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Uganda Dissemination Activities 2015

Time has flown since the Worldcon in July last year and so many things have been happening. I want to first thank everyone at ACBS for creating and supporting the opportunity for me to attend the conference in Berlin. I would like to especially thank Ross White, Jennifer Gregg, and everyone else who made me feel so comfortable when hosting me while so far from home, and giving me greater insight into life in Berlin. I have to say that I felt so welcome and supported all throughout my stay in Berlin. Thanks too, to Courtney and the rest of the organizers.

The pre-conference workshop I attended was presented by Steve Hayes on Advanced ACT. I personally found the workshop to be very enriching and inspiring, and I began to apply what I had learned to my personal process and my work with individual clients immediately. The workshop offered me an opportunity to experience ACT as an individual which gave me confidence to use it further. It’s now my first choice in my private practice. I have got to say that most clients here in Uganda also respond well to ACT.

I personally receive supervision from Ingrid who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. This has offered me an invaluable opportunity to have someone guide me through my case whenever I get stuck but also, just to have another person guiding me while I take on ACT. She has been extremely supportive and understanding because some times power or internet do not enable us to start on time but she is always willing to attend to me whenever I need her. She has been so supportive that it made my work seem so worth it. I had an opportunity to take on Matthew’s online course which runs for a year but the internet and the very busy schedule couldn’t allow me to complete. I still feel awful about not completing it but, I guess sometimes things like that happen.

In November last year we had a visitor from Bosnia (Igor) who visited Uganda for two weeks and offered ACT training workshops to over 40 students of psychology. These students were from three different programs including the Masters of Arts in Counseling (12 students), Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology (25), and Post-Graduate Diploma in Counseling Psychology (3). Some of these students had already benefitted from an Introductory course from Ross White who had visited Uganda the previous year. The coming of Igor boosted the students’ motivation and passion for ACT. In fact, most of them are continuing to use ACT as their major approach during psychotherapy. In December last year we had a visitor from UK (Taslim) who also conducted a half day workshop on ACT to over 60 students of psychology. This was a very interesting group of students (partly because more than 15 students were from the organizational psychology department).

I have also done an introductory presentation on ACT to a group of mental health professionals including a Clinical Psychologist who works with African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV), and another School Psychologist who works with two International Secondary Schools here in Uganda. These mental health workers continue to use ACT in their day to day work are part of the team forming the Uganda Chapter.

Makerere University has now officially embraced ACT and I am receiving support to continue offering short courses and supervision to students on all post-graduate psychology programs. I continue to look for volunteers who are willing to come and offer support. In fact, as I speak with have someone from Denmark (Anne Anderson) who is going to be with the students for a month just to part of an ACT workshop series that will be running at Makerere University from the 19th of July until the 19th of August. This is very encouraging.
We are also expecting Joe Oliver to come over to Uganda some times in December. This will surely benefit the first years who are coming in this August. I hope that Joe Oliver will be keen on meeting a group of mental health workers who also are thirsty for more trainings. These attended Dr, Ross White’s introductory course but have since then not got so much attention. I also continue to coordinate the nurse’s stress reduction program using ACT. Cerdic Hall is supporting that program and both of us continue to work together.
There’s a very good opportunity for ACT to continue growing but sometimes both time and money remain a constraint.

Thank you again to all of those that have supported this wonderful opportunity.

Rosco Kasujja
Kampala, Uganda.

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