Praxis Continuing Education and Training

ACT Basics

ACT Basics

Learn the fundamentals of acceptance and commitment therapy with Matt Boone in 10 actionable modules of video instruction, exercise demonstrations, and more.

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Course enrollment comes with lifetime access to all course materials, plus you’ll be protected by a 14-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

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Help Your Clients Live Better and
Make Lasting Change

with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

A letter from the trainer, Matt Boone

How do you help a person change their life for the better?

The entire mental health profession exists to answer this question.

Yet anyone who works in this field knows from personal experience that it is still far from straightforward.

Some days, you might have the privilege of seeing someone’s life transform before your eyes.

On others, you’ll find yourself having the same, frustrating conversation you’ve been having for years with a client who can’t seem to change, in spite of their best efforts.

Unfortunately, cases like the latter are more common than we’d like to admit. And knowing how to ignite lasting change is an ongoing challenge for many practitioners.

Even when you’re dealing with people who have the same diagnosis, there is no guarantee that a protocol or approach that led to success in one case will lead to it in another.

Not to mention, there are many times when clients have no major DSM diagnosis at all but are suffering from “normal” life stressors, like the death of a parent, or divorce, or being let go from a job.

Suffering can show up in so many different ways. In fact, many clients will present with a specific situation that we haven’t seen before. And it’s our job to help them find a way through it.

But in work involving human behavior, there is no exact science — no clear-cut way to solve a person’s problems.

Human behavior is complex; I think we all know that intuitively.

Still, that doesn’t make it any less painful when you’ve tried everything in your toolbox and a client hasn’t made the progress they'd like to make.

If you’re like many clinicians I’ve spoken with, this type of situation might make you dread the hour each week when you have to interact with that person.

You might even start wondering whether you’re really cut out for this work.

After all, this person has come to you because they want to change, and you’re dedicated to making a difference in their life.

So why is it so hard to make that happen?

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Solving the Pain “Problem”

When you’re struggling with a client, it’s tempting to look for guidance in the form of diagnostic labels.

After all, that’s what many of our traditional treatment methods are based on.

But does a label of “chronic depression,” for example, really tell you why a person can’t seem to move forward, especially when they’ve come to you for that purpose?

We have all seen how certain people, regardless of diagnosis, are able to improve rather quickly. So what is going on beneath the surface that allows them to change while others struggle to do so?

When we look at the toughest cases, the ones where clients seem permanently stuck, we often find something in common.

Surprisingly, it’s not necessarily that their circumstances are the most dire (though sometimes they are).

It’s that they are heavily invested in avoiding pain.

By “pain” I mean any emotion, thought, or sensation that is difficult to experience. It might look like anxiety or sadness. It might be anger, numbness, or grief.

In fact, many clients will state upfront that painful feelings or circumstances are the problem with their life and the reason why they can’t be happy.

Because they, like many people, have bought into the notion that in order to live a good life, we can’t have negative feelings or thoughts. And that, if we do, there is something wrong with us that needs fixing.

The idea that we can and should control these painful experiences is embedded in much of our folk wisdom as well as in our treatment traditions.

So it’s no wonder that practitioners feel a responsibility to help their clients stop feeling “bad.”

In many cases, clinicians even feel like they’re not doing their job if the client’s pain shows up in the room with them and they aren’t able to resolve it.

But there’s a major flaw in this approach:

Rather than helping us become pain-free, it often leads to more misery.

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How Pain Turns Into Suffering

Running from pain makes good logical sense.

In fact, if we’ve internalized the idea that we must be free of pain to live a good life (as many of us have), that’s exactly what our mind will tell us to do.

The human mind is an ingenious machine. It will not just tell you to run away, it will also tell you how and when.

For example, if you’re a person who suffers from panic attacks, your mind might say, “You know, your friend’s birthday party this weekend is already giving you a lot of anxiety. Maybe you should stay home instead.”

Unfortunately, this very logical solution is like a Trojan horse: it has a lot of hidden problems.

First, we know now that suppressing emotions can actually prolong or amplify the experience of those feelings. Research shows that when you try to avoid pain in that way, it grabs on a little tighter.

Secondly, even when this strategy does alleviate pain in the short term, it often has disastrous long-term consequences. Namely, it constricts a person’s behavior as well as their life.

If you find yourself repeatedly declining opportunities to be with the people you care about because you worry your anxiety might spin out of control, eventually your life shrinks around you until there is little left.

That doesn’t sound like a recipe for less pain — and it’s not.

In fact, it’s more likely to increase your anxiety to a pitch where going out at all becomes more and more difficult.

This is just one example of how the process of trying to avoid pain often leads to deeper suffering.

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The Upside of Letting Go

Devoting our lives to controlling pain is a costly strategy.

It leaves little time or energy for anything else — for the things that nourish life and give it meaning.

But when we let go of trying to control those experiences, a whole world can open up.

The same principle applies in therapeutic work.

Instead of joining clients in an unnecessary and ineffective “battle” against pain, we can teach them how to respond more flexibly in its presence so they can live more meaningfully.

Part of this response is recognizing that pain is not the enemy.

In fact, it can tell you a lot about what’s important in your life. Because we hurt most where we care.

Think about it this way: if you didn’t love, would you feel loss? If you didn’t care about your work, would you worry about your performance?

In many ways, pain is an inevitable part of pursuing that which gives life value.

When we embrace this fact in treatment…

We can shift focus away from “feeling good”
and help our clients live well.

In that space, something amazing, and seemingly paradoxical, happens.

When clients are willing to sit with pain and recognize that it’s just one side of the coin of a life well-lived, it becomes easier for them to carry.

Symptoms that before seemed unbearable become less threatening and often loosen their grip.

People experience fewer panic attacks and days lost to despair.

And over the long term, they have better outcomes than treatment as usual. They become more resilient and build more fulfilling lives.

That doesn’t mean we can approach treatment under the guise of being open to painful experiences solely in the hopes that they will go away.

We have to genuinely recognize that pain, while difficult to experience, is part of being human.

This is exactly the premise of acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT.

And I can tell you from personal experience that this approach brings something invaluable to therapeutic work…

It brings possibility.

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy:
Shifting from Control to Possibility

ACT begins with the idea that pain is universal and unavoidable — and that it doesn’t have to stop us from pursuing fulfillment and joy.

Of course, this approach to human experience is not isolated within ACT. It lives inside of certain spiritual traditions as well as other types of therapy.

But it is central to ACT, as is the idea that when we stop struggling unnecessarily against pain, we find freedom.

These concepts are inherent in the very name of this therapy:

  • Acceptance: a willingness to be present to internal experiences as they are — including painful ones — without struggling to change or solve them.
  • Commitment: taking actions, even in the presence of painful experiences, that bring you closer to the things you value.

At its heart, this approach is simple.

It asks that you show up and do what matters in your life, even when things are challenging or painful.

You can think of this as a practice in flexibility rather than rigidity — as having more tools in your toolbox when things get hard.

And that’s precisely what we can offer our clients when we apply ACT.

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How ACT Can Transform Your Work — And Your Life

ACT is a powerful therapeutic model that offers benefits to both clients and clinicians.

For many mental health practitioners, it has a valuable impact on their efficacy with clients, allowing them to work more confidently knowing that their approach is tied to a strong evidence base and better outcomes than treatment as usual.

In my experience, it also offers considerable personal benefits for clinicians, helping them to find increased job satisfaction and overall well-being.

Perhaps because of this, mental health professionals from all over the world, and from various therapeutic backgrounds, have brought the ACT model into their work.

And regardless of your job title or the client population you serve, it can do the same for you.

Let’s look at just a few of the reasons why ACT can be such a valuable addition to your practice:

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1. It can reinforce the work you already do

To benefit from ACT, you don’t need to start from scratch or throw out everything you already know. ACT is a broad-based model that can be easily integrated with other methods, including many of the interventions you are already using.

As long as an intervention can support the goal of helping clients respond more flexibly in the face of pain rather than trying to control it or push it away, it can be incorporated into ACT.

For example, there isn’t one specific exercise you need to use to help clients practice being more open to their emotions. There are countless ways to help someone build this skill, and any of them are fair game. You may have many of them in your toolbox already. As long as it’s ACT-consistent, it can be part of your ACT work.

In fact, you can use ACT as a framework for understanding how interventions are making an impact on your clients. That way, you can choose the tools you bring to your work with more purpose and more grounding in science.

2. It works without changing clients’ thoughts

Every clinician has had the frustrating experience of trying to debunk a problematic thought, only to have the client deliver a passionate counterargument. They insist that they are in fact a bad person, or a terrible mother, or too broken to have a healthy relationship.

Sometimes these conversations go nowhere. Or worse, they can even seem to reinforce someone’s negative beliefs.

In ACT, we maintain that negative or painful thoughts are normal and that we don’t have to get rid of them to move toward the things that matter. Instead, we can change clients’ relationships to their thoughts.

We can help them hold their thoughts more lightly, recognizing that it might not be important whether a thought is true or false. What matters is how they will respond when that thought rears its head.

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3. It gives you a clearer path forward with your most challenging clients

When dealing with human beings, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be met with unpredictability. Exercises fall flat, conversations take turns you’d never expect, and clients act in ways you can’t anticipate.

While ACT doesn’t eliminate these challenges, it does give you an overarching sense of direction to help guide you when things get bumpy or you reach a fork in the road.

This allows you to respond to the needs of the moment without losing sight of the overall therapy. The goal of ACT is to help your clients approach pain and life with more flexibility so they can do the things that bring meaning into their lives. As long as you keep that goal in mind, you’ll have a “north star” that can help guide your work forward — even when you’re feeling stuck in a tough session.

4. It applies to any challenge life can throw at a person

Not all suffering fits neatly into diagnostic categories. Some people have multiple diagnoses; others might have three diagnostic criteria but not four. Others might show no link to a major DSM diagnosis but are simply struggling to cope with life’s cumulative stressors. This can be a particular challenge as a practitioner, because it’s difficult to know how to proceed in each situation.

Because ACT is transdiagnostic, you can address just about any human problem that a client might bring into the room — even if you’ve never encountered it before or it doesn’t have a straightforward psychological diagnosis.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do some investigating about the characteristics of particular problems (e.g., skin picking, eating disorders) or specific populations (e.g., trauma survivors, people living in poverty). But you will have a starting point and framework for helping whoever walks in the door.

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5. It honors your humanity as a clinician

It may be that the reason so many helping professionals experience burnout is that they feel responsible for everything that happens in the therapy room. They feel like they need to have all of the answers, manage their clients’ emotions, and perfectly curate each session.

In every way, ACT is about making space for the “messiness” of human experience… including when that messiness shows up inside the therapeutic relationship.

This not only helps us be more open to whatever our clients bring into the room, but can also help us remember that clinicians are human beings, just like their clients. And when you genuinely care about helping another person, uncertainty, discomfort, and vulnerability are par for the course.

In fact, if that pain shows up in the room, it might be an opportunity to model flexibility to your clients, rather than overcompensating or shutting down.

When you have permission to show up fully in the interaction in this way, you’ll likely be able to forge stronger alliances with clients. You’ll be on the journey with them, because we all struggle and hurt.

And that makes the work even more rewarding.

6. It may improve your own life

In my experience, many clinicians who learn acceptance and commitment therapy benefit firsthand from shifting focus away from controlling pain and toward the things they care about.

This doesn't just allow them to become more skillful practitioners. It also allows them to become more flexible and connect more deeply with the things that matter most in their lives.

It may be that this is the most effective way to begin using ACT — to first see it alter the fabric of your own life. That way, you can start planning how to apply it with clients from a place of experience.

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The Impact of This Approach

Since I first learned about ACT (over 15 years ago), I’ve experienced all of these benefits in my own life both professionally and personally.

In fact, it wasn’t long after my first ACT training that I saw my whole practice transforming. First, it changed in little ways. Then, as time went on, in ways that were more profound.

I was no longer invested in arguing with my clients about whether their thoughts were true or false. I could be more responsive to the moment while moving toward overarching goals.

And I started having completely different conversations with my clients.

Where before they might sit down, say, “It’s been a tough week,” and begin cataloging their painful feelings and disappointments, now they were just as likely to tell me about something they did differently...

…About how they finally took steps toward completing their degree when their anxiety told them it was no use...

Or were able to be more present with their kids despite obsessive-compulsive fears of contamination…

Or ate a good meal with their family without punishing themselves with hours of exercise afterward.

Many clinicians who have joined my trainings in the past have shared similar stories about how ACT made a difference in their practice and their clients’ outcomes.

That is one of the great things about ACT. Once you’ve been exposed to its ideas, you can make meaningful changes in the way you practice — and the way you live your life.

And you can start doing it with just the basics.

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About the Trainer

Matt Boone is a social worker, psychotherapist, writer, and speaker who specializes in acceptance and commitment therapy. Over the years, his ability to present complex material in experiential, easy-to-understand ways has made ACT more accessible to health professionals all over North America. He is the co-author of Stop Avoiding Stuff: 25 Microskills to Face Your Fears and Do It Anyway, a short, easy-to-use self-help book that breaks concepts from ACT and positive psychology into bite-size practices.

He is an Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) peer-reviewed ACT trainer who regularly runs ACT workshops around the country. He is also a former consultant for the VA ACT for Depression training rollout, has taught ACT at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Social Work for five years, and has published a variety of articles and book chapters on ACT. He is the editor of the book Mindfulness and Acceptance in Social Work: Evidence-Based Interventions and Emerging Applications. He lives in Little Rock with his wife, cat, and guitars.

Introducing…

ACT Basics

ACT Basics is an online course taught by Matt Boone, a social worker, psychotherapist, and expert in making ACT training clear and approachable for a wide variety of mental health professionals.  

Inside the course, Matt will guide you through the fundamental aspects of ACT with easy-to-understand instruction, so you can start applying them right away in your practice. To make the learning process effective and engaging, you’ll first develop a personal understanding of each new concept through an experiential exercise. Then, you’ll explore its theoretical underpinnings. You will also benefit from Matt’s approach to the six core psychological flexibility processes, including ready-to-use interventions that can help you target these processes with clients. 

After completing the material, you’ll have a solid grasp of the most important elements of ACT and tools to incorporate them into your existing therapy practice, so you can help clients lead fuller lives in pursuit of their values. 

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Course Format

ACT Basics is an on-demand course that was filmed in front of a live audience at an in-person workshop. 

The course content includes 10 modules, which will be released over the course of four weeks. You can complete each week’s material at any time after it is released, as your schedule permits. Since you will have lifetime access to all course content, you’re also welcome to work through the modules more gradually or revisit them at any time in the future. 

The course includes filmed video instruction, written materials (including a course workbook), and experiential exercises you can also use with clients. You’ll see Matt demonstrate ACT exercises with real people from the workshop — volunteers who are also mental health professionals — so you can see concepts applied in context. Throughout the course content, Matt will teach you how to use ACT to flexibly respond to individual clients’ needs, strengthen your therapeutic relationships, and help your clients toward better long-term outcomes.

Through this combination of materials, you’ll gain a solid footing to start using ACT within your own life and in your work with clients — regardless of what therapy modalities you currently use.

Course content and materials are in English, including the quizzes, which will be conducted at the end of each module and will cumulatively serve as the CE-required post-test. All videos will include subtitle options in English and Spanish.

Course Structure

The first two modules of the course will provide a straightforward introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy and the concepts of psychological flexibility and inflexibility. You’ll hear Matt’s own story about how suffering led him to ACT, and you’ll get an experiential introduction to values, a vital area of ACT work. You’ll also learn about the hexaflex, a visual rendering of the ACT model that can help you understand psychological flexibility and the core processes.

In modules three through eight, you’ll take a closer look at each of the six core processes in the ACT model: Present Moment Awareness, Acceptance, Defusion, Values, Self-as-Context, and Committed Action. You’ll learn (and experience!) exercises and techniques for targeting each process flexibly as part of a transdiagnostic approach to helping clients make lasting positive change.

Lastly, modules nine and ten will focus on the therapeutic relationship and putting ACT into action with your clients.

Throughout the course, you’ll receive balanced instruction in acceptance and commitment therapy and how to use it in your work, which will allow you to…

  • Have more positive, change-oriented conversations with clients that focus on what they do want in their lives instead of what they don’t want
  • Help clients become more flexible and take meaningful steps toward the things they care about, even in the face of difficult circumstances
  • Find a flexible path forward with each client that is guided by their needs in the moment as well as an overarching sense of where you’re headed
  • Connect with your clients at a more personal level that honors your shared humanity, so you can walk alongside them in their journey rather than needing to have all the answers
  • Become more deeply connected to what’s important to you — and your work — so you can be more present, effective, and, ultimately, fulfilled

Curriculum

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Module 1: What is ACT?

  • Lay the groundwork for your work in the course with an experiential introduction to ACT
  • How this method can help your clients take a different stance when it comes to pain
  • Learn about what sets the ACT approach and its aims apart

Module 2: Psychological Flexibility

  • Explore why ACT supports living well rather than feeling good
  • How efforts to avoid and control painful experiences can lead to suffering rather than happiness
  • Discover psychological flexibility as an alternative to control, and how it is supported by the six processes of change that make up the ACT model
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Module 3: Present Moment Awareness

  • Discuss how mentally inhabiting the past or future can make us insensitive to our own experience in the here and now
  • How helping clients focus on the present moment can increase their sensitivity to themselves and the world around them
  • Learn about ACT-informed mindfulness practices and how to use them with clients

Module 4: Acceptance

  • Gain an understanding of experiential avoidance and how to assess it
  • Learn about creative hopelessness, an important part of the work that can help clients take steps toward acceptance
  • See a practical demonstration of a classic ACT exercise that allows clients to intuitively understand the notion of willingness

Module 5: Defusion

  • How letting our mind be in charge can result in a constricted life
  • Gain a clear, simple introduction to relational frame theory (RFT), a central tenet in ACT that describes how language influences behavior
  • Learn strategies to help your clients “defuse” from thinking: to see their thoughts as thoughts and not hard truths
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Module 6: Values

  • Why focusing on what really matters is an important step toward psychological flexibility
  • How to help clients use their values as a guide when things get hard
  • Take part in an experiential exercise that you can also use to help clients engage with their values

Module 7: Self-as-Context

  • Clearly deconstruct the concept of self-as-context and how it contributes to psychological flexibility
  • Complete an experiential exercise that teaches you to tune in to the “observer” perspective that each of us has
  • How to help your clients see their thoughts and feelings — including their stories about who they are — in a more flexible, workable way

Module 8: Committed Action

  • How to help clients break free from inaction, impulsivity, or other behavior patterns that keep them stuck
  • Learn how asking clients to vary their behavior in small ways can set the stage for your work together
  • Find out what it means to make a “bold move” that supports your values, and how that can be helpful in your life and practice
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Module 9: The Therapeutic Relationship

  • Complete an experiential exercise that illustrates how to stay flexible as a therapist, even in challenging situations
  • Learn how to build a strong interpersonal relationship with a client using an ACT approach
  • Gain a deepened awareness of how to relate to clients’ unique context from a place of cultural humility

Module 10: ACT in Action

  • See a demonstration of ACT applied in a therapy-style setting
  • Experience firsthand how to assess psychological flexibility
  • Observe ACT at work in a teletherapy-like conversation

Course Sample

The instruction in this course was filmed on-site during a live training event using state-of-the-art recording equipment. This allowed us to produce a training experience of the highest visual and audio quality, which you can sample in the excerpt below.

In this video, you’ll get an easy-to-understand overview of psychological flexibility and the six core processes in the ACT model.

Supplemental Materials

In addition to the 10 core modules, this course also includes three supplementary learning materials to help support you in your journey.

Bonus #1: Private Facebook Group for Course Members

The built-in sense of support and community at in-person trainings can notably enhance the learning experience.

To help recreate that environment inside this course, we’ve created a private Facebook Group for course participants. This is a space where you can pose questions about the material or your work outside of the course, share thoughts and resources, network, and participate in an ongoing discussion about ACT and how to use it to bring about real and lasting change.

(Note: Participation in the Facebook Group is entirely optional and not required for course completion.)

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Join our private members’ group

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Get answers to common questions about ACT

Bonus #2: ACT Fundamentals Q&A (Recorded Webinar)

When learning the fundamental principles of ACT, a number of questions commonly come up for clinicians about various parts of the model and related concepts. In order to reinforce your learning within the course, Matt will offer a recorded Q&A session to revisit challenging concepts, clarify practical information, or dig in more deeply to any facet of the course.

This will give you a chance to hear additional explanations about topics that sometimes feel intimidating to beginners, such as self-as-context, the connection between ACT and behaviorism, and how to think functionally about your clients’ behavior and your interventions. By answering questions on these topics and more, this Q&A video will offer course members an additional resource for bringing clarity to their understanding of ACT.

Bonus #3: Integrating ACT With Other Treatment Models (Recorded Webinar)

Many clinicians learn about ACT and wonder whether they can use it with clients without having to completely change their established style of therapy. The good news is that, because ACT is a transdiagnostic, process-based approach to therapy, it can be integrated within the context of CBT, DBT, and many other therapy modalities.

In this recorded webinar, you’ll hear Matt answer some of the most common questions about integrating ACT with other therapies. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how to use ACT along with the therapy methods that already work for you.

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Learn how to incorporate ACT into your current approach

CEs/CMEs

Upon completion of the core course content and supplemental materials, plus evaluations and post-test as required, participants will also be eligible for 8 CE/CME hours approved for the following professionals:

Counselors
Psychologists
Nurses
Physicians
Substance Abuse Counselors
Social Workers

Prior to registering, please review complete CE/CME information by clicking here: CE/CME Details

Enroll in ACT Basics

When you enroll in the course, you get lifetime access to all course materials.

What’s included:

  • 10 core modules
  • 7.5 hours of video and audio instruction, including teaching videos filmed in a live workshop setting and therapy-style demonstrations
  • Experiential and written exercises you can also use with clients
  • Written course materials
  • Video subtitle options in English and Spanish
  • Lifetime access to all course content
  • Bonus #1: Private Facebook Group for Course Members
  • Bonus #2: ACT Fundamentals Q&A (Recorded Webinar)
  • Bonus #3: Integrating ACT with Other Therapies Q&A (Recorded Webinar)

To join, click the button below:

Details Price Qty
Lifetime accessshow details + $249.00 (USD)  

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14-Day Money-Back Guarantee

In order to make course enrollment risk-free, all enrollees will be fully covered by a 14-day refund policy:

If you decide for any reason the course isn’t right for you, email our support team at courses@praxiscet.com within 14 days of enrolling, and we will be happy to refund your entire course fee, unconditionally.

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What Course Members are Saying

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I loved this course. I like how it was structured, with a great balance of information, demonstration, and Matt's affable—and at times refreshingly humorous—delivery and presence. As a relatively new counselor, I've been trying to merge aspects of narrative, CBT, and exposure in a way that works for me, and I think I found something in ACT that speaks to what I've been looking for. It really resonated. I'm excited about ACT and can't wait to learn more!
Aislinn O., Professional Counselor Associate

This is a wonderful introduction to ACT and it helped me start using the principles right away in my clinical work. Matt has the ability to teach the key concepts of ACT in a way that draws you deeper into their transformative powers.
Michael N., LMSW

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I thought the course was excellent. I had bought the book but seeing it being taught really brought the material to life. I loved the opportunity to use the tools for my own reflection and then be able to use them with clients. The resources were outstanding and I have already put much of the material into practice with some of my coaching clients. Really one of the most interesting and useful courses I have done. Practical and thoughtful. Good pace and great it’s online so you can do it when you have time to focus rather than a set session which is difficult at times. Appreciate all the work that went into it. I learned loads about myself and how to use ACT with clients. Acceptance rather than avoidance of pain was quite liberating! Thank you!
Natalie M., Executive Coach and Trainee Counselor

I am very busy and have a short attention span. I liked the format of this training, 10 lessons, each less than an hour, that I can watch at my own pace. The lessons give a broad overview of the components of the ACT. I already had some familiarity with ACT so while I did not learn a lot, it refreshed and strengthened my previous learning. I think the training is good for both those new to ACT and those who, like me, would like a refresher. Matt has a nice, warm, easy-going style and I found myself thinking, ‘I think I would like to have Matt as my therapist’...
Matthew E., Psychologist

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This course is very well designed. Matt is a great teacher — he really makes sure you get the concepts of what he is talking about and the way he presents the examples makes you really take in all the information. This course is best suited for psychologists and psychotherapist who work on the clinical part, but could be applied to other related subjects.

For me, the best lessons were the ones I could take to my own practice and use them with my clients, and those were the ones that involved focusing on what matters the most. Honestly, the option of doing this course on my own time and my own pace really made me feel calm and enjoy the process because I was using my free time and that made going back really easy.
Natalia N., Psychotherapist

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Questions and Answers

Q. What types of clients can benefit from an ACT approach?

ACT can potentially be applied in therapeutic work with any type of client, because it is a transdiagnostic model. Since it supports positive change and helps build flexibility and resilience, this approach can also be helpful in many non-therapy settings, such as coaching, social work, primary care, teaching, and more. In any field where human health and performance is involved, ACT can support you in your work.

Q. Do I need any prior ACT knowledge to do this course?

This course is specifically designed to give you a bottom-up introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy fundamentals, so there is no prerequisite experience. This clear and easy-to-understand training will be useful for those who have no prior knowledge of the model as well as those who have already gotten their feet wet, perhaps by reading a book or completing a brief training, but don’t know where to start.

Q. Can I use ACT in conjunction with other therapies that I already know? 

Yes. You don’t need to give up other interventions in order to use ACT in your practice. You can apply what you learn in the course alongside your existing tools and methods to make your work with clients even more effective. The course will also include a discussion of ways to integrate ACT with other common therapies. 

Q. When will I be able to start using ACT with clients after taking this course?

You will learn a new perspective as well as experiential exercises and tools that you can begin using with clients straightaway. The course covers the fundamentals of ACT, and you will have plenty of scope after completing the course to keep learning about ACT and adding exercises and tools to your repertoire. You’ll also gain an experiential understanding of each new concept before learning about its theoretical underpinnings. This will give you a more immediate and personal grasp on the material that will support you in practical application.

Q. I’ve heard that ACT can be challenging to learn; will this course be strenuous? 

From the moment he was first introduced to ACT, Matt Boone has been on a mission to educate other clinicians about the model in a way that is clear and easy to understand while never losing important aspects and nuances. Facets of the ACT method that can sometimes be conceptual stumbling blocks, such as self-as-context, relational frame theory, and cognitive defusion, are presented in a practical and approachable format.

Driven by his own values of being creative, connected, and compassionate, Matt has developed unique ways of using audiovisual media to help learners deeply and experientially understand the theory underpinning ACT. This course is the result of many years of dedication to honing his presentation of ACT ideas and tools in a way that is easily digested.

Q. Will this course help me work with challenging clients?

ACT offers a framework for understanding how clients get stuck and tools for helping them — as well as you — get unstuck. Research shows that responding to difficult emotions and thoughts more flexibly and taking actions that support personal values can help humans navigate a wide range of diagnoses and difficulties. And, because the central aim of ACT is to coach these skills, the model can be applied to virtually any problem that clients experience. It can give you a better sense of direction in your work with clients who seem resistant to change, and a method for helping them move forward.

Q. Will course videos have subtitles?

All video content will have subtitles available in English and Spanish (and you may also slow down or speed up video playback if you wish). Additional language options will be considered seriously in the future, depending on interest.

Q. Will the course be available in other languages?

All course content and materials are in English, but to help make the training accessible to our international community, subtitles in Spanish and English will be available for the video content, including the demonstrations of ACT skills with volunteers. (You can also slow down, or speed up, the video playback if you wish.) 

Q. How much time will I need to dedicate to this course?

The 10 modules will be released over the course of four weeks:

  • Week 1: Modules 1 and 2
  • Week 2: Modules 3, 4, 5
  • Week 3: Modules 6, 7, 8
  • Week 4: Modules 9 and 10

Module durations will vary, but you can expect to spend between 1.5 and 3 hours watching videos and doing exercises per week. ​​The duration of the course as a whole will depend in part on you, since it’s self-paced. The modules are released at a weekly interval to give you time to absorb the material before moving on. You can keep pace with the weekly schedule, or move through at a slower pace if that suits your needs better. Enrollment includes lifetime access to all materials, so there’s no need to rush.

Q. How long will I have access to the course?

Enrollment in ACT Basics includes lifetime access to all course materials, so you can work through the modules at your own pace and revisit videos and exercises at any time in the future. You’ll also have access to any future updates made to the course.

Q. I’m in the middle of another training; can I join now and start this course once I’m finished?

Yes, you can! Since enrollment includes lifetime access to all course materials, you can enroll in the course now and get started whenever it’s convenient for you. The course is self-paced, so you can move through the modules on your own schedule and revisit videos and exercises at any time in the future. You’ll also have access to any updates made to the course.

Q. Is this course eligible for CE/CME credit hours?

Upon completion of the core course content and supplemental materials, plus evaluations as required, participants will be eligible for 8 CE/CME hours, approved for the following professionals:

Counselors
Psychologists
Nurses
Physicians
Substance Abuse Counselors
Social Workers

Prior to registering, please review complete CE/CME information by clicking here: CE/CME Details

Q. Do you offer scholarships?

We have a limited reduced-fee program to help make this training accessible to as many people as possible, including practitioners in developing countries and those who are facing financial hardship. We will offer as many partial scholarships and reduced-fee payment plans as we feasibly can to those who need them. To learn more about this program, please email us at courses@praxiscet.com.

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Who should consider this course?

ACT Basics will be a good fit for you if…

  • You’ve dedicated your professional life to helping others and want to make your existing methods with clients even more effective
  • You want to feel more connected to your work and build stronger therapeutic relationships with your clients, walking through difficulty alongside them instead of needing to have all the answers
  • You are ready for a transdiagnostic approach that will help you flexibly guide clients with all kinds of diagnoses and give you tools to respond to their specific life circumstances
  • You need a solid introduction — or re-introduction — to the fundamentals of ACT so you can use them to help clients lead lives of greater meaning and purpose
  • You want to apply ACT principles to create a more meaningful path for yourself both professionally and in your personal life — a path of possibility

If any of the points above resonate with you, this course will be helpful to you.

Enroll in ACT Basics

When you enroll in the course, you get lifetime access to all course materials.

What’s included:

  • 10 core modules
  • 7.5 hours of video and audio instruction, including teaching videos filmed in a live workshop setting and therapy-style demonstrations
  • Experiential and written exercises you can also use with clients
  • Written course materials
  • Video subtitle options in English and Spanish
  • Lifetime access to all course content
  • Bonus #1: Private Facebook Group for Course Members
  • Bonus #2: ACT Fundamentals Q&A (Recorded Webinar)
  • Bonus #3: Integrating ACT with other therapies Q&A (Recorded Webinar)

To join, click the button below:

Details Price Qty
Lifetime accessshow details + $249.00 (USD)  

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Final Thoughts from the Trainer

Working with people who are struggling in life is not easy.

It means that every day, hour after hour, you encounter suffering. You face problems that can seem unsolvable.

And, as part and parcel of that experience, you likely also encounter stuff inside yourself that’s not so pretty.

Feelings of inadequacy, frustration, possibly even resentment. Things that maybe you’d rather not have.

ACT is not a magic wand that you wave to make those human problems disappear.

It’s a lens that helps you take a different perspective on those problems — to realize that life is much bigger than any one feeling or thought…

… And that, when we are willing to sit with thoughts and emotions as they are, without trying to suppress or change them, we’re given the opportunity to experience something much more meaningful.

The Monday after I attended my first weekend ACT workshop, I went into a session with a client I’d really been struggling with and asked if they would be willing to join me in an exercise I had just learned.

With that simple exercise, and the new perspective I was able to bring to our work, our whole dynamic began to change.

It took us on a path where their feelings were no longer a problem we were both trying to solve week after week.

It led us to a place where we could both say, “Maybe that pain doesn’t have to run your life.”

Instead, we got to ask: what would they choose to do? What steps would they take toward the things they cared about?

That’s a very empowering place to be as a clinician, and as a client. Pain is still hard. Suffering still shows up. But possibilities show up at the same time.

When you help your client see that a life worth living is not one that is free from pain, but one that is rich in the things that really matter, that creates space for possibility to take flight.

And, fortunately, making that shift doesn’t require you to be an ACT master.

In fact, part of the reason I’m so excited about training people in the basics of ACT is that I’ve seen how much can change when someone gets a solid understanding of the key principles and tools.

I’ve seen it in my clients, and the other helping professionals I’ve had the pleasure to instruct, as well as in myself.

I think this shows how powerful this model really is.

And my hope is that you’ll join me in this course to discover for yourself the possibilities it can open up in your work, and your life.

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