Praxis Blog

Learn To Read the Six Psychological Flexibility Processes and Target Them With A Wide Range of Exercises

Steven C. Hayes, PhD Online ACT training

Author: Steven C. Hayes, PhD

I am proud to announce the arrival of my first online course: ACT Immersion: An Introduction to ACT as a Form of Process-Based Therapy.

The world of evidence-based therapy is changing.

We’ve lived through an era in which evidence-based therapy has been defined as the application of validated protocols to psychiatric syndromes. It has been an ill-fitting suit for practitioners, people, and intervention scientists alike.

People have individual needs, and list of signs and symptoms just do not capture them. “Comorbidity” is so high you know it’s more a reflection of a bad diagnostic system than anything else. The most common “diagnosis” is “not otherwise specified” – making a mockery of the whole ordeal.

And protocols seemed to demand that each person get a fixed set of intervention steps, whether they need them or not.

Why?

In this course, I show how ACT can be approached as a process-based model, not a protocol. I focus on the liberation processes that predict human success and the inflexibilty processes that predict human failure. I address the underlying human yearnings that are inside inflexibility so that when we open the door to a new more flexible way forward, so people will appreciate what is at stake and feel the progress they are making.

The course teaches practitioners how to read flexibility and inflexibility so there is immediate feedback provided by the client. In this way,  clients can become our teachers. Any method can become an ACT method if it moves the ACT processes. Instead of protocols, process focused interventions can be used that fit clients’ underlying needs and yearnings.

The course unfolds with one module a week for ten weeks. It is filled with high quality videos, therapeutic sessions, and case examples. I provide audio and video guidance; readings; written exercises; short audio exercises for clients to use directly. Trainees have online places to gather and ask questions. It’s a fully immersive experience.

Members will have lifetime access, so you can take the course at your own pace and any improvements we may make in the future will be yours.

I have been teaching my students for over four decades what they needed to think functionally and contextually: Pragmatic philosophy, RFT, Evolutionary Science, Behavioral Principles, and Functional Analysis.

Now that I’m nearly 71, I’m not admitting students anymore. The world of ACT started in my lab with a handful of students, so in my first online course I do training as I think it needs to be done. The course members should feel like being an honorary lab member.

Don’t worry: Over the years I think I’ve learned how to do those geeky things without getting lost in the geek. But you’ll get the “full Steve” in this course.

For me, it’s a sense of coming home.

ACT has from its inception been connected to a process-based vision born of my roots in functional behavioral psychology. We were so committed to it that as soon as we showed that ACT protocols could be helpful back in the early 80’s, we spent the better part of two decades developing the process knowledge we would need when a process-based era arrived.

The psychological flexibility model and its link to behavioral principles, Relational Frame Theory, and evolutionary science has enabled ACT to be scaled and modified to fit an incredible range of issues. Over 300 ACT randomized clinical trialsRCTs have been done; well over 3,000 studies overall.

And now the world has turned in a “new” direction that is far closer to what we’ve wanted all along.

More individualized; more functional; more process-based; more contextual.

As we move into the era of process-based therapy, I expect ACT, the psychological flexibility model, and the many innovations coming from contextual behavioral science to be front and center.

And that is the energy inside this course.

If you want to check out a sneak peek of the course, click here. Registration opens up on June 26.

Peace, Love, and Life

Steven C. Hayes