner vs someone with auditory strengths) and often incorporate different technologies to meet this need. It is also important to me to remain evidence-based and use standardized measures to track progress and to gain feedback on how to improve the treatment plan. My hope is every one of my patients feels truly seen and leaves therapy feeling clearer about their needs and more resilient.
How do you remind your patients of their strengths during the therapy process?
One of the first things I teach my patients is problems, symptoms, even pain are all data to help us understand the obstacles blocking them from their goals. They are not signs of how the person is weak or broken. We then take a curious stance to understand why the person may be vulnerable to these obstacles and how the very vulnerabilities they have can also be tied to their strengths. For example, someone who is high in anxiety sensitivity may be prone to panic symptoms but may also be someone whose strength is their sensitivity to their emotional needs and ability to experience a depth of emotion that many others cannot appreciate.
Are you involved in other types of professional activities in addition to your private practice?
In addition to my private practice, I see patients at and am helping to grow the new Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine. There, we serve neurodiverse adults, particularly those who are on the autism spectrum, who are struggling with high anxiety and/or low mood. I am passionate about training and am in the midst of developing opportunities to train postdoctoral fellows and other trainees in evidence-based treatments for this underserved population.
I am also on the steering committee for the Northern California CBT Network, leader of the ABCT Asian American SIG, and most recently joined the ABCT CE committee.
We would also like to know a little about you personally.
When not practicing CBT, what do you do for fun?
Well, since the pandemic started, like most working parents, we are just trying to survive "shelter-in-place" orders, distance learning of 2 young kids, and managing work responsibilities in a virtual context. I am cherishing the moments of fun I have with my family (rather than specific activities) and I have learned that a "dance party" with a 6 year old can be fun.
We are also interested in some of your views of CBT.
What do you think is the single most important thing CBT can do for your clients?
What makes CBT stand apart is that it teaches patients how to approach problems. Patients learn to develop and test hypotheses about their problems; they learn to gather and monitor data; they become experts in assessing the data and iterating on the process based on the data collected.
Where do you see the field of the behavioral therapies going over the next 3-5 years?
My hope is behavioral therapies will evolve to focus more on individual factors (e.g., identity, neurodevelopmental differences, learning style) and we will become more creative in how to help our patients learn and meet their therapy goals. I would like to see us step further away from single diagnosis treatments and focus more on strategies that reinforce new learning and help patients better understand their unique learning needs and strengths.
Finally, we would like to know your opinions about ABCT.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I joined ABCT as a student member in 1998- so, 22 years. I have gone to the conference nearly every year since then.
How has ABCT helped you professionally?
I have distinct memories of being in the hotel lobby at my first ABCT conference and pointing out all the different people I had read about in my abnormal psychology textbooks. At that point, the thought of having a conversation with anyone of them felt out of reach. Then, at every milestone of my training and career, I had the fortune of being mentored by incredible people who cherished and are still actively involved in the ABCT. Now when I go to the ABCT conference, I am surrounded by beloved colleagues and past mentors. I am no longer an outsider looking in. ABCT is my professional home.
Dr. Chandler Chang (she/her/hers) is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Los Angeles since 2008. In addition to her work with individual therapy clients, Dr. Chang owns and manages two group practices, Golden Hour Therapy and Therapy Lab. Golden Hour Therapy is a group practice offering evidence-based treatments to children, teens, and young adults. Specialties include anxiety, depression, tic disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and oppositional behaviors that call for family intervention and parent training. In this setting, Dr. Chang focuses on anxiety and mood disorders, and she enjoys educating families in how to use brief interventions for long-term, sustainable impact. Golden Hour Therapy offers telehealth sessions for individual and families, and in-office services will be available when safe.
In addition to her work with families and children at GHT, Dr. Chang launched Therapy Lab in 2018 as a way to reimagine the traditional format in which therapy is offered. By creating a "menu" of science-based therapy packages (e.g., the Unified Protocol for anxiety, mood; CBT-Insomnia, etc.) from which clients can select, Therapy Lab is able to inform clients about evidence-based treatments in a way that feels manageable and relevant. The locus of control, which has traditionally been granted to the therapist, is thereby shifted to the client, such that the treatment can begin with self-efficacy and momentum created by the choice itself. Of course, the trained psychologists and therapists at Therapy Lab collaborate and guide in this process when a more nuanced approach is needed. Clients at Therapy Lab report enthusiasm for the time-bound therapy format and transparency about the ultimate cost. Therapy Lab has a physical location in Los Angeles and offers virtual services to California, Texas, and Kansas, with plans to expand to ten states by the end of 2021.
Dr. Chandler Chang is proud to be a female psychologist founder of a fast-growing startup. In a business climate in which (non-clinical) business professionals are launching and/or investing in mental health companies, she sees a unique role for the clinically trained entrepreneur. She seeks to create a culture in which therapists have professional support, flexibility, and empathy for the demands of the role, along with amazing benefits as befitting the position. In addition, she actively seeks to recruit and hire therapists who bring lived experience, knowledge, and appreciation for cultural and gender and sexual diversity.
In addition to her practices, Dr. Chang serves as a clinical associate at University of Southern California where she works with doctoral students in the clinical psychology program. She serves on the advisory board for the Partners in Caring for American Youth study (PCAY). Dr. Chang earned her undergraduate degree (in English, with minors in Women & Gender Studies, and African-American Studies) from Princeton University and her Ph.D. at The University of Georgia, and she completed clinical training at UCLA Resnick Neurospsychiatric Hospital. To learn more about Therapy Lab (www.therapylab.com) and Golden Hour Therapy (www.goldenhourtherapy.com), click on the embedded links.
We would also like to know a little about you personally.
Who was your mentor?
Dr. Mark Davis at the UGA Regents' Center for Learning Disorders supervised and mentored me for several years of my graduate school experience at University of Georgia. In addition to being an expert clinician with a deep passion and commitment to excellent clinical and neuropsych testing, Dr. Davis was an outstanding boss. Despite his exacting attention to detail and modeling of punctuality, exquisite report-writing, and expectations of the same from his team, he was respected and loved for his sense of humor, kindness, and flexible thinking and good temper in the most "testing" of situations. Although he has since left Georgia for worldly adventures in China and Australia, I think of Dr. Davis often when I'm faced with a difficult business decision or sensitive employee matter. What would Mark do? is a question I often ask myself, and I am extremely grateful to have had an apprenticeship with this thoughtful leader.
When not practicing CBT, what do you do for fun?
I enjoy urban hiking in the hills of Los Angeles with my two sons (11yo and 7yo) and my labradoodle Lisa. I usually invite only one of them per excursion so I can enjoy one-on-one time with that "child" outside of our home where we're spending the pandemic together. I also enjoy baking sourdough bread and cooking, preferably from a complicated multi-step recipe and rarely by instincts.
We are also interested in some of your views of CBT.
What do you think is the single most important thing CBT can do for your clients?
I appreciate CBT because it's deceptively simple but, often and usually, surprisingly effective for so many types of people and clinical presentations. I love surprising people with how much relief they might feel with a brief CBT approach, as many people come to believe that problems like theirs will require an inordinate amount of time. This widespread belief has become a barrier to treatment for too many people.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I've been a member for most of my career beginning as a graduate student.
How has ABCT helped you professionally?
I've always enjoyed the conferences and come away inspired, informed, and excited to be a psychologist.
What service(s) are missing from ABCT in your role as a practitioner?
The more we can educate the public about the value of evidence-based practices over other approaches, the better. I'd like to see ABCT contribute and/or lead the way with this effort of educating people about their choices!
ABCT member Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD, has been named the American Psychological Association's new chief science officer, responsible for leading the association's science agenda and advocating for the application of psychological research and knowledge in academia, government, industry and the law.
Prinstein will begin transitioning into the post March 1 after a long career as a psychology professor, researcher, and university administrator. He is currently the John Van Seters distinguished professor of psychology and neuroscience and assistant dean of Honors Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004 as an associate professor, rising to full professor in 2008. He began his academic career in 1999 as an assistant professor and later the director of clinical psychology at the Yale University Department of Psychology.
With continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for over 20 years, Prinstein has published more than 150 scientific articles and nine books, including a set of encyclopedias on adolescent development, textbooks for both graduate and undergraduate education in psychology, and two professional development volumes for graduate students. His developmental psychopathology research has focused on popularity and peer relations, particularly among adolescents. He also has examined the associations between adolescents' interpersonal experiences and psychological symptoms, including depression, self-injury, suicidal behavior and other health-risk behaviors. He is author of the mass-market book "Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World That Cares Too Much About the Wrong Kinds of Relationships."
"I believe that science is the heart of our field, and the foundation upon which our association's work is based," Prinstein said. "Psychological science has enormous power to improve people's lives and I am honored to join APA's staff, where I will continue to work with APA and our profession to increase the production, dissemination and application of psychological science."
A longtime leader in promoting psychological science, Prinstein has an extensive record of professional service, including as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Coalition for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Science. This is a group of 12 national associations, including ABCT and APA, that are committed to the public dissemination of psychological science and the promotion of science-based graduate training in the United States.
Prinstein has served on APA's Board of Directors as an at-large member, and has been active in APA governance, including the first APA Graduate Students representative to the APA Board, first chair for the Committee on Early Career Psychologists, and a member of the Good Governance Group. He also has been president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, president of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and editor of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Beyond his work as an academic, Prinstein is skilled in translating psychological science for a general audience, having written for or been interviewed by hundreds of mainstream media outlets to elevate the impact of psychological science.
Condemning Violence Against Asians in North America
As an organization firmly committed to antiracism, ABCT expresses its support for the Asian American Psychological Association’s (AAPA) recent statement condemning violence against Asians and Asian Americans. In that statement, which can be found here, AAPA noted an increase in hate speech and physical violence toward people of Asian descent, most recently resulting in the death of an older Asian American in Northern California.
Indeed, multiple sources of information suggest an increase in racism toward Asians, Asian-Americans, and Asian-Canadians during the COVID pandemic. These have included declining sales at Asian-owned businesses, reports of increased bullying in schools, and violence toward those of Asian descent. A report by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council noted that Asian American women were three times more likely to report harassment compared to men.
We further note that the mislabeling of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or other racist monikers is not only a misrepresentation of the facts, but also contributes to anti-Asian rhetoric and actions.
ABCT denounces all forms of racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. We further wish to express our solidarity with those who are especially vulnerable, such as the elderly, those with limited English proficiency, and those who are undocumented.
David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP
President, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
The Mindful Way to Well-Being Lab, located in the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University, is directed by Sue Orsillo, Ph.D.
Trainee Lab Members
We asked each of the Mindful Way to Well-Being Lab's ABCT members:
What is your area of research interest?
How has ABCT been helpful to you?
If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?
I have two predominant research interests: (a) Multiculturalism and the adaptation and development of empirically supported, culturally sensitive treatments, and (b) Mindfulness and acceptance-based behavioral therapies for individuals with anxiety disorders.
ABCT has been incredibly helpful. I've made many professional connections through the organization and grown in my scholarship through convention presentations. Additionally, I am a co-chair for the Oppression & Resilience: Minority Mental Health Special Interest Group (SIG), which has brought many opportunities for connection, collaboration, and mentorship.
I would recommend students submit abstract proposals every year to moderate/chair convention presentations. Organizing presentations can broaden your professional connections and showcase topics you're passionate about during the convention. Additionally, I recommend getting involved in a SIG that matches your interest(s), and also getting involved in a leadership position. Some of the greatest professional and personal connections I've made in the field are due to my participation in SIGs.
My primary research interests focus on gender and sexual identity development, sexual consent negotiation, and the dissemination of acceptance-based behavior therapy to LGBTQ+ and gender-diverse populations.
The ABCT annual convention has provided me with many opportunities to present my own research, connect with leading investigators, and expand my own knowledge of evidence-based behavioral therapies.
I would strongly recommend submitting your research to the annual convention, joining a SIG, and taking advantage of their internship application resources.
Sue Orsillo, Ph.D.
Sue Orsillo is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at Suffolk University in Boston. She received her Ph.D. from University at Albany, State University of New York, and completed her internship and post-doctoral training at the Boston VA Healthcare System. In collaboration with her colleague Liz Roemer, Dr. Orsillo developed and studied an acceptance-based behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders. Together, Drs. Roemer and Orsillo have written several books, including Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapy: Treating Anxiety and Related Challenges, Worry Less, Live More, and The Mindful Way through Anxiety.
The Mindful Way to Well-Being Lab explores how acceptance-based behavioral therapy-informed strategies can help buffer against contextual stressors, build resilience, improve psychosocial functioning, and enhance quality of life. They explore how invalidation, experiential avoidance, and disengagement from personally meaningful activities contribute to psychological distress (particularly anxiety and associated depression) and study how prevention and intervention programs can target these processes and help people cultivate the skills they need to enhance their well-being and quality of life.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I have been a member for 20 years.
How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?
I haven't missed the ABCT convention since the first year I attended, in 1990. Attending the annual convention definitely helps me to stay current with the science and practice of clinical psychology and to connect with friends, colleagues, and students - past and present.
How do you stay current with developments in the field, both research and practice?
I definitely use a range of strategies to stay up to date on new developments in the research, practice, and teaching of clinical psychology. Most recently, I have come to deeply appreciate the ways in which social media can help keep me informed. For example, I find it incredibly helpful to follow a number of organizations (including ABCT, APA, SSCP, and the Association of Black Psychologists) and special interest groups (like the ABCT Sexual and Gender Minority SIG) on Twitter. I also learn from participating in email list serves, including those hosted by ABCT, the ABCT Oppression and Reslience Minority Mental Health SIG, and CUDCP. But I also rely on several tried-and-true methods, such as attending the annual ABCT convention, participating in CE workshops, and serving on journal editorial boards.
How has ABCT helped you/your lab professionally?
As noted above, for much of my career, ABCT has been my professional home and the place where I connect and network with other psychologists who share my passions and interests. ABCT has also provided multiple opportunities for my students to present their work though posters and symposia, to organize their own panels, and to become involved in organizational governance.
Does your lab have any traditions? Does your lab do anything together for fun?
The composition, needs, and interests of my lab shifts with each new student I admit and so our activities and traditions have changed depending on the members. Our most long-standing tradition is probably our Saturday night ABCT convention dinner - that has always been a time for current lab members and alumni to come together to share stories and laughs, enjoy excellent food and drink, and nurture our local and long-distance relationships.
What advice would you give prospective trainees?
My strongest advice to people applying to graduate school, and to students currently pursuing their doctorate, is to define your personal and professional values and let those values guide your behavior. As a first generation college student, I had no road map to follow when it came to pursuing an academic career. So I turned inward and reflected on what mattered to me most personally and I have tried my best to enact those values throughout my career. I would also advise those in training to nurture your relationships. My close friendship and collaboration with Liz Roemer, forged when she was an intern and I was a postdoctoral fellow, has brought tremendous meaning to my work.
Graduate Student Research Grant
The ABCT Research Facilitation Committee is sponsoring a grant of up to $1000 to support graduate student research.
The grant will be awarded based on a combination of merit and need. Eligible candidates are graduate student members of ABCT seeking funding for an unfunded (including internal sources of funding) thesis or dissertation project that has been approved by either the faculty advisor or the student's full committee.
Applications should include all of the materials listed in GSRG Application Guidelines (downloadable from the ABCT webpage) and one letter of support from a faculty advisor.
Please email the application, excluding the advisor letter, in a single .pdf to the chair of the Research Facilitation Committee, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include "Graduate Student Research Grant" in your subject heading.
Please ask your faculty advisor to e-mail a letter of support separately.
In summer 2019, the ABCT Board of Directors commissioned a Task Force for Equity, Inclusion, and Access (EIA). The goals for this Task Force were to examine how well ABCT was supporting historically marginalized groups, and to provide recommendations to the Board about how we can promote EIA in our organization. The Task Force sent a survey to the membership of ABCT and completed their review this fall, presenting the Board with their final report for the November 13, 2020 Board Meeting. There is much to address in this report from the Task Force. President Martin Antony touched on the issues of discrimination, equity, and inclusion in his columns last year. I will continue to share the Board's, ABCT governance, and staff response and progress to the recommendations over the coming year. Inclusive and sustainable change takes reflection and time. As an organization we are devoted to becoming more inclusive. That takes all of us working together, being accepting of different viewpoints, and understanding. Let me conclude by expressing my thanks to Task Force co-chairs Sandra Pimentel, Shireen Rizvi, and Laura Seligman, and members RaeAnn Anderson, Anu Asnaani, Sierra Carter, Christine Cho Laurine, Ryan DeLapp, Brian Feinstein, Cristina Lopez, and Jae Puckett for their hard work and dedication to making ABCT a more welcoming place for all.
David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP
President, Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Stabilizing Chaos: Fostering Psychological Resilience in the Wake of Adverse Events
Presented by Lata McGinn, Ph.D.Yeshiva University
Cognitive & Behavioral Consultants
In ABCT's continued effort to support our members, we are offering a free 1-hour podcast, "Stabilizing Chaos: Fostering Psychological Resilience in the Wake of Adverse Events." It is our hope that this information will be of assistance as we partner to meet the increased mental health needs of our community. The COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, and the racist killing of George Floyd have led to national crises and have impacted all of our lives in unprecedented ways. For many in our communities, including essential workers and those who have lost family and friends as a result of the virus, the risk for trauma exposure is high. This podcast will offer practical strategies rooted in Psychological First Aid (PFA), an evidence-based approach for fostering resilience, helping people effectively cope in the aftermath of a trauma, and preventing the development of pathological symptoms. The webinar will also describe maladaptive coping that increases the chances of developing pathological symptoms, and present CBT strategies that prevent onset of symptoms and help individuals adaptively cope with chronic stress. The goal of this webinar is to support clinicians to feel prepared to navigate the increase in trauma exposure and chronic stress that their clients may soon be, or already are, experiencing. Participants will learn common trauma reactions, risk and resilience factors, the components of PFA, how to apply PFA and other CBT principles during these crises in a virtual setting.
Please note that this webinar will not be eligible for CE credit.
Have you visited ABCT’s YouTube channel
ABCT’s YouTube channel has great information, including how-to demonstrations giving you immediate nearly anxiety-free competency with starting telehealth in your own practice or getting tips on how to teach a class online, or, if you want to be on the receiving end, tips for getting into graduate school.
There’s also a slew of videos celebrating the pioneers who have shaped CBT theory and practice. Profitable, enjoyable, easy-to-digest material.
David A. F. Haaga, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, American University
Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for the Integration of Science and Practice
Emily L. Bilek, Ph.D., ABPP, University of Michigan
Sobell Innovative Addictions Research Award
Christopher Correia, Ph.D., Auburn University
Distinguished Friend to Behavior Therapy
Andrea Petersen, Wall Street Journal in-house writer, who consistently takes a CBT approach when covering mental health
Outstanding Service to ABCT
Lata K. McGinn, Ph.D., Yeshiva University and Cognitive Behavioral Consultants
Virginia A. Roswell Student Dissertation Award
Alexandra Werntz Czywczynski, M.A., University of Virginia and University of Massachusetts Boston
Leonard Krasner Student Dissertation Award
Nur Hani Zainal, M.S., Pennsylvania State University
John R. Z. Abela Student Dissertation Award
Christopher J. Senior, M.A., Catholic University of America
Student Research Grant
Kelsey Pritchard, University of Toledo
Honorable Mention: Christina L. Verzijl, B.A., University of South Florida
President's New Researcher
Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Student Travel Award
Katherine Venturo-Conerly, Harvard University
Elsie Ramos Memorial Student Poster Awards
Danielle Weber, M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: "Patterns of Emotional Communication in Same-Sex Female Couples Before and After Couple Therapy"
Gemma T. Wallace, B.A., Colorado State University: "Personality and Emotion Dysregulation Dimensions Differentially Predict Engagement in a Wide Range of Self-Injurious and Health-Risk Behaviors"
Rachel Weiler, MSc, PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium: "Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy a Good Fit for Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Patients?"
This award recognizes outstanding individuals who are not members of ABCT but who have shown exceptional dedication, influence, and social impact through the promotion of evidence-based interventions and who have thereby advanced the mission of ABCT.
Visit our Champions page for full details on how to nominate and for a full listing of champions
photo courtesy of Geralt
The Clinical Directory and Referral issues committee is highlighting the large number of SIGs that cover racial and ethnic diversity within ABCT:
ABCT is delighted to announce a new partnership with PsyberGuide.
Please watch these pages for an expanding list of CBT-relevant apps being reviewed by the staff at PsyberGuide and the editors at Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.
PsyberGuide (PsyberGuide.org) is a non-profit website reviewing smartphone applications and other digital mental health tools. Its goal is to help people make responsible and informed decisions about the technologies they use for management of mental health. PsyberGuide is committed to ensuring that this information is available to all, and that it is free of preference, bias, or endorsement.
PsyberGuide is funded by One Mind, a leading non-profit organization supporting collaborative brain research to provide patients who suffer from brain disease and injury better diagnostics and treatment. With over 325,000 emerging digital health technologies, and an estimated 15,000 of those designed for mental health, One Mind recognized the lack of advice or guidelines to help people navigate the expanding marketplace of mental health apps. Thus in 2013, One Mind established PsyberGuide to address this growing problem.
In 2017, One Mind welcomed Dr. Stephen Schueller as Executive Director. Dr. Schueller is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at University of California. Irvine. His work focuses on expanding the accessibility and availability of mental health services through technology.
PsyberGuide & ABCT established this partnership with the aim of disseminating reviews of digital mental health tools to a broad audience of researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental-health practitioners who are interested in using these tools in their practice of behavioral, cognitive, and biological evidence-based principles.
In the coming months, app reviews from both PsyberGuide and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice will be integrated on both sites to expand the reach of information on available apps. ABCT will be developing a dedicated app review page which will host a sample of relevant PsyberGuide reviews. PsyberGuide will also link to C&BP reviews on their site, where relevant.
PsyberGuide Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Schueller, said "ABCT has been a leader in advancing the use of innovative behavioral and cognitive treatments. Technological behavioral and cognitive treatments will play a role in the future of mental health care and we're excited to team with ABCT to ensure researchers and practitioners are equipped to effectively use technology to help improve people's lives."
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice's apps are reviewed with the idea of providing guidance to clinicians in choosing apps that allow them to best serve the needs of their clients. Reviews will often cover cost, targeted clients, basic purpose, the research data behind them, as well as quick overviews of their utility.
To see Cognitive and Behavioral Practice's review apps, click on the app that most interests you:
MMFT Review Summaries
Anxiety Coach is an app for iOS devices ($4.99 at time of publication; Mayo Clinic, 2016) marketed as a self-help program for anxiety for children and adults. The primary focus is to help individuals understand and identify anxiety symptoms, create a hierarchy, and develop plans for exposure tasks. The program was designed by clinical researchers with expertise in CBT for anxiety. There is potential to support ongoing therapy, such as to allow patients to provide real-time data when reviewing between-session anxiety and exposure details with a therapist. Whiteside and colleagues (2014) have published case studies and reported feasibility/acceptability data which are promising. Our expert reviewer felt that the focus of the app on helping users conduct exposure tasks is unique and valuable, and the program had good navigation and an easy to follow user interface.
SuperBetter is an iOS app and website that is marketed to help users pursue goals, which can include mental health goals. The app was developed using game theory and mechanics that mimic "behaviors and techniques that have been clinically shown to give individuals more control over their thoughts and feelings" according to the developer, Jane McGonigal, who has authored books on the subject of leveraging gaming to increase well-being. There are video-game features like "power-ups," "quests," "Power Packs" and a "Community" where individuals can join in to engage in forums or play together as "Allies." Our reviewer found a strong development team and breadth of content, but felt the overall quality of the content lacking in terms of potential to promote clinically significant levels of improvement without active or guided practice with real-world behavior change. Preliminary RCTs have shown feasibility, though attrition rates continue to be a concern. Our reviewer recommends caution if considering this as a stand-alone option for depression or as an adjunct to face-to-face therapy without further data on effectiveness and further development of human safety plans.
Sleepio is a 6-week treatment program for insomnia delivered online and through mobile app. The program includes evidence-based components including psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, cognitive thought challenging sleep scheduling and sleep tracking compatibility (with other wearable trackers). Our reviewer felt the navigation was easy to use and the platform engaging. The program has been tested in a large RCT and smaller trials with promising results. The program is more costly than online competitors ($300 for a 1-year subscription). Our reviewer felt it was a good option as stand-alone first-line intervention and a model internet-based CBT intervention.
TicHelper.com is an 8-week online treatment program for Tic Disorders in youth (8-adolescence) based on the empirically-supported Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) protocol and developed in collaboration with experts who developed and tested CBIT. The program includes evidence-based components including psychoeducation, training in developing competing responses and multiple videos to illustrate concepts. There is also some parent-focused content. Our reviewer felt the program was age-appropriate, appealing and easy to navigate. While the online program does not offer the tailoring allowed in face-to-face individual therapy, there are branching structures which allow some tailoring of content. There is pilot feasibility data on the prototype but no research trials published at the time of this review. Our reviewer notes that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses and the program is unique in the market of targeting this condition and using evidence-based treatment components.
Triple P Online is an online self-help parent training program aimed at reducing child behavior problems through evidence-based "positive parenting practices." The program is available through the website, www2.tripleponline.net, at time of review for $79.95. The program is comprised of 8 video-based modules. Our expert reviewer found the program to include high-quality content with relevant and easily locatable resources, and felt the navigation was easy-to-use and appealing. The program's main weakness lies in its lack of monitoring and adaptation to the user's state (e.g., child's and parent's behaviors), and real-time reminders for desired actions. Overall the program was found to be a valuable parent training resource for addressing child behavior problems by our reviewer.
Psychotherapy.net is an online magazine and video library and production company targeting clinicians, educators, and clinical trainees. At present, the website offers two video steaming subscription plans for individual use: 1) a "Choice plan", which allows access to 2 monthly videos for a fee of $39 each month; and 2) an "Unlimited plan" for $79 monthly, which allows unlimited access to the full online library of over 200 training videos. The primary strength of the website is the breadth of available psychotherapy training videos, which cover several major theoretical orientations, modalities, and clinical populations. However, our expert reviewer notes that the resource is limited by the current absence of information related to evidence-based practice recommendations.