Telephone 01332 343000

Introduction to ACT for long-term conditions

Thursday 14th - Friday 15th May 2015 at Holborn Bars, London

Workshop Overview
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern cognitive behavioural approach to living with a very wide variety of different problems. There are now over 100 RCT’s demonstrating its effectiveness across a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, including chronic pain, depression, psychosis, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and epilepsy to name a few. Instead of attempting to eliminate difficult symptoms, emotions and cognitions, ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness techniques, combined with behavioural change techniques, to help people to live meaningful and valued lives, even with disabling conditions, difficult thoughts and emotions. This workshop is highly practical and experiential. Participants will be invited to learn the model both conceptually and experientially, from the inside. The training will comprise of lecture, discussion, video, and experiential exercises, as well as role-play of the beginnings of this form of treatment. Day 1 will focus on learning the model, both conceptually and experientially, day 2 will focus on applying the model in treatment.

A workshop such as this will appeal to a broad range of applied psychologists, working in diverse settings. Health psychologists, clinical psychologists, forensic, occupational and educational psychologists all frequently use behavioural and cognitive principles in their work. This workshop will help to inform them of a new energy in the cognitive and behavioural therapies, that results in the application of the precision and clarity of behavioural theory to a much broader range of human phenomenon, such as thinking, self-compassion, mindfulness, and sense of self.

Outline of the 2 day workshop
Day 1: Is primarily about learning the ACT model conceptually and experientially. ACT is comprised of 6 overlapping and interdependent processes that lead to either psychological flexibility or inflexibility. Delegates will be walked around the model using lecture, case example, personal examples, diagrams, and experiential exercises. Delegates will be invited to engage in exercises that are typical of the delivery of ACT. This allows them to see ACT intervention modelled and to experience how it is to encounter these processes for themselves, thus sensitising them to being able to recognise and respond effectively to these processes in their clients. Examples of exercises include eyes closed mindfulness type exercises, but often with greater content guidance than in traditional mindfulness practise. Additionally, pairs sharing exercises are used, as well as group based activities. Many of the exercises invite participants to observe their own struggles in life and to track their behavioural response to these. Participants are free to choose their own level of engagement. There is often an invite to engage in a committed action towards ones values as a homework task between day 1 and 2.

Day 2: Is more focussed on applications of the work. Delegates are given tasks in case conceptualisation, to formulate a client using the perspectives they gained on day 1. This is done as small group work. Later in the day the small groups of threes engage in trying out ACT therapy strategies with those clients in role play, with support and feedback from an ACT coach. Day 2 also uses video of simulated client work to show / demonstrate the core competencies of ACT, prior to participants trying these out for themselves.

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Understand developments in modern behavioural psychology
  • Experience the ACT model from the inside – tracking of own behavioural influence
  • Understand the ACT model conceptually
  • Practice case formulation using the ACT model
  • Observe and practice ACT strategies in simulated client interactions

Who is the course intended for?

Anyone who has a background in delivering structured psychological interventions / therapies will benefit from this workshop. It is particularly useful for people who have a back ground in traditional cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy, but therapists with other backgrounds have also found this type of training to be useful. This is open to applied psychologists of any division, as well as other therapists / health professions who provide psychological interventions and therapies. It will also be suitable for life coaches and similar professions. Delegates should have a background in applying psychological interventions with clients in an applied setting, but this can be in physical health, mental health, work settings, forensic sports coaching etc. The workshop is suitable for people at any stage of their career from PG trainees to people with a whole career of experience. Prequalification students are less likely to benefit due to their lack of applied experience, but they can still attend if they wish and they will still learn a lot.

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224506.


Thursday 14th May 2015

08:30Registration and Refreshments
09:00Workshop Commences
12:30Lunch (Provided)
13:00Workshop Recommences

Friday 15th May 2015

08:30Registration and Refreshments
09:00Workshop Commences
12:30Lunch (Provided)
13:00Workshop Recommences

Speakers and Facilitators


David Gillanders

David Gillanders is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, HCPC registered, member of the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy and a founder member of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science. He is a senior lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh and Academic Director of the doctoral programme in clinical psychology. Formerly working for the NHS, he has extensive experience of working psychologically with people with chronic health problems from both an ACT and traditional CBT perspective. He is a peer reviewed ACT trainer with ACBS, one of only 4 people in the United Kingdom to achieve successful peer review. The peer review is the international association’s mark of high quality, high fidelity ACT training. In his workshops he is very sensitive to delegates needs and works hard to ensure that participants are free to choose their own level of engagement and disclosure. Everything is invitational and non-coercive. Advertising material states in advance that the workshop is experiential and participants will learn ACT from the inside. This ensures informed consent and right to not participate and to choose is reinforced throughout.


Holborn Bars

Holborn Bars , 138-142 Holborn , London , EC1N 2NQ •  Website•  Directions

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