Student Spotlight Award Winner - CainĂ£ Gomes

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Congratulations to Cainã Gomes on being selected as one of three Student Spotlight Award winners!

The purpose of this award is to highlight students who are doing important work in the CBS community whether for research, clinical, and/or volunteer-humanitarian efforts. This will be a way to highlight their achievements, let the ACBS community know important work students are doing, and possibly provide a platform for mentoring/collaboration/professional development/conversations around highlighted areas.

Learn more about Cainã:

Background of CBS Research/Clinical/Volunteering efforts/achievements:
Despite the few opportunites we have here in Brazil, i was fortunate enough to meet some colegues (William Perez, Roberta Kovac, Julio de Rose and Diana Bast) who introduced me to RFT and ACT. Since then, I have been studying RFT for the past three years on a weekly basis. We have a research group that has been very active and developing fast. I've completed two year course of specialization in clincal behavior therapy, which gave me basis to start a clincal practice this year. Despite that, I have little formal ACT formation so far, just a week-length workshop with Carmen Luciano last year. I've been volunteering for the past two years in the child psychiatric area of Universidade de São Paulo hospital with children who have OCD, it's a public hospital and the symptoms are frequently severe and the work is very rewarding.

Links to any relevant publications you have participated in:

I had a very conservative behavior analyst formation during my undergraduate years, despite of that, I was never fully convinced that the traditional skinnerian framework of verbal and rule-governed behavior was adequate. The insatisfatcion became even greater when I started my clinical practice: the complexity of verbal relations I was seeing just couldn't be explained by tradicional behavior analytic accounts. Something was missing.

That was when I heard about RFT. At first, the vocabulary just seemed very odd and the experiments very difficult to understand. But after a while, the experimental data became so convincing that I wasn't able to go back. In addition, the ACT framework became more clear once i started applying, not only reading, specially to anxiety disorders patients. So far, the results have been much better than with tradicional behavioral therapy. I hope I can continue to learn more and bring CBS to Brazil, where there are a lot of behavior analysts, but very few willing to study RFT and ACT. There is, still, a lot of prejudice towards CBS.
In my masters I’m developing an experimental research about rule-governed behavior and transformation of stimulus functions.

In the first three months of 2017, I’ll be at Ghent University to collect all the data for my masters, under the supervision of Dermot Barnes-Holmes. By the time of the next conference, i'll have some interesting data to show.

Future Goals
I'm committed to the development of experimental research in rule-governed behavior from an RFT perspective with collaboration of more experienced researchers.