Caring for Self to Care for Others: An Award Winning Program

We’re pleased to congratulate friend of the Brisbane ACT Centre, Professor Kenneth Pakenham on receiving one of the 2016 Australian Awards for University Teaching! These national awards recognise outstanding contributions to student learning. Professor Pakenham received his citation for ‘Caring for Self to Care for Others’, for integrating self-care skills into the UQ psychology program.

Professor Pakenham is an accomplished researcher in the ACT community and used his expertise to introduce ACT training into of the largest university clinical psychology programs in Australia. The program Professor Pakenham introduced trained students in evidence based therapy, particularly in self care. Focusing on self care teaches students to build resilience and handle the significant emotional load that their profession carries.

The self care training integrated into the UQ Psychology program demonstrated effectiveness in reducing student’s distress while improving their self compassion and therapy skills. Professor Pakenham’s data even shows that these skills persist for the long term.

ACT therapists believe it’s important to practice what they preach, and to use their skills in their own lives and work. Professor Pakenham is a terrific example of this principle in action, he used his skills to sensitively introduce a program that has had fantastic outcomes for the students involved. ACT skills helped Professor Pakenham to integrate this program, and learning ACT skills helped participants to become more resilient, self compassionate and better therapists. Learning to care for yourself is a valuable skill not just for burgeoning psychology professionals but everyone else too, if you’d like to learn more about ACT get in touch with our friendly staff at the Brisbane ACT Centre.

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