Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for OCD

Get Clients Unstuck from Pesky Obsessions and Engaged with Life Again

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Patricia Zurita Ona, PsyD Director of the East Bay Behavioral Center, professor, and leading ACT expert

About This Course

If you’re working with adult clients struggling with OCD, no matter where you are in treatment, and no matter how familiar you are with exposure-based interventions, this workshop will augment your clinical skills and achieve more effective clinical outcome delivering. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) interventions. Using ACT and ERP you can guide your clients towards taming OCD and anxiety and bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

This workshop aims to answer a specific question: how does ACT facilitate exposure interventions?

At a general level, you will learn the scientific underpinnings behind contextual behavioral science and exposure therapy as the basis of understanding how ACT + ERP blend together. As the workshop progresses, you will train your eyes and ears to notice how the client is responding and how you’re responding to the client’s behaviors as a frame to either deliver “acceptance-based interventions” or “change-based interventions.” You will have an opportunity practice these ACT shifts in small groups and experience first-hand the flexibility of the ACT model when facilitating exposure work.

In this course, you will learn how to:
  • Blend ACT + ERP together more effectively in you clinical work, guiding clients to conquer anxiety and OCD, and shift from reactive to WISE MOVES in their life (WISE MOVES is a retrieval cue for clients to practice ACT processes during an exposure)
  • Facilitate acceptance-based and change-based interventions through different ACT processes before, during and after values-guided exposure exercises.
  • Model for clients that fears, anxiety, worry, and nervousness are part of life; we feel them, we think them, they just happen. Yet as uncomfortable as they are, we can learn how to make room to hang out with them, instead of being held back by them.
  • Contextualize exposure exercises as values-based moves, personal choices, and as a way to choose to feel all types of emotions – even difficult ones – while contacting them with openness, curiosity, and flexibility.
  • Introduce the WISE MOVES to facilitate both, planned values-based exposures and unplanned values-based exposures on the fly.
  • Identify specific obstacles that may show up when facilitating values-based exposures.
Throughout the workshop you will be presented in a simple, uncomplicated, jargon-free manner, that will make it easy to implement the model in your practice. You will learn how to use the skills and tactics presented in way that fits with your existing therapeutic style and rhythm. The goal is to enhance your existing practice by integrating ACT and ERP in a unique way that takes your treatment of anxiety-related conditions to the next level. Dr. Zurita-Ona will share you all the ACT skills and process that she uses with her clients to make a real turn from surviving to thriving.

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


Session 1 | April 15, 2020, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

The nuts and bolts of integrating of ACT and Exposure Response Prevention (EPR)

Session 2 | April 22, 2020, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Creating a context for behavioral change (part 1)

Session 3 | April 29, 2020, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Creating context for behavioral change (part 2)

Session 4 | May 6, 2020, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Creating context for behavioral change (part 3)

Session 5 | May 13, 2020, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Values-based behavioral change (part 1)

Session 6 | May 20, 2020, 12 PM—2 PM EDT

Values-based behavioral change (part 2)

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Describe the similarities and differences between traditional behavioral exposure (inhibitory learning model) and ACT-based exposure.
  2. Assess “functionality” of OCD and anxiety problems.
  3. Deliver ACT – consistent exposures for clients struggling with OCD and anxiety disorder.
  4. Discriminate between function versus form when working with clients with unique clinical presentations, such as OCD or anxiety.
  5. Understand targeted ACT processes for exposure in relationship to the hexaflex.
  6. Demonstrate ACT interventions to make a shift from reactive moves into wise moves when delivering exposure-based interventions.
  7. Describe how to track ACT process during an exposure session.
  8. Discuss how to deliver ACT-consistent family-based interventions when working with children and teens struggling with OCD and any form of anxiety.

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:

  • APA – Psychologists
  • ASWB – National Social Workers
  • 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


Ideally, participants will have attended a general ACT workshop, but this is not mandatory.


Mental health providers, including therapists, counselors, school psychologists, social workers, and clinicians in training who could use this book as an adjunctive to their clinical work.

Recommended Reading

Zurita Ona, P. (2019): The ACT workbook for Teens: Unhook Yourself and Live Life to the Full. JKP Publisher. London, UK.

Zurita Ona, P. (2020): Living beyond OCD using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: a workbook for adults. Routledge. New York, United States.


Craske, M. G., Niles, A. N., Burklund, L. J., Wolitzky-Taylor, K. B., Vilardaga, J. C., Arch, J. J., .Lieberman, M. D. (2014). Randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy for social phobia: Outcomes and moderators. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(6), 1034-1048. doi:10.1037/a0037212

Handley, A. K., Egan, S. J., Kane, R. T., & Rees, C. S. (2015). A randomised controlled trial of group cognitive behavioural therapy for perfectionism. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 68, 37-47. doi:10.1016/j. brat.2015.02.006

Hofmann, S. G., & Hayes, S. C. (2018). The future of intervention science: Process-based therapy. Clinical Psychological Science, 1-14. doi:10.1177/2167702618772296

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.