Board of Directors Election 2019

Candidate for President - Darrah Westrup

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My Bio

Darrah Westrup, Ph.D. is clinical psychologist, consultant and peer reviewed ACT trainer. Along with maintaining a private practice, Darrah has been an active proponent of improving mental healthcare for women veterans. She served eight years as Program Director of the Women’s Mental Health Center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and as Director of the Women’s Trauma Recovery Program – a national residential treatment program for women veterans with military-related PTSD. In 2001 Darrah was instrumental in implementing ACT into this program, a first for residential treatment. For five years Darrah was an Expert ACT Consultant for the VA-wide rollout of ACT for Depression and she regularly provides national and international trainings and workshops. Darrah recently served as Chair of the ACT Training Committee and has authored co-authored or authored four books on ACT. She lives in Durango, Colorado with her husband and daughter.

Platform Statement

I have a profound respect for the opportunity this nomination represents. Now more than ever, I am committed to serving an organization that is about lifting people up.

My recent tenure as Chair of the Training Committee sharpened my awareness of the complexities we face as an organization. We have the challenges that come with growth and that need our attention now. For example, diversity and transparency are no longer goals but imperatives. I’ve been fortunate to engage with members worldwide and am left with a burning desire to find ways to better support those who are about this work. Building avenues for accessible mentoring and facilitation of productive collaborations are personal missions.

I bring to the position thoughtfulness, a certain wisdom, and a deep desire to be kind and fair. Inclusiveness, sensitivity and an ability to remember what I don’t know are strengths that would serve this position well.

Candidate Questions and Answers

What is your vision for member engagement and involvement? How do you plan to help us with community?

Darrah Westrup: I envision a community wherein all members feel welcome, heard, and accepted. A community wherein those who are working alone or in difficult environments find a wellspring of support, including opportunities for collaboration and mentorship. It is clear from recent discussions and listserv postings that many members feel disenfranchised for various reasons – it is Leadership’s role to listen hard. More than that, to learn, by proactively generating conversations, engaging in self-assessment, and developing the initiatives needed to create a community experience that supports and inspires. I believe we can do that (and if not ACBS, then who?).


What do you see as the most important trend coming up in the field of CBS that the community should support?

Darrah Westrup: A trend I have been watching for some time is the strengthening bridge between RFT and direct clinical application. I worked to promote this in my book “Advanced ACT” and as a member of the training committee, and it has been exciting to observe more and more providers intentionally applying RFT principles in various clinical settings. There are wonderful resources available now for those who want to learn and it’s exciting to think that as the science evolves so too will our ability to help others. I intend to continue to support this trend in any way I can.