Paul Atkins, 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.
Louise Hayes, Past President
Louise Hayes PhD, is a clinical psychologist at the University of Melbourne Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, a Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer, an author, and a therapist in private practice. Louise is a world leader in ACT for young people (12 to 24). She conducts professional development workshops on ACT for youth, has co-authored a book for teens – Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens: A guide to living an extraordinary life and is currently writing a book for schools and practitioners. Louise also conducts intervention research using ACT for young people and families. Louise is currently involved in trials to test ACT for young people online, in schools and in counselling settings. She is now working on increasing ACBS’s research in Australia and extending our work into broad scale community change and education in schools. ANZ members who are interested in changing culture and settings for young people are encouraged to contact Louise.
Eric Morris, President Elect
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
Robert Styles, Treasurer-Secretary
Dr Robert Styles is a Visiting Fellow at the College of Arts and Social Sciences and Director of Organisational Leadership and Performance at ANU Enterprise, the commercial arm of the Australian National University (ANU). He advises and consults into corporations and public sector agencies on ACT-based and PROSOCIAL approaches in human capital development. His research focus, using RFT, is on how words and speech influence covert and overt behavior. Within ANU the ongoing application of Robert’s research is at the operational nexus of a number of different disciplinary streams including applied behavioural psychology, organisational and cultural sociology, evolutionary science, and systems engineering. Currently this work is being applied in several government departments in collaboration with the College of Engineering and is being evolved into an approach to contract research based on a model that has been successfully employed at Cambridge University.
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.
Tiffany Rochester is a clinical psychologist at the Charles Street Clinic in Perth. With over 13years experience in clinical psychology, she has been using ACT with children, adults, couples and families for over seven years. Tiff facilitates a local ACBS intervision group, writes a CBS-infused blog (thesamemountain.com), and has had occasional 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.
Tiff is an occasional speaker on CBS topics at corporate events, and is lead investigator in an ACT research trial in collaboration with Telethon Kids Institute. 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.
Giselle Bahr is a clinical psychologist in Wellington, New Zealand.
Since a colleague serendipitously introduced her to ACT in 2008 she has immersed herself in ACT, RFT and CBS training, conferencing, reading, practice, SIGing and sharing.
Giselle now works primarily with young people and their families in private practice.
Before that she spent 15 years working in Wellington’s public health system and teaching in a university clinical training programme. She is a founder of the Wellington ACT Centre, hub of things ACT for the lower North Island, and represents clinicians on the regional primary care advisory group.
Giselle is keen to work with the Association to promote and support health funders, social services, researchers, clinicians and the public to use ACT, RFT and CBS. She is also delighted to be bringing a New Zealand perspective to ANZ ACBS.
Elizabeth Maher, New Zealand Representative
Elizabeth Maher is a UK qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and Registered Psychiatric Nurse. She originally trained in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy at the Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital in London. Elizabeth was initially introduced to Mindfulness and this led to both a personal and clinical journey practising mindfulness and attending Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy training. She has used these approaches in therapy and training over the last fourteen years. She has worked and taught in a variety of settings in the UK and in New Zealand, and currently works in private practice with young people and adults, and facilitates ACT training workshops across New Zealand. She is the founder of New Zealand Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Training and is currently working towards becoming a Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer.
Elizabeth is passionate about ACT and Contextual Behavioural Science, and working with the ACT community to continue to build our community in Australia and New Zealand “living and leading with our head, heart and hands,”