Showcase for Under Graduate and Senior Secondary Students – Confirmed Speakers 2017

Confirmed Speakers 

Dr Eric MorrisEric Morris
Director of the Psychology Clinic, La Trobe University, Victoria
Incoming President of ANZ ACBS

Topic: Contextual Behaviour Science: a pragmatic approach to human challenges

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.


Dr Lisa CoyneLisa Coyne
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts

Topic: ACT for Anxiety and OCD in Young People

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.


Prof. JoAnne DahlJoAnne tea cup (1)
Professor of Psychology, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Topic: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in the treatment of Chronic Pain

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.


Dr Louise HayesLouise
University of Melbourne Orygen Youth Health Research Centre,  Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer

President-Elect, ACBS; Past President, ANZ ACBS

Topic: Write your own DNA-v – Using psychological flexibility to thrive

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 two books –  Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens: A guide to living an extraordinary life and a new book for teachers, therapists and counsellors on ACT for young people, The Thriving Adolescent. 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.


Darin CairnsDarin
Principal Clinical Psychologist, Charles Street Clinic, Western Australia

Topic: An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory

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.


Mitch Hartmitch hart photo
Clinical Psychologist and ACT trainer, Western Australia

Topic: A short video demonstration and discussion of a cognitive defusion therapy session with a client.


Mitch qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 1986 and has over 30 years of clinical experience and over 35,000 consultations working in a variety of mental health settings and private practice.  Over this time, he has received advanced level training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness and Schema Therapy. Mitch currently works as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice and provides supervision and training to students and colleagues. Mitch is a Psychology Board approved supervisor and has a specialist interest and passion in therapist skill development. He has supervised about 250 University students, therapists and Clinical Psychologists in small group and individual formats. He is regularly invited to conduct ACT workshops for organisations and in 2011 his work was peer reviewed by the international Association for Contextual Behavioural Science and formally recognised as an ACT trainer (one of 6 in Australia).


Julie Grove
Psychologist, Private Practice, New South Wales

Topic: Do I really need all of these forms? Conducting an ACT assessment

Julie Grove is a registered psychologist who graduated from the University of Western Australia, before moving to Sydney in the early 90’s. Since then, she has worked in a clinical capacity in aboriginal communities, with adolescents in community health and in drug and alcohol services. She has provided consultation and training to a range of organisations including TAFE NSW, the University of Southern QLD, The Royal Flying Doctor Service, We Help Ourselves and Physiotherapy, NZ. For 15 years she worked in student counselling both at The University of Sydney and at the University of New South Wales and now works solely in private practice, seeing clients and providing ACT supervision. Julie has been a part of the CBS community since 2006. She was on the program committee for the 2014 ANZ ACBS Conference, is a past board member of the ANZ chapter of the ACBS and regularly conducts training for organisations in ACT, mindfulness and self-compassion. She is currently the secretary for the ACT Special Interest Group of the APS.


Matthew Smoutmatthew-smout
Senior Clinic Supervisor, UniSA Psychology Clinic, South Australia

Topic: Values v rules: how to tell what you really care about (from what you’ve been told to care about)

Dr Matthew Smout is the Senior Clinic Supervisor at the UniSA Psychology Clinic. He has over 15 years’ experience as a clinical psychologist in public and private adult mental health and addiction services, and has provided lectures for University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and UniSA for over 10 years. He was the inaugural national convener of the APS Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Interest Group, co-developed the Valuing Questionnaire and conducted the first randomised controlled trial of ACT in Australia. His current research interests include the enhancement of psychological therapy delivery in routine settings.


Robert StylesRobert_Styles1_small
Visiting Fellow, College of Arts & Social Sciences, Australian National University

Topic: Facilitating system level long term change based on CBS principles


Robert is a Visiting Fellow in the College of Arts & Social Sciences at the Australian National University and a Consultant in Organisational Leadership and Performance. His work focuses on developing pro-sociality and employs contemplative pedagogy and principles of behaviour change to improve attention, situational awareness, emotional intelligence, and relationships in personal and work settings, and sustained value directed performance.   This work involves providing tailored services that are informed by long-term research and evidence-based approaches to improving work and the workplace.   Robert’s research focus, using RFT, is on how words and speech influence covert and overt behaviour. He is interested in enhancing the capacity to take oneself, and what you are identifying with verbally, as the object of your own attention to reinforce valued living. The question is, “How is what we say, who we are?” and “How do we allocate attention to what is most important now, and in the long run?”


Reyelle McKeeverReyelle
Clinical Psychologist, Queensland

Topic: ACTing out: Having fun doing ACT with kids

Reyelle is passionate about working collaboratively with children and their families to help them navigate their developmental journey. She applies a strengths-based multisystemic frame for her clinical work, recognising the importance of seeing the ‘whole child’. Her work has included individual and group-based interventions using ACT processes. Reyelle enjoys bringing traditional and new mediums to her clinical work, including art, music, apps and YouTube to meet children where they are developmentally. She contributed to Dr Russ Harris’ ‘ACT for Adolescents’ online training program and is working on a book, ‘ACT for Kids’ with her partner. She has provided ACT-based training to parents and clinicians, as well as supervision to probationary psychologists.


Mary Sawyer
Clinical Psychologist, Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer

Topic: On Being An ACT Therapist

Mary is a psychologist working in her Sydney private practice. Before setting up private practice, she lectured in nursing, psychology and psychosocial care at Australia Catholic University (ACU) in Australia and Hong Kong.

She is one of the most experienced ACT therapists in Australia and has many hours of professional development with expert ACT clinicians. She has trained with leading ACT researchers and clinicians such as Robyn Walser, JoAnne Dahl, Steve Hayes, Kelly Wilson and Kirk Strosahl and Rob Zettle in Australia, and internationally.

Mary is a regular presenter at ACBS International and ANZACBS National Conferences. She is the first Convener of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) ACT Interest Group and has been actively involved in promoting ACT in Australia since 2003. Mary has wide experience as an ACT therapist in private practice working with a variety of psychological problems.

Mary facilitates ACT workshops throughout Australia. She is committed to enhancing ACT clinical skills by conducting skills training and supervision in Sydney. She was the convenor of a monthly ACT Discussion Group in Sydney for over 10 years and now provides monthly peer supervision for ACT therapists and a chance to experience ACT in real time.


Louise Shepherdlouise-shepherd
Clinical Psychologist, Trainer and Executive Coach, Sydney ACT Centre, New South Wales

Topic: ACT in organisations

As a clinical psychologist with 20 years’ experience in clinical, health and university settings Louise has particular expertise in ACT and other mindfulness-based approaches.  As a coach, Louise has worked extensively with executives, senior professionals and middle management from a wide cross section of corporate, government, professional service firms and not-for-profit organisations. She is particularly interested in applying ACT to groups in organisations to help them find more fulfilment at work. She provides coaching services through her affiliation with Executive Coaching International (eci partners).  In 2012 she was accepted as an ACBS peer reviewed ACT trainer by the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science.  She is the Principal and founder of The Sydney ACT Centre and has been running a successful private practice in the Sydney CBD since 2001.


Jennifer Kempjennifer-kemp
Clinical Psychologist, Cystic Fibrosis Statewide Service, South Australia, and private practice

Topic: Staying alive: Using ACT to help people with complex medical problems thrive and survive

Jennifer is a Clinical Psychologist who works at the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, as well as in private practice in Adelaide, and has previously worked for the Childhood Cancer Association and in the Pain Unit of the Repatriation General Hospital.  She works with children, adolescents and adults, and has a special interest in working with people with complex medical conditions who struggle with treatment adherence.  She works with people with a wide range mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, and chronic pain, and complex medical conditions such as cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, pain, diabetes, lung disease and weight management.



Deborah HartDeborahHart
Teacher, Registered Counsellor and Professional Orchestral Horn Player, Victoria

Topic: ACT applied to performance artists

Deborah trained as a classroom music teacher, and now works as a professional orchestral horn player and registered counsellor. As a counsellor, she uses ACT with musicians to help deal with performance anxiety and stress related to performance. She has conducted ACT workshops at the Queensland Conservatorium and WAAPA. She works with the Melbourne Symphony, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Symphony in 2017 and hopes to begin research this year into ACT for music performance anxiety.


Registration Fees

                                    Individual        Group Rate     Class Rate       Dates

                                                                 (3 or more)   (15 or more)

Early Bird                     $20                  $15pp              $12.50pp                NOW – 6 Sep

Standard                       $30                  $20pp             $17.50pp                 7 Sept – 15 Oct