Invited speakers 2017


Rich Ryan
Richard M. Ryan, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, and Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) at Australian Catholic University, and at the University of Rochester (New York). He is a widely published researcher and theorist in the area of human motivation, with over 300 articles, chapters and books. Ryan is the co- developer (with Edward Deci) of Self-Determination Theory, an internationally researched framework that has been applied in hundreds of studies within areas such as child development, education, work, medicine, sport, and cultural psychology. Ryan is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the American Educational Research Association, among others, and an Honorary Member of the German Psychological Society. He has also received distinguished career awards from the Society of Self and Identity and the International Network on Personal Meaning, as well the Shavelson Distinguished Research Award. He has been a Visiting Scientist at the Max Planck Institute, a James McKeen Cattell Fellow, and a Leverhulme Trust Fellow. His most recent book is: Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development and Wellness (2017; Guilford).

Richard will be speaking on:

Motivating Sustained Behavior Change: Research and Practices from Self-Determination Theory

Self-determination theory (SDT) distinguishes types of motivation in terms of the degree to which they are autonomous versus being regulated by internal or external rewards or pressures that are experienced as controlling. An expanding body of empirical research shows that people’s quality of engagement, performance, and well-being are strongly affected by the relative autonomy of their motives for behaving. Moreover, SDT details how motivation quality is affected by the styles and strategies of motivators from teachers, coaches and parents, to managers, therapists and health-care professionals. In this talk, Dr. Ryan will provide an overview SDT and its empirical foundations, with emphasis on basic research studies of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and conceptions of reward. He will discuss recent neurological research, cross-cultural comparisons, and experience sampling studies. Finally, he will discuss SDT’s applied research, including interventions in schools, workplaces, clinics, virtual environments, and other settings.

Putting Motivation to Work: Practice and Principles in Fostering High-Quality Engagement

In this workshop, Dr. Ryan will discuss the conditions that facilitate truly volitional or autonomous motivation for maintained behavior change. Topics will include the core strategies for supporting autonomy and intrinsic motivation, the role of mindful awareness in self-regulation, and the many obstacles to being autonomy-supportive in both professional contexts and everyday life. This workshop will include opportunities for exchange and questions.



PatDudgeonRoundtable2016Pat Dudgeon
Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberly area in Western Australia. She is a psychologist and Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. She is a researcher at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Western Australia. Her area of research includes Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention. Amongst her many commitments, she is a Commissioner of the Australian National Mental Health Commission, deputy chair of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist’s Association, chair of the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Leaders Mental Health and co-chair of the ministerial Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.  She is currently the director of the National Empowerment Project: an Indigenous suicide prevention project working with eleven sites in Aboriginal communities across the country and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project. She has many publications in Indigenous mental health in particular, the Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principals and Practice 2014. She is actively involved with the Aboriginal community and has a commitment to social justice for Indigenous people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention


This presentation will provide a brief overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and suicide prevention. Promising initiatives will be presented.

The mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has become a critical issue and available data suggests mental health is worsening This is seen in reported high rates of psychological distress, hospitalisation for mental health conditions and most critically, increasing suicide rates. It is timely that the mental health professions have begun to engage with Indigenous people in ways that will assist recovery and cultural maintenance. In recent times, the emergence of Indigenous paradigms is seen as an important way forward. In particular, social and emotional wellbeing as a new paradigm will discussed. At the core of an emerging Indigenous mental health approach are concepts of community ownership and valuing culture.

Social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) has emerged as an important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concept of mental health and wellbeing. SEWB recognises the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality, ancestry, family and community, and how these affect the individual, family and community. Another relevant project is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) is a unique Aboriginal-led research project to identify ‘what works’ to prevent suicide in our communities. The report, Solutions That Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us will be examined in detail.

Workshop: Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: Solutions That Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us

This workshop will review the tools from the Solutions That Work: What the Evidence and Our People Tell Us Report. Participants/delegates will engage with the different tools in the report and   examine better ways to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so that suicide can be addressed effectively.



Lisa Coyne
Dr. Coyne is the Founder and Director of the McLean OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents at McLean Hospital, and is on the Faculty of Harvard Medical School. She is a Research Associate Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, and is on the Faculty of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) of the International OCD Foundation.  She is also a licensed psychologist and an internationally recognized ACT trainer with extensive experience using ACT with young people with OCD and their families. She has authored multiple articles and chapters on ACT with children and adolescents, and is a co-author of the book The Joy of Parenting: New Harbinger Press. Her new book, The ACT Guide to Teen Anxiety and OCD: Guilford Press, is expected in early 2018.




JoAnne Dahl
JoAnne Dahl presently holds the position of  tenured professor in psychology at the University of Uppsala. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist with speciality in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Behaviour Analysis. Her research extending over 40 years has focused on behaviour medicine. JoAnne developed and evaluated behavioural methods for treating epileptic seizures and subsequently received a commission within the International Epilepsy society with the aim of developing behavioural programs in developing countries. Programs in India and South Africa have been developed and evaluated in a number of randomised controlled studies. Similar behavioural interventions were developed and valued for chronic asthma, pain, obesity and constipation. In over a decade, JoAnne has been doing clinical research using ACT for epilepsy, pain and obesity. Besides nearly 40 published clinical studies, JoAnne has, together with RFT researchers and clinicians both professional textbooks and self-help books in the areas of epilepsy, Values, pain, intimate relationships, and overweight. Recently, JoAnne has hosted a webtalkradio program produced in Chicago called ‘ACT taking hurt to hope’ where clinicians, researchers worldwide are interviewed. JoAnne served as ACBS President for Swedish Chapter 2014.


Darin Cairns 
Darin Cairns has over 15 years experience in treating children, adults and families for a range of psychological disorders. He has specialised in emotional, neurological and developmental disorders. Clinically, Darin has expertise in child, adolescent, family therapy and developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders. He also has extensive experience in adult mood disorders and works as a single expert witness.

Darin is well known for his work with children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Darin has set up award winning early intervention services in Western Australia for children with ASD and related conditions. He was initially trained in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Clinical Behaviour Analysis and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. After many years working with developmental specialists and clinicians his frustration at not being able to bridge the gap from ABA to complex behavioural and emotional domains lead him to Relational Frame Theory (RFT). He has since applied Relational Frame Theory (RFT) to hundreds of developmental programs for children with autism spectrum disorders and special needs and continues to practice clinically using therapies developed from RFT such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other third wave Cognitive Behavioural Approaches.

Darin has lectured at the tertiary level and has provided over 150 training courses to a wide range of populations in the medical, health and public settings. He is a sought after speaker in the use of evidence based practice to promote psychological wellbeing and development around the world having been invited to speak in the UK, Europe, the US and most of Australia.


Eric Morris
Dr Eric Morris is Director of the Psychology Clinic, La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia. He is a clinical psychologist, trainer and researcher. Eric’s research has focused on individual and group acceptance and commitment therapy for people recovering from psychosis, carers, and as a workplace intervention for mental health workers and university staff. He is a co-editor of “ACT and Mindfulness for Psychosis”, co-author of the self-help guide, “ACTivate Your Life: Using Acceptance and Mindfulness to Build a Life That Is Rich, Fulfilling and Fun”, and co-author of the forthcoming treatment guide, “ACT for Psychosis Recovery: a workbook on running effective groups for people with psychosis using acceptance and mindfulness”, to be published by New Harbinger Press in late 2017.