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Working With Self and Identity in ACT

Strengthen Your ACT Toolkit With a Heartfelt and
Practical Approach by Dr. Kelly G. Wilson

Inside the course, you’ll learn:

  • How to encourage a more flexible sense of self — even without instructing self-as-context
  • How to recognize opportunities for self work in all the ACT processes
  • A sensitive, compassionate approach for both client and therapist
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Take Your Self Work to the Next Level With:

  • 6 core modules with 10 hours of high-quality video
  • Real-play video demonstrations
  • Experiential exercises
  • Bonus materials
  • Lifetime access

12 CEs Available For:

  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Substance Abuse Counselors
  • Behavior Analysts

See full details below

Enroll Now

Details Price Qty
Lifetime Accessshow details + $449.00 (USD)  

A Letter From
Dr. Kelly G. Wilson

Helping Our Clients Discover a More Flexible Self

There’s nothing like helping a client live with a sense of freedom and agency.

To see them break free from the bondage of thoughts of shame and worthlessness and pursue a new path they had not dared dream about …

To see them discover an aspect of themselves they could not have imagined after wondering “who am I?” for so long …

Or to see them pursue their own values rather than living according to others’ expectations.

As practitioners of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), we know that processes of self are a key part of ACT work and helping clients build meaningful lives.

When we can help a client loosen their grip on a narrow sense of self that is holding them back, the stage has been set for real and lasting change.

You hear the pace of their story slow. You see possibility in their eyes.

One small step at a time, they broaden their view of who they get to be in the world …

Until one day they are leading a life that is richer than anything they could have imagined.

Most ACT clinicians have experienced moments like these with their clients.

But often, they encounter clients who are strongly fused with self images such as “I’m worthless,” “I’m unlovable,” or “I’m an addict,” and just can’t seem to change — even if they desperately want to.

If you’ve ever had clients get stuck on a narrow sense of identity in this way, rest assured, you’re not alone.

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Getting Stuck on Self and Identity

When clinicians have tried everything, but fail to see any movement in their client’s sense of self, they can feel at a loss.

In those moments of feeling stuck with issues of self, a client may return again and again to the same well-worn stories.

Or they may acknowledge that they want to be different but repeatedly fail to make changes in their lives.

And as clinicians look for a solution, they may find that:

  • Their client isn’t connecting with the concept of self-as-context
  • They worry that addressing fusion with self-stories or certain identities directly might invalidate the client’s experience or appear insensitive
  • Helping a client arrive at a “transcendent” moment with the observer self proves elusive
  • They feel helpless when they’ve run out of defusion exercises and their client remains fused with narratives about who they are

As ACT clinicians, we’ve all encountered these challenges with the self processes.

When you’ve run out of exercises and metaphors but your client remains fused with self images such as worthlessness or shame, you may be tempted to give up on self work and pivot to another process.

You might even think about referring the client to someone else.

And you may wonder, “Is there more I can do?”

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Moving From Constraint to Flexibility

The answer to “Is there more we can do?” is “yes” when we view self through a behavioral lens.

The behavioral understanding of self suggests that self is not a noun, but a verb — an ongoing, evolving stream of behaviors that we can call “selfing.”

Given this understanding of self, how do we help our clients shed their constraints and move in the world with more freedom and agency?

One important way is to encourage broader, more flexible selfing behavior through self-as-context exercises and metaphors.

However, it is not necessary for a client to understand self-as-context conceptually or have an “ah-ha” moment of enlightenment.

In fact:

Freedom and agency can be unlocked just by helping clients access a richer array of ways to respond to their life

To do that, we first have to disrupt the narrow, fused behaviors that often run on autopilot — by slowing down, employing perspective taking, and getting into the details.

As we do so, the fused sense of identity begins to lose its dominance.

With this goal of more flexible selfing behavior in mind, progress looks like small but intensely meaningful actions your client can take that are outside their previously narrowed sense of self.

They sign up for that support group …

They search for that new job …

They reach out to that long-lost friend.

With each small step their sense of agency grows, and they take on roles they never thought possible.

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Principles for Powerful Self Work

The constrained selfing behavior that we encounter with our clients can take many forms.

But there are principles that we can use to help us navigate self work more effectively, regardless of the form that behavior takes:

Find the surprising opportunity inside fusion

Find the surprising opportunity inside fusion

1. Focus on Function

There are reasons why fusion with regard to self develops.

Understanding those reasons can be important for helping us proceed as effectively as possible with our clients.

Perhaps the function of the behavior is to protect a feeling of vulnerability.

That’s an important clue, because where there’s vulnerability, there’s a value.

The fusion may have other functions as well. Understanding the function of the fusion is important for a few reasons:

It tells us where we might focus to generate variability in selfing behaviors.

And, it alerts us to proceed with tenderness and respect. After all, this behavior showed up for important reasons. Tugging at it can be frustrating, disorienting, or even terrifying for the client.

So when every conversation with your client comes back to the same aspect of themselves, and you hear “I have to,” “I should,” or “I must,” and you can hear the constraint in their voice, that is the place to focus.

Because inside that fusion lies a surprising opportunity to help our clients develop a broader, freer sense of self.

2. Bring Unrelenting Benevolent Curiosity

When a client is strongly fused with a narrow self-story, you can sense a kind of constraint in the life they get to lead.

It’s as if they cannot even fathom that more is possible for them.

And even if they acknowledge that they would want something more, in a world where more was available, they may lack the flexibility to change.

In those times, if you are curious and peer into the well of what’s possible for your client, you can help them begin to see that there might be more to them than they know.

You don’t need to believe something more is there — you just need to assume something is there…

Something on the other side of their troubles that is extraordinarily valuable.

Your sincere longing to know what is valuable to your client means something to them, and it means something about them.

And if you persist long enough in peering into that well, your client will start to look, too.

As they do, whole new ways of moving and living in the world can emerge for them.

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Assume more is possible for your clients

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Create an environment for variability

3. Focus on Flexibility

Our focus when approaching fusion with stories about self is to help our clients develop broader, more flexible selfing behaviors rather than helping them find their “true self.”

Attempting to explain self-as-context conceptually or trying to facilitate a transcendent experience with the “observer self” is not the only way to achieve this.

And indeed, in cases of fusion with a certain identity, trying to loosen the grip of that identity too directly can backfire, leading clients to double down on their story or feel a sense of invalidation.

It can be more effective to create an environment where new behaviors can emerge organically rather than to try to direct the desired behavior.

And, as they do, clients may even be more likely to get a glimpse of self-as-context in the process.

This gradual approach to a broader, more flexible self will also support the persistent practice that clients will need to create lasting change in their ability to move in the world with freedom and agency.

4. Bring the “Self Lens”

All of the ACT processes are interdependent. When you work on one, you are working on all the others.

When you adopt a self lens in your work with other processes, you’ll find that many opportunities for self work will present themselves.

When you work on acceptance by lingering in the details of loss and longing, you’re doing self work.

When you’re doing present moment work at the beginning of a session and invite the client to notice the ongoing flow of their experience, you’re doing self work.

Also, there is a tendency for the fused sense of self to demand our attention when it presents itself in the therapy room.

It says, “deal with me first, before doing anything else.”

If we fall into this trap, we can miss opportunities to be flexible ourselves and do more effective work.

As an example, values and committed action can be a powerful way in when helping a client engage in broader, more flexible selfing behavior.

Learning to recognize opportunities to address self in all the other ACT processes can take your self work to the next level.

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Look for self work across the hexaflex

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Hold yourself as an open question

5. Maintain a “Context of Discovery”

As clinicians, our own sense of self can affect the work in the room.

When you encounter a client who is strongly fused with a narrowed sense of self and no matter what you do they keep going back to that, how does that feel for you as the therapist?

In that moment, you may feel some discomfort and an urgency to respond. To problem-solve. To pull out another worksheet.

But what if instead, you ask your client, “In a world where you could lay that burden down, who might you be?”

This is not a question to be answered so much as inhabited.

Sitting in a state of wonder about your own life is not something people commonly do. But it can help cultivate a necessary appreciation for not knowing.

Because when you want something new, there will be oceans of not knowing.

Clinicians can practice this appreciation in sessions along with their clients, putting themselves in the same waters.

By holding yourself as an open question in this way, you have more options and more freedom in how you respond to each moment.

With this posture of curiosity and openness, we can help our clients to wonder what possibilities might lie just beyond the horizon.

By bringing these principles into our self work, we will be equipped to help our clients develop a broad, flexible sense of self and identity.

One that allows them to join that exercise class, take up that new hobby, or start that new relationship when they didn’t think it was possible.

And these are principles that all practitioners can learn.

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Expanding Your Impact With Self and Identity

Self processes are inherent in all the work we do in ACT.

Even so, ACT practitioners tend to have more uncertainty regarding the self processes than the other core ACT processes.

There are struggles around fusion with negative content such as “I’ll always be depressed” or “I’m an anxious person" …

There are struggles around lapsing into conceptual explanations of self-as-context …

And there are feelings of helplessness when a clinician can’t help a client find their true self.

That’s why I created my new course about working with self and identity.

My goal is to help clinicians sidestep all the technical theoretical debates and provide a practical and actionable approach to working with self and identity.

Inside, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the self process from a behavioral perspective.

Then you’ll learn how to help your clients develop a broader, more flexible sense of self in a way that is sensitive and compassionate.

Given the considerable challenges we face with our clients’ sense of self, I want to give you all the insights I can to help you in this important work.

So you can avoid the pitfalls, know what to do when your client is stuck, and understand how your own sense of self can enhance the therapeutic relationship.

And, ultimately, to know that your client’s sense of self is to be found by helping them live and move in the world with freedom and agency.

I hope you’ll join me inside and explore how you can elevate your work with self and identity.

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About the Trainer

Dr. Kelly G. Wilson is a co-founder of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), author, trainer, and expert in applying behavioral principles to understandings of the therapeutic relationship, present moment work, values, purpose, and meaning in life.

In addition to leading ACT workshops all over the world, Dr. Wilson has served as Professor of Psychology at the University of Mississippi and as Founding President and Fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He has also published over 100 articles and chapters as well as 11 books on ACT, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change, The Wisdom to Know the Difference: An ACT Workbook for Overcoming Substance Abuse, Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety, and Mindfulness for Two: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Mindfulness in Psychotherapy.

About the Trainer

Dr. Kelly G. Wilson is a co-founder of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), author, trainer, and expert in applying behavioral principles to understandings of the therapeutic relationship, present moment work, values, purpose, and meaning in life.

In addition to leading ACT workshops all over the world, Dr. Wilson has served as Professor of Psychology at the University of Mississippi and as Founding President and Fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He has also published over 100 articles and chapters as well as 11 books on ACT, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change, The Wisdom to Know the Difference: An ACT Workbook for Overcoming Substance Abuse, Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety, and Mindfulness for Two: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Mindfulness in Psychotherapy.

Introducing …

Working With Self and Identity in ACT

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Working With Self and Identity in ACT is an on-demand course taught by Dr. Kelly G. Wilson, a co-founder of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and expert in helping others build lives of profound meaning.

Inside the course, Dr. Wilson will take you on an exploration of self and identity with his uniquely heartfelt approach. The principles you’ll learn will help you:

  • Broaden your clients’ sense of self without getting stuck on self-as-context
  • Approach self in a sensitive and compassionate way
  • Use self-compassion to support your clients’ growth in self and identity
  • Utilize the entire hexaflex to help clients build flexibility around sense of self
  • Understand how your own patterns affect the therapeutic relationship

After completing the material, you’ll have a practical understanding of the self process in ACT and an actionable approach to working with self and identity in the therapy room.

You’ll know how to avoid roadblocks and recognize opportunities for self work that involve the entire ACT hexaflex.

And you’ll be prepared to confidently help your clients build a more flexible sense of self that has more freedom and agency.

Let’s take a closer look at how Working With Self and Identity in ACT will help you strengthen your therapy toolkit.

Course Format

The course includes a collection of powerful resources to help you confidently navigate issues of self and identity:

Filmed video instruction and demonstrations

  • 6 core modules released over 6 weeks for convenient self-paced study
  • 10 hours of high-quality on-demand videos
  • Filmed remotely with high-quality audio and video equipment

Written materials
(downloadable)

  • Exercise scripts you can use with clients and to record your own audio exercises
  • The Self and Mindfulness book chapter PDF co-authored by Dr. Wilson

Audio
(downloadable)

  • Experiential exercises
  • Self Processes Conversation between Dr. Kelly G. Wilson and Dr. Steven C. Hayes, co-founders of ACT

In addition, the course format features:

  • A best-in-class, easy-to-use interface — access all course materials quickly
  • Lifetime access to all materials — learn at a time and pace that works for you and review course materials whenever you like
  • Course content and materials, including quizzes, in English
  • Video subtitle options in English and Spanish
  • Quizzes conducted at the end of each module that will cumulatively serve as the CE-required post-test

You’ll see Dr. Wilson demonstrate self work in unscripted therapy-style conversations — so you can see the concepts applied in context.

Throughout the course, Dr. Wilson brings his genuine, compassionate approach to teaching how to effectively work with self and identity.

With a thorough understanding of self, you’ll be able to more effectively help your clients toward better long-term outcomes.

As you work through the course material, you’ll develop a deep understanding of self and identity and how to approach self processes in your work, which will allow you to …

  • Cut through fusion and avoidance by utilizing a set of simple principles and avoid the invalidation that can result from going after the logic of self-stories
  • Approach self issues with a clearer understanding of what is going on beneath the surface and open up flexibility without needing clients to grasp self-as-context
  • Recognize more links to the self process in therapeutic conversations, as well as opportunities to weave self work into the other ACT processes
  • Open up possibilities for behavioral variability and infuse clients’ lives with more choice by exploring and disrupting well-worn patterns
  • Understand your own selfing behavior, especially in therapeutic interactions, and how to leverage vulnerability to facilitate more openness and connection

Sample a Video Lesson

The instruction in this course was filmed remotely using state-of-the-art recording equipment. This allowed us to produce a training experience of the highest quality, which you can sample in the excerpt below.

In this video from the course, Dr. Wilson discusses how a strong attachment to identity functions and how to erode the illusion of simplicity around fused self-stories such as “the world would be better off without me” or “I don’t know who I am.”

Curriculum

Module 1: What is the Self?

  • Establish a behavioral understanding of self and define the goal of working with self processes when using ACT
  • Learn how a sense of self forms in relation to our social world
  • Discuss the process through which humans derive meaning about ourselves based on our experiences
  • Explore the roles that self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context play in self work
  • Discuss the close connection between self and the other core processes of change in the ACT model
  • Engage in an experiential exercise to help you put yourself in your clients’ shoes

Module 2: Expanding the Landscape

  • Discuss the close relationship between assessment and treatment in ACT, and how you can help broaden a client’s sense of self while also engaging in an ongoing functional analysis of their flexibility
  • Gain a more in-depth understanding of self-stories and how fusion with self-as-content functions for clients, even when the narratives are negative or sound like “I don’t know who I am”
  • Learn a set of operating principles for eroding fusion with self-as-content and helping clients expand their sense of who they are and who they can be
  • Participate in a meditative experiential exercise (which you can also use with clients) that invites you to engage personally with these operating principles

Module 3: Generating Variability

  • Explore the way narrow patterns of selfing function and how they are reinforced by our social environments
  • Learn a behavioral approach to disrupting well-worn patterns and making a broader range of selfing behaviors possible
  • Discuss the importance of staying in a context of discovery during self work — and how to encourage clients to sit with the unknown in the process of finding a new direction
  • Discuss how to engage values and committed action as fuel for flexible selfing
  • Complete two experiential exercises to help you engage with the concepts from this module

Module 4: Self-Compassion

  • How to approach self-compassion in work with clients, and why the experience of self-compassion is more important than the concept
  • Participate in a meditative experiential exercise designed to foster an experience of self-compassion (which you can also use with clients)
  • Hear Dr. Wilson deconstruct the exercise and explain the elements within it that are likely to create space for self-compassion
  • Discuss the stance you should take when a client doesn’t respond as expected to a self-compassion exercise
  • See concepts demonstrated in a therapy-style conversation between Dr. Wilson and a participant named Christine, and hear Dr. Wilson debrief the conversation

Module 5: The Therapist’s Self

  • Examine the way clinicians’ sense of self and selfing patterns show up in the therapy room
  • Discuss the posture therapists can take to create a more curious and open environment for clients
  • Discuss how to navigate cultural sensitivities — an important question when dealing with matters of identity — and especially what clinicians can do if they accidentally cross a line
  • Watch Dr. Wilson’s unscripted conversation with a therapist named Amy, in which they explore her sense of self at work and how it relates to her selfing in other aspects of life, and hear Dr. Wilson debrief the conversation

Module 6: The Social Self

  • Further explore the intimate connection between sense of self and the social world
  • Discuss the function of shame-based identities and how to work with clients who have especially difficult histories
  • Watch Dr. Wilson’s unscripted, therapy-style conversation with a real play volunteer, and hear Dr. Wilson’s commentary on the processes at play
  • Participate in a meditative exercise that reveals the profound opportunity for social connection that exists inside a willingness to be vulnerable

Supplemental Materials

In addition to the 6 core modules, this course also includes four supplementary learning materials to help support you in your journey.

Bonus #1: A Self Processes Conversation with Dr. Steven C. Hayes

In this conversation, you’ll hear two co-founders of ACT, Dr. Kelly G. Wilson and Dr. Steven C. Hayes, discuss the self processes and self work. You’ll get unique insights from two preeminent experts in building psychological flexibility using the ACT model. Course members will benefit from their perspectives on what is often considered one of the more challenging processes within the ACT model. Downloadable audio of the conversation will be included in the course materials for easy reference and review.

Bonus #1: A Self Processes Conversation with Dr. Steven C. Hayes

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ACT Co-founders discuss the self processes

Bonus #2: Self and Mindfulness PDF Book Chapter

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The Self and Mindfulness: reinforces modules 1 and 2

Bonus #2: Self and Mindfulness PDF Book Chapter

In this chapter from The Self and Mindfulness, co-authored by Dr. Wilson, you will find an exceptionally clear explanation of what self is and how it forms from a behavioral, ACT perspective. You will also learn about the interplay between self processes and the other core processes of change in the ACT model, such as defusion, present moment, and acceptance. This material will support and reinforce the content of modules one and two in the course. A downloadable PDF of the book chapter will be available in the course members’ area.

(Note: This section is not required for CE purposes)

Bonus #3: Values Course “Real Play” Debriefed from a Self Perspective

This is an additional unscripted, therapy-style conversation that was first filmed for and included in Dr. Wilson’s course Exploring Values in ACT. In addition to the real play, you’ll get two audio debriefings of the conversation from Dr. Wilson: one done through a values lens, and another done through a self lens. Since the self processes are especially notable in this conversation, it helps to demonstrate the clear connection and rich interplay between self work and values that can otherwise feel abstract. These debriefings give members another chance to see principles from the course in action and will be accessible in the members’ area of Module 3.

(Note: This section is not required for CE purposes)

Bonus #3: Values Course “Real Play” Debriefed from a Self Perspective

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A real play debriefed from a self lens and a values lens

Bonus #4: Private Facebook Group for Course Members

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Join our private members’ group

Bonus #4: Private Facebook Group for Course Members

At in-person trainings, the built-in sense of support and community with your fellow attendees can notably enhance the learning experience.

To help recreate that environment inside this course, we’ve created a private Facebook Group for course participants. This is a space where you can share thoughts and resources, network, and participate in an ongoing discussion about how the self processes can shape your work and change your clients’ lives.

(Note: Participation in the Facebook Group is entirely optional and not required for course completion.)

CEs

Upon completion of the core course content and required supplemental materials, plus evaluations and post-test as required, participants will also be eligible for 12 CE hours approved for the following professionals:

Psychologists
Counselors
Social Workers
Substance Abuse Counselors
Behavior Analysts

Prior to registering, please review complete CE information by clicking here: CE Details

Enroll in Working With Self and Identity in ACT

When you enroll in the course, you get lifetime access to all course materials.

What’s included:

  • 6 core modules
  • 10 hours of video and audio instruction, including teletherapy-style conversations and debriefs
  • Experiential audio and written exercises you can also use with clients
  • Written course materials
  • Video subtitle options in English and Spanish
  • Lifetime access to all course content
  • Bonus #1: A Self Processes Conversation with Dr. Steven C. Hayes
  • Bonus #2: Self and Mindfulness PDF Book Chapter
  • Bonus #3: Values Course “Real Play” Debriefed from a Self Perspective
  • Bonus #4: Private Facebook Group for Course Members

To join, click the button below:

Details Price Qty
Lifetime Accessshow details + $449.00 (USD)  

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14-Day Money-Back Guarantee

In order to make course enrollment risk-free, all enrollees will be fully covered by a 14-day refund policy:

If you decide for any reason the course isn’t right for you, email our support team at courses@praxiscet.com within 14 days of enrolling, and we will be happy to refund your entire course fee, unconditionally.

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What Course Members are Saying

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“This is my first class with Acceptance Commitment Therapy. I wanted to take this course to explore different notions of self. I very much appreciate the ACT conceptualization of 'Selfing' or 'Self as Process'. I agree that this allows us to relax the hold of our narrative and that it facilitates cognitive flexibility and resilience. I also think that this figures centrally in how we experience compassion/self-compassion.”
Melinda S., LMFT

“This is the best online training in ACT I’ve had. It has inspired a greater sense of possibility in my work and helped by seeing the connections between ACT and other approaches to therapy that I value (e.g. MI and IFS). I feel such respect for Kelly's articulate and humble way of sharing what he’s learned.”
John B., PhD

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“This course is suitable for someone who has a basic understanding of ACT. I was able to use something from each lesson to apply to my work as an equine-assisted life coach. Selfing and self compassion lend themselves effectively to equine-assisted work due to their experiential nature and the client being able to reflect self in their interactions with their horse partner. Being able to work this course at my own pace and with lifetime access is extremely helpful in allowing oneself to truly learn the material. Dr. Wilson’s sessions and debriefings were invaluable as an aid to understanding the material as well. Wonderful course!”
Elisa S., LMSW

This course is excellent for anyone who wants to go beyond basic ACT techniques and wants to connect with the client's lived experience more effectively. Kelly taught me how to let go of trying to "solve" the client, by modeling the importance of slowing down, in order to observe and allow the client's selfing process to occur in the session. This therapeutic stance brought forth more client vulnerability and value-based change.
Matthew S., MSW, LCSW

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I think this is a phenomenal course. It was exactly the kind of Praxis course that I was looking for. I have enjoyed Kelly diving deep into the process, going meta, and then bringing it back to me as a therapist. It has been intimate and profound. He contextualized the process for us. In particular, I was moved by how vulnerable he is in this process. He opened himself up to the moment and showed us how to be with his clients, himself, and us, the viewers. Wow. Just wow. I would take more courses like this. Thank you, Dr. Wilson. ACT has been and is the lens through which I view the world and relate to those around me, and I am always looking for ways to improve, be better, and be more effective. This course did all that. This was very special for me. Thanks again.
Greg M., BCBA

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Questions and Answers

This course does not provide an introduction to the ACT model or theory, so you will need to have a solid understanding of its principles before joining. If you already use ACT in your work (even if not exclusively), it’s likely the level of the course will be a good fit for you.

If you do not already have this background and want to build a solid foundation, you can learn the basics in an introductory training like ACT Basics, or take a deeper dive into the model with ACT Immersion, and then start this course when you’re ready.

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Who Should Consider
This Course?

Working With Self and Identity in ACT will be a good fit for you if …

  • Your work is dedicated to empowering people to have more agency and pursue meaning in their lives
  • You have some experience using acceptance and commitment therapy but want to strengthen your effectiveness with the self processes and your overall work with ACT
  • You want to confidently address or avoid obstacles that you encounter with self and identity work
  • You want a deeper sense of how to help clients cultivate self-compassion
  • You want to understand your own self processes and how they can improve your work and your life

If the points above resonate with you, this course will be helpful to you.

Enroll in Working With Self and Identity in ACT

When you enroll in the course, you get lifetime access to all course materials.

What’s included:

  • 6 core modules
  • 10 hours of video and audio instruction, including teletherapy-style conversations and debriefs
  • Experiential audio and written exercises you can also use with clients
  • Written course materials
  • Video subtitle options in English and Spanish
  • Lifetime access to all course content
  • Bonus #1: A Self Processes Conversation with Dr. Steven C. Hayes
  • Bonus #2: Self and Mindfulness PDF Book Chapter
  • Bonus #3: Values Course “Real Play” Debriefed from a Self Perspective
  • Bonus #4: Private Facebook Group for Course Members

To join, click the button below:

Details Price Qty
Lifetime Accessshow details + $449.00 (USD)  

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32_Kelly Wilson
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Closing Thoughts from Dr. Wilson

People suffer.

And that suffering can often result in a strong attachment to stories about who we are and what we get to do in the world.

These stories can become so strong that they are like a fortress that we live inside.

That can be useful — but it can also become a problem.

If you live inside the walls of that fortress long enough, you forget what the world outside is like.

In a certain sense, you stop knowing yourself.

I can recall a difficult time in my own history when I was so attached to my identity with addiction, that I could not fathom any other way of being.

To suggest otherwise was almost an affront.

I remember thinking, “Of course, I would want to be different if I could! But that’s just not who I am.”

When a client doubles down on “this is what I must be” or comes back to “I don’t know” again and again, it’s protective.

The stories are functional — if they stick to that story long enough, most clinicians will give up and move on to something else.

In those moments, I like to think of helping clients with self and identity as more like creating a painting or writing a poem than mining for some buried object.

In the environment we create in therapy, we can help them reveal long concealed and unexpressed aspects of themselves — or even aspects that never had a chance to grow in the first place.

So when a client falls back to that same well-worn story again and again and you want to lean back, that’s when I lean in.

I lean way in.

I hope you’ll lean in with me as we explore how you can inspire your clients to discover, expand, and express who they want to be in the world.

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