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ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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Anne Leavens

on 12 April 2016

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Transcript of ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Anne Leavens
March 2014

Other Resources

Copies of worksheets to print
MP3 files
Videos of exercises
Intro chapters to books
Case Conceptualization:
ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
The Happiness Trap
ACT Made Simple
Two Mountains
We are all climbing our own mountain. I can see
your path a little more clearly because I am
on a mountain beside you.
Start by working on your own stuff
Client knows we are all human and can all work toward creating a rich, meaningful life.
Relational Frame Theory
Anne's synopsis (Of decades of research and theorizing...)

The way we learn language and make sense of our world makes us susceptible to getting stuck on thoughts of future and past, sometimes in a way that takes us from our preferred direction in life.
The Hexaflex
Contact with the present moment
Being present
Mindfulness techniques (not necessarily mindfulness meditation)
Mindful breathing;
Mindful eating (ie raisin);
Defusion: Watch your thinking
Detach from thoughts

Open up
Pure Awareness
Values: Know what matters
Committed Action:
Do what it takes
Psychological flexibility:
A six-faceted diamond
Open up
Be present
Do what matters
A thought is just a thought
Is it helpful?
Make room, hold lightly
Good for recurrance of
Growing evidence
base - wide
"Hot" thoughts - good/bad
Is it true?
Change thoughts
Good for depression

The Happiness Trap Russ Harris, Trumpeter Books 2007

ACT Made Simple Russ Harris, New Harbinger 2009

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Second Edition) Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Kelly G. Wilson, Guilford Press 2012




For listening!

For the opportunity to learn more about ACT

And to Mary Bell (Sick Kids, Adolescent Medicine/Substance Abuse Day Treatment) who inspired my interest in the model.
Third wave
CBT second wave
ACT, DBT and MBCT are in the 'third wave.'
Why I like it
Adds depth
Makes sense to me
Promising evidence
"Bold" exercise
"Are you willing to..."
Values clarification worksheets
Goals worksheets
The Matrix
Bull's eye
Flipside of pain = values
What do you stand for?
What do you want to do with your time on the planet?
What really matters in the big picture of your life?

What are the things that never change in me?
"I am the blue sky" Metaphor
Goal is to externalize thoughts
Informed Consent:
There are opportunities for you to try some experiments
Are you willing? (Stance in ACT)
Challenge by choice in OE
History of ACT
1986 Study showed promising results for ACT
Instead of pushing the model directly into use, they looked at why it worked = RFT
Stephen Hayes, Kelly Wilson, Kirk Strosahl
Identified two key underlying problems:
•Cognitive Fusion – we tend to believe our 'thinking' mind (thoughts, emotions, etc.)
•Experiential Avoidance – we tend to avoid experiences which we think will be uncomfortable. (If it hurts when you go like this, don't go like this)
The mind is a problem solving machine - with good reasons from the past - Saber-toothed tiger - needed fast problem solving skills
Creating space between you and your thoughts
Holding things lightly
Using "and" instead of "but"
Two minds:
The thinking mind - thoughts, beliefs, memories, judgments...
The mind that watches our thinking...
Opening Up To Unwanted Inner Experience
thoughts, feelings, sensations, urges or impulses
Observe, Breathe, Expand, Allow
Demons on a boat
Passengers on a bus
Struggle switch
Dealing with thoughts:
(I notice) I’m having the thought that…..
Say it in a silly voice.
Sing it.
Repeat it over and over (for 45 seconds!).
Write the thought on a card.
THANK your mind for the thought (It’s working really hard to do its job).
WHO’S TALKING - you or your mind?
Noticing the STORY. How old is that STORY?
Computer screen – change colour, font, animate it
Is the thought workable; does it take you in the direction of your values; does it help you create a rich, full, meaningful life
Values are not goals
A value - to go west
A goal - to get to Lindsay
Often need to be prioritized
Best held lightly
Freely chosen
80th Birthday party
Open Up

Be Present

Open Up

Do What Matters

Be Present

Open Up

The Fine Print:
1/2 hour ahead
Not an expert
Not offended if you don't buy in.
Questions? Please ask
Opportunity for Anne's beginners guide to RFT
Relational Frame Theory (RFT)
For communication to work...
Sound of the word
Experience of object
We might get stuck because of the context
Some argue you do not need to understand RFT!
Full transcript