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New Zealand Dissemination Activities 2017

Claire Turner, New Zealand
Could you please tell us a little about you and your background?:
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. Aspects of my childhood were very difficult, and led to psychological difficulties. These impacted my relationships, my studies, and my quality of life. I am slowly making my way through an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Auckland, while focusing on my recovery. I aim to become a clinical psychologist in the future.

How did you become interested in CBS?:
I was first introduced to contextual behavioural science through participating in individual and group Acceptance Commitment Therapy. I found adopting a curious, open and compassionate stance to my difficult experiences to be transformative. I was drawn to ACT’s non-pathologizing and pragmatic approach, and its emphasis on values based living.

Could you tell us about your research and application interests?:
Currently I am interested in RFT as a clinical intervention. I am also interested in applying a phenomenological approach to mental distress, and in the peer movement and peer co-development of research projects.

Could you tell us about your experience at the World Conference this year?:
This was my first world conference. It was interesting, engaging and valuable. I met with and talked to others pursuing values-based lives, and felt reassured and encouraged. One highlight was presenting about my lived experience in an ACT for groups and ACT for acute experiences symposium. Another was witnessing challenging and honest roleplays. There was a great mix of intellectual and emotive material, and didactic and partner work. In bringing memories of the World Con to mind, I feel very grateful for my experiences, and encouraged in both my personal and professional journey.

Was there anything that stood out to you about the CBS community?:
On a social outing, I witnessed a community member cry at the beauty of the Seville Cathedral. His bravery in sitting with and expressing his emotion was very inspiring, and encapsulates, I believe, the essence of the ACBS community. I talked to people who were not just talking the talk, but were walking the walk. Their humanness and pursuit of values directed living, particularly honesty and authenticity, bring a lightness to my heart.

When I think of the CBS community, I am reminded of the quote, “who are you when nobody is watching?” To act in a values consist way honours not only others, but myself, and as I learn the importance of this, I keep in mind the thousands of others throughout the world sharing not only my interests but the values underlying the pursuit of these interests.

What will you be taking back from your experience that might be helpful to you?:
In attending the World Conference, I clarified what I most valued and found important to me. I was able to put my current difficulties around completing my university degree into a wider perspective, and investigate how, in small ways, I can live out my values in my daily life.

Since the conference I have been learning to slow down, to use patience, and to trust in my journey and that I will return to university to finish my degree when I am well enough.

The opportunity to view presentations and also to present to others has encouraged me to spread the word about ACT in my local community. Since arriving home I have presented a workshop on ACT to a group of peer support workers. I have represented the health consumer perspective on a digital health strategy in New Zealand, and on the issues of housing and employment for mental health service users. I have submitted an application to consult on issues for consumers within inpatient wards.

Do you have anything else that you would like to share with the community?:
Thank you, most sincerely, for the opportunity to learn at the World Conference. Thank you to those who donated to the diversity scholarship fund, and thank you to those that I talked with. Seville 2017 was and is very important to me.

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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