Tiffany Rochester, President
Tiffany Rochester has served as a Board Director for the past three years. Tiff is a clinical psychologist at the Charles Street Clinic in Perth. With over 15 years’ experience in clinical psychology, she has been using ACT and CBS with children, adults, couples and families for around 10 years. Tiff facilitates a local CBS intervision group, and is part of the WA-ACBS events team. She writes a CBS-infused blog (thesamemountain.com), is an occasional speaker on CBS topics at corporate events, and has had CBS-informed articles published in magazines such as InPsych. She has a great love for mentoring students and registrars, and bringing them into the ACBS family. Committed to contributing to the science that underpins our practice, Tiff is an Honorary Research Associate at Telethon Kids Institute, conducting an ACT research trial. In the ACBS community Tiff finds a sense of belonging, with people who share a passion to use contextual behavioural science to bring about worldwide change. Tiff aims to be a part of CBS moving into the fabric of community, in schools, organisations, right through to informing government policy.
Daniel Simsion, President Elect
Dr Daniel Simsion is a psychologist with the Victorian government specialist forensic mental health service, Forensicare. Following undergraduate studies in law and psychology, he completed his clinical training at La Trobe University, where he was introduced to ACT and CBS through training and supervision with Dr. Eric Morris. Since this time, Daniel’s professional home has been with the ACBS and he has focused particularly on implementing ACT interventions with acute populations, both in a community mental health service and in a forensic inpatient context. Daniel is an active member of the ANZ ACBS, including organising and presenting at conferences, involvement in the development of a student ACT study day and previously serving on the Board as secretary.
Eric Morris, Past President
Dr Eric Morris is Director of the La Trobe University Psychology Clinic, Melbourne, Australia. Until 2014 Eric worked in the United Kingdom as a consultant clinical psychologist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, where he was the lead psychologist for early intervention for psychosis. For 10 years Eric taught and supervised on cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, and completed a PhD researching psychological flexibility and auditory hallucinations. His research group recently completed two trials on ACT groups for people recovering from psychosis and carers, along with investigating ACT vs mindfulness as workplace interventions.
Eric has been practising ACT for over fifteen years, and is a highly experienced trainer and supervisor of therapists using contextual CBTs. He is a founding member and former chair for the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Special Interest Group of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. Eric is co-editor of the textbook Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness for Psychosis, and co-author of the self-help guide, ACTivate Your Life: Using acceptance and mindfulness to build a life that is rich, fulfilling and fun. Eric is a co-author of the group
Andrew Duirs, Secretary
Andrew Duirs has been working as a counsellor and psychologist for over 25 years. He has worked in schools, corrections, addictions, refugee and asylum seeker services and a number of universities in New Zealand, China and Australia. He has both a counselling and community psychology background and currently manages the student counselling service at the University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle). Andrew’s interest in ACT began about 6 years ago and he is passionate about how ACT and RFT processes have positively impacted counselling outcomes and improved his enjoyment and satisfaction as a clinician. Andrew has enjoyed discovering the ACBS community and is an organising member of the ANZACBS (WA) community, committed to training and supporting ACT practitioners and promoting the work of ACBS in Western Australia. Andrew is passionate about working with young people. He runs ACT groups for tertiary students and men. He provides workshops promoting the processes of psychological flexibility for thriving at university, at work and in relationships. Andrew is an LGBTIQ+ Ally and provides LGBTIQ+ Ally training. He has a strong social justice interest and works closely with marginalised community groups.
Melissa Schellekens, Treasurer
Melissa Schellekens is a phD candidate at the Institute of Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney. She is supervised by Professor Joseph Ciarrochi and Dr Baljinder Sahdra and is investigating interventions that facilitate youth reengagement with school and prevent drop-out. She holds a masters in positive psychology from the University of East London and holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Melbourne. She spent 7 years in Bogota, Colombia, doing individual wellbeing coaching and group facilitation. She also ran workshops drawing on principles of ACT with a local Colombian NGO that supports internally displaced youth and their families, ex-child soldiers and other victims associated with the internal conflict in Colombia. She has developed training materials and workshops for professionals that work with these groups. Melissa is also an artist drawing heavily on mindfulness in the creative process. She lives in Wollongong NSW with her husband and two kids.
Members at Large
Dr Linda Nicholson is the Manager of the Australian National University Psychology Clinic in Canberra, Australia. Linda’s journey with CBS and ACT started back in early 2000 after attending ACT training and commencing a PhD where an ACT intervention was applied to NSW Police to help police officers address organisational and individual stress in a workable way. Since then, Linda has presented her research at several conferences, been involved in facilitating ACT related workshops in Australia and at CBS conferences overseas
Linda is also a clinical psychologist and has been working with clients in NGO and private organisation settings, as well as in private practice. She has been utilising ACT with her clients and has been providing supervision in ACT as well. Recently, she has co-authored a paper with Dr Eric Morris that outlines the SHAPE model for supervision and that uses contextual behavioural / ACT principles in supervision.
Jennifer Kemp is a Clinical Psychologist who works at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and in private practice. Jen hasn’t always been a psychologist. After her honours degree at UNSW, she abandoned psychology for a while to work as a consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and IBM. After a brief dalliance with marketing (and completing a Graduate Certificate in Marketing at UTS), Jen found herself drawn towards training, facilitation and change management, and ran programs for the Australian Institute of Management. Fast-forward a few years and Jen, having completed a Graduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology at USyd and the 4+2 pathway to registration, was in Adelaide, running coaching psychology business The Teleran Group, with her now husband Trav. After selling the business, Jen retrained as a Clinical Psychologist at UniSA and started learning ACT, quickly becoming fascinated with contextual behavioural science. Jen has presented at ANZ ACBS conferences as well as at the ACBS Montreal WorldCon on treatment adherence and perfectionism. Jen is passionate about developing new perspectives using CBS theory, increasing the reach of ANZ ACBS, and supporting others via training, supervision and mentoring.
Sarah Mooy is a Psychologist working at a mobile Private Practice (Treetop Learning Clinic) in SE Queensland, providing therapeutic services to children and adolescents with developmental and behavioural differences, in family and educational contexts.
With more than a decade of experience in Behaviour Analysis, Sarah felt at home when she came across ACT in 2009. Since then Sarah has brought ACT and CBS to her professional work, as well as her personal life.
Sarah is passionate about mixing behavioural science with compassion, to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and their families by drawing on extensive experience, ongoing learning and her own parental understanding.
Sarah enjoys being creative and this resulted in her designing a board game based on the DNAv model (Hayes and Ciarrochi, 2015) called #❤mydna
Sarah believes diversity and accessibility are central to the sustainability of our chapter, and is excited about representing members voices, at a board level, to assist in ongoing growth and cultivation of our community.
Sara Boucher, New Zealand Representative
Sara Boucher PhD, is an early career researcher in Dunedin, New Zealand with a special interest in behavioural nutrition. She was first introduced to ACT in 2011 through one of Steve Hayes’ trainings in New York City and was inspired to explore psychological flexibility in public health research. Since that time, under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Horwath at the University of Otago, she investigated psychological flexibility as a predictor of mid-age women’s weight stability and incorporated Acceptance and Commitment Therapy into a web-based intervention to help women learn to trust their body to guide eating behaviour. She presented her research findings in 2013 at ACBS World Conference 11 in Sydney, Australia and in 2015 at the ANZ ACBS conference in Wellington, New Zealand.
Sara is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the areas of paediatric sleep and type 1 diabetes. She plans to incorporate ACT into an emotional eating intervention for young people with type 1 diabetes.
As a New Zealand representative, Sara is keen to work with the Association to support researchers developing ACT-based interventions and research teams wishing to develop mobile (mHealth) ACT interventions.
Nathan Phillips, New Zealand Representative
Nathan Phillips is a senior clinical psychologist with over 10 years’ experience, primarily working in community mental health. He also provides support for the NZDF as a reservist, and works in private practice through ACC.
Nathan was first introduced to ACT by Dr Ben Sedley during his clinical training. The seed was planted! He then completed an introduction to ACT with Ben Sedley and Giselle Bahr in Wellington, followed by an ACT for Trauma workshop with Russ Harris in Auckland, and the ANZ ACBS Skills Intensive in Melbourne.
Although Nathan considers himself relatively new to the ACT world, he is thoroughly enjoying the dance between defusion and committed action, and finds client-guided metaphor a powerful way to validate experience and identify steps towards “the stuff that matters”.
Nathan has joined the board as a way of living his values, and is looking forward to the challenge of adding value to a team (and community) that is full of knowledge and experience.
Claire Turner, Student Representative
Claire Turner is a part time undergraduate psychology student with the University of Auckland. She first encountered ACT through lived experience of mental distress, and was drawn to the question of how she wanted to live in the world.
Claire has peer co-facilitated ACT groups in a community mental health setting and worked as a consumer advisor for both her local district health board and the Ministry of Health. She has attended several ACBS conferences, including the 2017 World Conference, for which she received an ACBS diversity scholarship. Claire has a passion for mental health and living well, and looks forward to a future career in mental health.
As a student representative on the board, Claire’s primary aims would be to remain open and accessible to students, to operate on a flattened hierarchy, and to thoroughly gather and represent their diverse views. She intends to create networking and mentoring opportunities for both undergraduates and postgraduates, and to introduce more students to contextual behavioural science. Claire is on a six month break from her studies, so she has time and energy to dedicate to serving the ANZACBS community.
This board was elected by members in November 2018, successors to the 2017-2018 executive.
Pam Barker, Student Representative (withdrawn)
Pam Barker is a student studying at Australian Catholic University, completing a Bachelors of Psychological science. Pam is passionate about Positive and Health Psychology and how we can apply this in a holistic manner to achieve human flourishing. Pam also works for Black Dog Institute as the Senior Manager of Workplace Engagement managing the delivery of Workplace Mental Health programs nationally. Pam was introduced to ACT by Kenneth Pakenham Professor at the University of Queensland when she was coaching Leaders using values-based coaching frameworks. Pam has completed numerous ACT courses delivered by Russ Harris and Dr Louise Hayes. Pam has experience holding board positions and is an active member of the LGBTIQ community. Pam is passionate about using ACT with young LGBTIQ people to build resilience and provide the community with valuable skills to live a healthy and meaningful life. As a student representative on the ANZACBS Board, Pam will bring her enthusiasm and knowledge of Community to engage other Students and early career practitioners to engaged with ANZACBS and Learn ACT.