ACT 1 Online: Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (April 2021)

Introduction to ACT

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Lou Lasprugato, MFT Peer-reviewed ACT trainer and therapist

About This Course

ACT 1 is a comprehensive introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy. This 6-session course gives you the tools to help clients open up to uncomfortable emotions in the service of experiencing their lives fully and moving toward what matters.

You’ll leave this course with a deep understanding of the theoretical foundations of ACT, and techniques you can use right out of the gate to help you spot change within your clients and move them towards psychological flexibility.

Help clients connect to what matters

Many mental health professionals know what it feels like to be stuck.

When therapeutic work hits a wall, and you feel your clients continually lack direction, it can make your practice feel stagnant and unfulfilling. You might find yourself dreading upcoming sessions, or even hoping certain clients will cancel.

If you've ever found yourself struggling with thoughts like these, you're not alone.

In an effort to overcome therapeutic resistance and catalyze real and lasting change, many practitioners turn to syndrome-focused interventions and tools like the DSM.

However, these techniques do not guarantee good outcomes, and can leave practitioners feeling limited by cookie-cutter interventions.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can breathe new life into your work.

ACT goes beyond strict, evidence-based protocols and focuses instead on developing psychological flexibility, or the ability to mindfully encounter challenging thoughts and feelings.

This perspective shift allows clients to “unstick” from thinking and behavior patterns focused on simply avoiding pain, and can provide them with tools to make values-based choices, and connect to what matters most to them.

With ACT, you can work more fluidly by observing, understanding, and transforming the six core psychosocial processes at the heart of psychological flexibility rather than focusing on symptoms and manualized treatment regimens.

Whether you're working with trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship struggles — or even psychosis or chronic pain — ACT can help your clients accept difficult experiences, become grounded in the present moment, and redirect their energy into creating a life of meaning.

As more and more practitioners bring ACT into their work, they describe how it has transformed their practice — as well as their own lives. While experiencing the benefits of psychological flexibility personally, they’re also more excited to go into sessions, meet new clients, and approach challenging cases in new ways.

And regardless of their overall therapeutic approach, they are able to bring what fits their style to the effort of helping people live more flexible and meaningful lives.

For all of these reasons, we are so excited to offer this in-depth introduction to ACT.

Inside the Course

ACT 1 is a comprehensive introduction to acceptance and commitment therapy. In this 6-session course, you’ll learn how to help clients open up to uncomfortable emotions so they can experience their lives fully and move towards what matters.

You’ll leave this course with a deep understanding of the theoretical foundations of ACT, and techniques you can use right out of the gate to help you spot change within your clients and move them towards psychological flexibility. With the tools you’ll gain in this course you’ll be able to expand beyond rigid protocols, and apply a fluid, client-centered approach to your therapeutic work.

Through didactics, group discussion, and experiential exercises, you will...

  • Gain a deep understanding of the underlying processes behind most DSM diagnoses
  • Move from a mechanical, protocol-oriented mindset to a more fluid and individualized approach
  • Build a toolset for developing psychological flexibility, grounding clients in the present moment, and helping them shift toward values-based behavior
  • Learn specific interventions you can use to help clients unhook from unhelpful thoughts
  • Gain methods for fostering mindful, acceptance-based meditations and exercises in session
  • Be able to identify, clarify, and even construct values with your client, and help them find direction in their lives
  • Learn how to help clients hold their stories more lightly, not rigidly
  • Discover powerful interventions that can be used with individuals, couples, groups, and in a teletherapy context
Once you enroll, you’ll be sent an email containing everything you’ll need to access the course. Courses will be hosted via zoom, and you can access the course each week from your account page.

About the trainer

Lou Lasprugato, MFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, an integrative psychotherapist with Sutter Health’s Institute for Health and Healing, and a peer-reviewed ACT trainer. Lou has facilitated workshops internationally on ACT, mindfulness, and integrative mental health for the past 8 years. He also offers individual consultation in ACT and other contextual behavioral approaches while running a private practice in Davis, CA.

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 review speaker-planner conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information.


Session 1 | April 9, 2021, 4 PM—6 PM EDT

Foundations of ACT: Functional Contextualism, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Relational Frame Theory

Session 2 | April 16, 2021, 4 PM—6 PM EDT

Psychological Inflexibility and Creative Hopelessness

Session 3 | April 23, 2021, 4 PM—6 PM EDT

Psychological Flexibility Part 1: Mindfulness-Based Processes

Session 4 | April 30, 2021, 4 PM—6 PM EDT

Psychological Flexibility Part 2: Valued-Action Processes (with Self-Compassion)

Session 5 | May 7, 2021, 4 PM—6 PM EDT

The ACT Matrix: Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning/Interventions

Session 6 | May 14, 2021, 4 PM—6 PM EST

The Therapeutic Relationship: Informed Consent, Goal Collaboration, Stance/Alliance, and Shaping Behavior

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. 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. Illustrate 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. 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 12 CE Hours by the following:

  • NBCC – National Counselors
  • NAADAC – Drug & Alcohol Counselors
  • WESPSB – Educators
  • ACCME – Physicians
  • ANCC – Nurses
  • NASW - This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886825109-5346) for 12 continuing education contact hours.
  • APA - Psychologist: Institute for Better Health, Inc is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. Institute for Better Health, Inc maintains responsibility for the program and its content.
  • NY State: Social Worker, Counselor, & Psychologists




For mental health professionals, beginners to intermediate.

Recommended Reading


Hayes, S. C., & Hofmann, S. G. (2017). The third wave of cognitive behavioral therapy and the rise of process‐based care. World Psychiatry, 16 (3), 245–246.

Biglan, Anthony, Steven C. Hayes, and Jacqueline Pistorello. “Acceptance and commitment: Implications for prevention science.” Prevention science 9.3 (2008): 139-152.

Hayes, S. C., Luoma, J., Bond, F., Masuda, A., & Lillis, J. (2006). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Model, processes, and outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44(1), 1-25.

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 contact us at to cancel a registration.