Uganda Dissemination Activities 2017

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Time has gone and it only seems like yesterday when the ACBS World Conference in Seville, Spain happened. I work at the School of Psychology, Makerere University and I am engaged in therapy as well as a Counseling Psychologist.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members that tirelessly engaged in supporting me to participate in the World Conference in June 2017. I would like to specifically appreciate Courtney and Laura for the great communication links that I managed to reach safely in a new land and continent. I would like to thank Dr. Ross White, Dr. Joe Oliver, Dr. Rosco Kasujja for the contact, believing in me and initiation process. Grateful to Louis Hayes, Tom Szabo, Jennifer, and Beate and the whole Commit and Act family for support during the conference.

I attended the two-day Pre-conference workshop that is Process-based ACT by Steven Hayes. The Intermediate sessions were helpful in grounding different processes of the ACT model especially the use of different exercises, case formulation and suggesting alternative exercises in session. The workshop had an experiential approach and different participants had an opportunity to share experiences with different clients and the role plays were helpful. I have been able to incorporate the learning from this workshop in my work with clients and in training other therapists.

Over the past six months, I have been engaged in individual and group therapy as well as ACT trainings.

  • I was involved in organizing an ACT Introductory training for University students from 4th-5th July 2017. A number of them were hearing about ACT for the first time but picked interest and are engaged in further learning of the ACT model.
  • In September 2017, I engaged in further learning by doing an on-line course called ACT for Anxiety and Depression with Dr. Russ Harris. It was insightful in how to work with anxious and depressed clients on their journey to coping and recovery.
  • On 19th Nov 2017, I organized members of the Uganda Council of Psychologists for a session with Prof. Sath Cooper from South Africa. I had the privilege of introducing the other psychologists in attendance to the ACT model as well as inviting them to ACT trainings.
  • I also engaged in the Uganda Counselling Association Conference and invited members to learn how to use ACT with clients by attending the training workshops.
  • From October to November 2017, I planned community service sessions with 2nd and 3rd year university students to focus on the substance use challenges in Bukesa parish and Kikoni village (these are slums around the University). They had sessions in the schools and communities and used the ACT model to have sessions with different members and groups.
  • From 21st-22nd December 2017, I facilitated a Prosocial training in Butabika hospital for Service Users organized under Peer Nation based at the Recovery College. I did this training with Dr. Rosco Kasujja and Mr. Wamala Kizito.
  • I am continually engaged with Strong minds and Virtuous Women teams; training them how to engage with the ACT model in their personal experiences as well as for their clients.
  • In December 2017, I participated in a Camp of over 600 youths and used the ACT model while I engaged in the session about Relationships in Adolescence.
  • In February 2018, we organized an ACT Introductory Training for 2nd and 3rd years as well as Masters students. It had an attendance of 72 participants and the response to the use of the model was positive. We plan to follow them up to do an intermediary training and grow though supervision.
  • I am currently engaged with Research processes to use the ACT model for my PhD studies.
  • I have continually used the ACT model for sessions with my clients both in individual and group sessions.

More to that, the ACBS Developing Nations Committee is engaging many stakeholders like students, NGOS, banks, practitioners, Academia so that we offer them Introductory ACT workshops. We also are on the look out to partner with other members in the ACBS community to come and give advanced courses. The undergraduate and master’s classes are being introduced to the ACT model and ACBS work.

Generally, getting engaged with the ACBS community is a joy indescribable and I am growing as a professional through all the available resources. Conference attendance was a great privilege and inspiration in various areas of my work. I am also engaging members of the ACT community on how to take the ACT work further in Uganda especially with the ACBS Developing Nations Committee. We are growing the ACT community and supporting each other in the work we are involved with.

Lastly, thank you again for generously supporting me to have this grand opportunity to attend the ACBS World Conference.
Best Regards,
Racheal D. Nuwagaba-K

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