Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): Introductory experiential workshop
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one of the “third wave” psychological interventions that is garnering empirical support in research as well as growing interest among clinicians and the lay public. Like other “third wave” interventions such as Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, ACT includes elements of acceptance and mindfulness, targeting functional and contextual changes rather than changes in the content, form, or frequency of mental phenomena. This stands in contrast with standard cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the mainstream “second wave” intervention which attempts to directly challenge and manipulate mental processes, such as automatic thoughts. Third wave therapies including ACT may be especially powerful for “stuck” patients who fail to respond to such direct challenges in therapy.
This introductory workshop will familiarise attendees with the basic underlying philosophy and theoretical foundation of ACT. Functional Contextualism and Relation Frame Theory will be introduced. The body of the workshop will include six core components of ACT: Acceptance, Cognitive Defusion, Contact with the Present, Self-as-Context, Values and Committed Action. Interactive self-reflective and experiential exercises will be used to facilitate learning. There will be an emphasis on clinical applications of ACT, enabling attendees to begin using ACT strategies and techniques as part of their own therapeutic repertoire.