Our goal is to show that A.C.T. is a useful framework and approach, which will help more patients, and practitioners, achieve successful outcomes, which we believe is evidence based assessment at its finest.
Anouska Cassano, (Aesthetic Connections Founder)
Anouska Cassano is a highly experienced micro-pigmentation practitioner who specialises in the areas of scalp micro-pigmentation, aesthetic permanent makeup, medical and reconstructive (areola restoration, vitiligo, cleft lip reconstruction, asymmetry, burns), scar camouflage and reduction (MCA dry needling, Meso ReVital), chemical tattoo removal and correction. She is a member of BABTAC and SPCP and is a recognised expert within the broader field of micro-pigmentation where she is the technical expert for CIBTAC advising on all forms of micro-pigmentation.
Anouska works with a number of the UK’s leading medical professionals in the fields of psychology, dermatology, hair restoration surgery, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery as well as non-surgical aesthetic practitioners. Working with such a broad and diverse network of medical and aesthetic professionals led to the inception of Advanced Consultation Training (A.C.T.) which she created in collaboration with the Glenn M. Callaghan Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at San Jose State University.
Working with such a broad cross section of patients highlighted the need for a standardised and consistent approach for the initial patient engagement, given the diversity of aesthetic and cosmetic treatments available and the importance of having a unique understanding of each individual patient’s goals as they relate to aesthetic or cosmetic change.
Having a consistent framework and approach for consultation which can be applied to any aesthetic or cosmetic treatment, with the aim of obtaining genuinely informed patient consent, has obvious benefits for both patient and practitioner in terms of safety and protection.
A.C.T. is about creating a unique understanding of each individual patient to help him or her reach successful outcomes, based on realistic expectations, and help them realise their goals as they relate to cosmetic or aesthetic changes. That process of coming to an understanding is assessment. Our goal is to show that A.C.T. is a useful framework and approach, which will help more patients, and practitioners, achieve successful outcomes. which we believe is evidence based assessment at its finest.
No assessment process is perfect. We don’t claim that every patient will have a perfect outcome. Nor can we guarantee that practitioners will identify every patient for whom their procedure is not appropriate. That said, if we can help more patients and more practitioners achieve more successful outcomes, in part by helping identify those patients who are likely and those, importantly, who are less likely to benefit from a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure at this time in their life, then that is a positive step forward for the industry.
My experience provides a background in clinical psychology and an evidence-based approach to assessment, which is the fundamental principle behind A.C.T. helping practitioners develop accountable and thoughtful methods to assess, treat, and refer patients, where necessary, for the best services in the area of aesthetic and cosmetic procedures.
Glenn M. Callaghan, (Professor of Psychology & Director of Clinical Training San Jose State University)
Evidence based assessment requires that our approach to understanding people be demonstrably useful - that it directs us what to do with a particular patient or and that it is useful to have bothered doing it. For the past two decades, using this framework, I have developed assessment strategies to try to understand human struggles and to show how assessment can be useful to identify and treat suffering. This is what I have made my career in academia about.
And this work includes assessing and understanding people who struggle with body image disturbance and those who do not. This is what led me to collaborate with Anouska in developing a framework and protocol in our Advanced Consultation Training (A.C.T.) to effectively assess patients who are seeking cosmetic or aesthetic procedures to ensure that everyone involved, both patient and practitioner, can have more successful experiences and outcomes.
What would that look like? Well, because I come from a clinical psychology background, I am trained to look for challenges that people sometimes have with their body image. Then I try to identify those struggles at the level of that unique individual (called an idiographic approach), and try conceptualising design treatments tailored to those individuals. This is what we do in A.C.T. Using the same idiographic approach, we try to understand each individual, determine if they have any struggles, and then decide what strategy would be most effective to proceed with an intervention.
Our approach in A.C.T. assumes everyone is making the best choice he or she can. The majority of individuals are looking for cosmetic or aesthetic changes that will freshen things up. They understand that these types of procedures can make things shorter or longer, larger or smaller, less or more, but the procedure or treatment itself cannot make a person fundamentally different. Cosmetic or aesthetic procedures cannot make a person more likeable, lovable, or acceptable. And herein lies the core of A.C.T. and our assessment.