Improve how we support our communities – 

How has ACE2018 Östersund impacted you?

Tell us, how did 300 health professionals travelling from across the globe (even as far as Australia) end up in Östersund, a somewhat remote town in Sweden?      


Why make this distant journey? Why did Birgit Valle ship her entire team of 40 from Stange Norway. That’s dedication!




We made our way from Ireland.  





It wasnt just the warm welcome and tremendous effort from Niklas Waitong the organizer that influenced us. – Hats off to you.

The Achieving Clinical Excellence Conference 2018 aimed to educate on how we can improve practice and update us on the latest research on Feedback Informed Treatment and Deliberate Practice.

But this was about more than just improving our work. We got the feeling that you travel this far because you are passionate about making a difference in your communities and services.

And here is a summary of  Five learning points we took away with us

1. Ask, Listen, Adapt.

Birgit Valle one of the key note speaker says:

Help people live better lives the way they value it by asking what they find helpful.’

It’s harder to tolerate the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to help people than assume a certain method or system is the best approach. But as Birgit suggests in her talk, currently we dont really know what helps people unless we ask. 

2. Communicate empathy –  


Scott and Bruce discussed a necessary component for helping and connecting with peopl…. Empathy!

Important questions to ask are –

  • Am I connecting with the lived experience of my clients?
  • What’s the underlying emotion?
  • How do I communicate empathy rather than try to find the positive in the situation or avoid it?

We too have fallen into the trap of finding the silver lining in people’s pain and learned from clients/friends reactions that this is not helpful for them. We need to overcome the blocks and learn that emotions will not destroy us or others.

3. Attend to our own insecurities.

To be more open to feedback, to empathise and to work better with clients, it is important to take care of our own fears and uncertainties. Bram Bevendeerd discussed this in his workshop: When do PCOMS work.

Bram’s preliminary research found that clinicians are more open to feedback if they are aware and can attend to their own insecurities.

There is no such thing as perfection, were human but we can always learn and improve. However many clinicians have expressed directly or indirectly that receiving negative feedback can feel threatening and worry they will be judged or won’t know what to do with feedback.

It helps if the organisation we work in and if our supervisors provide a supportive environment for us to voice our insecurities.

4. Create achievable learning goals.

Anders Ericsson’s keynote presentation encouraged us to create learning goals.

We have kept in touch with people at the ACE conference who agree that they left feeling inspired, motivated, and ambitious about FIT.

It is now three weeks later and we are back in the busy work environment.  Unless we set aside time to make clear goals, and review these we wont make any progress despite our best intentions.

5. Connect with others!

We learned as much from talking with attendees of ACE about their services and how they work as we did from the workshops and presentations.

If you have not joined already this facebook group is a great way to connect with others:

We cant wait for the next one. Stay in touch and see you there!

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