Learning ACT from the inside out
Authors: Gillanders, D. and Bolderston, H.
Conference: ACBS World Conference IX
Dates: 14-19 June 2016Abstract:
This workshop is suitable for people who have never been to an ACT experiential workshop, as well as for people who have done an introductory workshop and are looking for opportunities to practice and develop their ACT skills.
Day one begins with setting the context for training, including an early introduction to mindful awareness, the importance of experiential learning, participants as active in choosing what they engage in, informed consent about the potential for emotional experience, creating a safe yet gently challenging context for the active psychological work of learning ACT.
Then the six psychological flexibility processes are introduced both conceptually and experientially by guiding participants through exercises, teaching and discussion. Many of the exercises and ways of speaking that you will encounter in the workshop are exactly the tools and techniques that you will be learning to apply in your own client work. Emphasis is made on the distinction between form and function, and the personal values and way of being of the therapist, as these are key underpinnings to the work. There may be a homework task between day one and two.
Background theory and philosophy is only touched on lightly in this training, as this can be gained from books, which the experiential part cannot. You will be given details of useful resources for self study following from the workshop.
In day two we move into case conceptualisation: learning to think about case work from an ACT perspective. We then move into the process of ACT or steps in therapy, beginning with workability analysis (called creative hopelessness). You will get to see demonstrations of how to deliver metaphors, as well as use defusion, acceptance and values based commitment strategies.
In the later stages of day two (depending on progress), participants work in small group role-plays to begin applying ACT to their own client work. This frequently also brings up further opportunities for experiential learning, as participants encounter their own barriers to delivering ACT, their own rules and habits about therapy.
The workshop presenters are experts in applying ACT with people with long term physical health conditions and mental health and personality problems. The material that you bring to work with will be based on your own case work and so the workshop is suitable for a very broad range of professionals working in physical and mental health, as well as other contexts such as social work, coaching, and organizational psychology.