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Students and Faculty Attend Conference on Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies


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Clarissa Ong
Clarissa Ong presents at the 2019 ABCT Conference. 

A faculty member and five students from the Utah State University Psychology Department presented research at the 53rd Annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in November. The ABCT Convention brings practitioners, academics, and students together from a broad range of disciplines to share ideas and explore new research.

According to Alyssa Ward, program chair, ABCT is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the public through the application of science.

Utah State professor Michael Twohig attended this year’s conference along with graduate students Samantha Corralejo, Carter Davis, Clarissa Ong, Hallie Tannahill, and Alejandro Vazquez, who presented their own research. Clarissa Ong presented three times during the conference on topics such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Twohig said that he learned a lot at ABCT about topics such as hoarding, OCD, misophonia, guidance on teaching undergraduates, and working with adolescents. He also spoke about the opportunity to present research from USU at the convention. “I was able to see a bunch of our programs’ graduates,” said Twohig. “I was able to see Clarissa present twice, once to a room that was completely packed.”

Clarissa Ong  presents at 2019 ABCT Conference.

Graduate students and faculty in the Psychology Department receive research support as well as travel funding to attend events and conferences. Attending these events gives students and faculty the opportunity to represent the department in research as well as fellowship.

Samantha Corralejo, an advanced student in the Combined Clinical/Counseling Psychology Program, has been attending the convention for years. “I realized that after seven consecutive years of attending ABCT, I really do have an expansive network of colleagues and mentors across the country,” she said.

“I had a great time at the conference,” said Hallie Tannahill, a third-year student in the Combined Clinical/Counseling Psychology Program. “I was able to reconnect with old colleagues and learned valuable skills to implement with my patients.”

Hallie Tannahill presents at the 2019 ABCT Conference.Hallie Tannahill presents at the 2019 ABCT Conference. 

Student Research Posters:

  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Versus Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Bibliotherapy For College Student Mental Health by Carter Davis. 
  • Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Different Clinical Presentations: Evidence-Based Applications by Clarissa Ong.
  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Clinical Perfectionism by Clarissa Ong. 
  • The Effect of Defusion Versus Distraction on Letting Go of Personal Possessions by Clarissa Ong. 
  • Gender Moderates the Association between Military Sexual Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Sympotom Cluster Severity by Hallie Tannahill.
  • Machine Learning Predicts Caregiver and Perceived Need for Utilization of Adolescent Counseling Services Among Families At-risk for Child Maltreatment  by Alejandro Vazquez.