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Malaysia Dissemination Activities 2020

Sandi James, Malaysia

Could you please tell us a little about you and your background?
My name is Sandi James. I am a registered Psychologist from Australia, currently living and working in Malaysia as a Senior Lecturer and Psycholgist in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Univeristi Malaysia Sabah. I arrived in Sabah in 2014, and was recently able to return to accept a new contract for that position after living and working in the addiction field in Thailand for 2 years and spending most of 2020 stuck in the UK after the borders closed due to COVID-19 in March. I worked in public and private mental health services in Australia prior to coming to Sabah and am currently a PhD candidate with La Trobe Univeristy researching alcohol use in the Kadazan culture here in Sabah. I am also completing my certification for registration with the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP).

How did you become interested in CBS?
I first came across ACT via Russ Harris and his book TheHappiness Trap. In my work I focus quite a lot of the words we use and the connections between words, feelings and actions. RFT fit nicely into this exploration and after looking into this further I was directed to the ACBS. Since that time I have joined, and been active in, a few SIGS and interest groups with a particular interest in LMIC and practice with diverse communities.

Could you tell us about your research and application interests?
Initially I planned to present research we have been doing looking at Ultra Brief Psychological Interventions, a protocol a colleaugue and I produced in 2017 to assist health service staff in Malaysia provide brief psychological interventions to patients they are seeing. Time restraints and workload has previously not enabled medical professionals and other health service staff to provide any interventions other than pharmacotherapy treatment.

Could you tell us about your experience at the World Conference this year?
I attended a number of sessions during the world conference and was most inspired by the range and diversity of the other particpants and presenters. My own personal circumstances throughout 2020 meant that I was unable to commit to the live sessions a lot of the time but when I did I found the speakers and presentations to be interesting and hopeful. I will attend again in 2021 in hopefully better circumstances for us all.

Was there anything that stood out to you about the CBS community?
The warmth, compassion and understanding of the CBS community is something that always stands out for me, and this was again evident throughout the conference.

What did you take back from your experience that has been helpful to you? 
The thing that impacted me most was the level of passion and engagement within CBS community. This is the stand out feature for me and something that increased further during the conference.

Are you wondering how you can help to disseminate CBS in the developing world through scholarship opportunities like this? Please consider donating to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund via Paypal by using the button below. Your donation will help us continue to bring increased diversity to our annual conferences by providing funds for individuals who come from diverse backgrounds and who would not be able to attend an ACBS conference without this added financial support.

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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 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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