2017 #3 Newsletter (May)

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ACBS Newsletter - May 2017

Interview with Nanni Presti

The ACBS Chapter and SIG Committee Co-Chairs Mark Sisti and Brian Pilecki interviewed Nanni Presti, as part of the commitee's Chapter Roundtable series.

Giovambattista "Nanni" Presti, Ph.D., M.D., a professor at University Kore, Enna, Italiy, is the incoming President of ACBS. He previously served for three years on the ACBS Board of Directors as the President-Elect and as a member-at-large. Nanni Presti will officially assume his duties as ACBS President in June at the conclusion of the the ACBS World Conference 15 at Seville, Spain.

In the interview, Nanni graciously shared his personal background in CBS, including being a medical doctor with doctoral training in behavior analysis, and how being exposed to functional contextual thinking has impacted his work. Nanni also provided some insights and observations that arise from his international identity. He then concluded by elaborating on his vision for the future of CBS.

You can watch Nanni's interview at here. A special thanks to Mark Sisti and Brian Pilecki for hosting this interview, and to Nanni for taking time out of his day to speak with us!

The ACBS Grant Committee Needs Your Help!

ACBS provides two $5,000 grants for research that advances the field of contextual behavioral science through Research Development Grant applications approved by the ACBS Grant Committee. We are looking for volunteers, for both the current grant cycle, as well as standing members of the Grant Committee to help us select and award grant applicants. Each grant will be reviewed by two reviewers, and the review of each application takes approximately 30 minutes. If you are willing to be a grant reviewer and help further high-quality, innovative research projects that expand the field of CBS, we encourage you to fill out a quick, 2-minute webform. You can learn more about the call for reviewers, including specific areas of expertise that we are looking for, on our news page. To learn more about previous research that has been awarded the ACBS Research Development Grant, please check out our most recent winners here. The call for Grant applications will open September 1, 2017.

ACT recognized by Swedish Medical Community!

To our knowledge, Sweden is the first country to recognize ACT in a medical profession - The Swedish Association of Physiotherapy (Physical Therapy) has officially recognized acknowledged ACT as a theory and practice in the reviewed version of the professional competencies. The reference is a book given by the Swedish University Press (Studentlitteratur) where Graciela Rovner, a physiotherapist who also works as an ACT peer-reviewed trainer, wrote a chapter about using ACT in the context of physiotherapy and pain rehabilitation.

The clinical model developed for applying ACT within interdisciplinary, group-based rehab-interventions contexts (ACTiveRehab) will be introduced during our annual conference on Sunday June 25th from 9.30-12-30. The workshop is being sponsored by the Pain SIG, and we hope to see you there! Be sure to check our conference program for more information on this workshop, as well as all the other offerings this year!

ACBS Fellows

ACBS is pleased to announce our 2017 class of Fellows.
Niloofar Afari, Ph.D. - Beate Ebert, Dipl.-Psych. - David Gillanders, Ph.D.
D.J. Moran, Ph.D. - Jacqueline Pistorello, Ph.D. - Emily Sandoz, Ph.D.
Rainer Sonntag, M.D. - Matthieu Villatte, Ph.D. - David Sloan Wilson, Ph.D. - Zhu Zhouhong, Ph.D.
Congratulations and thank you for your contributions to CBS and the community.

Michael J. Asher Student Dissertation Award Winner

It is our great pleasure to announce the winner of the new Michael J. Asher Student Dissertation Award, Danielle Moyer, a Ph.D. student at the University of North Texas, studying under Dr. Amy Murrell, won the award to support her dissertation proposal examining the role of empathy and perspective taking in predicting and influencing bullying behaviors among middle-school aged teenagers. More specifically, Danielle hopes to replicate previous research showing how an RFT-based model of empathy in young children, and uncover what role perspective-taking deficits play in the expression of peer aggression. Danielle also seeks to elucidate the common ground between deictic framing and theory of mind, and promote the prevention and intervention of bullying behaviors using RFT-based tasks. Join us in congratulating Danielle on her award, and wishing her the best of luck on her dissertation project!

The Michael J. Asher Student Dissertation Award is awarded to dissertation proposals related to the use of Contextual Behavioral Science with children/adolescents. To learn more about this award, please visit this page.

Reflections on the Atlantic Canada Chapter's First Year

Starting and maintaining a regional ACBS chapter can be a daunting experience. However, help can sometimes come from unexpected places, as Atlantic Canada Chapter president, Susie McAfee, found out. She has kindly provided us with her own reflections of the first year of the Atlantic Canada Chapter's existence, providing some insight and experience into some of the ups-and-downs associated with starting a new chapter. Dr. McAfee also elaborates on some of the perks that come with chapter membership. To learn more about this experience, please visit our news page, and check out the Atlantic Canada Chapter webpage to learn more about the chapter. We also encourage you to check out our list of affiliated chapters, and consider joining the chapter associated with your region!

Student Spotlight Award Winners

It is our pleasure to introduce our most recent student spotlight award recipient, in conjunction with the ACBS Student SIG! This month's first featured student is Sonia Singh, a third year graduate student studying at Bowling Green State University under Dr. Bill O'Brien. Sonia has been involved in several research studies, including using FAP to improve quality-of-life for nursing home residents, and ACT to decrease workplace stress, assault, injury, and abuse for nurses and nurse aides in long-term healthcare settings. Sonia plans to continue her academic work beyond her student career, and plans to utilize contextual behavioral therapies with underserved and stigmatized populations. You can learn more about Sonia and her work here.

Our next featured student is Wang Fenfen, a 2nd year Masters student at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. under the supervision of Dr. Zhu Zhuohong. Wang has been involved in disseminating contextual science to lay populations, having published over 30 popular science articles on ACT and RFT across Chinese social media websites. Wang has also investigated the use of multiple exemplar training to teach relational framing skills for children with autism spectrum disorders. Wang hopes to continue studying the assessment and training of derived relational responding among autism spectrum disordered individuals. Find out more about Wang's experiences here!

To learn more about our student spotlight award winners, please visit the Student Spotlight Award Recipient page.

The purpose of the Student Spotlight Award is to highlight students who are doing important work in the CBS community, whether for research, clinical, and/or volunteer-humanitarian efforts. This is a way to highlight their achievements, let the ACBS community know the important work students are doing, and to provide a platform for mentoring, collaboration, professional development, and other conversations around highlighted areas.

Get Acquainted with ACBS - Many Congratulations!

Please join us in welcoming and congratulating our newly elected board members! This year, we are welcoming
Louise Hayes, Ph.D., President-Elect
Amy Murrell, Ph.D., Member-at-Large
Jonathan Bricker, Ph.D.,
Joseph Graddy, Student Representative

And a special thanks to the board members rotating out: Mike Twohig, Ph.D., as our Past President, Nic Hooper, Ph.D., and Niloo Afari, Ph.D., as our Members-at-Large, and Houyuan Lou as our Student Representative! To learn more about our newest and existing board members, please visit our Board Members page.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our 2017 conference scholarship award winners:
Developing Nations:
Fatema Ahmadi, Afghanistan -- Edmond Brandon, Sierra Leone -- Racheal Nuwagaba, Uganda
Gordon Nyabade, Kenya -- Sara Che Runga, New Zealand -- Lea Stephany, France -- Claire Turner, New Zealand
Charikleia Karatza, Greece -- Sumin Na, Canada -- Nikolija Rakočević, Serbia -- Aline Simões, Brazil -- Gloria Mª Torres Fernández, Spain

ACBS provides different scholarships to encourage attendance to the ACBS World Conference for those from varied backgrounds. The scholarships are financed by money raised from the ACBS community as well as support from ACBS. To donate, please visit the Diversity fund and Developing Nations Fund pages. Even a small donation can go a long way in supporting these individuals!

Taking CBS to the Commoners

From Dr. Paul Atkins: If you read the title of this piece, you probably thought I was talking about poor people, the dispossessed or maybe that I was hopelessly elitist. But by "commoners" I mean users of the commons. A commons is a shared resource, combined with an interested community and a set of social agreements and norms that the community use to manage the resource. The internet has made cooperation possible with lots of unexpected forms of the commons: knowledge (e.g. Wikipedia or ACT therapy techniques), cultural products (such as stories and songs) or even experiences (riding the waves at your favorite surf beach). Anytime humans gather together and cooperate, and where a system of agreements has developed that is contextually appropriate and 'owned' by the community can be seen as a commons. The commons is a huge idea - it is the 'third way' in the sense that it complements the activities of markets and states, perhaps allowing us to live closer to our values through empowerment and authenticity. So why am I talking about all this? Because ACT and CBS are being used to build a new commons called PROSOCIAL - a process that helps people build psychological flexibility, perspective taking and consensus-oriented, purposeful and equitable decision making in the service of a new vision of society. The PROSOCIAL initiative has been primarily driven by David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist, and ACT co-founder Steve Hayes. When we first started articulating the PROSOCIAL process, I think we had a sense of its transformative power. But the more we work with it, the more we see that it is not just another management model, it is a whole new way of implementing the vision of ACBS. We are now using the model with public service agencies, corporations, schools, community groups and other not-for-profit groups. If you are interested in learning more, you can come to our preconference workshop in Seville or email me for more information. ACT co-founder Steve Hayes has been a driving force in this effort. Evolutionary ideas are changing his thinking about therapy as he continues to advance ACT work in clinical settings. Interested in cutting edge ACT for your own practice? To be the first to hear some of Steve's latest methods join him for a one-time live event online:

ACT at the cutting edge: A live-only event with Steve Hayes

In this live-only online session, June 8/9, ACT co-founder Steve Hayes will share his latest methods to advance ACT work in clinical settings. Few if any of these tips have yet been written about -- he will cover methods large and small that will help you refine and accelerate your ACT work. Steve will talk about such topics as how to focus on values quickly, how to foster self-as-context naturally, how to get unstuck, and how best to use ACT methods to empower other evidence-based methods.

No recording of the event is permitted and none will later be made available. Steve is donating his time to help the ACT ANZ chapter, and we are deliberately setting the cost a bit high for that reason, but we are offering this one-time live event with a money back guarantee: if these ideas do not clearly advance your ACT work, your registration fee will be returned to you.

Seats are limited!

Find out more and book to save your seat at: http://bit.ly/YTSteveHayesLandingPage

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