Using ACT to Empower Women

Skills for You and Your Clinical Work

20
CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Robyn Walser, PhD Renowned author, researcher, and master ACT trainer
Aisling Leonard-Curtin, MSc, C.Psychol, PsSI Peer-reviewed ACT trainer, author, and gender and sexual minority care expert

About This Workshop

Women’s voices continue to be silenced even in this “modern” age. The Women’s March on Washington in January 2016, and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are testaments to the challenges that women still face regarding dignity, respect, and equality. Women and their voices in social, career, and family endeavors linger in deep-rooted and long-standing disregard. Women’s physical and mental health remain undervalued as well. Across the board, women are at a higher risk for mental health problems, and endure disproportionate violence, income inequality, subordinate social status, and unremitting responsibility for the care of others—and these disparities increase when considering intersectional identities such as race or sexuality.

Women have significant stressors and barriers to living a full life, many of which men do not face. What does this look like? These can range in nature from experiences in your career to issues you see in your clinical work. Perhaps you and your clients:
  • Don’t feel heard and seen as women. Often, it doesn’t feel like there is room for your voice.
  • Feel a near-constant sense of responsibility for others’ emotions and needs. You put care for yourself and your needs last.  
  • Feel years-long buildup of anger and frustration—at others and perhaps at yourself—for not speaking up, for not asking for what you want and need.
  • Are expected to do more (logistic, domestic, or emotional) than male counterparts at home or at work, for the same amount or even less recognition, or sometimes, no recognition at all.
  • Are silenced or not believed when you or your clients do speak up about these disparities, or your experience as a woman (especially if you are a woman of color).

If you are encountering these experiences, you are not alone. Women today are still living under the social influence of a very old patriarchal context. Whether it’s in our inner lives, our intimate relationships, or our public lives, women continue to feel the impact of not having their needs taken seriously, and this includes mental health care.

But good mental health isn’t simply about being free from diagnostic symptoms. It is about being heard and about feeling fulfilled, loving and playing, learning and growing, and being flexible, free, and exercising choice in life.

What We’ll Cover in This Workshop


This workshop will focus on how social experiences influence and shape our inner world. We will explore the learning processes that promote disempowerment, and discover how the processes in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)—being open, aware, and engaged—can assist the therapist and client in the rise to equality, dignity, and the empowerment of women’s voices.   

This workshop will explore what it looks like for women to resist toxic historical narratives and work toward and experience well-being in safe, meaningful ways. Over three experiential, immersive days, you will discover how to embody the ACT processes in self-care and personal empowerment while also developing skills for how to do the same for your clients. We will use an ACT framework to address the challenges that women have faced for too long.

How ACT Can Help Women


ACT is uniquely suited to help unlearn the toxic messages we’ve all been taught from birth about gender and what women are capable of. Unlike the Western medical model that is authoritarian and hierarchical, ACT is a therapy rooted in behavioral and mindfulness traditions that place the clinician at the same level as the client. ACT therapists partner with clients to guide them in sitting with the discomfort and pain that comes along with being human, and in this context, with doing the radical work of being a woman addressing her needs and empowering her voice.

Whether you’re experienced in ACT or not, in this workshop you will learn ways to use the processes of the psychological flexibility model to help women-identifying clients and yourself to:
  • Become more psychologically flexible as a means to address personal and  social problems.
  • Use the six core ACT processes to promote well-being, undermining the barriers that can lead to problems faced by women in today’s society.
  • Dig deep to identify your values and move toward living a life that fits your definition of fulfillment.
  • Understand how contextual influences around gender and sexuality can lead to challenges for many self-identified women.
  • Experience and know how to lead clients through exercises that help loosen the grip of rigid and unhelpful rules around gender and sexuality.
  • And more.
Master ACT trainer Robyn D. Walser, PhD, and leading ACT expert in gender and sexual mental health Aisling Leonard-Curtin, MSc, will explore the learning processes that promote disempowerment, and discover how the processes in ACT—being open, aware, and engaged—can assist you and your clients in the rise to equality, dignity, and empowerment.

Over three days, together we will acknowledge the historical and sociological narratives that led us to where we are, and you will learn ACT skills and processes to transcend these narratives and overcome barriers to your empowerment across many contexts: at home, at work, and in public life. Working experientially with ACT’s mindfulness and acceptance themes, you will learn to dissolve what’s stopping you internally from getting what you want, saying what you need to say, and living a life based on your values, and then use these self-interventions as a model to help women clients do the same.

Attendees must complete the course in full and attend all sessions in order to receive ANY continuing education credit. No partial credit will be given.

Prior to registering, please click here to review speaker-planner conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information.

*A hotel room block is not available for this event.

Program

Friday, September 6

7:30 am to 8:00 am

  • Registration (Not available for CE)

8:00 am to 9:45 am

  • Women’s Voices: History and Where We Stand

9:45 am to 10:00 am 

  • Morning Break  (Not available for CE)

10:00 am to 12:00 pm 

  • ACT Processes and Empowering Women

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

  • Lunch Break (Not available for CE)

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

  • Acceptance and Mindfulness in Personal Discoveries: Using ACT to Empower Your Voice

2:45 pm to 3:00 pm 

  • Afternoon Break (Not available for CE)

3:00 pm to 4:45 pm

  • Acceptance and Mindfulness in Clinical Discoveries: Using ACT to Empower the Voices of Your Female Clients
Saturday, September 7

7:30 am to 8:00 am

  • Check-in (Not available for CE)

8:00 am to 9:45 am

  • Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Processes in ACT Sessions

9:45 am to 10:00am 

  • Morning Break (Not available for CE)

10:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • Self, Values, and Behavior Change in Clinical Discoveries: Using ACT to Empower Your Voices

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm 

  • Lunch Break (Not available for CE)

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

  • Self, Values, and Behavior Change in Clinical Discoveries: Using ACT to Empower the Voice of Your Female Clients

2:45 pm to 3:00 pm 

  • Afternoon Break (Not available for CE)

3:00 pm to 4:45 pm 

  • Panel: Straight Talk with Robyn and Aisling: Where have you Personally Felt Disempowered?
  • Personal Moments of Empowerment
Sunday, September 8

7:30 am to 8:00 am

  • Registration (Not available for CE)

8:00 am to 9:45 am

  • Learning and Using FAP and Our Gender Life Histories to Supercharge ACT Tools around Empowerment

9:45 am to 10:00 am 

  • Morning Break  (Not available for CE)

10:00 am to 12:00 pm 

  • Real Playing Looking at Sexual Trauma or Being Sexualized as Women: A Chance to Observe and Practice Integrating ACT And FAP

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

  • Lunch Break (Not available for CE)

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

  • Empowering Our Sisters – Addressing and Overcoming our Blocks to Public Work, Community Building, and Sharing Expertise in the Media

2:45 pm to 3:00 pm 

  • Afternoon Break (Not available for CE)

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

  • Bringing It All Together
  • Personal Missions of Empowerment

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  • Describe the current status and overall impact on women in societies that discriminate against women.
  • Describe the impact of bias/violence/discrimination against women on mental health status.
  • Understand women’s social circumstances wherein discrimination and legal traditions institutionalize a second-class status for women with regard to health, education, marital rights, employment experience, and other civil liberties, and how these issues may play out in a therapeutic setting.
  • Explain how human language participates in suffering and how it is linked to broader societal fallout with respect to women’s issues.
  • Describe how the six core processes of ACT can be used to empower women in treatment and their social contexts.
  • Describe how personal willingness promotes client self-acceptance in clinical work.
  • Describe how personal ability to use perspective-taking promotes client flexibility in clinical work.
  • Explain how willingness to experience and perspective-taking can assist women clients in learning to relate to their internal experience in a healthier way.
  • Demonstrate skill in using acceptance-based exercises to promote personal well-being and empowerment of self and women clients.
  • Demonstrate skill in using values and behavior-change exercises to promote personal well-being and empowerment of self and women clients.
  • Explain process versus content in delivery of ACT.
  • Demonstrate skill in using process-oriented interventions to promote clinical change for women clients.
  • Describe how ACT can be used to promote personal meaning to include contexts that empower your efforts to create societal well-being.
  • Describe how ACT can be used to promote clients’ personal meaning, including contexts to empower women in their efforts to create societal well-being.
  • List the five rules of functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP) and how to apply them;
  • Describe how to supercharge ACT through FAP.
  • Observe experienced ACT experts working with issues that may typically arise when using ACT with women.
  • Describe how our gender life histories affect our work as health professionals.

Prerequisites

It is recommended that attendees have introductory training in ACT. Exercises and other training processes will be targeted at intermediate and above. If you would like to attend and this will be your first ACT workshop, it is highly recommended that you prepare by reading the below books.

Audience

For all mental health and health professionals. All genders welcome (male- or other-identifying professionals are welcome). Introductory experience with ACT is suggested, as the training will be targeted for those who are intermediate and above.

Recommended Reading

Learning ACT, 2nd Edition by Jason Luoma, PhD, Steven Hayes, PhD, and Robyn Walser, PhD (2017). New Harbinger Publications.

Inside This Moment by Kirk Strosahl, Patti Robinson, and Thomas Gustavsson, (2015). New Harbinger Publications.

References

Hayes, S. C. (2004). Acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, and the third wave of behavioral and cognitive therapies. Behavior therapy, 35(4), 639-665.

Skinta, M.D. & Curtin, A. (Eds). (2016). Mindfulness and Acceptance for Gender and Sexual Minorities: Contextual Strategies to Foster Self-Compassion, Connection, and Equality. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Walser, R. D. (2013). Love and the human condition. In T. B. Kashdan & J. Ciarrochi (Eds.) Mindfulness, acceptance, and positive psychology: The seven foundations of well-being (pp. 68-77). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Jacobs, P., & Schain, L. (2009). Professional women: The continuing struggle for acceptance and equality. https://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/08056.pdf.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please email us at events@praxiscet.zendesk.com to cancel a registration.

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September 6–8, 2019
8:00am–4:45pm
Sheraton Bellevue
100 112th Avenue NE
Bellevue, Washington 98004
No room block available.

Available Discounts

  • Groups of 3 or more professionals receive 20% off at checkout
  • Register before July 26 for a $50 discount.
  • Student registrations are not eligible for ANY discounts
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