ABCT Bipolar SIG/Annual Meeting/2019

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2019 annual meeting: Atlanta, GA[edit | edit source]

Business at the SIG Meeting[edit | edit source]

Link to GoogleDoc for rapid updating.

1. Presentation of Johnson-Youngstrom Poster Award[edit | edit source]

Congratulations to Rachel Vaughn-Coaxum!

Her poster examined the impact of childhood adversity on disruptions in cognitive functioning and mood disorders that are relevant to treatment outcomes. It was a secondary analysis of depressive symptoms and trajectory over time from middle childhood through late adolescence based on a longitudinal study, and focused on those who experienced childhood maltreatment and whether it’s related to symptom course and attention. Those who did have a history of maltreatment and more inattention had more severe symptoms earlier in the course of disorder and tended to stabilize over time, which is consistent with epidemiological literature that suggests childhood maltreatment has a stronger impact in earlier ages.

2. Dues[edit | edit source]

Dues are $20/year for faculty and students are requested to contribute what they can. Submit payment online via PayPal, to Lauren's GMail account (see email).

The dues are vital to supporting the Student Poster Award!

3. Upgrading information about Bipolar Disorder on Wiki[edit | edit source]

  1. Edit articles on Wikipedia
  2. Build articles and resources on Wikiversity
  3. Open Access articles with fast track to Wikipedia
Breakout sessions at the 2019 Bipolar SIG in Atlanta

4. Breakout sessions (see notes below)[edit | edit source]

5. Old business: Follow-up from previous suggestions for improving listserv[edit | edit source]

  1. Create a list: Name, email, current projects
    1. This is started on the home page for the SIG
  2. When preparing talks, compile symposiums. SIG members could submit talks, and the SIG can compile symposiums and submit.
    1. Proposal: Use the project as a way of archiving & sharing
  3. Sending around information, job offers, etc.
    1. Definitely could do; just need to remember in the coming year!
  4. Organizing ABCT bipolar SIG at ISBD
    1. ISBD is most familiar with the idea of a Task Force. Do we want to propose a psychotherapy TF?
    2. Culture TF is going to work on extending the translations of assessments
    3. Child TF may also engage with project to do WikiJournal of Medicine article on psychotherapy.

Next meeting is in Chicago in June 2020; poster submissions due in January 2020

  1. Build BD assessment battery matrix

Need a "water carrier" for this -- have multiple meta-analyses that would inform decisions.

  1. Recommendations for core measures for a standard, including neurocognition

6. Other conference submissions[edit | edit source]

We want to raise the visibility of psychology-related work on bipolar disorder, both at the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, and at general psychology and psychiatry conferences.

To that end, here are some links to different meetings (feel free to add). Let's aim to get 2-3 symposia submitted to ABCT in March 2020!

Breakout Groups[edit | edit source]

Bipolar SIG breakout session with Co-President Victoria Cosgrove, and Past President Lauren Weinstock, along with some of the new talent entering the field

Mentoring break-outs[edit | edit source]

  • Bipolar research in the RDoC/mechanism era - strategies for being competitive in today’s funding climate
  • Most critical questions in child/adolescent mood disorder research
  • Available career paths in clinical and research realms
  • Challenges and obstacles to a successful academic/research career
Dr. Cosgrove and Dr. Weinstock’s breakout

Academia is not the only path!

  • Important to think about how women fit into academia (relatively underrepresented despite more women being in the field of psychology at large)

What kinds of research topics are you interested in?

  • Yen-ling and Sam - pediatric mood
  • Yen-ling
    • Cultural differences + prediction modeling studies and techniques
    • In 5 years: Go back to Taiwan to teach at a university
  • Sam
    • Changing diagnostic trends in BSD, pediatric mood and sleep disorders
    • In 5 years: Academic medical center or psych dept
  • Jen
    • Transdiagnostic examination of impulsivity (experiencing an emotion that immediately triggers action)
    • How does recruitment, etc change between different settings (AMC, smaller clinics, etc)?
  • Dr. Weinstock
    • More severely ill patients in AMC
    • Suicide in BSD; suicide prevention
    • Also more recently interested in criminal justice settings and recruiting from the criminal justice system
      • Greater points of contact with hospitals/infrastructure
      • Higher base rates of all psychopathology (~40% reported history of mania)
  • Hannah
    • Used to work at McClane at 3 East (Boston)
    • In 5 years: AMC, maybe private practice
  • Abigail
    • In 5 years: AMC

What are the challenges you observe in recruitment?

  • YL + S not actively recruiting BSD participants currently
    • Easier in AMC than psych dept
    • J + Dr. C agree that it’s easier in AMC
  • Dr. C likes the culture of a psych department
    • Sense of community
    • Harder to find a niche/crew in AMC
  • S:
    • Community outreach to psychiatric inpatient units?
    • DCFS, state department barriers
  • J:
    • Institutional counseling services (CAPS) to identify undergrads is also hard
  • Dr. W:
    • Partnerships with community MH can be good for recruitment
    • Old way: the people doing the clinical trials are not the people who deliver those interventions to the community
      • Moving in the right direction
      • Integrating community MH professionals (recruiting the staff in a community)
  • Dr. C:
    • Formal practicum experiences are set up like a Bay Area-wide consortium
    • On-the-ground engagement in communities by students who are also involved in the research
    • Practicums are very homegrown
    • Feels like she gets to wear many hats and get a variety of experiences in AMC setting as opposed to in psych depts
  • Dr. W:
    • Knew that she did not love classroom teaching (that’s not why she got a PhD!)
      • Psych dept jobs always involve teaching
      • AMC also involves teaching but very different (supervision, special topics, no grading papers/exams)
    • Working in a medical setting allows her to come into contact with the populations she’s interested in
    • Research, teaching, and service are weighted very differently in AMCs (research is like 90%)
    • Personally focuses on research
    • Because there aren’t administrative avenues to cover other efforts in Academia… only getting paid 100% for everything despite putting more than 100% effort
      • Less flexibility within Brown’s structure specifically
      • Definitely a tradeoff of priorities

Sam: In an academic medical center where money comes from grants, how do you balance what your research interests are and what is “fundable”?

  • Dr. W: Can’t invest time in something that she’s not interested in
    • Have to be invested in the idea for a grant so it actually gets written
    • Need to be strategic but stay within something that you have a passion or interest for
    • Gave example of suicide prevention in criminal justice with NIMH
    • “Highest risk population in the highest risk setting”
      • Reflects interest in severe psychopathology
      • A lot of investigators are not comfortable taking those risks (hierarchy, red tape, stressful)
  • Dr. C: Non-linear path to where she is currently
    • Dovetails role of being a female in psychology
      • Part of it is saying yes and also expectations of flexibility
    • As a junior person, you need to try to stay true to your core
      • Developing persistence in finding your “oomph”
      • Not just either research vs clinical career
    • Definitely involves strategy to strike the right balance for your personal interests

J: Especially in AMCs, there are challenges with pulls on your time, setting boundaries for when to say no. What do you wish you had known?

  • Dr. C: Personally drawn towards people (esp women) who serve as models
    • Used to be drawn towards big names but now drawn more towards big hearts
    • Working and mentoring helps her stay young and stay involved socially
  • Dr. W
    • Saying no more now because she can, but saying yes definitely served her well in the past (especially for women)
      • Once you’re around long enough, you develop the currency to say no to things
      • Hard to say no to ~buttery~ requests but it’s easier when she knows she’s where she’s where she wants to be without them
    • Engaged in a lot because so much sounded fun and interesting
    • The people she enjoyed spending time with are now her collaborators and her professional network
      • Sometimes you don’t realize you’re developing that network from your peers when you’re focused on just the senior people

J: Question about future of being a bipolar research, a lot of stuff is transdiagnostic. What are your thoughts on where the field is moving?

  • Dr. W: If you stick it out long enough, the trend shifts
    • Priorities and “hot areas” come and go because science evolves and changes over time
      • Ride out the waves
    • Mechanisms, computational modeling, etc have the long-term payoff but do not necessarily address immediate, short-term needs
      • Services realm is more short-term
Bipolar SIG breakout session with Victoria Cosgrove, PhD, Co-President.jpg

Dr. Jarrod Leffler's Breakout Group

Rachel Vaughn-Coaxum

  • Postdoc at University of Pittsbhurgh working with Dr. Tina Goldstein
  • Research interests: EBA, psychosocial treatments and how childhood adversity plays a part
    • Healthy habits help and triggers
    • Childhood trauma


  • Grad student with Ana van meter
  • Research Interests: Web-based interventions utilized for access in adolescence


  • Postbac with Andy
  • Massachusetts General Hospital

Has done research with:

  • Fitbit and online behavior therapy with participants that have Cardiovascular disease and mental illness
    • They saw higher retention but a lower startup
  • Involved in gene research that includes 4 sites are conducting similar in genes to Jarrod's

Josh Langfus

  • Grad student with Eric Youngstrom
  • Research Interests Sleep and irritability
  • Evidenced-based assessment (EBA) and dissemination of EBA tools

Caroline Vincent

  • Undergrad in Dr. Youngstrom's lab
  • HGAPS member

Jarrod M. Leffler, Ph.D., L.P.

  • Interested in accurate family-based treatment
  • Has done research with people in outpatient clinics.
  • Conducted research at Mayo
    • A 2-week family-based elements of MFPEP and elements of DBT
  • Does work with gene mapping with Gwas
    • Early research has been inconclusive
  • Has done work with the Gene Psyc swab test
    • It looks at how you metabolize meds
    • It uses a stoplight system
      • Green can take
      • Yellow caution when taking or consider not taking
      • Red do not take
    • It is not reliable. Often patients have been on medication and done well when the system says they shouldn't
      • Further questions and limitations: Patient makeup and People taking multiple meds
      • Problems: Pristic is not put through proper channels and is just viewed as safe
  • Looked at decision making based on Genpsyc test
  • Involved with a project that is similar to Amy West’s rainbow project
    • Looks at Dni and how it applies to bp
    • MFPEP, DBT, and ACT
    • 4 groups have IPT content
      • Questions and further directions:
        • What does it look like in the literature?
        • Outcome studies are the next direction.

General discussion

  • Interested in the dissemination of treatment.
    • Thinks about to load on therapists to learn new information a treatment practices
      • Can we make it manageable?
      • Can we get therapists to do it?
      • How to handle missing sessions of MFPEP?
      • How to balance the integrity and the flexibility of treatment?
  • Assessment
    • Looked at the Phq9 compared to scales with normative data to give more information
    • Working on creating clinical significance benchmarks for psychological measures
  • Technology
    • Anxiety coach an app
    • Amod app
    • Cogeto
    • Analyzes voice emotion
  • Social media
    • Needs to be more private
    • How to and who would vet info
    • It does provide connective care
    • It could be used to help in addition to care or while waiting for an appointment
  • Machine learning and AI may be a possible solution to technology-based treatment
  • Need training data
  • NLP to classify and help understand
    • But stakes are high
  • Passive monitoring may be helpful

  • Risk calculator tries to do this using information from habits
    • attempts to Predict the onset of next episode
  • Passive monitoring
    • What is the passive monitoring picking up and what of it is useful
    • Overfitting could be a problem

Dr. West's breakout
  • Questions re: specialization & finding mentors (i.e., grad school) who do EXACTLY what you're interested in
    • Intersectionality is possible!
    • Choose someone who does one of the many things you're interested in & carve a space for yourself
  • How can you integrate more research into your career when you primarily focus on clinical work (especially when you're early in your career)?
    • Working in academic medicine can promote a balance
      • Downsides: there aren't hard lines of money in academic medicine
      • Starting out in this career, it can be hard to carve out research time
    • Getting your own funding is the most direct way to carve out more time
      • K or early career awards
    • Being very early in your career makes it tougher to carve out time
      • You get told to say "yes" to everything, but you have to shift to being your own boss
    • Protect some time to work on grants with others
      • May give you the space and time to write your own grants
  • Careers in academic medicine
    • PROS:
      • You don't have to teach, if that's not something you're interested in
      • Merges clinical work and research
      • You can do clinical work that informs your research, and research that informs your clinical work
      • Opportunities to work with many different people, perspectives, and research questions
      • Very interdisciplinary
      • "Soft" money
        • ...BUT you can do things like take leadership or administrative positions so that some of your salary is covered by non-research endeavors
    • Dr. West works at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
      • Her K was based on developing a treatment for pediatric bipolar disorder (the RAINBOW Program)
      • The ability to integrate clinical work and research is Dr. West's favorite part of academic medicine
      • She currently is working on a postpartum study and PCORI funding (speaks to interdisciplinary nature of academic medicine)
  • How do you get experience in different environments during your graduate/early career training?
    • Pay attention to practicum/externship options when you're applying to graduate schools
      • There are more options than you think
      • Some will have options for academic medical settings, community clinics, etc.
      • Some will only have options for internal sites
      • Some will require to you apply out to different clinics or practices to get your experience
  • Can you be involved in medical (i.e., psychiatry, medicine) research as a Ph.D.?
    • Yes!
    • Join a team of psychiatrists AND psychologists
  • Is psychosocial treatment research dead?
    • No!
      • ...BUT successfully funded lines of investigation are more about mechanisms of treatment response, and include looking at biomarkers (e.g., inflammatory response) as a component
        • Know what's getting funded and figure out ways of marrying this with your interests and goals
  • Other career options and advice for psychologists
    • Boundless opportunities!
    • Technology companies (e.g., Google, Apple) may hire psychologists for full time or consultant positions
    • You usually need to be license eligible for academic medical positions, so make sure you're considering this when you apply

Themes from breakouts[edit | edit source]

Different career paths

Transdiagnostic interests and realities

Meeting Notes[edit | edit source]

Bipolar SIG history[edit | edit source]

Started 7 years ago to bring together people who have an interest in bipolar by Eric Youngstrom and Sheri Johnson There’s also a listserv! We're getting everyone added

What is HGAPS?[edit | edit source]

Putting content on Wikipedia and Wikiversity to disseminate psychology

  • Wikipedia is public facing, Wikiversity is more clinician facing
  • Notes from this SIG are being put on Wikiversity
  • Google Docs is used to collect notes quickly in real time

Think about how you might convert content from a poster to a symposium paper to ≥ engage with other people in the bipolar SIG

  • Symposia (and poster) submissions due in March for ABCT 2020
  • Also think about ISBD (posters due early January) in Chicago 2020, Tokyo 2021

Increasing SIG engagement[edit | edit source]

Original ABCT SIG page was created a couple years ago

  • ABCT SIG page was created a couple years ago
  • OSF is a free way of archiving posters
    • Can add handouts, abstracts, etc
    • Just need to send to an email address

Eric took some pictures to put up on social media and the Wiki pagw

  • First year that the page has pictures! Yay!

Got everyone's email to continue the discussion over the listserv

  • Technically you would be a dues-paying member to be on it, but they're independent

The members of the SIG need to be members of ABCT (even if unofficially you have non-ABCT members)

  • Would like to try expanding members of the listserv
    • Victoria has list of emails from attendees to add to the listserv
  • Reach out to ISBD psychologists
    • Eric will send an invitation to join over the ISBD mailing list in December.

Email Victoria and Amy if you have ideas on how to make the SIG more ~FunDuctive~!

ISBD[edit | edit source]

  • ~800 people, more consumer engagement than most meetings
  • Membership is primarily MDs with a lot of psychiatry representation
    • We want to get more psychologists there to present and participate