Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, and Emotion Regulation with ACT, ERP, & ERT

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

Do you work with clients who cannot let go of awful intrusive thoughts, images, sensations and feelings? Clients who struggle with OCD, anxiety, or emotion regulation problems, who feel too much, too quickly, and act too soon? Do you want to get better at delivering targeted ACT interventions for them?

Some of the most powerful treatments for clients like these are targeted interventions such as Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Emotion Regulation Training (ERT)—interventions requiring clinical precision to target specific behaviors, specialized behavioral processes, and discrimination of form versus function when working with clients.

These targeted treatments are often left out of classical ACT training, however, and so clinicians are left wondering whether it is appropriate to use them in the context of ACT or, if so, how to implement them in an ACT consistent way. Yet ACT is uniquely suited to be paired with ERP and ERT to address anxiety, OCD, and emotion regulation problems. This course will give you boots-on-the-ground interventions for working with therapeutic challenges such as exposure, choice point, and a roadmap for emotion regulation skills.

In this 6-week online course, you will learn how to develop structured, targeted ERP and ERT treatment models that are ACT consistent. We will focus specifically on how to apply ACT for the treatment of clients with mild to severe OCD, anxiety, and emotion regulation difficulties.

The first three sessions are focused on ERT and will teach you an ACT conceptualization of emotion regulation problems, as well as exploring how to assess for emotion regulation problems and outlining how to apply the 6 core ACT processes to teach to clients how to get off the emotional rollercoaster. A roadmap for practicing ACT skills in their daily life will also be reviewed, along with basic behavioral processes to augment committed action and potential pitfalls in treatment.

The last three sessions are dedicated to using ERP in an ACT consistent way. This includes: how to assess for OCD and other anxiety problems from this standpoint, how to develop exposure menus, and how to facilitate exposure sessions (situational, in-vivo, interoceptive, and imaginal). In addition, the application of the choice point as a tool for the treatment of pediatric OCD will be presented in detail, so you’ll be ready to use it with your clients right away.

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


Session 1 | May 1, 2019, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
  • Basics of emotion regulation.
  • ACT formulation of ER Current status of E.R. within ACT.
  • A roadmap for ER Functional assessment of ER.
Session 2 | May 8, 2019, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
  • Learning to select a heroic role model and establishing heroic core values
  • Create a treatment plan using Superhero Therapy
Session 3 | May 15, 2019, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
  • Core skills: checking values, choosing a behavior: using inner or outer skills.
Session 4 | May 22, 2019, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
  • ACT-Exposure & inhibitory learning model.
  • Similarities and differences (SUDS or no SUDS; hierarchies versus menus).
  • Functional assessment & ACT formulation of OCD & anxiety.
Session 5 | May 29, 2019, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
  • ACT process-based exposure: in-vivo, situation, interoceptive & imaginal.
Session 6 | June 5, 2019, 1 PM—3 PM EDT
  • Exposures for Pediatric OCD and the choice point.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Conceptualize and assess “functionally “emotion regulation problems within an ACT frame.
  2. Apply specific 6 core ACT processes when working with clients struggling with emotion regulation problems.
  3. Demonstrate how to connect 6 ACT core processes in a roadmap for emotion regulation.
  4. Describe the similarities and differences between traditional behavioral exposure (inhibitory learning model) and ACT-based exposure.
  5. Assess “functional” OCD and anxiety problems.
  6. Deliver ACT-consistent exposures for clients struggling with OCD and anxiety disorder.
  7. Discriminate function versus form when working with clients with unique clinical presentations such as OCD, anxiety, and emotion regulation.
  8. Discuss targeted ACT processes for exPosure and emotion regulation in relationship to the hexaflex.

Continuing Education




This is training is ideal for mental health professionals with an intermediate knowledge of ACT, including psychologists, social workers, school psychologists, marriage and family therapists, educational consultants, and students in training.

Recommended Reading

Zurita Ona, P. (2018). Escaping the emotional roller-coaster: ACT for the emotionally sensitive. Exisle Publishing.

Twohig, M., Wood, W. (2008). Trichotillomania: An ACT-enhanced Behavior Therapy Approach Workbook (Treatments That Work)

Luoma, Jason B., Hayes, Steven C., Walser, Robyn D. (2017) Learning ACT: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Training Manual for Therapists, Second Edition. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger


Derrick, J. E., Gabriel, S., & Hugenberg, K. (2009). Social surrogacy: How favored television programs provide the experience of belonging. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, 352–362

Garbarino, J. (1987). Children’s response to a sexual abuse prevention program: A study of the Spiderman comic. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11(1), 143-148.

Vezzali, L., Stathi, S., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Trifiletti, E. (2015). The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 105-121.

White, R. E., Prager, E. O., Schaefer, C., Kross, E., Duckworth, A. L., & Carlson, S. M. (2017). The “Batman Effect”: Improving perseverance in young children. Child development, 88(5), 1563-1571.

Young, A. F., Gabriel, S., & Hollar, J. L. (2013). Batman to the rescue! The protective effects of parasocial relationships with muscular superheroes on men’s body image. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(1), 173-177.

This training is worth 12 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 six months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

Technical Requirements
This is an online learning event. Access to a computer and high-speed internet is required. Refer to our FAQ page for further information on technical requirements for this training.

Refer to our FAQ page for our disclosure information.

All prices listed in US dollars and times in US Eastern time.

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.