Training and Professional Development Workshops

By: Julian McNally Counselling Psychologist  02-Mar-2011
Keywords: Psychologists, Training, Professional Development

Acceptanceand Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Brief and Solution-Focused Therapists (BSFT)

Transfer your BSFT skills into a comprehensiveempirically-tested model

The ACT model combinestherapist creativity with a solid theoretical and philosophical foundation toprovide efficacious methods for enriching and enhancing the experience and lifeof client and therapist. Many of its techniques will be familiar to solution-focused therapists (e.g. Miracle Question, scaling, small changes). Others will be quite different to what is usually taught in BSFT. However, ACT is not technique-dependent. You will find that you can bring many of your solution-focused (and Narrative, and MotivationalInterviewing…) skills and work effectively with them inside the ACT model. This workshop will teach you how.

What you will do in the workshop

You will have theopportunity to practise ACT skills and exercises as both client and therapist,you will learn to understand the ACT philosophy and the logic of the model sothat you will know when and how to apply specific BSFT methods and you willlearn how to develop further as an ACT therapist.

The activities in the workshop will be at least 40% experiential comprising:

  • Experiencing ACT exercises as clients do
  • Practising common ACT techniques in small groups
  • Viewing live and video demonstrations of ACT processes and methods
  • Getting stuck, dealing with being stuck and getting unstuck (ACT has a model for dealing with "stuck" therapy that is very different to any other therapeutic approach)
  • Writing and reflecting on what matters to you in your practice
  • Planning actions to ensure ongoing learning after the workshop

There will be written assessment for CPDpurposes. To promote optimal learning, places in the workshop have been limited to 35.

Overview of the workshop

Morning Day 1:ACT-ing with purpose

  • Understand how ACT works - the 6 core processes of ACT, including simple and brief ways to start them
  • Recognise the breadth of applications for ACT - what issues and populations ACT has worked for
  • Contact with the present- getting yourself and the client in the room
  • Teaching mindfulness and present moment awareness as a skill

Afternoon Day 1:ACT now!

  • Defusion skills - how to undermine the importance, believability and influence of troubling thoughts
  • Acceptance skills - increasing compassion, dissolving problems, making room for problems and more

Morning Day 2:ACT yourself

  • Self-as-context - changing the viewing of you and of your experiences, creating a self that is enough, choosing experience, consequences and assumptions for effective practice
  • Using ACT on the therapist - connect more fully, remain engaged, deal with stuckness gracefully and effectively

Afternoon Day 2:ACT-ing Out - into the future

  • Values - identifying a purpose, connecting with meaning
  • Committed Action - taking life one step at a time, keeping going, dealing with barriers and setbacks
  • Developing as an ACT therapist from here on

About your trainer

Julian McNally is a counselling psychologist in private practice. He trained in solution-oriented counselling and hypnosis in the 1990s with Rob McNeilly and used this approach extensively between 1995 and 2004. He presented sessions at the Association of Solution Oriented Counsellors and Hypnotherapists of Australia (ASOCHA) conferences in 1998 and 2003.

Julian started practising Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 2004. He is a charter member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and a member of its Australia-New Zealand Chapter Committee. He ran the Melbourne ACT Peer Supervision Group between 2006-2008 and has completed ACT training with Steven Hayes, Russ Harris, Kelly Wilson, Robyn Walser, Kirk Strosahl and Kevin Polk. He presented a paper at the 2009 ACT Oceania Conference and a workshop at the 2008 ACT Conference in Christchurch.

Keywords: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Professional Development, Psychologists, Training, Workshops

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