Word has spread quickly about a new series of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy training workshops I’ve been running with Praxis Continuing Education and Training, called ACT II. I really want you to know what I’m doing with ACT II so that when you get a chance, you’ll consider joining us. I’m beginning to get this workshop dialed in and I think it will make a powerful difference in our community.
Historically, ACT trainings have focused primarily on three core areas: experiential understanding of the space behind the work, description of the underlying model and the research evidence for it, and exposure to ACT techniques. The exact structure of a given workshop, or the balance among these areas, has been determined by the trainer and by the content areas being examined (“Tahoe style” experiential workshops; ACT for anxiety; ACT for substance abuse; and so on).
These three things lay the groundwork for successful ACT practice, but there is more to be done on the road to ACT mastery. Practicing ACT flexibly is a very developed skill that comes only gradually and with practice. ACT II is designed to shorten that learning curve.
ACT Clinical Skills Training for the 21st Century
This workshop is meant specifically for people who are reasonably familiar with mid-level ACT terms, in particular the six core ACT processes (mindfulness, self-as-context, acceptance, defusion, values, and commitment). If you are already trying out the model in your practice or if you have experienced a beginning ACT workshop, you can be confident that you will benefit from ACT II. And honestly, even expert ACT clinicians will find a lot of new learning opportunities that will polish their skills and make them more effective clinicians.
This workshop is different in terms of what it is training, how it does it, and the vision for evidence-based practice it contains. Instead of being primarily rule-based, ACT II relies on seeing, doing, and getting feedback in round after round of targeted experiences. The goal is to be able to use evidence-based processes linked to evidence-based procedures that address problems and promote prosperity in people. This is a model of evidence-based practice that is quite different from the “protocols for syndromes” models of the era we are finally putting in the rear view mirror.
This workshop is a “skills building intensive.” I have developed a comprehensive set of exercises, tools, and film clips to help you become fluent in ACT micro-skills: reading, targeting, and moving psychological flexibility processes. ACT II will teach you to see psychological flexibility processes in flight, and target these processes at will within the therapeutic relationship. At any moment, in any session, you will be able to go in any flexibility direction you wish. This degree of flexibility and fluency on the part of the therapist changes ACT as an evidence-based therapy, from a kind of prescribed march into a fluid, psychotherapeutic dance that can skillfully fit the demands of your setting, client, and time restrictions.
Become a More Fluid and Flexible ACT Practitioner
By the end of the workshop, I hope to convince you that just about the only way you can fail in ACT is to get stuck, and I will teach you how to avoid getting stuck by adapting as needed to the changing demands of the situation in the room.
The style of the workshop is very interactive. Just as you can’t learn to dance solely through verbal instructions, this skills-building intensive creates more fluid and flexible ACT abilities by creatively breaking ACT down into a manageable set of skills. If you have ever felt stuck in a corner of the psychological flexibility model in your ACT work, after this workshop you will know how to “bust a move” that takes you out of that corner and advances therapeutic progress.
The two days of training will help you:
- Detect psychological flexibility processes in-flight in-session
- Conceptualize cases in terms of flexibility processes
- Target psychological flexibility processes at will at any point in therapy
- Be able to stay focused on a given flexibility process or shift to another process based on clinical need
- To respond to any statement from any corner of the model
- To develop flexible and productive core intervention skills in ACT
- To use these skills to create a powerful therapeutic relationship
I look forward to seeing you at the workshop.
Peace, love, and life,
Steven C. Hayes
Love isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.