Category: Treatment - ACT


Workshop 11 - Developing and Deepening Your Experiential Practice in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Saturday, November 18
11:15 AM - 2:15 PM
Location: Indigo 204, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) | Mindfulness | Treatment Development
Presentation Type: Workshop
Level of Familiarity: All

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a “third wave” behavioral therapy that focuses on increasing psychological flexibility in the service of greater engagement in valued living. ACT has become increasingly popular with mounting evidence for its efficacy in the treatment of a wide variety of psychological difficulties. ACT suggests that psychological inflexibility is at the core of human suffering, and that inflexibility arises through entanglement with verbal rules and language. With language at the core of suffering, the question arises as to how we can facilitate movement toward psychological flexibility when the foundation of psychotherapy is verbal dialogue. ACT attempts to circumvent the problems inherent in literal language by shifting away from traditional didactics and discussion, and moving toward a more experiential encounter through the use of metaphors and experiential exercises. This workshop will include instruction about how metaphors and exercises can enhance experiential learning and psychological flexibility in ACT. We will present traditional, ‘tried and true’ practices, as well as several newly developed metaphors and exercises. We will connect Relational Frame Theory to the use and creation of experiential content. In addition, we will teach attendees to develop their own ACT-consistent metaphors and exercises that can be tailored to specific client needs, especially anxiety and mood disorders. Finally, we will discuss common pitfalls and cautions, such as the overuse of metaphors and exercises, and the presence of avoidance in the context of experiential practice. This workshop will be appropriate for practitioners at all levels, though some ACT knowledge is recommended.

Earn 3 continuing education credits

Learning Objectives:

Recommended Reading: Hayes, S.C., Strosahl, K.D., & Wilson, K.G. (2011). Acceptance and commitment therapy: The process and practice of mindful change (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.
Harris, R. (2009). ACT made simple: An easy-to-read primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Stoddard, J.A. & Afari, N. (2014). The big book of ACT metaphors: A clinician's guide to experiential exercises and metaphors in acceptance and commitment therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Jill Stoddard

Associate Professor
Alliant International University


Send Email for Jill Stoddard

Kelsey Schraufnagel

Director of Psychosocial Services
Gateway Psychiatric Institute


Send Email for Kelsey Schraufnagel


Workshop 11 - Developing and Deepening Your Experiential Practice in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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