An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Matthew Boone, LCSW Peer-reviewed ACT trainer and author

About This Course

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness- and acceptance-based model of behavior change. ACT assumes that pain—both physical and emotional—is a normal part of living. What gets us stuck is how we respond to that pain. Do we embrace it as a welcome part of our experience or do we struggle with it, expending needless effort to make it go away when doing so only makes it persist? Instead of trying to make pain go away, ACT helps both clients and practitioners increase their psychological flexibility, or the ability to mindfully encounter thoughts and feelings without needless struggle (i.e., acceptance) and act effectively in the service of what matters (i.e. commitment). This online course provides an intellectual and experiential introduction to ACT for mental health professionals using ACT. This course is perfect for those who need a refresher on the main principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or want to start from the ground up. This distance learning course contains approximately 8 hours of learning.


Unit 1: Introduction (30 minutes)
Unit 2: The Ubiquity of Human Suffering and the Limits of Control (25 minutes)
Unit 3: Psychological Flexibility (25 minutes)
Unit 4: Contact with the Present Moment and Acceptance (25 minutes)
Unit 5: Acceptance (45 minutes)
Unit 6: Defusion (60 minutes)
Unit 7: Values (15 minutes)
Unit 8: Self as Context (25 minutes)
Unit 9: Committed Action (15 minutes)
Unit 10: The Therapeutic Relationship (30 minutes)
Unit 11: Assessing Psychological Flexibility (40 minutes)
Unit 12: ACT in Action: Bringing It All Together (60 minutes)
Unit 13: Getting Experiential (40 minutes)
Unit 14: ACT as a Brief Intervention (45 minutes)

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Describe the limits of control and assess how ineffective control strategies contribute to psychopathology and general human suffering.
  2. Describe the psychological flexibility model that informs acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
  3. Describe how to enlist acceptance and mindfulness processes to help clients let go struggling and be more willing with painful private events (i.e., thoughts and feelings).
  4. Discuss defusion and values processes to help clients undermine the power of language to influence behavior and move in the direction personally values.
  5. Describe how to help clients contact a transcendent sense of self and choose effective action tied to values.
  6. Describe how to bring psychological flexibility to bear in their interactions with clients.
  7. Assess psychological inflexibility across six domains: experiential avoidance, fusion, inflexible attention, attachment to the conceptualized self, disconnection from values, and lack of action directed toward values.
  8. Discuss how to intervene using experiential methods to mobilize the six processes of psychological flexibility (acceptance, diffusion, contact with the present moment, self as context, values, committed action) in their interactions with clients.
  9. Discuss ACT as a brief intervention.

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 8 CE Hours by the following:

  • 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
  • NASW- This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886825109-8486) for 8 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.


Participants should have a Masters degree in a behavioral health or related field or be enrolled in a graduate program in a behavioral health or related field.


For mental health and health professionals, beginners to advanced

Recommended Reading

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

Luoma, J., Hayes, S. C., & Walser, R. (2017). Learning ACT: An acceptance and commitment therapy skills training manual for therapists (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Wilson, K. G., & DuFrene, T. (2008). Mindfulness for two: An acceptance and commitment therapy approach to mindfulness in psychotherapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.


A-Tjak, J. G. L., Davis, M. L., Morina, N., Powers, M. B., Smits, J. A. J., & Emmelkamp, P. M. G. (2015). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of acceptance and commitment therapy for clinically relevant mental and physical health problems. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 84, 30–36.

Eustis, E. H., Hayes-Skelton, S. A., Orsillo, S. M., & Roemer, L. (2018). Surviving and thriving during stress: A randomized clinical trial comparing a brief web-based therapist assisted acceptance-based behavioral intervention versus waitlist control for college students. Behavior Therapy.

Twohig, M. P., Abramowitz, J. S., Smith, B. M., Fabricant, L. E., Jacoby, R. J., Morrison, K. L., Bluett, E. J., Reuman, L., Blakey, S. M., & Lederman, T. (2018). Adding acceptance and commitment therapy to exposure and response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy.

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.