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Bosnia/Herzegovina Dissemination Activities 2019

Dario Lipovac - Bosnia/Herzegovina

Hi, I am Dario Lipovac, Psychologist M.A., Cognitive – Behavioral Therapist (CBT) and ACT Therapist (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small beautiful country located on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe.

Being a young Psychologist working with deprived, vulnerable and marginalized children and families, back in the 2011, I made a decision to attend an ACT experiential workshop and explore what is it all about, as I wanted to upgrade my skills and find some philosophy of life close to my values. The workshop was organized by Igor Krnetić, PhD, a mentor and colleague, who inspired a small group of psychologists to go deeper into ACT. That is how my ACT journey began, and how my shift towards values-based life started! Thank you Igor!

Speeding up to 2019, after some years of dynamic changes in the journey we’re calling life, I have found myself (now humanitarian worker, and CBT and ACT therapist) applying for the Developing Nations Fund Scholarship to attend WC17 in Dublin for the first time in my life. It seemed impossible to get this award, but I was thinking: Why not give it a try? The moment I have received a feedback I was selected as one of the Developing Nations Scholars for WC17 was one of those moments of joy and a feeling that something close to your heart is unfolding!

Of course, before my journey to Dublin I booked all workshops in the WC17 program that I could! I booked the pre-conference workshop “ACT Made Simple: A Quick Start Guide to ACT Basics and Beyond” facilitated by one and only Russ Harris. I enjoyed these 2 days with full attention to learn, experience and share as much as I could! I wanted to learn how to make ACT simple and easy to digest by my clients, colleagues and by myself, and I wanted to network with as many people as possible. Russ Harris and this workshop exceeded my expectations completely! Thanks Russ for showing me how to deliver ACT in a simple but very powerful manner, and for your openness to share knowledge and support.

WC17 continued with the program, where I booked workshops, workshops, workshops! ready to experience this amazing opportunity. I attended nine workshops over the Conference, focusing mainly on how to facilitate peer-to-peer supervision groups, exploring values, learning the power of metaphors, being more compassionate towards myself and others, and expanding the limits of my self-exploration. I met beautiful, supportive, smart and funny people, created many networks and enjoyed mindfully every moment of energy this Conference offered. I had a poster presentation named: “Encouraging young therapists to explore - Finding your own blueprint (REBT – ACT – CFT – integration)”, where I shared my experiences with other attendants of the Conference, and I was amazed how many people were interested to hear, ask and share with me, saying this poster was very inspiring and interesting. What a feeling! The conference was amazing and ACBS staff and volunteers were great. Support I got from ACBS through this award was really professional and I’m very grateful for everything! I had a lot of ideas for bringing back everything I experienced, and share with my clients and colleagues.

But as life often takes unexpected turns, just before the Conference, I got an amazing opportunity to work in the global humanitarian context, getting a chance to make this world better for all children and their families. This has not left me the time I was planning to have for CBS/ACT dissemination after the Conference. However, with a lot of self-compassion, I re-consolidated myself and decided to share my experiences with clients and my colleagues in the next months following the Conference, making a solid ground for strengthening CBS/ACT in my community, in Bosnia and Herzegovina for future.

I noticed my work with clients now is more open, flexible and enjoyable than ever before. Based on my client’s feedback, they noticed I’m doing therapy with more clarity and mindfulness, making it more useful for them.
As ACT is part of my life, I continued to practice it and living it in my life, and being in Dublin brought my personal growth on a whole new level.

I shared some of the experiences with my colleagues in a peer-to-peer supervision group I initiated before the Conference, where we are having online and face-to-face discussions and sharing our learnings together (our online Facebook group - ACTion in Sarajevo).

I shared my knowledge and experiences with the young therapists attending CBT training in Sarajevo, introducing them to ACT and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). Bringing the “third wave” to the trainees of CBT training I found very interesting and helpful, as I got the feedback they now better understand that CBT can be done with more emotions, not just protocols.

I have plans to strengthen our ACT community in the following years in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina more, to expand our peer-to-peer supervision group and present ACT to the wider community, throughout lectures, presentations, sharing events, and make it more popular. Moreover, as the humanitarian worker providing technical assistance in the field of global Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) programs across the world, I want to bring ACT on the radar, and support piloting programs for supporting most marginalized and vulnerable children and their families using ACT as a base.

For me, a psychologist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a still developing country in Europe, getting the chance to attend the WC17 was an amazing opportunity for my personal and professional growth! Thank you ACBS for giving me this opportunity, and for making Bosnia and Herzegovina and whole Western Balkans region more resourceful for expanding CBS! In the post-conflict societies like ours, having the strong ACT community is needed more than ever. Thank you and see you next time!

Are you wondering how you can help to disseminate CBS in the developing world through scholarship opportunities like this? Please consider donating to the Developing Nations Fund via Paypal by using the button below. Your donation will help us continue to bring attendees and presenters from developing nations to the ACBS world conference.

Every dollar/euro/yen goes to helping those in need -- not a nickel goes to administration. Money collected for this fund is distributed by an ACBS Developing Nations Fund committee. Scholarships are awarded based on need and merit.


Please note that this contribution does not qualify as a tax-deductible charitable contribution, according to USA tax law ... but it's a nice thing to do.

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