Cover Story

"Breaking Convention--New Concepts in Practice," new programming premiering this August at APA's 2000 Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., offers practitioners and clinical researchers the opportunity to network, expand their expertise and learn about cutting-edge concepts.

APA's Board of Convention Affairs (BCA) designed the track in response to APA members' requests for more hands-on, skill-building sessions, outstanding speakers and centralized programming. Collaborating in the effort are APA's Div. 17 (Counseling), Div. 22 (Rehabilitation), Div. 29 (Psychotherapy), Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) and Div. 42 (Independent Practice).

Held from 8 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6, the track will feature a presentation by the father of cognitive therapy, Aaron T. Beck, MD, two skill-building workshops, two interactive exhibition sessions, a dialogue between Beck and the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Albert Ellis, PhD, and other activities--all held in the Washington Convention Center to centralize sessions and provide more opportunities to attendees for networking, says BCA chair Rochelle Balter, PhD.

Workshops in the track will differ from sessions many members are accustomed to, says Balter. Speakers will teach attendees skills for working with patients, "not simply lecture or quote statistics," she says.

And the two exhibition sessions will depart from the traditional poster session format. Instead of featuring one presenter who answers questions about his or her display, presentations will be arranged by topic in clusters of three or four presenters discussing their work. Each presenter will give a 10-minute talk using visual materials. Afterwards, a moderator will facilitate a discussion among presenters and the audience.

"By working together, the collaborating divisions were able to pool their resources and present programming that will be attractive to a majority of their members," says Balter.

The "Breaking Convention--New Concepts in Practice" sessions are:

  • "Changing traditional views in dealing with diverse populations," 8­9:50 a.m. In this hands-on workshop, each of the four speakers will offer attendees skills for working with diverse populations. The speakers are Jennifer Manly, PhD, of Columbia University; Stanley Sue, PhD, of the University of California, Davis; Patricia A. Rivera, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Reginald Nettles, PhD, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • "Innovative treatment approaches," 10­10:50 a.m. The morning exhibition session features six exhibit clusters on topics such as telerehabilitation and supervision.

  • "Cognitive therapy at the cutting edge," 11­11:50 a.m. A presentation by keynote speaker Aaron T. Beck, MD, of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research in Philadelphia.

  • "New directions in research," noon­12:50 p.m. The afternoon exhibition session highlights research on topics such as corporate consulting and professional coaching, assessment of deaf persons, acquired brain injury assessment, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and closet narcissism.

  • "Cognitive and exposure treatments for disordered anger: techniques and demonstrations," 1­1:50 p.m. In this interactive workshop, Raymond A. DiGiuseppe, PhD, of St. John's University, and Raymond Tafrate, PhD, of Central Connecticut State University, will offer attendees skills for treating patients with anger problems.

  • "On therapy: a dialogue with Aaron T. Beck, MD, and Albert Ellis, PhD," 3­3:50 p.m. An impromptu discussion between these two mental health pioneers will be moderated by APA's 1994 President Frank Farley, PhD.

BCA intends to conduct evaluations of all sessions in the track. If members like the new track format, there could be more of this type of programming at future APA Annual Conventions, says Balter.

Further Reading

For more information on programming at APA's 2000 Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., visit the APA convention Web site.