ACT 1 – Des Moines

Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Steven C. Hayes, PhD Cofounder of ACT, leader of contextual behavioral science, and renowned author

About This Workshop

Join ACT co-founder Steven C. Hayes, PhD, for this one-of-a-kind workshop designed to establish a foundational understanding of the Psychological Flexibility Model, a beginning set of skills in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and beginning knowledge of Relational Frame Theory (RFT). Over the two days, you will learn:
  • An experiential understanding of the six basic processes of ACT’s Psychological Flexibility Model:
    • Flexible contact with the present moment
    • Cognitive Defusion
    • Acceptance
    • Self-as-context
    • Values
    • Committed action
  • The relationship between the six basic processes and Relational Frame Theory (RFT)
  • How to apply the Psychological Flexibility Model to case conceptualization and treatment planning
  • Practical skills for meeting clients where they are and fostering their willingness and openness to change
  • Ways to assess, observe, and influence client processes in session
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.

A discounted guestroom block as been created at a nearby hotel, the Holiday Inn Des Moines Downtown-Mercy Area. The discounted room rate is $129/night, including free parking and shuttle to the DMU campus. Please reserve your room by calling 515-283-0151 and referencing ACT I Iowa.


Friday, April 3

7:30 am to 8:00 am

  • Registration (Not available for CE)

8:00 am to 9:45 am

  • Welcoming and Orientation
  • Defining Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Introducing Psychological Flexibility
  • Introducing the Hexagon Model

9:45 am to 10:00 am 

  • Morning Break  (Not available for CE)

10:00 am to 12:00 pm 

  • Defusion and Acceptance: Noticing Your Mind and Opening Up to Experience

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

  • Lunch Break (Not available for CE)

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

  • Self-as-Context: Inhabiting a Flexible Self

2:45 pm to 3:00 pm 

  • Afternoon Break (Not available for CE)

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

  • Values and Committed Action: Making Bold Moves
  • Debrief/Q & A/Check-out

4:45 pm to 5:30 pm 

  • Iowa Psychological Association Awards (IPA) and Meeting (Optional. *Not available for CE)

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 

  • IPA Social Event taking place at Noah’s Ark, 2400 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312 (Optional. *Not available for CE)
Saturday, April 4

7:00 am to 7:30 am

  • Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) Strategic Planning Meeting (Not available for CE)

7:30 am to 8:00 am

  • Check-in (Not available for CE)

8:00 am to 9:45 am

  • Q & A
  • Committed Action

9:45 am to 10:00 am 

  • Morning Break (Not available for CE)

10:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • Contacting the Present Moment
  • Bringing it all Together

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm 

  • Lunch Break (Not available for CE)

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

  • ACT for Clinically Relevant Concerns: OCD, Trauma, Depression

2:45 pm to 3:00 pm 

  • Afternoon Break (Not available for CE)

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm 

  • Methods of Doing ACT: The Mindful Action Plan
  • Final Q & A/Check-out

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Describe how to relate ACT to its foundational underpinnings of Functional Contextualism, Relational Frame Theory, and Applied Behavior Analysis.
  2. Describe the six core processes of psychological flexibility/inflexibility.
  3. Demonstrate how to contact the present moment with flexible, yet focused, attention.
  4. Demonstrate how to access the observing process of self-as- context.
  5. Demonstrate how to cultivate compassion with the perspective-taking process of self-as- context.
  6. Demonstrate how to facilitate defusion from sticky cognitions.
  7. Demonstrate how to foster acceptance of painful private experiences.
  8. Demonstrate how to construct and clarify values while differentiating from goals.
  9. Explain how to use creative hopelessness to motivate a change in the control agenda.
  10. Demonstrate case conceptualization and treatment planning with the ACT Matrix while probing for toward moves (committed action) and away moves (experiential avoidance).
  11. Explain how to formulate ACT-consistent informed consent, goal collaboration, and therapeutic stance.
  12. Demonstrate how to model, evoke, and reinforce psychological flexibility within the therapeutic relationship.
  13. Explain the concept of workability and how it informs the entire ACT model.

Continuing Education

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This course is jointly sponsored by Praxis CET and Institute for Better Health (IBH) and is approved for 13 CE Hours by the following:

  • APA – Psychologists
  • BACB – Behavior Analysts
  • NBCC – National Counselors
  • NAADAC – Drug & Alcohol Counselors
  • NY State – Counselors and Social Workers
  • Other State Level Counselors, MFTs, and Social Workers
  • WESPSB – Educators
  • ACCME – Physicians
  • ANCC – Nurses




For mental health professionals, beginner to intermediate.

Recommended Reading

Luoma, J., Hayes, S. C., & Walser, R. (2017). Learning ACT (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications


Luoma, J., Hayes, S. C., & Walser, R. (2017). Learning ACT (2nd edition). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K., & Wilson, K. G. (2012). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The process and practice of mindful change (2nd edition). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Hayes, S. C., & Lillis, J. (2012). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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 to cancel a registration.

April 3–4, 2020
Des Moines University-Olsen Center
3200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Book a guestroom! Group Code: aii

Available Discounts

  • Groups of 3 or more professionals receive 20% off at checkout
  • Register by February 21 to save $50 on professional registrations
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