Eric Morris, 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
Tiffany Rochester, President Elect
Tiffany Rochester is a clinical psychologist at the Charles Street Clinic in Perth. With over 15 years’ experience in clinical psychology, she has been using ACT with children, adults, couples and families for around 10 years. Tiff has served on the ANZ ACBS Board for the past two years, and is this year’s Conference Chair. Tiff facilitates a local CBS intervision group, 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 Fellow at Telethon Kids Institute, conducting an ACT research trial for parents of kids with Autism. 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.
Paul Atkins, Past President
Paul Atkins is a board endorsed Organisational Psychologist who works in both academia and industry. He teaches organisational and behavioural psychology at the School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University, as well as coordinating the Master of Clinical Counselling program. By training, he is a registered psychologist with a PhD in Psychology from Cambridge University. He regularly teaches ACT-based courses and uses ACT in his executive coaching of staff from a wide variety of organisations. He does research in collaboration with members of the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (ACU) on a range of projects exploring the impacts of mindfulness and values-based living on daily life. His specific research interests include studying meditation, the effects of mindfulness and ACT upon identity, perspective taking and relationships. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science and is currently editing a book for Cambridge University Press on the use of mindfulness training in organizations. He is a member of the ProSocial advisory group and was program chair for the 2014 ANZ ACBS Conference. He has a particular interest in applying ACT/CBS to improving relationships in education, organisations, and community life.
Daniel Simsion, Secretary
Dr. Daniel Simsion is a psychologist with the Victorian forensic public mental health service, Forensicare, in addition to working in private practice with Dr. Louise Hayes at her clinic. 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 has focused particularly on the 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, as well as involvement in the development of a student ACT study day.
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 Lisa Soares is a Clinical Psychologist from Melbourne, Australia with over 15 years experience working in public mental health and private practice. In addition to being a practicing therapist, Lisa has worked in a variety of leadership roles as well as teaching in the University sector at both undergraduate and post graduate levels. She also provides professional supervision to psychologists and other health practitioners across a variety of sectors. Since 2011, Lisa has focused her attention on introducing and embedding ACT within public mental health settings and has taken a lead role in the development of training and supervision opportunities for mental health practitioners working with people experiencing severe mental health issues. Lisa is passionate about engaging and supporting students and practitioners interested in ACT and Contextual Behavioural Science, and playing an active role in the evolution of the ACBS in Australia and New Zealand.
Geetanjali Basarkod, Student Representative
Geet is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, and is supervised by Prof. Joseph Ciarrochi and Dr. Baljinder Sahdra. Her thesis is based squarely within the CBS framework. Specifically, she is creating a clinical tool to assess the frequency and motivation for six behavioural patterns that promote well-being, that will hopefully help practitioners increase their clients’ valued activity.
She was introduced to ACT during her bachelor’s degree at the University of Warwick in England. Under the supervision of Dr. Nic Hooper, she compared the effectiveness of brief cognitive defusion and thought distraction interventions in dealing with negative thoughts arising from completing a learned helplessness program. She has been greatly interested in CBS and ACT research ever since.
As student rep, Geet aims to further involve the student members with the ACBS community to enable them to learn as much as possible from the current practitioners, academics, and other prominent members. This will equip the students to become future leaders of the association and also set up future collaborations.
Katie Wyman is a clinical and counselling psychologist who works in public mental health and private practice. She has been using ACT for about ten years, much of this time she has focused on using ACT to treat borderline personality disorder in individual and group settings.
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.
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.
Tresna Hunt, New Zealand Representative
Tresna is a New Zealand registered psychologist with a PhD in psychology and leadership from the University of Otago and an International Coaching Community Certified Coach (ICC). She is an experienced therapist and coach and has been a contract lecturer to the University of Auckland School of Psychology and Auckland University of Technology. She has worked therapeutically with people in a wide variety of contexts including those living with both mental health issues and addiction, university students and the general population, and she has worked as a developmental coach with both individuals and teams. Her current passion and focus is on supporting the systemic developmental health of organisations through psychological and behavioural flexibility. Tresna is involved with a number of pro bono activities including co-facilitating the ACBS Leadership and Organisation Special Interest Group, mental fitness trainer for three sports teams at Takapuna Grammer School, and board member at Belmont Intermediate School.
This board was elected by members in October 2017, successors to the 2016-2017 executive.