The CBT-days in Sweden, 7-8/9 2012

One week after the long awaited vote at the 2GM in Geneva, giving Sweden the 2016 EABCT congress, it was time for the CBT-days. The number of participants was great for a national Swedish CBT-meeting, over 400 members of our two major CBT-associations came to Stockholm. The meeting started with an adress by the two associations presidents, Poul Perris and Björn Paxling (who was replaced as president by Linda Jüris in 2014).

 

Participants of the CBT-days at hotell Rival

Participants of the CBT-days at hotel Rival

 

The first focus of the presidents’ adress was to comment on what some have called “the therapy wars”, ie the actions of representatives for different schools of psychological treatment. This is often framed as something bad and harmful, with a typical comment being “we must end the trench warfare of the therapy wars and focus together on how to tackle mental illness”. Poul and Björn argued that we could instead frame this as a competition instead, where each school of psychological treatment competes on who best can treat and prevent different kinds of mental illness. With clear rules and friendly behaviour the “therapy wars” could simply be viewed as the “therapy olympics” where the real winners are the people in need of better psychological treatments.

The history of our two associations was the next focus for the opening adress. Many examples were given on how our associations had collaborated more and more the last few years, and that there now were many issues where we had a mutual interest. Put simply, it was time to collaborate more, and to learn more from each other by organizing a joint conference. To symbolize the increased collaboration between the associations, a presidents’ hug concluded the adress.

 

Poul Perris and Björn Paxling symbolically hugging for the collaboration of our associations

Poul Perris and Björn Paxling symbolically hugging for the collaboration of our associations

 

The scientific program had three parallel sessions during two days, and an effort had been made to include presenters from each association in as many of the symposia as possible. The entire program can be viewed here (in swedish). A panel debate was held on education in the CBT-field, and there were five keynote speakers: Anna Kåver discussed emotions in CBT and how these are often “forgotten”, Bengt Westling presented on the ten most important contributions from the Oxford tradition on swedish CBT, Gerhard Andersson talked about CBT research in Sweden, and Lars-Göran Öst and Cecilia Svanborg gave presentations on the history of each association.

 

Keynote speakers Cecilia Svanbort and Lars-Göran Öst

Keynote speakers Cecilia Svanbort and Lars-Göran Öst

 

The CBT-days were joyous days indeed, the scope of CBT was broadened compared to the associations annual congresses, and many who had been members for a long time of either association declared that they were very happy to see the spirit of friendship and collaboration being focused. It was also great to see everyones reaction to the news about the 2GM vote in Geneva, and that we were now official hosts of the 2016 EABCT congress.

 

Organizing the CBT-days had given us many important lessons we could use to organize EABCT 2016. We became more aware of how our associations differ in their organization and workflow, we got to try out different roles and ways of dividing the tasks between us, and we were empowered by the wonderful response from all our members. The CBT-days were evaluated which gave further important feedback we could take with us into arranging the EABCT congress, for example many were critical that the only panel discussion had a very skewed gender balance. Now the time had come to form a organising committee for our EABCT congress and really get started!

 

Participants of the CBT-days mingling

Participants of the CBT-days mingling

 

Every good conference needs a gala dinner, and the CBT-days was no exception

Every good conference needs a gala dinner, and the CBT-days was no exception

 

Presenters of the symposia on behavioural medicine, pain, diabetes and tinnitus: Rikard Wicksell, JoAnne Dahl, Gerhard Andersson, Vendela Zetterqvist and Monica Buhrman

Presenters of the symposia on behavioural medicine, pain, diabetes and tinnitus: Rikard Wicksell, JoAnne Dahl, Gerhard Andersson, Vendela Zetterqvist and Monica Buhrman

 

All photos by Victor Gezelius

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