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Paraguay Dissemination Activities 2021

Maria Jose Vuckovich, Paraguay

Could you please tell us a little about you and your background?
Hi, my name is Maria Jose Vuckovich but mostly go by Josie. I am a 35 year old Clinical Psychologist from Asunción, Paraguay a small country located in South America. I work in a private practice, where I see teens, adults and couples.

How did you become interested in CBS?
I was first trained in psychoanalysis as it was (and probably still is) is the main psychological orientation in Paraguay. When I was in university I never heard of Contextual Sciences or any of the CBS based therapies. As I said, I started with psychoanalysis but I did not feel content with the results of my work, nor could I explain why sometimes it seemed to work and sometimes it seemed to not work. I got to CBS by getting to know Mindfulness first. I found that through the practice of mindfulness I got to change behaviors in myself and my clients that I hadn't been able to get to through psychoanalysis (and in a much shorter time). Mindfulness led me to DBT training which later led me to ACT and I have been passionately studying about CBS ever since.

Could you tell us about your research and application interests?
I am interested in understanding the roots of behavior change. Learning ACT from its roots. I have been specially interested lately in furthering my understanding of RFT and have been taking particular interest in issues
relating the SELF and body related issues. 

Could you tell us about your experience at the World Conference this year?
I was very excited to participate in WorldCon this year. Last year was my first and this was my second year attending. I found very interesting talks and was very glad that we had some time later to catch up on the talks we
weren't able to attend. I was especially interested in the talks about interbehaviorsim, the talk about psychodynamic defense mechanisms from a behavioral lense, RFT related sessions and Body Image sessions.

Was there anything that stood out to you about the CBS community?
What has always stood out to me from the CBS community is the sense that there is a genuine interest in understanding and furthering the science and sticking to the roots. At the same time it was a very welcoming community, very humble and helpful with people like me who where just starting, and very human.

What did you take back from your experience that has been helpful to you?
New people I got to know and who are exploring subjects that I am interested in. I met my current mentor through the ACBS world conference last year and contacted her after hearing a few of her talks. I definitely feel I am a much better clinician because of her and I feel that ACBS world con gives me that. A context to get to know people who are working in this field, who I can later contact to train with them or to get resources. It gets me excited and motivated to keep moving towards my values as a clinician and it gives me a sense of belonging to a bigger community.

Do you have anything else that you would like to share with the community?
I would love to bring CBS to Paraguay. Get psychologist to at least know about CBS and that it exists and that it is a real option. To get my colleagues here to know that there is more than just psychoanalysis or CBT and to help new clinicians train in this model by translating to spanish what I can. 

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