Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) maximizes the change mechanisms of groups. When done well, ACT magnifies therapeutic change mechanisms inherent in group therapy. Developed as the clinical response to an increased understanding of the origins of human suffering, the model articulates the processes that can keep humans stuck, and how those same processes can be used to alleviate suffering. This directly translates to the therapy room.
ACT BootCamp is a 4-day, live intensive training that is designed to familiarize clinicians with the core concepts of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT is not a set of techniques as much as it is a set of processes you can detect and change.
Have you ever found yourself teaching a parent to be contingent and discovered that his self-rules are interfering with his ABA follow-through? A few examples might help: “I can’t handle this – it’s not what I’m good at. I’m the Dad.” Or, “Can’t you just do your job and heal my kid. You’re the behavior analyst.” Another one you might have heard is, “What if I can’t do all that?”
Anxiety, when it descends upon us, is all encompassing. Anxiety activates our threat-detection system and involves attention, physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Our thoughts can become extremely negative and provoke even more fear and dread when we’re anxious.
We’ve all been guilty of it. A client comes in with a problem and the solution is right in front of them and all they have to do is reach out and open their eyes; all we have to do is lean forward and whisper a solution or create a perfectly plotted plan to solve this riddle. And just like that, we are wrapped into their solution focused story where we are the problem-solvers, they are the lost and confused, and together we are weaving a narrative that captivates while it draws us away from our process, focused work.
The normal wave pattern of emotions get interrupted and extended by three maladaptive coping strategies. The first is emotion avoidance. It’s important to realize how the attempt to control and avoid emotions paradoxically maintains, even intensifies, emotional distress.