Milwaukie, OR (USA) Dissemination Activities 2021

Milwaukie, OR (USA) Dissemination Activities 2021

William Hwang, Milwaukie, OR, USA

Could you please tell us a little about you and your background?
I am a clinical psychologist practicing in the Portland Metro Area in Oregon. I received my Psy.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. Before my graduate school training, I worked at a behavioral health facility for at-risk children and adolescents in Leesburg, Virginia and spent some summers working as a camp counselor at a summer camp for children who needed extra help with emotional and behavioral challenges.

How did you become interested in CBS?
I was exposed to ACT, really for the first time, during my graduate school training at the University of Denver and was immediately drawn to it. In 2014, I attended the ACT bootcamp in Reno, Nevada (perhaps you were at the Eldorado too!) which furthered my interest in all things CBS. Afterwards, I continued to further my understanding of concepts like RFT and helped other students grasp these ideas as a graduate assistant for our program's ACT course. I have continued to utilize CBS throughout my work, primarily with individual clients in an outpatient setting.

Could you tell us about your research and application interests?
My interests lie predominantly in the application side of things as opposed to research - you would understand why if you viewed my grades in my past statistics courses. I am interested in helping people let go of limiting beliefs and living freer, fuller lives. CBS has been a wonderful organizing framework by which change has been possible both for the clients I work with as well as myself in being able to relate to ourselves with more kindness, courage, and confidence. I believe there is still a lot of work that can be done to help us humans, especially with nondominant identities, discover and defuse from the subconscious messages we have internalized about what society says we can and cannot be in this world. Values work in ACT has been extremely helpful in giving my clients the motivation to overcome stigma and self-doubt.

Could you tell us about your experience at the World Conference this year?
It was amazing to attend the World Conference this year and engage in workshops led by ACBS practitioners around the globe. The virtual nature of the conference allowed for access in a way that may have been prohibitive in another year due to travel limitations. I appreciated being able to get a more intimate glimpse into what life might be like for fellow ACBS members and presenters by seeing people in their personal milieu during the video conference meetings.

Was there anything that stood out to you about the CBS community?
I loved to see the CBS community's great sense of humor be showcased throughout this year's World Conference. It touched my heart and made me quite proud when multiple presenters paid homage to the native and indigenous peoples who have been displaced from the land on which the presenters' very institutions are situated. This spoke to how deeply embodied and enacted the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are in the culture of ACBS. Lastly, it inspired me to see a multitude of mental health practitioners of different races, ethnicities, and other diverse backgrounds serving not only as attendees but as presenters. This sort of role modeling and representation is what has given me the confidence to become a psychologist myself and I imagine it means the world to other burgeoning therapists and researchers as well.

What did you take back from your experience that has been helpful to you?
These annual conferences help remind me of the reasons I chose this calling in the first place and help me connect to a shared cause bigger than myself or another one ACBS member. I learned so much this year from how we can experience guilt and do it anyway to the way to conceptualize attachment as a form of psychological inflexibility to how to gamify therapy. These ideas have been poignant ones that I have been able to incorporate into my subsequent work with clients.

Do you have anything else that you would like to share with the community?
Keep on changing and inspiring the world! Hope to see you next year!