Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gaylord Opryland Resort is Mind-bendingly Huge!

  Once a year I attend the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
  in order to get my scientifically supported treatments fix and to mix it up with some seriously high-powered psychological minds! As you might imagine, it's five days of intellectual frolic and fun.  Actually this organization is made up of thousands of psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and other mental health professionals who are seriously committed to the idea that the only mental health treatments that should be used are those which have been demonstrated to be effective. They all believe that people who are suffering, and those who simply want to enhance their function and well-being, deserve only the most sound and ethical treatment possible. It really is a fantastic organization. 

And this year, where was the conference held, you ask? Well, none other than the absolute heart of Country...Nashville, Tennessee! At the Gaylord Opryland Resort!  Leave it to a bunch of mental health professionals to choose a place with the size and feel of the Vegas strip, without the gambling, for getting down to some serious psychologizing! I mean, look at this place!  I've never walked so much in my life!

And this is only a small part of it! I'll bet it has it's own zip code and can to seen from outer space! (At the very least, I'm sure the country music can be heard throughout the galaxy!) And during all of this psychological, scientific power-lifting, we've got to let loose for a bit! And where was that done? Why, we're in Nashville, so of course we'd have our traditional ABCT Conference Saturday Night Dance at, none other than the World Famous Wildhorse Saloon!

We had the top two floors! And how did we know that the top floors were reserved for us? Why, this feller told us!

As an aside, perhaps some of you kind readers who are better versed in the phenomenon of country music culture could help me understand country line dancing. Wouldn't you want to mix it up a bit every few songs or have, I don't know, maybe a "free dance" segment...

Anyway, of course the conference isn't all song and dance (ha! I think I made me laugh with that one!).  Now you've got to picture me sitting there soaking in all in! Feeling my psychological juices flowing and taking part in intense conversations with people of like mind!  Ok, not all of the conversations were exactly intimate...

(Can you guess which seat I sat in for this talk? I'll make you a fantastic dip if you can.) but there is some seriously fantastic work being done there. And honestly, by some of the greatest thinking available!

So that was my last few days.  ABCT keeps me excited about my field. And I love that, as a part of this organization, I'll always be driven to not only provide the best care that I can, but to continue to use psychological science to further my understanding of what truly works in recognizing, assessing, treating, and preventing psychological suffering.

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