Culturally Tailored ACT

Culturally Tailored ACT

Targeting Black Racial Trauma

CE Hours available

Only 8.6 percent of African Americans use mental health services annually. 

And yet, research has shown that Black people in the United States meet the criteria for PTSD more frequently than any other U.S. race or ethnicity. 

Since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Census Bureau data has also shown the rate of depression and anxiety has increased even further among Black Americans. 

So why are Black people unlikely to seek help from mental health professionals? 

Cultural mistrust and the lack of culturally appropriate services are major factors. 

Few evidence-based modalities address the types of trauma that Black people experience.  

So even when they take the risk and step into the therapy room, Black clients often feel unseen in their experience and demoralized by the therapeutic process. 

Because of this, many leave treatment after just one session, remain untreated, and continue to suffer alone. 

This speaks to a deep necessity for a culturally sensitive therapeutic approach that can adapt to the needs of Black clients. 

Practitioners of all backgrounds are looking for effective tools that provide the understanding and confidence they need to work more directly with racial trauma in particular — especially across cultural divides. 

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) has the potential to fulfill these needs for practitioners and make mental health more relevant and effective for African Americans.  

Many evidence-based therapies “medicalize” treatment, pathologizing struggle and prescribing rigid protocols that can feel alienating and pejorative for clients from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. 

ACT, on the other hand, utilizes a non-pathologizing approach that normalizes the experience of suffering and empowers clients to focus on their values — aspects that research shows are appealing to African Americans. 

As a clinician, ACT allows you to observe, understand, and transform the processes that lie at the heart of client struggles, and provides strategies for designing fluid treatments based on the specific challenges your clients face. 

In this way, ACT lends itself to culturally responsive treatment, and allows you to integrate principles of equity and social justice into your daily work. 

About the Course

Dr. Jennifer Shepard Payne spent several years developing a culturally tailored approach to the ACT model called “Pulling Out Of the Fire,” or POOF. 

This model is designed to provide clinicians the tools to address the trauma African Americans face — including racial trauma — directly and effectively. 

In this live online course, Dr. Payne will show you how to incorporate the POOF model into your work with Black clients. You’ll explore the ways systemic racism and inequality affect your clients and learn how to bring this discussion into the therapy room to generate deeper connection and healing. 

And, while the POOF model is designed for work with African American clients, many of the tools you’ll gain from this course can be applied to all clients with marginalized identities. 

Over 4 weekly sessions, you’ll learn how to: 

  • More confidently address the challenges that Black clients bring to therapy — including racial trauma  
  • Make the hexaflex more engaging and relevant by utilizing accessible language and cultural touchstones 
  • Work with collective and community values in addition to personal values 
  • Integrate a cultural humility framework into your practice so you can work directly while honoring clients’ unique experiences 
  • Understand client context better by incorporating the social determinants of health (access to healthcare, access to food, social and community context, etc.) into your work 

It is critically important that the mental health field evolves to better support diverse populations and meet their needs.  

With this culturally tailored approach to the ACT model, you’ll be able to make your work more engaging, relevant, and effective for Black Americans. 

This training is worth 8 CE credit hours if attended live. While we can only provide CE to those who are present – i.e. logged in – for live presentation(s), all Praxis webinars are recorded for later viewing. Registrants may then access these recordings at any time for up to nine months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

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

Session 1 | September 13, 2024, 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. EDT
Pain & Suffering from a Black Lens
Reenvisioning the Hexaflex

Session 2 | September 20, 2024, 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. EDT
“It Is What It Is” – Control and Acceptance
“Freedom To Let Go” – Cognitive Defusion

Session 3 | September 27, 2024, 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. EDT
“In the Here and Now” – Present Moment Awareness
“I am More Than What I Have Been Through” – Self As Context

Session 4 | October 4, 2024, 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. EDT
“Living Life Like It’s Golden” – Values, personal and collective
“Getting It Done” – Committed Action and Workability

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe 2 unique pain/suffering experiences that influence African American trauma.
  2. Explain how intersectionality influences the perception of stigma and the motivation for treatment.
  3. Compare the classic ACT hexaflex to a culturally tailored model.
  4. Describe 2 elements of a culturally tailored look at “acceptance” and “cognitive defusion” that can be applied to work with black clients.
  5. Utilize a model for values and committed action work that helps the black client move forward both personally and collectively.
  6. Address how non-black clinicians can sensitively address the issues that black clients face.

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 8 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 8 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Nursing: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this activity for a maximum of 8 ANCC contact hours.

Physicians: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this live internet activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this course receive 8 clinical continuing education credits.

Drug and Alcohol Counselors:This course has been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 8 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NY Social Workers:Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors:Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists:Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

Some familiarity with ACT is advised, because the goal of this workshop is not to teach classic ACT in detail.
For mental health professionals, beginners through intermediate and on to advanced practitioners.

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Alegría, M., Fortuna, L. R., Lin, J. Y., Norris, F. H., Gao, S., Takeuchi, D. T., Jackson, J. S., Shrout, P. E., & Valentine, A. (2013). Prevalence, risk, and correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder across ethnic and racial minority groups in the United States. Medical care, 51(12), 1114-1123.

Carter, R. T., Mazzula, S., Victoria, R., Vazquez, R., Hall, S., Smith, S., Sant-Barket, S., Forsyth, J., Bazelais, K., & Williams, B. (2013). Initial development of the Race-Based Traumatic Stress Symptom Scale: Assessing the emotional impact of racism. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5(1), 1.

Goldmann, E., Aiello, A., Uddin, M., Delva, J., Koenen, K., Gant, L. M., & Galea, S. (2011). Pervasive exposure to violence and posttraumatic stress disorder in a predominantly African American Urban Community: the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study. Journal of traumatic stress, 24(6), 747-751.

Hacker, T., Stone, P., & MacBeth, A. (2016). Acceptance and commitment therapy–do we know enough? Cumulative and sequential meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Journal of affective disorders, 190, 551-565.

Jones, E., Huey, S. J., & Rubenson, M. (2018). Cultural Competence in Therapy with African Americans. In Cultural Competence in Applied Psychology (pp. 557-573). Springer.

Kalibatseva, Z., & Leong, F. T. (2014). A critical review of culturally sensitive treatments for depression: Recommendations for intervention and research. Psychological Services, 11(4), 433.

Mulvaney‐Day, N. E., Earl, T. R., Diaz‐Linhart, Y., & Alegría, M. (2011). Preferences for relational style with mental health clinicians: A qualitative comparison of African American, Latino and Non‐Latino White patients. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(1), 31-44.

Öst, L.-G. (2014). The efficacy of acceptance and commitment therapy: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Behaviour research and therapy, 61, 105-121.

Roberts, A. L., Gilman, S. E., Breslau, J., Breslau, N., & Koenen, K. C. (2011). Race/ethnic differences in exposure to traumatic events, development of post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment-seeking for post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States. Psychological medicine, 41(1), 71-83.

SAMHSA. (2015). Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Adults. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. S. A. a. M. H. S. Administration.

Swain, J., Hancock, K., Hainsworth, C., & Bowman, J. (2013). Acceptance and commitment therapy in the treatment of anxiety: a systematic review. Clinical psychology review, 33(8), 965-978.

Twohig, M. P., & Levin, M. E. (2017). Acceptance and commitment therapy as a treatment for anxiety and depression: A review. Psychiatric Clinics, 40(4), 751-770.

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.