For the past 6 months or so I have been working on a committee to set up a Special Interest Branch of the BABCP that focuses on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It has been good to get involved again in organising training and the promotion of evidence-based psychological therapy, something that I used to do when I lived in Perth (when I was in the West Australian branch of the AACBT). Aside from the appeal of letting others know about ACT, I’ve enjoyed having contact with other therapists and researchers who are keen about the science and therapeutic stance that ACT takes.
In my experience, the ACT community has been welcoming and inspiring, living the values of the approach, which includes emphasising the key role of science in developing methods to help people: the hard graft of research, open to skepticism and debate, and remaining linked to basic research and philosophical assumptions. It has seemed a good fit for me with my background training as a scientist-practitioner in clinical psychology.
I hope that the work of the ACT Special Interest Branch in the UK will continue this trend. For those who are curious, the link to the homepage of the ACTSIB is here.
The April 16 2007 edition of ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live had a disturbing interview with John Rodsted, an Australian campaigner against landmines and cluster bombs (it is the back third of the podcast).
The interview was quite instructive on the terrible legacy associated with these munitions, especially the phenomena of unexploded ordnance left in areas bombed, killing civilians up to 30 years after armed conflict.
It was reported that these munitions are typically the size of a “D” cell battery, covering the ground, and nestling in trees, buildings etc., having a “failure to explode” rate much higher than the manufacturers claims of 1%. Also reported was that the majority of cluster munitions used by Israel in southern Lebanon in the July 2006 conflict were deployed in the last 72 hours before the declaration of a ceasefire, resulting in many areas becoming uninhabitable due to unexploded munitions.
It is pretty difficult not to come to the conclusion that these weapons are really used for the long-term strategic aim of limiting the economic and social recovery of the areas bombed.
An alarming piece in the Guardian last week by Naomi Wolf, regarding the actions of the Bush administration who appear to be “using time-tested tactics to close down an open society”. Worth a read, here.
I recently asked a senior colleague (who is American) what life was like during the Nixon years, he told me: “you don’t need to use your imagination, we’re living in them all over again… except it’s worse.” Ouch.